Gloucestershire snatch win while Northants are promoted
National League Division One
Gloucestershire 232 for 7 beat Essex 227 by five runs at Bristol
With the game in their sights, Essex suffered a dramatic collapse of eight wickets for 40 runs to blow it against Gloucestershire. Andy Flower and Ronnie Irani were cruising to Essex's target of 233, but once Irani was caught for 61 and their 115-stand was broken, Essex fell like a set of dominoes. Flower was caught by Jonty Rhodes off Martyn Ball (2 for 43) and then Ian Harvey, who took 5 for 38, had some fun with the tail and wrapped up the win by bowling James Middlebrook off the last ball. Harvey earlier cracked 43 from only 23 balls and Matt Windows provided the bulk of Gloucestershire's innings with 83 from 95 balls.
Yorkshire 227 for 3 beat Worcestershire 223 for 7 by seven wickets at New Road
Matthew Wood and Michael Lumb guided Yorkshire to victory against Worcestershire. Wood and Craig White (40) got off to a good start with an opening stand of 75. Wood, who scored 91, including 12 fours and a six, then added 114 with Lumb, who made 62 not out, as Yorkshire won with eight balls to spare. Matthew Hoggard continued his recuperation with 3 for 29 in Worcestershire's 223, in which Graeme Hick top-scored with 52.
National League Division Two
Northamptonshire 241 for 6 beat Durham 214 by 27 runs at Northampton
Northamptonshire clinched their promotion to Division One with a convincing win over Durham. Phil Jaques capped off an impressive campaign with 67 from 76 balls, belting eight fours along the way. His partner in crime, Mike Hussey, was also in the runs with 55 to set up Northants's healthy 241 for 6. Graeme Swann and Jason Brown then spun Durham away with six wickets between them. Swann took 4 for 57, including the dangerman Ashley Thorpe for 76. Paul Collinwood (43) and Gary Pratt (40) kept Durham in the hunt, but after they were both out to Brown (2 for 37), the celebrations started for Northants.
Lancashire 204 for 5 beat Hampshire 159 by 45 runs at Southampton
Carl Hooper continued his rampaging run-streak with 73 from 88 balls, including four fours and a six, to help Lancashire to a comfortable win against Hampshire. Hooper put on 124 with Glenn Chapple, England's forgotten man, who hit a sprightly 66 from 83 in Lancashire's 204 for 5. Hooper then turned it on the ball, grabbing 3 for 18, including the big wicket of Nic Pothas at the top of the order for 58. Chapple and Kyle Hogg took two apiece as Hampshire crumbled to 159.
Nottinghamshire 279 for 5 beat Somerset 244 for 8 by 35 runs at Trent Bridge
Rumour has it that Kevin Pietersen maybe on his way out of Nottinghamshire at the end of the season, and if that's true, he showed them what they will be missing with a blistering 141 from 104, hammering 17 fours and three sixes. His innings, along with 44 from the impressive Samit Patel, launched Notts to 279 for 5, a score which proved too much for Somerset. Carl Gazzard scored 76 and Keith Parsons 39, but once Gazzard was caught by reserve-'keeper Bilal Shafayat, in place of the injured Chris Read, Somerset ran out of steam.
Derbyshire 202 for 2 beat Scotland 201 for 8 by eight wickets at Derby
Derbyshire fans had a double-dose of good news today when Michael Di Venuto's decision to extend his contract by a year, was followed by an eight-wicket win against Scotland. Captain Dominic Cork led the way with a stingy spell of 3 for 15 from seven overs as Scotland crept up to 201, thanks mainly to 70 from Ryan Watson. But Derbyshire made light work of their target as Chris Bassano raced to 108 not out and cruised home with the help of Chris Harris (23*).