A healthy dose of rain at both Edgbaston and Taunton means that Warwickshire continue to lead the way in the LV= County Championship after 17 rounds of matches. They now have a nine-point lead over Sussex with a game in hand and a 24-point lead over third-placed Nottinghamshire. Elsewhere, Tom Poynton and Wayne Madsen fell agonisingly short of making history at Wantage Road, while David Balcombe and Chris Wood did likewise at Grace Road.
Rain helped Warwickshire considerably on the final day of their match against Middlesex at Edgbaston. Chasing 367 to win, they ended on 152 for seven in the 59th over as young spinner Ravi Patel took three wickets. Middlesex had earlier been dismissed for 412 in their second innings as Boyd Rankin and Chris Wright each ended with five wickets.
Somerset and Sussex, aided by the rain, did Warwickshire another huge favour by drawing their match at Taunton. If Sussex had won, then they would have overtaken Warwickshire at the top, while a Somerset win would have put them back into title contention. However, unfortunately for either side, less than two hours of play were possible during the day, with Sussex ending on 115 for five in their pursuit of 164 to win.
Tom Poynton and Wayne Madsen could add only two more runs to their epic ninth-wicket partnership this morning and so fell tantalisingly short of breaking the century-old world record. Madsen ended on 231 not out and added a further 55 with Tim Groenewald (42 off 35 balls) for the last-wicket as Derbyshire were finally bowled out for 569. Northamptonshire reached 212 for four in their second innings, thanks to an unbeaten century from Rob Newton, before the teams shook hands on the draw.
It has been quite a week for tail-end partnerships. After Tom Poynton and Wayne Madsen fell 22 short of breaking a 102-year-old world record at Wantage Road this morning, Chris Wood and David Balcombe almost broke Hampshire’s 91-year-old tenth-wicket record this afternoon. Hampshire had slumped to 146 for nine in pursuit of 441 to win against Leicestershire at Grace Road, but Wood and Balcombe both made career-bests and added 168 for the last-wicket in less than 23 overs. Wood brought up the first century of his career off 80 balls, while Balcombe had reached 73 off just 69 balls before he was bowled by Nathan Buck to spare the home side’s blushes.
Tomorrow’s Fixtures: (start times in brackets, GMT)
1st Semi-Final, FLt20, Sussex v Yorkshire at Cardiff (1000)
2nd Semi-Final, FLt20, Hampshire v Somerset at Cardiff (1330)
Final, FLt20, TBC v TBC at Cardiff (1745)
County News In Brief:
Northamptonshire have secured the services of experienced batsman David Sales for another season after signing a one-year deal with the 34 year-old.
Lancashire are employing their former captain Mark Chilton as a part-time batting coach. Chilton is currently director of cricket at Manchester Grammar School and has almost completed his ECB level four coaching qualification.
Glamorgan all-rounder James Harris has conceded that he could be forced to leave the county to further his international ambitions.
© Cricket World 2012
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