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April 22, 2007
Azhar Mahmood's rollicking 63 from just 45 balls took Surrey through to a three-wicket win in a tight game against Kent at The Oval, overshadowing a wonderful hundred from Robert Key. Mahmood and Mohammad Akram had earlier destroyed Kent's top-order, reducing them to the hopeless position of 35 for 6. But Key, with terrific support from James Tredwell (88 from 96), opened his shoulders brilliantly to reach 100 from as many balls, lifting Kent to the once unthinkable position of 271. Surrey's response was more measured, in spite of losing James Benning and Mark Ramprakash. Scott Newman anchored their chase with a solid 73, and Mark Butcher was slick in his 42, but the carnage was left to Jon Batty (52 not out from 47) and Mahmood, who cracked three sixes and five fours in his match-winning innings.
Though Glamorgan will be delighted with the return of Simon Jones, who today played in his first competitive match for over a year, his presence wasn't enough to prevent Somerset recording a 24-run win at Taunton. Justin Langer fell for just 19, opening up the tantalising prospect of Jones bowling to Marcus Trescothick. After crashing eight fours, Trescothick lost the battle when he was caught by Robert Croft off Jones who, in a promising display, added two further wickets on his comeback. The initiative, though, was stolen in the latter half of Somerset's innings as their young wicketkeeper, the 19-year-old Craig Kieswetter from South Africa, crunched 69 from just 58 balls to take Somerset to 310 for 9. Michael Powell rescued Glamorgan's chase in a solid 69, after their top-order had failed, but despite his effort - and those of Ben Wright (40) and David Hemp (48) - they fell 24 runs short.
Shane Warne's 3 for 16 and a hundred from Nic Pothas handed Hampshire their first one-day win of the season over Middlesex, a comprehensive 91-run victory at The Rose Bowl. Pothas received good support from the newly signed Michael Lumb who struck 59 from as many balls and there were a pair of brisk 30s from John Crawley and Jimmy Adams, bolstering Hampshire's total to 294 for 6. Middlesex lost Billy Godleman and Nick Compton cheaply and never picked up their momentum, in spite of Ed Smith's 59. From 143 for 4, they collapsed to 203 all out.
Lancashire were routed for just 90 in their rain-affected match against Worcestershire at Old Trafford, with Kabir Ali earning the remarkably economical figures of 3 for 9 from his five overs. Chasing a revised 213 from 30 overs, they were blown away inside 26 overs. Indeed, that they even reached the lofty heights of the nineties owed much to Glen Chapple - comfortably his side's top-scorer with a typically belligerent 42, which briefly rescued them from a cavernous 50 for 7. Worcestershire's 182 for 4 was led by Steven Moore's 66 at the top of the order and a slick 43 from Vikram Solanki.
Durham's strong start to the season continued with an easy eight-wicket win over Leicestershire at Grace Road, bowling the hosts out for 138 before knocking off their target inside 29 overs. It was Callum Thorp who did the damage with 4 for 30, ably assisted by the ever youthful Ottis Gibson's economical 3 for 21. John Maunders was left stranded on 72. Durham lost Michael Di Venuto for a brisk 24 but Philip Mustard struck nine fours and two sixes in his 66 to take them home.
Younis Khan put the past six weeks of turmoil behind him to hit exactly 100 on his one-day debut for Yorkshire who beat Nottinghamshire by 37 runs at Trent Bridge. Jaques Rudolph and Craig White both fell in the 20s but Gerard Brophy struck a quickfire 53, before Younis was joined by Andrew Gale, with whom he put on 153 for the fourth wicket. Younis was run out off the last ball, and his brisk hundred came off just 92 balls. Nottinghamshire replied strongly with Mark Wagh (56) stabilising their top-order before Chris Read opened his shoulders in a slick 68. But the middle and lower-order capitulated to Jason Gillespie (2 for 29) and Deon Kruis (3 for 61) as Yorkshire's confident start to the season continued.
A magnificent partnership of 205 between Jonathan Trott and Tim Ambrose took Warwickshire through to a thrilling six-wicket win over Northamptonshire at Edgbaston. Chasing 298 but stumbling to 96 for 4, the pair both struck hundreds - Ambrose's particularly aggressive - as Warwickshire edged home with just one ball remaining. Usman Afzaal's 87 was Northants' mainstay in their innings along with a characteristically belligerent 56 from David Sales.
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