June 8, 2003

Glamorgan and Surrey keep their records intact

National League Division One

Division One Table

Glamorgan v Worcestershire at Swansea
Glamorgan are doing their damnedest to retain their National League title - today they made it five wins out of five with a 31-run victory over Worcestershire. Glamorgan owed their position to a 112-run partnership between David Hemp and Adrian Dale, a record for Glamorgan's fifth wicket against Worcestershire, and a quickfire 46 from Michael Powell. Kabir Ali warmed up for the Pakistan series with four good wickets, but Worcestershire never threatened a modest total. Graeme Hick was out early, for 11, as Alex Wharf and Robert Croft continued their excellent form from the Championship with seven wickets between them. Rain limited the match to 39 overs a side, and Worcestershire's cause was not helped by a six-run penalty for a slow over rate.

Gloucestershire v Warwickshire at Gloucester
The captaincy brought out the best in Craig Spearman, as Gloucestershire continued pushing towards the top of the table. Spearman thumped a spectacular 153 from just 123 balls, with 16 fours and five sixes, as Warwickshire were nailed to the bottom of the table by a 79-run defeat. Gloucestershire's batting card had a very top-heavy look to it. Spearman added 171 for the first wicket with Robin Weston, who lived up to his first name with the perfect sidekick's innings of 61, but after that only Jonty Rhodes (24) and Ian Harvey (26) managed double figures. Warwickshire still needed an unlikely 308 for victory, but when Nick Knight launched the innings with a turbo-charged 70 from 55 balls, anything seemed possible. But when he fell, the only resistance came from the young firm of Ian Bell and Jim Troughton, who contributed a pair of rapid fifties.

Kent v Yorkshire at Tunbridge Wells
Kent finally ended a run of four successive defeats with a 22-run victory over Yorkshire at Tunbridge Wells. Set 209 to win on a low slow pitch, Yorkshire looked well placed at one stage thanks to a fifth-wicket stand of 99 in 24 overs between Michael Lumb (77) and Richard Blakey (41). But they fell in successive balls, Blakey to a direct-hit run out, and the challenge petered out. Ben Trott finished with 3 for 19, his best figures in the competition. Yorkshire had had high hopes of victory after winning the toss and bowling first. Darren Gough removed Mark Ealham early on, before Ryan Sidebottom ripped out three quick wickets, including the dangerous Andrew Symonds, who caused a ten-minute delay after felling a member of the ground staff with a towering six. But Greg Blewett (46) anchored the middle of the innings, and Kent's meagre total proved enough.

Surrey v Essex at The Oval
After his much-publicised marital problems, Graham Thorpe's hunger for cricket has returned with a vengeance, and on this sort of form England will find him hard to ignore for much longer. After Azhar Mahmood had torn through Essex's line-up for a competition-best 6 for 37, Thorpe guided Surrey to a tight three-wicket win with an immaculately paced 79 not out. He faced 97 balls, scored eight fours, and rescued Surrey for 17 for 2, after Scott Brant had removed both openers in single figures. Essex's total of 220 had owed everything to Darren Robinson, who defied Manhood's marauding with an excellent 78, but thanks to Thorpe, it was not quite enough.

National League Division Two

Division Two Table

Hampshire v Durham at Southampton
John Crawley's first century of the season propelled Hampshire into second place in the second division of the National League, as Durham fell seven runs short at the Rose Bowl. Crawley made 102 from 134 balls, ably assisted by a brace of 30s from Simon Katich and Nic Pothas, before Dmitri Mascarenhas ripped out three quick wickets in Durham's reply. But Jon Lewis, the leading run-scorer in the Championship this season, added 82 for the fifth wicket with Gordon Muchall, and with five overs remaining Durham needed 48 to win. It was a tall order, but when Lewis fell for 43, the game was up. Mascarenhas finished with 4 for 44, while Allan Mullally conceded just 15 runs in his nine overs.

Lancashire v Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford
The few spectators who sat out the bad weather in Manchester were treated to a foretaste of the Twenty20 Cup, as Andrew Flintoff and Carl Hooper clubbed Lancashire to an entertaining seven-wicket victory in a 17-over thrash at Old Trafford. Play did begin until 5pm, at which point Nottinghamshire thumped their way to 100 for 6, with cameos from Jason Gallian and Guy Welton. A quick Duckworth/Lewis adjustment left Lancashire needing 114 for victory, and despite three early wickets, they made it with nine balls to spare.

Middlesex v Sussex at Lord's
Murray Goodwin proved that Zimbabweans can score runs after all, as his confident 81 not out rescued Sussex from a dreadful start and hauled them off the bottom of the second division. Goodwin, who retired from Test cricket in 2000, held his nerve as Ashley Noffke and Chad Keegan sent Sussex spiralling to 23 for 4, and fought back in a gritty 112-run partnership with Tim Ambrose. Abdul Razzaq prevented a late surge of runs by picking up three wickets in the closing overs, but Middlesex never came close to a rain-adjusted target of 183. They started brightly enough, with Andrew Strauss and Paul Weekes adding 63 for the first wicket, but Kevin Innes tore through the middle order, picking up five wickets for just seven runs. Only four batsmen reached double figures.

Somerset v Northamptonshire at Bath
Somerset continued their woeful run of form in the National League, as Mike Cawdron made the most of a rare opportunity to extend Northamptonshire's lead at the top of the table. In a rain-affected match, Somerset were never able to recover from a dreadful start, slumping to 35 for 5, as Cawdron finished with 4 for 31 from seven overs. Keith Parsons and Keith Dutch led a partial recovery, and Dutch went on to make 50 from 55 balls, but the end of the innings was similarly chaotic as the last three wickets fell for two runs, including two run outs. After a brief rain delay, an adjusted target of 131 was never going to cause any problems for Mike Hussey, fresh from his huge double-century in the Championship, and sure enough, his 54 eased Northants towards a seven-wicket win.

Click here for yesterday's County Championship review