Worcestershire agreed to chase 283 for victory on the final day at Lord’s after a double declaration from the two sides overnight. They fell comfortably short of their target as Middlesex’s seamers combined to bowl them out for just 150. Tim Murtagh (three for 39), Gareth Berg (two for 20) and Toby Roland-Jones (three for 29) did the bulk of the damage to reduce the visitors to 96 for eight, before Aneesh Kapil (28 not out) and Richard Jones (32) added 54 for the ninth wicket to spare some blushes. However, Steven Finn wrapped things up with two wickets in an over to condemn the Pears to a 132-run defeat.
In the Clydesdale Bank 40, the Netherlands pulled off a thrilling one-run win over Gloucestershire at the County Ground. Stephan Myburgh top-scored with 77 from 72 balls for the Dutch in their total of 239 for six, while there were contributions also from overseas signing Cameron Borgas (38), Wesley Barresi (30) and Mudassar Bukhara (32 not out from 21 balls). For the Gladiators, the spin pairing of Chris Dent and Ed Young returned combined figures of four for 73 from 16 overs.
Gloucestershire got off to a steady start in their run chase, but it was again spin that proved to be their undoing as left-armer Pieter Seelaar took for 42 and off-spinner Michael Swart returned figures of one for 45 from his eight overs. Frenchman Benny Howell threatened the Netherlands’ total but he eventually ended on 72 not out from 51 balls as the home side fell short on 238 for eight.
Lancashire fought of the heroics of Josh Cobb to emerge victorious in a high-scoring encounter at Old Trafford. Cobb made 137 from 99 balls and shared a brisk fourth-wicket stand of 110 with Matt Boyce (64 from 61 balls) as Leicestershire made a better-than-expected fist of chasing down Lancashire’s imposing 296 for three. However, Simon Kerrigan’s haul of three for 44 was enough to bring them up short on 291 for seven.
Earlier, Stephen Moore (74 from 53 balls), Ashwell Prince (79 from 73) and Steven Croft (82 from 71) all hit half-centuries as the Lightning piled on the runs.
Jacques Rudolph’s innings of 69 from 89 balls proved to be enough for Surrey to triumph in a rain-affected clash at Edinburgh. They had struggled to 187 for seven after being asked to bat by Scotland as Matthew Parker and Majid Haq each took two wickets. The home side’s innings was twice interrupted by rain, the second time when they were on 118 for six after 29 overs and the Duckworth Lewis par score was 136. Off-spinners Matthew Spriegel and Gareth Batty were the bowling heroes for Surrey with a brace of wickets apiece as the defending champions recorded an 18-run win.
Kent won a low-scoring match against Yorkshire by four wickets in the final over at Headingley thanks to a remarkable six-wicket haul from 21 year-old Matt Coles. He struck three times with the new ball – including removing Phil Jaques and Gary Ballance for golden ducks – before returning to polish off the tail. Yorkshire’s innings of 175 for nine was built around innings of 44 and 49 from Andrew Gale and Joe Root respectively.
The visitors started brightly in pursuit of a modest 176 to win but lost their way against the off-spin of Azeem Rafiq – who ended with three for 22 and comprehensively out-bowled his more experienced team-mate Adil Rashid – and it was left to a sublime innings of 59 from 51 balls from veteran Darren Stevens to calm any nerves.
Centuries from Martin Guptill and Wes Durston were enough for Derbyshire to see off the Unicorns at Wormsley as they trounced the amateurs by 129 runs. Their total of 287 for three was built almost exclusively around a 222-run second-wicket stand between the aforementioned duo, while Chesney Hughes made up for his failure with the bat by taking five for 29 in the home side’s total of 158 for nine.
Warwickshire translated their excellent four-day form into 40-over cricket by comfortably overhauling a modest Northamptonshire total of 209 for seven at Edgbaston. Ian Bell continued on from where he left off against Durham and ended unbeaten with 82 from 84 balls, while Rikki Clarke hit 54 from 44 balls. Earlier, the Steelbacks had fallen victim to the familiar pairing of Chris Wright and Keith Barker, who took five wickets between them, with Andrew Hall the only man to pass 50.
Continues on page two...