County Cricket Round-Up - 27th August
Rain decimated the final round of group matches in the Clydesdale Bank 40, with as many as six of them ending in a no result. The end result was that Sussex, Warwickshire and Hampshire joined Lancashire in the semi-finals, with Sussex the other side to earn a home tie.
In Group A, Leicestershire’s match against Gloucestershire was abandoned just after the halfway stage at Grace Road. The home side were bowled out for 264 after being put into bat, with Shiv Thakor and Matthew Boyce both hitting half-centuries. Liam Norwell finished with figures of six for 52 for Gloucestershire, who had reached 19 for one after four overs of their innings before the rain arrived.
Middlesex triumphed over Essex via the Duckworth Lewis method at Lord’s, with their total of 288 proving to be more than enough. Dawid Malan was the man responsible for many of those runs, hitting 134 off only 108 balls and sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 132 with Gareth Berg (61 off 58 balls). In reply, Tom Westley and Owais Shah both hit half-centuries, but debutant Gurjit Sandhu took three wickets and Essex ended on 198 for seven in the 36th over.
Lancashire, who had already qualified from Group A, made the most of the 37 overs that were possible against Worcestershire to send out a message to the rest of the semi-finalists. They piled up 324 for four after being asked to bat, before the rain prevented any further play. Tom Smith hit the quickest ever list A century by a Lancashire batsman – taking just 44 balls to reach three figures and undercutting Andrew Flintoff’s previous best by six balls. It was the equal fifth fastest century in all list A cricket and came during an opening partnership of 150 in 90 balls with Stephen Moore, who went on to make 113.
A point from their abandoned Group B match against Durham was enough for Hampshire to qualify for the quarter-finals. The two sides managed only six overs at Chester-le-Street before the match was called off after having already been reduced to an 18 overs aside affair. Hampshire reached 52 for one, with James Vince unbeaten on 37 off 22 balls.
Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan were forced to settle for a point apiece at Trent Bridge after rain wiped out all but 5.3 overs of the visitors’ run chase. The Outlaws had made 264 for six from their 40 overs, with openers Alex Hales (94 off 87 balls) and Neil Edwards (58 off 55) sharing a first-wicket stand of 114. Andrew Salter and Graham Wagg each took two wickets for the Welsh Dragons.
Somerset and Surrey’s semi-final hopes were ended by the rain at Taunton. Both sides had to win to have a chance of qualification, but only 4.3 overs were bowled, with Surrey reaching 29 for one, meaning that Hampshire were the only team to progress from Group B.
In Group C, there was time for only one innings at Derby, where Northamptonshire reached 232 for eight from their 40 overs after being invited to bat by Derbyshire. Kyle Coetzer and David Sales both hit half-centuries for the Steelbacks, while off-spinner Peter Burgoyne took three wickets for the home side.
Sussex beat Kent to earn a home semi-final tie thanks to a convincing nine-wicket win at Canterbury. They restricted the home side to 210 for five after losing the toss, with Brendan Nash the only Kent batsman to pass 50. In reply, Luke Wright ended unbeaten on 101 from 90 balls and shared an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 152 with Matt Prior, who hit 78 not out off 69 balls.
Kent’s defeat and Warwickshire’s subsequent win over Yorkshire at Scarborough mean that it is the Bears and not the Spitfires who will be progressing to the knockout stage. Warwickshire made 211 for six from 29 overs after being put into bat, with Tim Ambrose hitting 87 not out off 64 balls and sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 89 with Darren Maddy (44 off 27 balls). Yorkshire fell well short of their slightly revised target of 214, in spite of a valiant 50-ball 68 from stand-in skipper Gary Ballance, as Neil Carter took four wickets for just 16 runs.
Semi-Finals: (matches are on 1st September and start at 1245 local time, 1145 GMT)
Lancashire v Warwickshire at Old Trafford
Sussex v Hampshire at Hove
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