There were wins for Somerset, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Surrey, Essex, Hampshire and Leicestershire in the evening’s Friends Life t20 matches. Meanwhile, the Roses Derby at Headingley ended in a dramatic tie.
Leicestershire beat Durham to get off the mark in the Friends Life t20 North Group. Durham looked to be in a relatively good position in their run chase of 177 at 130 for three in the 16th over. Ben Stokes (35 off 21 balls) and Phil Mustard (69 off 50) were going well and had added 79 in less than eight overs. However, Anthony Ireland removed both with successive deliveries and, despite a late 12-ball 29 from Gareth Breese, the Dynamos were all out for 165 with Ireland ending with four for 22. Greg Smith (67 off 45) and Joe Burns had earlier shared 81 for the second-wicket to set up Leicestershire’s strong total of 176 for five. Burns ended not out on 81 off only 52 balls, while Chris Rushworth was the pick of the visitors attack with two for 27.
The Roses clash at Headingley ended in a thrilling tie as Ryan Sidebottom kept Lancashire down to nine off the final over when 10 were needed. Steven Croft helped the Lightning keep up with the required rate and finished on 42 not out off only 28 balls. Richard Pyrah had earlier helped the home side bounce back from a 46-run opening stand between Stephen Moore and Tom Smith (35 off 20) by taking three for 15 from his four overs, while there were two wickets for Liam Plunkett. Yorkshire had been reliant on Phil Jaques in making 152 for six; the Australian hitting 66 off 57 balls and batting throughout the innings. The picks of the Lancashire attack were spinners Stephen Parry (one for 21) and Arron Lilley, who took one for 22 on debut.
Nottinghamshire eased past Derbyshire in front of a sell-out crowd at the County Ground. Samit Patel took three for 16 as the home side could only total 115 for nine after being asked to bat. Harry Gurney again impressed with the new ball, taking one for 14 from his four overs, while there were two wickets for Jake Ball. Michael Lumb hit 49 at the start of the Outlaws’ run chase, while James Taylor made 34 and they won with more than two overs and six wickets to spare.
Craig Meschede and Yasir Arafat were Somerset’s batting stars in the dying moments of their Midlands/Wales/West Group Derby clash against Gloucestershire. The former looked to have taken his side over the line by hitting successive boundaries in the penultimate over, but he was dismissed in the last and it was left to Arafat to hit the winning boundary off the penultimate ball. For all Meschede and Arafat’s efforts though, it was Craig Kieswetter who was comfortably the pick of the Somerset batsmen. He ended on 89 off only 55 balls and hit four sixes. Gloucestershire had amassed an imposing 190 for six earlier in the day as Ian Cockbain hit a sparking 63 off 36 balls an there were contributions from Hamish Marshall (49 off 39) and Alex Gidman (36 off 18).
An innings of 71 not out off 61 balls from Kyle Coetzer helped Northamptonshire post 161 for two to beat Warwickshire at Wantage Road. Coezter added 63 with his opening partner Richard Levi (35 off 21) and then shared useful stands with Cameron White (28 off 21) and Alex Wakely (24 not out off 17). Mohamamd Azharullah then took four for 25 as the Bears could muster just 134 for eight in reply. Ateeq Javid top-scored with 41, while there were two wickets apiece for Lee Daggett and Graeme White.
Essex thrashed Kent in the South Group at Canterbury. Owais Shah dazzled, hitting six sixes during an innings of 59 off 38 balls, as the visitors made 164 for six from their 20 overs. There were also contributions from Hamish Rutherford (29 off 18) and Ryan ten Doeschate (31 off 23). Kent then lost Graham Napier to the first ball of their run chase and things barely improved thereafter. Reece Topley and Napier both took three wickets, while there was a brace apiece for Ravi Bopara and Tim Phillips as Kent were dismissed for 117.
A knock of 52 off 33 balls from Jason Roy proved crucial as Surrey won the London Derby at The Oval. Roy’s innings helped the visitors notch up 147 for nine from their 20 overs, with left-arm spinner Ravi Patel again impressing, taking four for 18 for Middlesex. There were two wickets each for his spin colleagues Adam Voges and Ollie Rayner. Jade Dernbach and Gareth Batty then each took a brace of wickets in the Middlesex run chase to help restrict them to 132 for eight, with skipper Neil Dexter’s unbeaten 40 the highest score.
Neil McKenzie played the ultimate finisher’s innings, ending on 71 off only 50 deliveries as defending champions Hampshire prevailed in the final over over Sussex. He added 72 for the second-wicket with a typically elegant Michael Carberry (50 off 31) after the Royals had lost two early wickets and then dominated a match-winning unbroken stand of 49 with Adam Wheater. Sussex had earlier made a modest 145 for six after opting to bat as spinners Liam Dawson and Danny Briggs returned combined figures of four for 35 from their eight overs.
Worcestershire had little difficulty in securing a draw on the final day of their tour match against the Australians at New Road. Matthew Pardoe, Daryl Mitchell and Tom Fell all passed 50 as county ended on 274 for five in pursuit of a theoretical 457 to win. Pardoe made 57 and took his overnight second-wicket stand with Moeen Ali (35) to 57 before a mini-collapse of three for 30 threatened to give the tourists a sniff. However, Mitchell made a dogged 54 off 156 balls, while Fell hit a career-best unbeaten 62. Full report
North Group, Durham v Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street (1440)
Mid/Wales/West, Warwickshire v Glamorgan at Rugby (1430)
Glamorgan have named an unchanged 14-man squad following victories in their opening two games. All-rounder Jim Allenby is set to return to the eleven after missing the reverse fixture against the Bears at Cardiff on Wednesday.
Glamorgan squad: Jim Allenby, Mark Wallace, Chris Cooke, Marcus North (captain), Murray Goodwin, Ben Wright, Nathan McCullum, Graham Wagg, Dean Cosker, Michael Hogan, Alex Jones, Will Owen, Nick James, Stewart Walters.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow is set to be another hot day, with temperatures climbing as high as 25 degrees Celsius and only very patchy cloud.
County Cricket News In Brief:
The Daily Telegraph reports that the ECB has ejected nine spectators from televised county cricket matches so far this summer because of suspected links to illegal bookmakers in India, where matches are shown with a 15-second time delay.
Trent Copeland now appears unlikely to return to Northamptonshire as their overseas player later this season after a deadline of 5th July was reached with no agreement. However, chief executive David Smith did admit that the door was still open, although admitted that there will have to be a decision soon.
© Cricket World 2013