Somerset's misery continues
The second batch of C&G Trophy first-round fixtures was again hit by the weather. Scotland's game against Worcestershire did not get started and will be played tomorrow. Lancashire's match against Buckinghamshire at Wormsley, which started yesterday, was not completed, so Lancashire were declared winners under the Duckworth-Lewis method by 51 runs. Two all-first-class ties today meant a couple of main counties should have fallen at the first hurdle, but Durham and Derbyshire will have to wait until tomorrow to discover which of them will join Somerset.
Somerset and Leicestershire played out a low-scoring thriller at Grace Road before Leicester finally secured their first win of the season. But they had a major scare chasing Somerset's paltry 94, eventually scraping home by three wickets thanks to an aggressive 21 from Ottis Gibson. The South African Charl Willoughby was the star of the day, taking 6 for 16 as Leicestershire exploited helpful conditions. Simon Francis responded with 3 for 23, but could not pull the game out of the bag.
Surrey had to fight hard to avoid going out in the first round for the second year running. Staffordshire's 186 did not look overly threatening, but a top-order wobble had Surrey struggling at 47 for 4. However, Mark Ramprakash steadied the innings with 49 and was well supported by Alistair Brown and Rikki Clarke as Surrey progressed to the second round with three wickets and seven balls to spare - Martin Bicknell finished the match with a six.
Durham hold all the aces in their clash against Derbyshire. The teams will return in the morning with Derbyshire needing another 103 off 13 overs, with five wickets left. Steve Harmison has 2 for 18 from seven overs. The Durham innings was built around a typically jaunty innings from Paul Collingwood, who hit 82 from 83 balls, clearing the rope four times. However, Durham stumbled from 191 for 3 as Ant Botha took 4 for 44, although Durham's in-form attack leaves them favourites to progress.
Gloucestershire overcame the spirited challenge of Berkshire, who slumped to 138 all out. When they were 112 for 2 after 24 overs a real challenge was brewing, but Gloucestershire's attack, led by the Sri Lankan legspinner Upul Chandana who took 4 for 27, avoided any embarrassment.
Essex comfortably saw off Devon by 180 runs in their match held over from yesterday. A 131-run stand between Andy Flower (69) and Ravi Bopara (65 from 57 balls) boosted Essex to 264 for 5. Devon then crumbled to 84 all out, as Darren Gough and Andre Adams took three wickets each.
Middlesex completed a ten-wicket victory over Northumberland as Paul Weekes and Ed Smith made light work of a target of 207. Weekes stroked 106 from 115 balls while Smith hit 96 from just 74 deliveries. Stephen Humble hit a brave 88 from 76 balls at No. 8 for Northumberland, but Jamie Dalrymple tied down the middle order with 3 for 24.
Warwickshire moved into the second round with a 23-run win over Holland despite a fighting 89 from 104 balls from Daan van Bunge. Heath Streak ensured the victory with 4 for 27.
Yorkshire were made to work hard by Ireland before securing a six-wicket win at Stormont in Belfast. A fourth-wicket stand of 113 between Eoin Morgan (59) and Peter Gillespie (55) allowed Ireland to recover to 201 for 7 from their overnight 33 for 3. But Ian Harvey hit 57 for Yorkshire, and Michael Vaughan enjoyed some useful time in the middle with 58 from 92 balls. Phil Jaques (55 not out) guided Yorkshire home with 16 balls remaining.
Hampshire had few problems beating Shropshire by seven wickets. Shane Warne and Richard Logan took three wickets each as Shropshire struggled to 132 all out. Kevin Pietersen then flayed 76 from 49 balls, including seven fours and six sixes, as Hampshire cruised home in just 21.1 overs.
Sussex ensured their fixture against Bedfordshire was completed despite a late start as they sped to their target of 144 at nearly eight runs an over. Ian Ward blitzed his way to 65 from 44 balls, while Matt Prior biffed 30 from 18. James Kirtley and Jason Lewry had earlier taken three wickets each as Sussex kept a tight rein on the Bedfordshire innings.
Nottinghamshire cruised past the Wales Minor Counties by six wickets at Swansea. Mark Ealham took 4 for 28 as the Welsh were dismissed for 119. William Bragg, the wicketkeeper, top-scored with a gutsy 41 not out. Russell Warren then struck an unbeaten 48 from 79 balls as Notts reached their target in 26.2 overs.
Glamorgan's 320 for 5 was more than enough for Suffolk, who could manage only 177 for 8 in reply in a 143-run defeat. Matthew Elliott smacked an unbeaten 100 from 104 balls and Robert Croft launched 56 from 59 before Suffolk slumped to 12 for 3. After that they were never in the hunt, although Ian Morton and Trevor Smith frustrated Glamorgan with an eighth-wicket stand of 64. There was no early night for players or spectators, as the match did not finish until 8.40pm. Glamorgan used a battery of spinners in the final 90 minutes to ensure that the game did not spill over into a second day.