Trescothick marches into form with brutal hundred
Marcus Trescothick marched back into form with a breathtaking assault on Kent to hand Somerset a massive 132-run win at Canterbury, and Kent's second defeat inside two days. Trescothick and his captain, Matthew Wood, took particular fancy to Martin Saggers, square driving with ease as the fifty came up inside 10 overs. Kent had a chance to remove Trescothick on 43, but Darren Stevens shelled a simple return catch. Trescothick didn't need a second invitation, and proceeded to bring up his first hundred of the season from 103 balls, leading Somerset to an imposing 338 for 5. Kent were never in the hunt; they fell to 51 for 5, with Andy Caddick picking up three wickets and although they recovered to 93 for 5 before the rain fell, Somerset were worthy victors.
Gloucestershire routed Middlesex for 95 to get their C&G Trophy campaign off to a winning start at Bristol. Middlesex lost Paul Weekes, disastrously run out after just two balls, and they soon slipped to 26 for 6. They that reached the lofty heights of 95 was largely thanks to the South Africa, Johann Louw, who hit five fours and a six in his 39. Jon Lewis, the Gloucestershire captain, continued his excellent early-season form with 4 for 14 from ten miserly overs. An upset appeared to be on the cards when Gloucestershire lost three early wickets, but Ian Harvey saw the home side through to a six-wicket victory with a typically pugnacious 49, receiving good support from Chris Taylor (35).
Hampshire avoided a potential banana skin by brushing aside Ireland by eight wickets on a beautifully sunny day at Clontarf in Dublin. Put into bat, the highly respected Eion Morgan and Jeremy Bray (59) put on 66 for the second wicket, before Morgan rather wastefully flicked one down fine-leg's throat for 17. Thereafter only Bray gathered any momentum as Hampshire's bowlers, in particular James Bruce (4 for 31), stifled the run-rate. Their 202 was disappointing and Hampshire had no trouble overcoming it, thanks to fifties from John Crawley (76*) and Nic Pothas (69), to hand Hampshire two points.
Alastair Cook and Ronnie Irani powered Essex to a convincing 10-wicket win over Glamorgan in a reduced-overs match at Chelmsford. After rain had washed out play in the morning, a revised ten-over match was set with Glamorgan stumbling to 98 for 5. Mark Wallace clobbered 25 from eight balls to give the visitors some hope, but Irani and Cook breezed past the total without fuss. Cook (46*) was first to assert his authority, taking Richard Davies for three fours followed by another four boundaries off Alex Wharf. Not content to sit back and watch, Irani (51*) laid into Glamorgan's captain, Robert Croft, who was dispatched for 23 from one over, including two huge sixes, to take Essex home with more than two overs to spare.
Tom Smith produced a fine spell of bowling to restrict Leicestershire and give Lancashire the first win of their C&G campaign at Old Trafford. Smith took 3 for 8 from his eight overs, including the two key wickets of Dinesh Mongia and HD Ackerman, as Leicestershire fell 69 runs short of their target. John Maunders (38), opening the innings for Leicestershire, lost Darren Maddy to the first ball and thereafter watched a procession of batsmen come and go. Paul Nixon (24) briefly threatened a long stay at the crease, before Mahmood mopped up the tail with more than nine overs to spare. Lancashire's sprightly fielding effort was in contrast to their rather limp batting performance earlier in the day; their former team-mate, Mongia, bowled tidily and took 4 for 25, but a pair of 40s from Stuart Law and Andrew Crook helped nudge Lancashire's total up towards 200.
After seemingly cruising to victory, it was left to Worcestershire's tail to edge them to a two-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire in a tight game at Nottingham. Zaheer Khan (3 for 26) bowled an excellent length and was well supported by Matt Mason (2 for 30) to help skittle the hosts for a meager 161. That they managed to pass 150 owed much to Mark Ealham who's 51 contained four fours and three huge sixes. In reply, Worcestershire were well on course for a win at 146 for 4 before Ealham and Chris Cairns had them wobbling on 158 for 8, leaving Ray Price to nudge them over the line with a boundary off Greg Smith.
Kevin Dean shook Yorkshire's top order and Steffan Jones mopped up the tail with three wickets apiece as Derbyshire successfully defended 251 at Headingley. Their win was set up by Chris Taylor - who left Yorkshire last season - whose 125-ball hundred acted as the perfect anchor around which his team-mates could bat. He received good support from Steve Stubbings (62) and Travis Birt (42), the Tasmania left-hand batsman. Yorkshire got off to a poor start, losing their captain Craig White and Matthew Wood cheaply. Although Darren Lehmann, perhaps inevitably, staged a rescue act with a run-a-ball fifty, Dean bowled him around his legs to end Yorkshire's hopes. They eventually fell 21 runs short to hand Derbyshire two points.