Surrey and Essex both progressed to the quarter-finals of the Friends Life t20 as Middlesex came up narrowly short at Southampton.
Surrey comfortably beat the Eagles at Chelmsford for the first time in the history of the competition and progressed with a home tie. Steven Davies hit 54 off just 27 balls at the top of their order, while Zander de Bruyn (39 off 39 balls) and Gary Wilson (43 off 26) both chipped in. However, some good death bowling from Shaun Tait (2-28), Reece Topley (3-40) and Graham Napier (4-18) restricted the Brown Caps to 165.
That proved to be more than enough as the Essex batting line-up self-destructed. Gareth Batty was reluctant to use his spinners, mindful of the short straight boundaries, with the tactic bearing fruit as Essex lost regular wickets to slip to 52 for seven. Ryan ten Doeschate gave the home crowd something to cheer by blazing 60 off only 39 balls, but it was all in vain. He was last man out to give Jade Dernbach a second wicket and with the score on 104. Zander de Bruyn had earlier taken four for 19 from his four overs of medium-pace.
A valiant knock of 67 from 44 deliveries from Joe Denly wasn’t enough for Middlesex to force the win against Hampshire. The Royals amassed 190 for three from their 20 overs after electing to bat. James Vince hit a breezy 28 at the top of the order, with Jimmy Adams then making 43. However, it was the unbroken fourth-wicket stand between Neil McKenzie (47 not out off 37) and Sean Ervine that took the game away from the Panthers. The former played second-fiddle to Ervine, who finished on 60 off only 34 balls.
Middlesex were behind the rate for much of their run chase as Chris Wood took three wickets and David Griffiths two, but Denly kept them just about in it. He got the equation down to 17 from the final over but fell from the penultimate ball and they ended on 182 for seven.
Sussex were confirmed as the winners of the South Group wooden spoon courtesy of their thrashing at the hands of Kent at Hove. Mitchell Claydon and Matt Coles each took three wickets as Sussex were all out for just 113. Only three batsmen reached double figures, with Matt Machan’s sprightly 20-ball 31 the top score. Coles was then promoted to number three in Kent’s batting line-up and smashed 40 off just 23 balls to see them home by eight wickets in the 14th over.
Quarter-Final Fixtures: (start times in brackets, BST)
Tuesday 6th August, Surrey v Somerset at The Oval (1615)
Tuesday 6th August, Northamptonshire v Durham at Wantage Road (1910)
Wednesday 7th August, Hampshire v Lancashire at Southampton (1910)
Thursday 8th August, Nottinghamshire v Essex at Trent Bridge (1900)
Friday’s Fixtures: (previews to follow tomorrow)
LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Durham at Lord’s
LV=CCD1, Somerset v Nottinghamshire at Taunton
LV=CCD1, Sussex v Derbyshire at Hove
LV=CCD1, Yorkshire v Warwickshire at Headingley
LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Glamorgan at Southampton
LV=CCD2, Leicestershire v Lancashire at Grace Road parry
LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire at Wantage Road
LV=CCD2, Worcestershire v Kent at New Road
Group B, YB40, Surrey v Essex at The Oval (1540 BST start)
County Cricket News In Brief:
Geoff Cook has returned to coaching for the first time since suffering a heart attack six weeks ago. Cook, who returned to Chester-le-Street to coach some Durham Academy players in the indoor nets, told BBC Look North’s Jeff Brown that there is no long-term damage to his heart and thanked those who have wished him well during his illness.
Gloucestershire have extended the loan spell of Middlesex left-arm spinner Tom Smith to include the forthcoming Championship game against Northamptonshire. Coach John Bracewell told BBC Gloucestershire that finances were the only thing preventing him from extending it further.
Sohail Tanvir has agreed to stay on as Hampshire’s overseas player until the end of August according to BBC Radio Solent. Tanvir’s countryman Saeed Ajmal was due to arrive as overseas player for the final few weeks of the season but that will now not happen due to his international commitments.
ESPNcricinfo is reporting that Somerset pair Nick Compton and Jos Buttler could both leave the club when their contracts expires at the end of the season. Buttler’s frustration at not being made first-choice wicket-keeper is well documented, while Compton is understood to be eyeing a return to London. The club remains keen to keep both men. Meanwhile, Gemaal Hussain is reportedly unlikely to be offered a new deal.
Varun Chopra has signed a three-year extension to his Warwickshire contract which will see him remain at Edgbaston until the end of 2016.
The Derby Telegraph is reporting that Derbyshire are in talks with two potential signings - an all-rounder and a batsman - for the 2014 season.
© Cricket World 2013