There were wins for Hampshire, Durham, Gloucestershire and Surrey on the final day of round 19 of matches in the LV= County Championship. Daniel Grummitt reports.
Hampshire completed the expected victory over Somerset on the final day at Taunton to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive. The home side, resuming on 266 for seven, needed to score 423 just to make Hampshire bat again and were dismissed for 362, with stand-in captain Alfonso Thomas the first man out this morning for 94 off the bowling of Imran Tahir. The tail hung around a while longer, but Tahir wrapped things up with the wicket of Steve Kirby (14) to end with four for 125 and give the visitors an innings-and-61-run victory.
Durham ensured that the title race will go down to the wire with a comfortable 208-run win over Sussex at Hove. Geoff Cook had written off the visitors’ chances prior to this match, but with this victory, Somerset’s defeat to Hampshire, and Lancashire’s defeat to Worcestershire, this season is proving to be as unpredictable as last year’s.
Matt Prior made 77 and Wayne Parnell 44 as the last six Sussex wickets added 193 runs today, but Ian Blackwell took five wickets to ensure that there was never any danger of them reaching the 521 they needed for victory; they were eventually all out for 312.
Warwickshire’s match against Yorkshire at Edgbaston ended in a tame draw with neither side willing to take a risk on the final day. Yorkshire batted for over an hour in the morning to leave the hosts an unlikely 349 to win in 70 overs. They eventually ended on 214 for three with Shiv Chanderpaul and Jim Troughton both hitting unbeaten half-centuries. Earlier, the visitors had declared on 385 for eight with Gary Ballance completing his first century of the season.
Night-watchman David Payne hit a career-best 62 as Gloucestershire knocked off the 137 more runs they needed for victory with a minimum of fuss against Glamorgan. They had begun on 53 for one and lost Richard Coughtrie (22) and Kane Williamson to consecutive deliveries off Jim Allenby, before Payne and Chris Taylor steadied any potential nerves with a fourth wicket stand of 94 to take them to the brink of victory. They both fell just before the end but the Gidman brothers finished things off to hand the home side a five-wicket win.
Pragyan Ojha ended with remarkable figures of 16.3-10-8-6 as Northamptonshire collapsed from 115 for four to 152 all out to hand Surrey a 333-run victory on the final day at Wantage Road. Beginning the day on 103 for four in pursuit of 486 to win, the home side lost their captain Andrew Hall early on to Stuart Meaker, before Ojha took the final four wickets to fall during a classical spell of left-arm spin bowling. The home side were not helped by Stephen Peters’ inability to bat thanks to a back injury, but the result puts their hopes of promotion from Division Two in doubt for the first time this season.
Tomorrow’s Fixtures (start times in brackets)
Semi-Final, CB40, Somerset v Durham at Taunton (1245)
The home side are missing Marcus Trescothick (ankle), Nick Compton (intercostal) and Craig Kieswetter (England) meaning that Arul Suppiah will open with Chris Jones.
Semi-Final, CB40, Surrey v Sussex at The Oval (1245)
The Lions have named a 13-man squad and have replaced Jade Dernbach with Yasir Arafat and Pragyan Ojha with Zafar Ansari.
County News in Brief
Derbyshire have named Wes Durston as their Player of the Year.
Leicestershire and Somerset have named their squads for the Champions League, with the Foxes having included Claude Henderson and Abdul Razzaq subject to recovery from injury and visa clearance respectively. Somerset are without Marcus Trescothick, Kieron Pollard and probably wicket-keepers Jos Buttler and Craig Kieswetter in a significantly weakened side.
© Cricket World 2011