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Wisden CricInfo staff
September 14, 2003
National League Division One
Surrey 198 for 9 beat Glamorgan 190 by eight runs at Cardiff
They may have blown the Championship, but Surrey were today crowned the National League champions after beating last year's winners Glamorgan by eight runs in a low-scoring match. It wasn't a vintage performance, but it was another allround team display which won them this match, and the title. Mark Ramprakash (53) and Adam Hollioake (51) held Surrey's innings together after they had stumbled to 61 to 4. Hollioake clubbed five fours and two sixes and gave Surrey some oomph, while Ramprakash dug in to help them up to a respectable 198 for 9. All the bowlers then chipped in with a wicket or two each, but it was Rikki Clarke, England's newest allrounder, who was the pick of the bunch. Michael Powell top-scored with 40, and Robert Croft and Mike Kasprowicz, who both scored 20, threatened to spoil Surrey's party, but Clarke kept his cool. He grabbed 2 for 19 and signalled the win when he clean bowled David Harrison to start the celebrations. After the game, a relieved Hollioake said: "We have played some good cricket in the Sunday League this year and we are very happy to come away with it. We are limping over the line as we are on our last legs and to get this side together today was hard work." He added: "I would like to pay credit to what they have done here. They have stuck to it and got their rewards." It followed their Twenty20 Cup win earlier this season, but the only strange sight was of Ian Ward, who this morning announced he is to leave Surrey at the end of the season, watching all the fun from the commentary box, well away from the celebrations.
Kent 101 for 2 beat Leicestershire 98 by eight wickets at Leicester
Leicestershire slipped down another slot in the table after they were skittled for only 98 and duly hammered by Kent. Amjad Khan took the first four wickets in quick succession to leave Leicestershire in trouble at 37 for 4 and Kent didn't look back. Mark Ealham then matched Khan with four wickets as only Paul Nixon put up a fight. Nixon was last man out for a dogged 32, but the fact that he was only one of three to make it to double figures tells its own story. With only 99 to get, Kent made light work of their easy challenge as Rob Key (44*) and Andrew Symonds (45*) got them home in just over 19 overs.
National League Division Two
Sussex 128 for 1 beat Lancashire 125 by nine wickets at Old Trafford
Just as Lancashire spoiled Sussex's Championship celebrations earlier this week, Sussex got their revenge in the National League with a thumping nine-wicket win. A win for Lancashire would have ensured their position as division winners, but Billy Taylor and Mark Davis made sure they will have to wait a little longer. Taylor took the early wickets of Mal Loye and Stuart Law as Lancashire slipped to 39 for 3. Mark Chilton (43) and Chris Schofield (32) then started the rescue act, but after adding 61 to push the score to 101-4, the last six wickets fell for only 24 runs. Most of that was down to Davis, who took 4-14 in a nine-over spell. Chasing 126, Richard Montgomerie (66*) and Murray Goodwin (59) didn't hang around as Sussex romped to a comfortable win, and only their sixth of the season.
Middlesex 278 for 4 beat Hampshire 277 for 7 by six wickets at Lord's
Paul Weekes starred for Middlesex with bat and ball as they squeezed past Hampshire with only one delivery left. After being asked to bat, Hampshire rattled up 277 with Nic Pothas and Simon Katich blasting an opening stand of 144. Pothas scored 78 from 77 balls, while Katich creamed 106, including 13 fours. Katich was eventually bowled by Weekes, who went on to take 4 for 45, and then provide the platform for Middlesex's superb victory. He scored 104, and shared crucial partnerships with Andy Strauss, Chad Keegan and Owais Shah to keep them flowing with the tide. Needing nine runs to win off the final over, Shah hit a six, but was out the next ball. However, Ed Joyce and Jamie Dalrymple kept their nerve to steer Middlesex home.
Nottinghamshire 185 for 3 beat Scotland 183 by seven wickets at Trent Bridge
After such an unexpectedly bright start to their first season in the National League, Scotland's rapid demise was capped off with another defeat in the final match of their campaign. Nottinghamshire haven't had a great summer either, but at least Chris Cairns took out some of their frustration with a booming 76, featuring three sixes, in their comfortable win. Cairns earlier grabbed two wickets, and Stuart MacGill three, as Scotland were bowled out for 183, James Brinkley top-scoring with 67. Kevin Pietersen, who could well be leaving at the end of the season, hit a quick 20 before Jason Gallian (43*) and Cairns clubbed together 111 in Notts' seven-wicket win.
Derbyshire 249 for 8 beat Somerset 243 for 9 by two wickets at Taunton
Derbyshire, led by Michael Di Venuto, hung on to pull off an impressive run-chase against Somerset, sneaking home by two wickets and with one ball to spare. After Ian Blackwell (60 from 47) and Matthew Wood (58) helped Somerset to 243 for 9, Di Venuto played a well-paced knock of 113 to keep Derbyshire in touch. He received support from Andrew Gait, Steve Stubbings and Dominic Hewson, all of whom scored in the 20s, but after Di Venuto was caught off Nixon McLean, Derbyshire still needed 20 to win. Up stepped Nathan Dumelow (28*) to take the responsibility and he made sure of the victory by smashing Simon Francis for six to win the game in style.
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Stats highlights from the first day of the second Test between Australia and India in Brisbane