All four of today’s matches ended in a draw as a combination of rain, flat pitches and good batting meant that the bowlers struggled on the final day of matches in round 13 of the LV= County Championship.
Sussex easily batted out the day on a flat Trent Bridge pitch against Nottinghamshire, closing on 385 for five in their second innings. Chris Nash, whose opening stand with Ed Joyce had reached 216 when the Irishman departed for 98, made 162, while Luke Wells hit his second half-century in the match. Samit Patel got through 32 tidy overs of slow left-arm spin for the home side and ended with two for 70, while Riki Wessels took his maiden first-class wicket in England with some part-time off spin.
Rain and Zafar Ansari mean that Warwickshire temporarily slip down to second in the Championship table after only drawing against Surrey at Edgbaston. They are now level on points with Nottinghamshire, who are first by virtue of having lost less games, although the Bears do have a game in hand over their midlands rivals. At the other end of the table are Surrey, who were helped by Ansari’s excellent unbeaten 83 today. He took 257 balls over his match-saving innings and saw off the Warwickshire attack for much of the day with Jason Roy, who ended on 42 off 101 balls.
In Division Two, rain helped Leicestershire considerably on the final day in their efforts to escape with a draw against Yorkshire. Less than 36 overs were possible in between the showers, with the home side finishing on 157 for seven in their second innings – still nine runs adrift of the Yorkshire’s first innings total. Stephen Harmison took two of the five wickets to fall today, as he bowled erratically but effectively, while Wayne White top-scored with 44 for the Foxes.
Last man Danny Briggs joined captain Jimmy Adams to help Hampshire escape with a draw against Kent in Southampton. Briggs came to the wicket with more than 20 overs left to bowl and the home side on 144 for nine – still needing 31 just to make Kent bat again. He faced 57 balls and added 42 with Adams during the course of 20.3 overs for the last wicket as they thwarted Kent’s attack. Adams ended not out on 85 off 255 balls. Liam Dawson (28 off 59 balls) and Sean Ervine (31 off 79) had made valuable contributions earlier in the day. Hampshire had looked to be batting out the draw relatively comfortably at one stage but three wickets fell in the space of six balls – Matt Coles taking two of them – to necessitate Briggs and Adams’ ultimately successful rearguard.
Lancashire kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Bank 40 alive with a four-wicket win on a tired pitch at Old Trafford. Ian Cockbain had hauled Gloucestershire up to 184 for seven off their 40 overs and was the only batsman to really time the ball with any consistency on a pitch that was a poor one. He hit 58 off 49 balls including taking 20 off the final over of the innings bowled by Stephen Parry.
In reply, Paul Horton (46 off 53 balls) and Karl Brown (60 off 80) put on 82 for the fourth-wicket, but they both fell in quick succession to bring the Gladiators back into the match. However, Ajmal Shahzad struck a crucial boundary and Gareth Cross finished the job with five balls to spare.
Group C, CB40, Derbyshire v Kent at Derby (1540 GMT start)
The match is a must win for both teams, who sit third and fourth in the table, if they are to have any hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals. Derbyshire are again without first choice wicket-keeper Tom Poynton so Chris Durham will again deputise.
Weather Forecast: The prospects for play tomorrow don’t look good. Rain will begin to fall at the County Ground in early morning and is not expected to relent to well into the evening. At best, it looks like a late start; at worst, like a total abandonment.
© Cricket World 2012
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