Surrey were made to sweat but prevailed over Somerset to become the first county to reach 2013 Twenty20 Finals Day. They looked to be cruising towards their target of 149 at 115 for two after 14 overs but a brace of run-outs kept Somerset in with a shout until the dying moments, with Surrey eventually winning with an over to spare by just three wickets.
The home side’s run chase got off to an excellent start as Jason Roy (28 off 26 balls) and Steven Davies (35 off 23) added 62 in little more than eight overs, with Vikram Solanki then hitting 38 off 26 balls before the collapse began. Peter Trego and Alfonso Thomas each picked up a brace of wickets.
Craig Kieswetter had earlier led Somerset to their total of 148 for six. The visitors were without regular captain Marcus Trescothick - still not deemed fit enough for the frenetic pace of T20 cricket - but prospered thanks to Kieswetter and Peter Trego, who added 60 for the second-wicket. However, they were unable to press on to the total of 160 or more for which they looked destined as Jade Dernbach (2-30) and Azhar Mahmood (0-25) bowled effectively at the death.
A crowd of more than 5,000 at Wantage Road watched Northamptonshire comfortably beat Durham to become the second side to make it through to Finals Day. The win was set up by their top three with the bat. Kyle Coezter (44 off 40 balls) and David Willey (46 off 34) put on 89 in little more than 11 overs for the first-wicket, with Cameron White then ensuring that there was no let up for the Durham bowlers by plundering an unbeaten 58 off only 32 balls. Only Graham Onions of the visitors’ attack emerged with respectable figures (0-23) as the Steelbacks ended on 183 for four.
Willey and Steven Crook then impressed with the new ball for Northants, appearing to find more life in the pitch than their Durham counterparts. Phil Mustard was the lone hand at the top of the Dynamos innings, hitting 46 off 35 balls. However, by the time he was dismissed, caught off James Middlebrook (2-26), the game was as good as over at 73 for three in the 12th over. Ben Stokes did his best, displaying some breathtaking ball-striking in making 51 off 29 balls, but Durham were always likely to end short and they did on 147 for six. Lee Daggett was another Northamptonshire bowler who deserves a mention for figures of one for 13 from his four overs.
A young Hampshire side successfully resisted a fightback from Bangladesh A to win by eight runs at Southampton. The hosts rested most of their first choice side with an eye on tomorrow’s Friends Life t20 quarter-final, although Liam Dawson and Dimitri Mascarenhas did both play. They were also bolstered by the loan of Middlesex players Adam London and Josh Davey for the fixture.
It was Dawson who dominated the Hampshire batting effort, hitting 97 from 87 balls at number six to haul his side up to 223. Only three other batsmen reached double figures, with Michael Roberts and Mascarenhas both making 35. Bangladesh A, who were playing the first of five tour matches before they take on England Lions later this month, could then muster just 215 for nine in reply. They slipped to 99 for seven as Dawson struck twice on his way to figures of 7-2-11-3. However, Elias Sunny (45 not out off 59 balls) and Robiul Islam (34 not our off 19) made a game of it with a tenth-wicket stand of 58 in 35 balls; Robiul hitting five sixes, but it wasn’t quite enough. 16 year-old Brad Taylor and 20 year-old Jack Sheppard both enjoyed pleasing debuts for the hosts with two wickets apiece.
Tomorrow’s FLt20 Quarter-Final:
Hampshire v Lancashire at Southampton (1910 BST start)
The Royals name a familiar squad as they look to carry on their outstanding form from the group stage and move one step closer to defending their title. Sohail Tanvir is expected to see off the challenge from David Griffiths for the final place in the starting eleven.
Hampshire squad: Michael Carberry, James Vince, Jimmy Adams, Neil McKenzie, Liam Dawson, Sean Ervine, Adam Wheater, Dimitri Mascarenhas (captain), Sohail Tanvir, Chris Wood, Danny Briggs, David Griffiths, Michael Bates.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will again be mostly dry, albeit largely overcast, in Southampton, with temperatures peaking at around 21 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Somerset have been dealt a blow in their fight to stave off relegation from Division One of the LV= County Championship with the news that left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman will not be joining as expected after being named in Pakistan’s Test and ODI squads for their tour of Zimbabwe. ESPNcricinfo is reporting that the club are close to agreeing terms with a replacement, but it won’t be current overseas player Alviro Petersen.
Kent CCC have sold off part of their Canterbury ground to McCarthy & Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited after giving up on the idea of building a hotel on the site. Chief executive Jamie Clifford explained: “We have spent a number of years marketing the ground in the hope that we might be able to see a hotel developed. It has become clear in the last 12 months that this is now very unlikely to happen, hence the change of direction.” The company will build retirement apartments on the site.
Leicestershire CCC have appointed current head coach Phil Whitticase to a new role of Director of Cricket as they restructure the coaching set-up at the club. Batting and bowling coaches Ben Smith and Lloyd Tennant have been appointed as first and second-team coaches. Whitticase explained the restructuring to BBC Radio Leicester: “The decision was taken due to the amount of work that I’ve been doing. I can now sit above and concentrate on the overall view of the club.”
Surrey CCC chief executive Richard Gould has expressed displeasure at the early start time of 1615 for today’s Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Somerset. Surrey would have preferred an evening game so that they could attract maximum spectators, with Gould telling the Daily Mail, “This has been done entirely for television reasons and is not ideal for spectators.” Sky Sports were able to televise both of today’s matches due to staggered start times.
Tom Fell has signed a two-year contract extension with Worcestershire which will see him remain at the club until the end of 2015. Fell, 19, quit his course at Oxford Brookes University over the winter to sign a summer contract with the Pears but told BBC Hereford & Worcester that he is hoping to go back to his studies at some point. He hit 94 not out in Worcestershire’s most recent match against Kent.
Natwest have taken over from Friends Life to become the title sponsor of the county T20 competition from 2014-2017. The company will actually sponsor all of the ECB's T20 cricket, including men's and women's internationals, junior county competitions and the National Club Competition.
Durham's Visually Impaired cricket team will entertain the crowds during lunch on day three of the fortchcoming Ashes Test the club has announced. The Test will also feature exhibitions from both the Lindisfarne Durham Community Choir and RAF band.
© Cricket World 2013