County Cricket Round-Up - 24th July 2013

Stephen Moore formed one half of a brutal opening partnership that helped Lancashire demolish Yorkshire.
©Action Images / Craig Brough

There were wins for Warwickshire, Kent and Lancashire in tonight’s Friends Life t20 matches.

Lancashire went top of the North Group of the Friends Life t20 by thrashing arch-rivals Yorkshire at Old Trafford. The Vikings could muster just 124 for eight after opting to bat as Lancashire’s bowlers bowled superbly. Adam Lyth hit 32 off 24 balls and looked to have got things back on track alongside Gary Ballance (28 off 31 balls) after the loss of two early wickets. However, Mitchell McClenaghan was again superb, taking two for 19, while there were two wickets for Tom Smith and a tidy spell of left-arm spin from Simon Kerrigan (1-22).

Lancashire openers Stephen Moore and Tom Smith then didn’t take long to put the result beyond doubt. The pair put on 88 in less than eight overs before Smith was finally stumped off Azeem Rafiq (2-14) for a 22-ball 42. Moore, though, remained until the end and finished not out with 66 from 35 balls, while Karl Brown helped hasten the win by hitting 19 off just seven balls.

Warwickshire kept their quarter-final hopes alive by beating Gloucestershire by seven wickets in the Midlands/Wales/West Group. The Bears batting, for once, prospered as all of their top three passed 30 and they overhauled the Gladiators’ 145 for seven with 14 balls to spare. Openers William Porterfield (34 off 30 balls) and Varun Chopra (37 off 35) added 68, with Rikki Clarke then smashing 40 off only 21 deliveries. Tom Smith was the comfortable pick of the Gloucestershire attack, returning figures of two for 14 from four overs of left-arm spin.

Off-spinner Ateeq Javid had earlier continued his excellent competition by taking three for 26. There were also two wickets for fellow offie Jeetan Patel as only Gloucestershire skipper Michael Klinger got going, hitting 68 off 52 balls.

Kent won their South Group dead-rubber game against Sussex at Canterbury. Darren Stevens hit 67 off only 44 balls as the Spitfires posted 173 for three after choosing to bat. Fabian Cowdrey had got the innings off to a flying start with a 21-ball 40. Sussex then lost Dwayne Smith fourth ball for a duck to Adam Riley, but looked to be fighting back. Matt Machan made a fluent 67 off 48 balls, while there were contributions from Rory Hamilton-Brown (24 off 23 balls) an Chris Nash (31 off 24). However, the Sharks ended their 20 overs short on 164 for six.

Tomorrow’s FLt20 Fixtures: (start times in brackets, BST)
North Group, Durham v Leicestershire at Chester-le-Street (1740)
The home side can still realistically reach the quarter-finals following their impressive recent form. Graham Onions has been released to play by the ECB, although Paul Collingwood is still unavailable due to a thumb injury.

Durham squad: Mark Stoneman (captain), Phil Mustard, Scott Borthwick, Ben Stokes, Gordon Muchall, Will Smith, Michael Richardson, Gareth Breese, Ryan Pringle, Chris Rushworth, Graham Onions, Usman Arshad.

The Foxes still have a slim chance of making the last eight, but a defeat to Durham will see them definitely eliminated. Robbie Williams has been added the squad after recovering from injury.

Leicestershire squad: Josh Cobb (captain), Greg Smith, Joe Burns, Niall O’Brien, Shakib Al Hasan, Shiv Thakor, Michael Thornely, Ned Eckersley, Rob Taylor, Anthony Ireland, Robbie Williams, Alex Wyatt, Matthew Boyce, James Sykes.

South, Middlesex v Surrey at Lord’s (1815)
The star-studded London Derby sees Ricky Ponting make his final appearance for Surrey, while Eoin Morgan returns to the Panthers’ side after recovering from injury. Morgan’s return gives the home side an interesting selection dilemma as they have to decide who to omit from their strong batting line-up.

Middlesex squad: Paul Stirling, Dawid Malan, Joe Denly, Eoin Morgan, Adam Voges, Adam Rossington, Neil Dexter (captain), Gareth Berg, Ollie Rayner, Kyle Mills, Ravi Patel, Gurjit Sandhu, Josh Davey.

Weather Forecast: There is the possibility of a heavy shower pretty much anywhere in England tomorrow. However, in between those, it should be mostly sunny, especially in the afternoon. Temperatures will peak at between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius.

County Cricket News In Brief:
Work has started on the £85 million redevelopment of the Essex County Ground at Chelmsford. When complete, there will be a new cricket centre, pavilion, media centre and club shop, as well as extensive catering and event facilities that are so important to county’s finances. Capacity at the ground will also increase from its present 4,500 to 7,500.

Murray Goodwin has been offered a new one-year contract by Glamorgan after impressing since moving from Sussex at the end of 2012. However, he is still hoping for a two-year deal.

Durham CCC are hopeful that first-team coach Geoff Cook will return to work before the end of the season according to interim coach Jon Lewis. Cook suffered a heart attack earlier this year and was placed in a coma, but is now recovering at home.

Northamptonshire captain Stephen Peters is hoping to be fit in time for their next LV= County Championship game against Gloucestershire on 2nd August. He has missed the last 10 weeks of the season with a broken finger but made his comeback in a second XI game earlier this week. Also nearing fitness is batsman Rob Newton and all-rounders Steven Crook and Andrew Hall.

James Taylor will miss all of Nottinghamshire’s remaining Friends Life t20 group matches after being asked by the ECB to play for Sussex against the Australians this weekend. Taylor is favourite to replace the injured Kevin Pietersen in England’s line-up for the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Yorkshire batsman Jack Leaning is to spend this winter playing grade cricket in Sydney under the captaincy of Tykes team-mate Phil Jaques.

The ECB and all 18 first-class counties, as well as Scotland, have announced that children under 16 will be admitted free to the majority of Yorkshire Bank 40 games in August providing they are accompanied by a paying adult. 31 games are covered under the offer and more information can be found on the ECB’s website.

Gloucestershire will start on minus two points in next year’s T20 competition after being found guilty of preparing a “poor” pitch at Cheltenham for their match against Warwickshire on 14th July. The home side made just 96 after being asked to bat, with the Bears batsmen then struggling for fluency before finally overhauling their target. The ECB found no mitigating circumstances that contributed to the condition of the pitch and the penalty was imposed as per the regulations.

© Cricket World 2013