There were wins for both visiting teams in today’s Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-finals at Hove and Old Trafford. Hampshire and Warwickshire both ran out comfortable winners and will meet in the final at Lord’s on 15th September.
Hampshire 222-2 (Carberry 68) beat
Sussex 219-8 (Wright 122) by 8 wickets
CB40 Semi-Final, Hove
Sussex looked like they were going to amass more than 250 at one stage during their innings. They had won the toss on a Hove pitch that perhaps had a little more carry in it than it sometimes does and romped to 159 for one in the 29th over thanks to a blazing century from Luke Wright. It was Wright’s second consecutive century in the competition and came off only 84 balls as he dominated a second-wicket stand of 88 with Matt Prior after adding 71 with Chris Nash (26 off 35 balls) for the first wicket.
Most of Wright’s more destructive shots were played straight down the ground and he made the most of Bilal Shafayat dropping him at deep square-leg in the first half of his innings. The 27 year-old has always been one of the cleanest strikers of a cricket ball on the county circuit, but, in the past, has tended to try to over-hit the ball. Today, he just allowed his natural power and timing to take centre stage and didn’t lose his shape while playing his more powerful shots.
All this time, Prior was at the other end playing second fiddle, but his wicket to the second ball of the 29th over would prove to be the game’s turning point. He was bowled by Chris Wood to begin a Sussex collapse of seven for 40 – including the wicket of Wright for 122 – as Sean Ervine (three for 36) and Danny Briggs (two for 32) were rewarded for some accurate bowling. Will Beer and Steve Magoffin then added an unbroken 20 for the ninth-wicket to haul them up to 219 for eight.
Hampshire’s openers Michael Carberry and James Vince clearly belong to the school of thought that says, when faced with a small total, win the game as quickly as possible. They blitzed 117 off the first 12 overs, with Carberry launching the likes of Chris Liddle and Steve Magoffin over long-on on numerous occasions. He raced to 50 off just 25 balls, but the end of the powerplays proved his undoing as, trying to hit Will Beer over straight mid-wicket for another six, he perished inches inside the rope. His final statistics read 68 off 36 balls with eight boundary fours and five cleanly struck sixes.
Vince, by contrast, was merely plodding along, striking at around 130 and not once clearing the rope. His innings of 58 off 43 balls was full of elegance and timing and rather than whip the ball over the boundary as Carberry had, he chose to stroke the ball, hitting 11 fours before playing around a straight one from Beer to give Sussex their second wicket in three overs. Was a similar collapse on the cards for Hampshire?
Alas no. The experienced pair of Jimmy Adams and Simon Katich weren’t about to let a required rate of less than four an over get the better of them, and were still together when Katich struck the winning boundary off Chris Liddle at the end of the 33rd over. He had 47 not out from 60 balls, having survived a couple of early alarms against Beer (two for 48), while Adams ended with 44 off 59 balls.
Warwickshire 250-6 (Chopra 110) beat
Lancashire 227 (Carter 4-38) by 23 runs
CB40 Semi-Final, Old Trafford
A late rally from Paul Horton wasn’t enough to stop Warwickshire from marching into the CB40 final following their convincing all-round performance at Old Trafford. Horton hit 78 off only 63 balls to leave the home side in with the slimmest of chances going into the final two overs, but he was caught off Neil Carter in the penultimate over and Lancashire were all out for 227 shortly afterwards.
After posting 250 for six thanks largely to an opening stand of 126 between William Porterfield and Varun Chopra, Warwickshire’s bowlers soon began to show just why their side top Division One of the LV= County Championship with two rounds to go. Chris Wright bowled with enough pace to trouble the home side’s middle-order with a spell of short-pitched bowling, while Neil Carter – playing in what could be his penultimate match for the Bears – ended with four wickets. Chris Woakes was tidy enough, as was Ian Blackwell, and the two ended with combined figures of two for 84 from 16 overs to complement Wright (three for 48) and Carter (four for 38) perfectly.
Varun Chopra had been the star of the Warwickshire batting performance, along with Ireland captain William Porterfield. Porterfield made 67 off 65 balls before succumbing to Gary Keedy, but Chopra remained until almost the end, bringing up his century off 119 balls, prior to being sixth man out off the final ball of the penultimate over for 110. Lancashire’s slow left-arm spin pairing of Stephen Parry and Gary Keedy, on who they rely so heavily in one-day cricket, endured disappointing days, with Parry (none for 49 off seven overs) particularly ineffective.
© Cricket World 2012
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