Fifties from Dawid Malan and Joe Denly helped Middlesex to a relatively comfortable victory over a still winless Essex in the South Group of the Friends Life t20. Malan dominated an opening stand of 37 with Paul Stirling (5) and added 93 with Denly for the second-wicket to take them close to the victory. He fell for 86 off 55 balls, but Denly ended on 52 off 35, while Adam Rossington hit the winning run in the final over.
On a Lord’s pitch taking turn, Essex did well to post 170 for eight after opting to bat but their bowlers were poor when their turn came to defend it. The Eagles began well with a 59-run opening stand between Hamish Rutherford (38 off 17 balls) and Mark Pettini (37 off 26) that spanned just five overs. However, the home side’s spinner bowled well in the middle of the innings, with Adam Voges getting through his four overs and returning figures of two for 21 and debutant Ravi Patel taking one for 17 with his left-arm spin. Graham Napier bludgeoned 24 off only eight balls towards the end, while Ravi Bopara ended not out on 32 off 28 balls.
Oxford University completed victory in the Varsity Match at Fenner’s inside three days by dismissing the home side for 245 in their second innings. Trailing by a mammoth 431 on first innings, Cambridge University quickly slipped to seven for three as Tom Williams continued on from where he left off in the first innings.
However, Philip Hughes and Tom Elliott showed impressive resistance and added 162 for the fourth-wicket, both making career-bests. Elliott completed his maiden first-class century, but his dismissal saw the tumble of wickets recommence. Johny Marsden and Sachin Mylavarapu each took three wickets, while there was one for first innings triple-centurion Sam Agarwal. Cambridge were all out for 245 to lose by an innings and 186 runs. It is the first time since 1979 that a Varsity Match has been won by an innings and the joint biggest margin of victory ever, equalling the record set in 1957 when Cambridge beat Oxford.
Worcestershire have been set an unlikely 457 to beat the touring Australians and lost Nick Compton late on day three to close on 64 for one. They had been bowled out for 284 in their first innings at the start of the day, with Michael Clarke and Phil Hughes then putting their bowlers to the sword. Clarke raced to his century off only 90 balls and added 132 with Hughes (86 off 84 balls) in less than 19 overs. He was eventually out for 124 off only 98 deliveries as the tourists declared on 344 for five off only 55 overs. Jack Shantry was the pick of the home side’s attack with two for 62 from 13 overs. Full report
Tomorrow’s Fixtures: (start times in brackets, BST)
North Group, Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire at Derby (1900)
Both teams are unbeaten in the competition but that should all change tonight. The Outlaws have named a 13-man squad which includes all-rounder Sam Wood and seam-bowlers Jake Ball, Ajmal Shahzad and Harry Gurney.
Nottinghamshire squad: Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Riki Wessels, James Taylor, Samit Patel, David Hussey (captain), Steven Mullaney, Chris Read, Ian Butler, Ajmal Shahzad, Harry Gurney, Jake Ball, Sam Wood.
North, Leicestershire v Durham at Grace Road (1730)
The Foxes desperately need to break their duck in the competition, but will be without Niall O’Brien due to Ireland commitments and Robbie Williams, who has picked up an injury. They do, however, welcome back Scotland international Rob Taylor into a 13-man squad.
Leicestershire squad: Josh Cobb (captain), Joe Burns, Shakib Al Hasan, Matthew Boyce, Shiv Thakor, Michael Thornely, Ned Eckersley, Greg Smith, Rob Taylor, Jigar Naik, Anthony Ireland, Nathan Buck, Matthew Hoggard.
North, Yorkshire v Lancashire at Headingley (1740)
The home side are winless from two games, with Lancashire having lost two out of their three fixtures, meaning that this first Roses clash of the season is already close to a must-win for both teams. Yorkshire have named a 14-man squad.
Yorkshire squad: Andrew Gale (captain), Adam Lyth, Phil Jaques, Gary Ballance, Dan Hodgson, Adil Rashid, Richard Pyrah, Andrew Hodd, Azeem Rafiq, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Jack Brooks, Joe Sayers, Iain Wardlaw.
Continues on page two...