There were wins for Nottinghamshire, Durham, Somerset, Kent, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Essex in the afternoon’s Friends Life t20 action.
Durham were relatively comfortable victors over Derbyshire in the North Group of the Friends Life t20. They did stutter initially in their pursuit of Derbyshire’s 136 for seven, slipping to 36 for four, but Ben Stokes (46) and Gordon Muchall (37) rescued the situation with a fifth-wicket stand of 77. They eventually won by four wickets in the penultimate over. Derbyshire’s top-score had been just 32 after they had been put into bat. Chris Rushworth and Ryan Pringle each took a brace of wickets, while Will Smith returned figures of one for nine from three overs.
Nottinghamshire top the North Group after beating Yorkshire by 25 runs at Headingley. David Hussey hit 52 not out off 42 balls, while Samit Patel stroked 46 off 37 as the Outlaws posted 155 for eight after being invited to bat. Yorkshire’s second-wicket pair of Joe Sayers and Dan Hodgson got the Vikings off to a good start with a stand of 67, but left-arm spinners Patel and Graeme White returned combined figures of 8-0-37-4 and they were held to 130 for six.
There were two 10-wicket annihilations in the Midlands/Wales/West Group. Gloucestershire hammered Glamorgan by that margin at Cheltenham. Only three of the visitors’ batsmen reached double figures as they were held to 98 for nine. David Payne and the returning Ed Young each took three wickets to lead an excellent effort from the Gloucestershire bowlers. Chris Dent and Michael Klinger then knocked off the runs in less than 13 overs; the former ending on 63 not out off 43 balls and the latter on 35 off 34.
Warwickshire could muster a pitiful 73 against Somerset, whose openers Chris Jones (30 not out off 26 balls) and Craig Kieswetter (39 off 27) then took little more than eight overs to take their team to victory. Only two Bears batters reached double figures as Yasir Arafat returned the scarcely believable figures of four for five from four overs. There were also a brace of wickets apiece for Alfonso Thomas and Craig Meschede.
Richard Levi smashed 70 off 43 balls as Northamptonshire strengthened their position at the top. His innings helped the Steelbacks post 137 for six despite a late struggle and that proved just too much for Worcestershire. They slipped to 35 for three in their run chase, before rallying thanks to Daryl Mitchell (38 not out off 48 balls) and Andre Russell (44 off 31). However, David Willey again bowled impeccably to end with three for 13 and Worcestershire came up six runs short.
Kent got off the mark in the South Group by triumphing over defending champions Hampshire. They won the toss and posted 143 for eight despite Sam Billings’ 26 being the highest individual contribution. Sohail Tanvir and Danny Briggs each collected three wickets. Neil McKenzie then hit 47 in the Royals’ run chase but, for once, ended up on the losing side as they finished on 135 for eight. Mitchell Claydon was the pick of the Kent attack with two for 24.
Essex thrashed Sussex by seven wickets at Hove. Hamish Rutherford hit 84 off 43 balls as they won with almost three overs to spare. Sussex had totalled 146 for eight after opting to bat as several men made contributions; the highest of which was Rory Hamilton-Brown’s 31. Reece Topley was the star of the Essex attack, taking four for 26.
Tuesday’s FLt20 Fixtures:
North Group, Leicestershire v Lancashire at Grace Road
North, Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire at Trent Bridge
Mid/Wales/West, Glamorgan v Worcestershire at Cardiff
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