Hodge blasts another county century
Brad Hodge hammered another unbeaten century for Lancashire on Sunday, propelling his side to victory against Yorkshire. Hodge's 141 not out was the only hundred from an Australian in county matches this week.
There was plenty of interest in the match at Old Trafford, with Andrew Flintoff testing his injured ankle as a specialist batsman for Lancashire. However, Hodge hogged the spotlight with a 133-ball innings that included 17 fours and three sixes. It was Hodge's second unbeaten one-day century in a fortnight after he struck 130 not out against Northamptonshire earlier this month.
The latest effort, which easily guided his team to their target of 251 with 26 balls to spare, leaves Hodge averaging 291 from his three matches. He has been less destructive in the four-day games and earlier in the week managed 49 and 10 in a disappointing Lancashire performance against Worcestershire at Old Trafford.
Hampshire earned their third limited-overs win of the season at The Rose Bowl on Sunday, where Shane Warne and Stuart Clark suffocated Sussex with tight bowling. Warne took 3 for 33 and Clark claimed 2 for 26 - from ten overs each - as Sussex fell for 201 in the 50th over.
Warne's victims included Murray Goodwin (15), the former Zimbabwe and Western Australia batsman, who just days earlier had put in a remarkable effort against Surrey at Hove. Goodwin made 119 and 205 not out in a high-scoring affair that also featured an unbeaten 266 from Mark Ramprakash and 179 from Mark Butcher.
In all, 16 wickets fell for 1363 runs, and nearly half of those wickets were claimed by Matthew Nicholson. Fighting against the dominant batsmen, Nicholson kept Surrey's chances of a win alive with 5 for 89 in the first innings. However, he could not replicate the performance in the second, when he took 2 for 73 and the match predictably petered out to a draw.
A fine all-round display from Ashley Noffke helped Gloucestershire avoid defeat at the hands of Glamorgan at Bristol. Gloucestershire, who were following on, were only 21 runs ahead when Noffke, the No. 9, joined Mark Hardinges, the No. 8. The pair added 121 runs - Noffke contributed 61 - to stymie Glamorgan's chances of victory despite a 12-wicket match from Glamorgan's 17-year-old seam bowler, James Harris.
Earlier, Noffke had taken 3 for 62 - including Matthew Elliott for 4 - as Glamorgan posted 392. Marcus North played an important role in Gloucestershire's reply, continuing his solid season with 94.
Things worked out better for Gloucestershire in their one-day fixture against Somerset at Bristol, where they won by 58 runs. North was again useful, this time with his part-time offspin, which yielded 2 for 36 from ten overs. Somerset's Justin Langer and Cameron White failed with the bat but White picked up 2 for 52 and had North bowled for 27.
Two days earlier, White had scratched around to make 45 from 81 balls as Somerset tied with Hampshire at The Rose Bowl. In the end, one blond Victorian legspinner was outfoxed by another - White was caught behind off Warne.
It was a quieter week for Simon Katich, the Derbyshire captain, whose side shared the points with Middlesex in a four-day encounter at Derby. Katich, who has 557 runs at 139.25 from his four County Championship games this season, made 59.