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May 11, 2008
South West Division
Simon Jones claimed 5 for 32 as Worcestershire crushed Hampshire by nine wickets at New Road, his best figures in any cricket since the 6 for 53 he took in the third Test against Australia in August 2005, and by far the best of his one-day career. He has barely been on a cricket field since and this was his most convincing performance for his new county in a season that has already been disrupted by a neck injury. He was chiefly responsible for Hampshire's last five wickets falling for 20 and removed top-scorer Greg Lamb for 84. Vikram Solanki (81) and Steven Davies (76 not out) then made mincemeat of a weak bowling attack with an opening stand of 160 in 19 overs. Moeen Ali added his own range of powerful blows in a 35-ball 42 as the rout was completed with more than 22 overs to spare.
If Craig Spearman's career had panned out differently he could still be lining up to play for New Zealand against England, but that part of his life is a long way behind him now. He again showed his one-day pedigree with an unbeaten 140 off 119 balls to carry Gloucestershire through an impressive run chase against Somerset in Bristol. Set a stiff 291, they were in trouble at 159 for 6 but Spearman found support from Stephen Adshead as the pair added a match-winning 135. Such was the quality of their partnership that the win came with a comfortable 10 balls to spare. Justin Langer scored a fine hundred himself, 112 off 118 deliveries, and formed his own important lower-order stand of 113 with Peter Trego (56 off 38 balls). However, he was trumped by another special from Spearman.
South East Division
Martin van Jaarsveld's unbeaten 109 powered Kent to a nine-wicket win against struggling Sussex in Canterbury. He and Joe Denly added 174 for the second wicket to make light work of the 219-run target. van Jaarsveld hit nine fours and three sixes with his century coming off 98 balls as Kent didn't miss Robert Key, who was with the England Lions. Sussex's batting fell away during the latter stages with six wickets going for 24 runs after Michael Yardy (52) and Carl Hopkinson (48) carried them to 192 for 3.
The Oval once again proved a batting paradise as Mark Pettini (144) and Jason Gallian (117) put on an opening stand of 269 to set-up Essex for a 156-run win against Surrey. Pettini bounced back from his pair in the Championship match against Middlesex with a career-best one-day score, an innings that lasted 120 balls, but had a huge slice of luck on 1 when Jon Batty dropped a simple chance off Jade Dernbach. Gallian's 117 came off 116 deliveries and continued a productive start to the season after his move from Nottinghamshire. Ryan ten Doeschate (60 off 31) and James Foster (46 off 23) joined the fun to pile up a monstrous 391 for 5, Essex's highest one-day total. Mark Ramprakash responded with 98 off 85 balls, but when he became the first wicket for David Masters, who claimed a career-best 5 for 17, the chase rapidly fizzled out.
Francois du Plessis, the Kolpak South African batsman, gave Lancashire first blood in the season's Roses battles after the honours appeared to be heading to Yorkshire at Old Trafford. He hit 77 off 80 balls and might not even have been played if Andrew Flintoff had been available. For a full report from John Ward click here.
Durham's bowlers bailed out an uncertain performance from their batsmen to secure a 46-run win against Scotland under the D/L method after bad light intervened at The Grange. Although Neil McKenzie was back after missing the Championship defeat to Lancashire, Durham laboured throughout their 50 overs. John Blain claimed three wickets as Scotland gave themselves a chance of following their upset win against Lancashire last week. However, the Scottish batting struggled even more as Callum Thorp struck twice and Steve Harmison removed Neil McCallum shortly before the weather closed in.
Nottinghamshire suffered a major attack of the jitters before eventually edging to a final-ball, two-wicket win against Leicestershire at Trent Bridge. They appeared to be cruising home at 146 for 2 needing another 52 after Matthew Wood hit 50 off 44 balls, but Jim Allenby sparked a dramatic collapse with his medium pace. He removed Adam Voges (35), Samit Patel (13) and Chris Read for a second-ball duck to set the alarm bells ringing. Garnett Kruger and Nadeem Malik chipped in as well to leave the home side needing four with two wickets in hand. Rob Ferley and Luke Fletcher held their nerve to squeeze victory off the final ball. Leicestershire will rue a collapse of their own after they lost 6 for 18. Paul Nixon hit 75 off 74 balls, but Darren Pattinson and Patel shared seven wickets.
Stephen Peters hit an unbeaten 97 as Northamptonshire overcame Warwickshire by five wickets at Edgbaston to boost their chances of making the quarter finals. Peters added 144 with Riki Wessels (78) after Neil Carter jolted the top order with three early wickets to leave the visitors on 12 for 3. But Darren Maddy couldn't find anyone to build the pressure and the required rate wasn't a concern for Peters as he hit the winning runs with 27 balls to spare. His effort meant Jonathan Trott's 120 was in vain, but without it the match would have been incredibly one-sided. The next highest score was Richard Johnson's 20 and Trott ensured Warwickshire at least had something to bowl at after slumping to 88 for 5.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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