County Cricket 2006 / News

County Championship round-up

Warne's gamble nearly pays off

Cricinfo staff

August 11, 2006

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Division One

Shane Warne's negotiating skills were almost sufficient to wangle a result at Lord's, but in the end Hampshire and Middlesex were forced to settle for the draw with both sides within touching distance of victory. Middlesex had resumed on 181 for 2, but with Warne calling upon all 11 of his bowlers, including the wicketkeeper, Nic Pothas, they eventually declared on 309 for 4, leaving Hampshire a stiff 330 for victory. It looked highly improbable when Hampshire slumped to 170 for 7, with Chris Silverwood in the thick of things with 3 for 41, but Warne and Pothas combined superbly with an unbeaten 113-run stand that first averted a crisis, and then turned the pressure right back on Middlesex. In the end though, time ran out for both parties.

Craig White and Anthony McGrath both struck hundreds for Yorkshire on the final day at Old Trafford as the Roses match ended in a predictable draw. White, who resumed on 78, eventually fell for 116 to Gary Keedy who ended with 3 for 156 from 59 overs. Oliver Newby bowled tidily for Lancashire in his 4 for 69, and Matthew Lumb played neatly for his 68 as Yorkshire declared on 450 for 9 as the match dribbled into a draw.

Warwickshire pulled off a fine win over Nottinghamshire in the closing overs of the day at Edgbaston, thanks to 5 for 83 from James Anyon. Jason Gallian and Darren Bicknell got the visitors off to a confident start in their second innings with an opening stand of 109, and Stephen Fleming batted fluently for his 60 - but Warwickshire struck back to cut a hole in Nottinghamshire's middle-order who rather fell away. It was left to Paul Franks, batting at No. 9, to see Notts home - and he appeared to be on course as Charlie Shrek, the No. 11, hung around for nearly an hour. However, Neil Carter struck to remove Franks, handing Warwickshire a 59-run win.

Division Two

Another remarkable innings from Cameron White couldn't prevent Derbyshire from securing their first home victory in the Championship in four years when they beat Somerset by 80 runs. Despite White's valiant and unbeaten 260 - which took him just 246 balls and included no less than 40 fours - Somerset were soundly beaten, with Stefan Jones (4 for 119) impressing against his former county. The victory - their first at Derby since beating Glamorgan on June 1, 2002 - was celebrated with champagne and cheering outside the dressing room. Graeme Welch, their captain, bowled through his Achilles injury in order to see his team home safe. "It seems that long ago I can't remember," he told BBC Sport. "It's been embarrassing not winning at home for the last four years. We needed to get the monkey off our backs."

Kadeer Ali and Hamish Marshall both struck fine hundreds to lift Gloucestershire to 596 for 6 against , as their match at Northampton petered out into a draw. Ali faced 279 balls for his knock of 145, while Marshall was marginally more aggressive in his 133, smacking 18 fours and a six. Northamptonshire batted out the remaining 21 overs without alarm and took 12 points to Gloucestershire's 10.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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