Lancashire will be cursing Messrs Duckworth and Lewis after the rain meant that Nottinghamshire were set a rather generous 49 to win from five overs at Trent Bridge after the visitors had posted an impressive 178 for four from their 20 overs. Nottinghamshire captain Adam Voges had asked the Lightning to bat after a delayed start, and he was rewarded by some early swing for his bowlers in the opening overs.
However, as the ball got wet in the almost constant drizzle that was falling, batting became easier and Tom Smith began striking the ball beautifully. He brought up his seventh Twenty20 fifty and did the bulk of the scoring in an opening partnership of 119 with Stephen Moore, prior to falling for 56 from 41 balls. Moore took over the lead role and added a further 41 in 24 balls with Steven Croft, before he too fell – to Andy Carter for 80 from 58 balls – shortly before the end of their innings.
The Outlaws faced one over in their reply – reaching seven without loss – before the rain returned. When it finally relented, they were set a further 42 to win from 24 balls with all ten wickets remaining and Lancashire must have been cursing their luck. Michael Lumb and Riki Wessels made 22 and 21 not out respectively as they got home with two balls to spare to go top of the North Group. Lancashire, meanwhile, will find it hard to qualify from fourth with only two more matches to play.
Top-placed Sussex beat bottom-placed Surrey at The Oval to virtually guarantee themselves a place in the quarter-finals. They achieved their Duckworth Lewis-adjusted target of 109 from 15 overs with 20 balls to spare thanks to cameos from Chris Nash (22 from 12 balls), Luke Wright (32 from 21) and Matt Prior (25 from 10). Stand-in skipper Gareth Batty took three for 11 from his three overs, but his side’s total of 106 for six from 16.2 overs was never going to be enough. Steve Davies had got the innings off to a brisk start with 21 from only 11 balls, but Zander de Bruyn (30 not out from 35) and Rory Burns (23 from 20) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures as Michael Yardy (two for 15) and Michael Rippon (one for 20) excelled with their left-arm spin.
Elsewhere, Glamorgan’s Midlands/West/Wales Group match against Worcestershire was abandoned without a ball bowled at Cardiff.
There are no matches in the Friends Life t20 tomorrow as attention turns to the third One-Day International at Edgbaston. However, the group stages do reach their climax this weekend, with all 18 teams in action on both Friday and Sunday, as well as four matches on Thursday.
County News In Brief:
Northamptonshire have sacked head coach David Capel with immediate effect. Previous second eleven and academy coach David Ripley will taken over the running of first-team affairs on an interim basis, with Phil Rowe taking over his position.
Sussex have said that Rusty Theron will not be re-joining them for the group stages of this season’s Friends Life t20 competition. He made his Sharks debut three weeks ago, but was forced to return home for personal reasons.
Somerset CCC have been forced to move their Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Durham on 22nd July away from their Bath outground and back to Taunton after the recent wet weather meant that the pitch at The Recreation Ground was unlikely to be ready.
Rory Hamilton-Brown has been granted an extended period of compassionate leave by Surrey CCC. He had tried to make a comeback against Hampshire on Saturday following the death of his close friend Tom Maynard, but that was unsuccessful. Gareth Batty will continue to captain the side in his absence.
Essex have confirmed the signing of Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh as their overseas player for the remainder of their LV=County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 campaigns.
Gloucestershire are close to signing Australian opener Ed Cowan as their overseas player on a short-term basis. He will play in the Championship games against Essex and Leicestershire before linking up with Australia’s A side.
Hampshire seamer Hamza Riazuddin has received a reprimand following a level one breach of the ECB’s disciplinary code during their second eleven match against Middlesex.
Ian Bell has signed a new three-year contract with Warwickshire, which will see him remain at Edgbaston until at least then end of 2015.
© Cricket Worlod 2012
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