Hildreth Stars On Bumper Day Of Twenty20 Cricket

Hildreth Stars On Bumper Day Of Twenty20 Cricket
Hildreth Stars On Bumper Day Of Twenty20 Cricket
©Action Images / Peter Cziborra Livepic

Amazingly, only one match was abandoned due to rain this evening, with Lancashire’s North Group match against Nottinghamshire called off without a ball bowled.

At Grace Road, Leicestershire finally recorded their first win of their title defence by defeating Derbyshire in an eight-over affair. They made 80 for three from their eight overs after being put in to bat, with Greg Smith’s 23 from 15 balls the highest individual contribution. Josh Cobb (17 from 10 balls), Matthew Boyce (16 not out from 12) and Wayne White (13 from 11) all reached double figures, with Jonathan Clare (one for 12) the pick of the visitors’ attack.

The Falcons hit 19 from the first seven balls of their run chase, but Abdul Razzaq struck twice in his first over. Wes Durston steadied the ship with a knock of 21 from 15 balls, but Matthew Hoggard, Claude Henderson and Robert Taylor all conceded less than six an over and restricted them to 72 for six as the Foxes ran out winners by eight runs.

Azeem Rafiq marked his coming of age as Yorkshire’s youngest ever first-team captain at the age of 21 – as well as their first of Pakistani origin – by leading his team to a 12-run win over Durham at Chester-le-Street. The visitors successfully defended their total of 171 for six thanks to four wickets from Ryan Sidebottom and three from Mitchell Starc. Herschelle Gibbs had threatened to overhaul the target by himself, and made 76 from 47 balls, but Moin Ashraf dismissed him in the 13th over and Durham never recovered.

Yorkshire’s total had been built around an innings of 74 not out from 35 balls from South Africa batsman David Miller, while Joe Root had laid the foundations with another mature knock – of 41 from 32 balls.

The above results mean that Yorkshire are the new leaders of the North Group – by virtue of their superior net run rate – with Nottinghamshire second. Lancashire are third with five points, with Durham, Derbyshire and Leicestershire bringing up the rear.

Gloucestershire won a closely contested Midlands/West/Wales Group match against Northamptonshire at Bristol. The home side made 139 for nine from their 20 overs after being invited to bat, with Kane Williamson – in his last match for the Gladiators before returning to New Zealand – and Ian Cockbain both passing 30 to take them to 61 for one in the tenth over. However, a pair of wickets apiece from Jack Brooks and James Middlebrook, coupled with a brace of run-outs, meant that they only managed to score 75 from their last 10 overs for the loss of seven wickets. 

Fortunately for them, that proved to be enough as Ian Saxelby tore into the Steelbacks’ top-order, before returning to help mop up the tail, on the way to figures of four for 16. With Ed Young and Muttiah Muralitharan also combining to deliver seven overs of spin for just 32 runs, this left Northamptonshire short on 131 for eight.

James Hildreth hit a career-best 107 not out to help Somerset to a high-scoring victory over Glamorgan at Taunton. With the next highest score Jos Buttler’s 22, Hildreth’s innings was doubly important. He hit 16 boundaries and brought up three figures off just 53 balls.

Shaun Marsh had earlier made the most of the short boundaries to hit four sixes during his 85, which came off just 52 deliveries, and shared a pivotal second-wicket partnership of 66 with Jim Allenby (33 from 22 balls) and a third-wicket one with Martin van Jaarsveld (36 from 22) worth 67, before falling to the final ball of the innings with the score on 178.

Warwickshire eased past Worcestershire’s inadequate 120 for seven with 21 balls to spare at New Road. They had, as a unit, bowled tidily, with Steffan Piolet returning the best figures (two for 21), and Vikram Solanki top-scoring with 32 from 34 balls for the Pears. Varun Chopra anchored the Bears’ reply, and ended on 49 from 48 balls, with Darren Maddy partnering him during a match-clinching third-wicket stand of 83 to finish unbeaten on 39.

Somerset top the Midlands/West/Wales Group with eight points from five games, with winless Northamptonshire plumb last. Warwickshire’s win moves them up to second, although they have played twice as many games as the next three teams: Worcestershire, Glamorgan and Gloucestershire.

Continues on page two...