There more was joy in cricket’s northern heartlands today as Lancashire followed up Yorkshire and Durham’s triumphs yesterday with one of their own at Colwyn Bay. Elsewhere, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire completed wins over Kent and Leicestershire.
Sussex closed in on Warwickshire’s 453, ending day three at Hove on 416 for seven. There were contributions from most of their batsmen, with Luke Wells falling early on four short of another century and Ben Brown ending on 82. In between, there were contrasting 42s for Ed Joyce and Matt Prior and 32 from Michael Yardy. Boyd Rankin was the pick of the Warwickshire attack, taking three for 60 on his first-team return.
Middlesex slumped to 161 for nine in reply to Surrey’s 338 on the second day at Lord’s. The day began well for the home side as they took the last five Surrey wickets to fall for the addition of only 27 runs thanks to Paul Stirling (two for 43) and Corey Collymore (three for 72). However, Jade Dernbach led the Surrey attack with aplomb, taking three wickets, while Zander de Bruyn and Gareth Batty chipped in with a brace apiece. Sam Robson top-scored for Middlesex with 36, but they lost regular wickets throughout - the highest partnership being the 44 between Robson and Joe Denly (21) for the second-wicket.
Gloucestershire cruised to victory on the final day of their Division Two clash against Leicestershire. Resuming on 16 for none in pursuit of 188, they lost only one wicket and reached their target in less than 60 overs. Openers Chris Dent and Michael Klinger added 129 before Dent was leg-before to Jigar Naik. However, Klinger completed his first century for the club and ended on 103 as they won by nine wickets.
Northamptonshire extended their lead at the top of the second division to 39 points - more than double that of their closest rivals Hampshire - by wrapping up victory over Kent inside three days. Aussie overseas star Trent Copeland was again Kent’s chief destroyer, taking five for 42 to end with match figures of 10 for 113 as they were bowled out for just 135 in their second innings. That left Northamptonshire needing only 104 in the fourth innings - a target they knocked off for the loss of three wickets inside 29 overs.
There was high drama on the third day at Colwyn Bay as Simon Kerrigan led Lancashire to an unexpected 14-run win. Lancashire hauled themselves up to 272 in their second innings from their overnight 104 for four as Simon Katich completed a half-century and Gareth Cross (30), Glen Chapple (26) and Kyle Hogg (47) all chipped in. Cross and Hogg added a crucial 63 for the ninth-wicket to leave Glamorgan needing 154 to win. Glen Chapple and Simon Kerrigan then set about the home side’s batting, sharing nine of the 10 wickets to fall as they were bowled out for 139. Will Bragg did hit 61 at the top of the order, but Ben Wright’s 14 was the next highest score.
Jack Shantry took seven for 60 as Worcestershire beat Oxford MCCU by 130 runs on the final day at The Parks. Worcestershire batted on in the morning and eventually declared at 210 for two in their second innings thanks to half-centuries from Neil Pinner and Ben Cox. That left the students needing 339 for victory, but they lost Sam Agarwal for a duck in the first over. Lloyd Sabin (30) and Freddie Coleman (46) both contributed but a steady trickle of wickets saw them all out for 208.
Defending Yorkshire Bank 40 champions Hampshire got their title defence off to the best possible start with a nine-wicket thrashing of Essex at Chelmsford. James Vince hit an unbeaten 129 as Hampshire chased down their target of 245 with more than 10 overs to spare. He added 156 with Michael Carberry (65 off 51 balls) for the first-wicket before being joined by his captain Jimmy Adams when the winning runs were hit.
Earlier Graham Napier and Greg Smith had propelled Essex up to a promising 244 for seven from their 40 overs. Rob Quiney hit 71 at the top of the order but a steady procession of wickets left the home side on 143 for five. Napier, though, carried on his superb form from the earlier Championship fixture and smashed 50 off 29 balls in a swashbuckling partnership with Smith (47 off 33 balls).
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