Gary Ballance hit the last two balls of the match for six to ensure that Yorkshire are virtually guaranteed to advance to the quarter-finals. Nottinghamshire had won the toss and elected to bat, but lost Riki Wessels first ball. Captain Adam Voges led the fightback with 70 from 57 balls, but the Outlaws’ eventual total of 148 for six always looked a little short of par. And so it proved, as Phil Jaques batted throughout the visitors’ innings to end with 58 not out. His 10th Twenty20 fifty was supplemented by cameos of 33 from 21 balls from fellow opener Adam Lyth and 27 from 16 balls from Joe Root as they won with six wickets and 14 balls to spare.
Gloucestershire made the already tight Midlands/West/Wales Group tighter still by beating leaders Worcestershire by seven wickets at New Road. Hamish Marshall and Ed Cowan both made half centuries and added 142 for the second wicket to chase down the home side’s total of 159 for six with ease. Ian Saxelby had been the pick of the Gloucestershire attack, taking two for 29 from his four overs, while Gareth Andrew top-scored with a typically aggressive 43 from 26 balls for the Royals.
Essex defeated Middlesex by two wickets in a low-scoring South Group encounter at Chelmsford. The Panthers made 109 after electing to bat with Joe Denly one of only two men to reach double figures as he made a measured 56-ball 53. All of the Eagles’ attack bowled well, with Tim Phillips at his miserly best taking one for 12 from his four overs.
In reply, Essex lost James Franklin in the second over, but Mark Pettini and Greg Smith looked to be chasing down the target with ease as they shared a stand of 74 for the second wicket. However, Smith was bowled by his namesake Tom, who ended with three for 24, while debutant Ollie Wilkin also took three wickets as a collapse of seven for 32 followed. Fortunately, Essex had done enough and they snook home in the 18th over with two wickets in hand.
Surrey crumbled to 88 all out in their pursuit of Kent’s 136 for eight at The Oval. In spite of Rory Burns proclamation that they would have “no problem chasing 140”, the Brown Caps slipped to 18 for four thanks to brace of wickets each from Azhar Mahmood and Mark Davies. Zander de Bruyn and Zafar Ansari affected a partial recovery with a fifth-wicket stand of 45, but Darren Stevens removed the latter for 25 and the collapse continued.
Kent had earlier struggled on a used pitch against Surrey’s battery of spinners, but Alex Blake and Rob Key both made 35 and their total proved to be more than enough for an out of sorts batting line-up.
Tomorrow’s FLt20 Fixtures: (start times in brackets, GMT)
North Group, Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire at Derby (1800)
North Group, Lancashire v Yorkshire at Old Trafford (1810)
North Group, Leicestershire v Durham at Grace Road (1630)
Mid/West/Wales Group, Glamorgan v Somerset at Cardiff (1700)
Mid/West/Wales Group, Warwickshire v Gloucestershire at Edgbaston (1800)
Mid/West/Wales Group, Worcestershire v Northamptonshire at New Road (1630)
South Group, Hampshire v Sussex at Southampton (1800)
South Group, Kent v Essex at Canterbury (1800)
South Group, Surrey v Middlesex at The Oval (1730)
Weather Forecast: A heavy band of rain will make its way slowly across central England during tomorrow and is likely to wipe out several of tomorrow’s scheduled fixtures. Temperatures will peak at between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
Mark Ramprakash has formally announced his retirement from county cricket. The 42 year-old was informed last week that he was unlikely to be selected for Surrey for the remainder of the season. He has not totally ruled out playing for another county, but is more likely to take on a role in the media or as a coach.
Nottinghamshire’s assistant coach Wayne Noon is believed to be in the running for the vacant head coach’s position at Northamptonshire.
© Cricket World 2012
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