Pro40 round-up September 17, 2006

Essex take Pro40 title

Cricinfo staff

Division One



Ronnie Irani leads the celebrations and holds the Pro40 trophy aloft © Getty Images

In what was effectively a meaningless match once Nottinghamshire had beaten Sussex, Essex - this year's champions - were restricted to 201 for 8 in the 40 overs against Durham at Chester-le-Street. Andy Flower demonstrated his immense class and ability in one-day cricket with a chanceless 81 - and Andre Adams was typically impish in his 40 - but Essex were outdone by fine spells of bowling from Neil Killeen (2 for 26) and Ottis Gibson (2 for 32). Durham knocked off the required 202 with Phil Mustard (84 from 86) and Jimmy Maher (70) putting on a superb 152-run opening partnership - but it wasn't enough for Durham to avoid relegation.

Sussex's title hopes were blown away by a remarkable spell of bowling from Gareth Clough whose 6 for 25 helped dismiss them for just 110 at Nottingham. Only Chris Adams's 24 offered the visitors any hope of bailing the sinking ship, before Nottinghamshire knocked off the required runs with the minimum of fuss. Darren Bicknell clobbered an unbeaten 53 and there were useful contributions from Will Smith (22) and Stephen Fleming (26 from 33). Sussex's defeat handed Essex the Pro40 Division One title.

James Anderson marked his comeback with 2 for 31 to help Lancashire beat Glamorgan by the comprehensive margin of 109 runs at Old Trafford. Lancashire's bristling 256 for 7 was formed by Nathan Astle's aggressive 71-ball 78 and a pair of brisk 40s from Dominic Cork and Mark Chilton. Glamorgan set off disastrously, losing three for none at one stage. And though Mark Wallace (28 from 29) briefly threatened, he was left with too great a task and Glamorgan were dismissed for 147, allowing Lancashire to avoid relegation.

Lance Klusener's 5 for 33 blew away Middlesex's fragile batting line-up as Northamptonshire walked to an easy 28-run win at Northampton. Setting the visitors 199 after Chris Rogers belted 70 from 75 balls, Middlesex lost Paul Weekes with the first ball of their reply and were soon 17 for 3 when Ed Joyce was bowled by Matthew Nicholson. Owais Shah (63) and Jamie Dalrymple (57) appeared to have the game by the neck until both were dismissed by Monty Panesar, leaving Klusener to mop up the tail with ease.

Division Two



Geraint Jones hits down the ground as Kent beat Gloucestershire © Getty Images

Robert Ferley's 3 for 25 handed Kent an unlikely 42-run win over Gloucestershire at Canterbury as the hosts dismissed Gloucestershire for just 134. The visitors, chasing 178, were batting nicely at 51 for 1 with Craig Spearman launching five fours in his 31. But a sudden flurry of wickets left too much for their lower-order before Ferley, the slow-left-armer, struck three times in as many overs to send Gloucestershire packing. Nevertheless, they were crowned Division Two champions.

Paul Nixon continued his fine one-day form with an unbeaten 38 to edge Leicestershire home by four wickets against Derbyshire at Grace Road. Chasing 223 the home side were boosted by a typically aggressive 74 from Darren Maddy, containing 10 fours and a couple of lofted sixes. Although Derbyshire's six bowlers each struck once, Nixon the aggressor was in dominant mood, smashing three sixes and three fours in a blistering 38 from just 23 balls.

A fine 51 from Arul Suppiah led Somerset to a facile win over Surrey, chasing down 178 in just 20.3 overs at Taunton. Suppiah and Matthew Wood (37) put on 59 for the first wicket and Suppiah received further good support from James Hildreth (39) and Ian Blackwell, whose typically pugnacious 27 guided his side home with a flurry of boundaries. Earlier, Surrey's stuttering total was compiled largely thanks to a run-a-ball 38 from Mark Butcher and 40 from Jon Batty, but they were restricted by Charl Willoughby and Wes Durston who took 3 for 44.

Greg Lamb's four wickets and a solid 60 helped Hampshire fell Yorkshire by five runs in a tense encounter at Headingley. At 201 for 5, with Adam Lyth and Tim Bresnan batting sensibly, the target of 221 was well within reach until Lamb and Shaun Udal struck, sending Yorkshire tumbling to 215 all out with two balls to spare. Hampshire's innings was led by a pair of 60s from Dominic Thornely and Lamb; Thornely was particularly aggressive in smashing seven fours and a six.