Lancashire effectively ended Leicestershire’s defence of their Friends Life t20 crown with an eight-wicket thrashing of the Foxes at Old Trafford. Despite a much improved batting performance from the visitors, who had recovered from a Glen Chapple double strike that had reduced them to 29 for three to reach 179 for four, they were this time let down by their bowlers. All but one of them conceded more than nine an over, as Stephen Moore hit 54 from 32 balls; Tom Smith 42 from 31; Steven Croft 41 not put from 29; and Karl Brown 39 not out from 23 to guide them home with an over to spare.
Scott Borthwick and Johann Myburgh led Durham to their second victory, and condemned Derbyshire to their second defeat, of this year’s competition at the County Ground. Borthwick bowled an outstanding spell of leg-spinners, googlies and quicker balls on the way to figures of two for 22 that did not entirely do him justice. He took the wickets of Usman Khawaja, who top-scored with 36 from 31 balls, and Chesney Hughes, while Liam Plunkett returned identical figures as just reward for a fiery opening burst.
The visitors lost Phil Mustard and Ben Stokes early in their reply, the former caught behind off the pacy Mark Turner, but Johann Myburgh and Herschelle Gibbs added 67 for the third wicket and set up what proved to be a successful run chase. Both fell before the end, but Gordon Muchall (21 not out from 16 balls) guided the Dynamos home with five wickets and seven balls to spare.
Essex won a last-ball thriller against Kent at Chelmsford. Needing 17 to win from the final over, Adam Ball hit Graham Napier’s second ball for six to give the Spitfires hope; only to see James Tredwell run-out two balls later, and last man Mark Davies bowled first ball going for the winning hit. Sam Billings had set Kent off on the right track with an innings of 59 from 55 balls, but he found little support from the remainder of the batting line-up, who succumbed largely to Greg Smith as he ended with career-best figures of five for 17.
Skipper James Foster played a gem of an innings to haul the Eagles up to 158 for six after they had struggled for momentum early on thanks to some tight bowling from Mark Davies and James Tredwell. He hit 51 from only 27 balls – including four sixes – and shared a 14-ball sixth-wicket stand with Adam Wheater (12 not out from seven balls) that was worth 37.
Today’s results mean that Lancashire move up to third in the North Group, with Durham joining them on four points, and Derbyshire and Leicestershire occupying the last two places. In the South Group, Essex move off the bottom into fifth, with Kent hanging on to third spot.
Tomorrow’s FLt20 Fixtures: (start times in brackets, GMT)
Mid/West/Wales Group, Warwickshire v Somerset at Edgbaston (1800)
Warwickshire will be without Chris Woakes, who has been called up by England; and Ireland captain William Porterfield, who has travelled to Belfast ahead of his side’s match against Australia on Saturday. They will be replaced by Jim Troughton, who returns to captain the side, and Neil Carter.
Warwickshire squad: Varun Chopra, Neil Carter, Laurie Evans, Darren maddy, Jim Troughton (captain), Rikki Clarke, Keith Barker, Steffan Piolet, Richard Johnson (wicket-keeper), Jeetan Patel, Chris Wright, Paul Best, Ateeq Javid.
Somerset will pick from 12 available players for their trip to Edgbaston. With Craig Kieswetter, Kevin O'Brien, George Dockrell, Richard Levi and Albie Morkel all unavailable due to international commitments, they have called up wicket-keeper Steve Snell from his minor counties duties with Hertfordshire, while Lewis Gregory returns from his finger injury. Jamie and Craig Overton were not considered for selection as they are currently sitting A-Levels.
Somerset squad: Peter Trego, Nick Compton, Craig Meschede, Jos Buttler, James Hildreth, Arul Suppiah, Steve Snell (wicket-keeper), Alfonso Thomas (captain), Lewis Gregory, Max Waller, Steve Kirby, Alex Barrow.
South Group, Middlesex v Essex at Lord’s (1715)
The home side will be without their Irish contingent of Tim Murtagh and Paul Stirling as they travel to Belfast, with Adam Rossington and Gurjit Sandhu their replacements in a 14-man squad.
Middlesex squad: Joe Denly, Dawid Malan, Chris Rogers, Neil Dexter (captain), Adam Rossington, Gareth Berg, John Simpson (wicket-keeper), Ollie Rayner, Steven Crook, Toby Roland-Jones, Tom Smith, Anthony Ireland, Josh Davey, Gurjit Sandhu.
Leicestershire entertain the touring Australians at Grace Road in tomorrow's other county fixture. They will be hoping to put their dire Twenty20 form behind them and put in a strong performance in front of what is expected to be a good crowd.
Weather Forecast: There will be a lot of rain around tomorrow, with the precise details still a little sketchy. The match at Lord’s should be the one that sees the most play, with Edgbaston likely to be pretty wet during the evening. Temperatures will be lower than today and are expected to peak at around 19 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
James Franklin has said that he hopes his current Twenty20 deal with Essex will lead to a longer term county contract. However, that is unlikely to be with Essex, this season at least, as the club have been strongly linked to Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Derbyshire coach Karl Krikken has confirmed that the club are interested in signing Worcestershire seamer Richard Jones.
Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale has received a reprimand for a level one breach of the ECB’s disciplinary code, committed during his side’s match against Durham last Friday (15th June).
© Cricket World 2012
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