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August 10, 2008
It was a battle of England wicketkeepers at Chester-le-Street with Matt Prior edging the honours against Phil Mustard, because his 79 was a key part in a successful Sussex chase, after Mustard's 82 boosted Durham to a challenging 221. But it was a close-run thing as Sussex squeezed home off the last ball after Ollie Rayner struggled to get one off the final three deliveries. In the end it required a scrambled single to mid-off to reach their revised 224 off 38 overs. Prior got into gear ahead of the one-day series against South Africa with his 83-ball innings, which put Sussex on track until he was stumped by Mustard. They needed 40 off five overs and Robin Martin-Jenkins helped seal the success.
Mark Hardinges, who has been told he can leave Gloucestershire at the end of the season, held his nerve to guide them to a two-wicket win off the penultimate ball against Hampshire at Cheltenham. He struck 27 off 20 balls after the middle order had wasted the good work of the top three. Marcus North hit 56 off 52 balls after an opening stand of 78, but when he fell it left Gloucestershire on 189 for 6. However, the lower order had enough in the tank as Hardinges hit the winning boundary off Billy Taylor. Hampshire's 236 for 5 was built around 88 off 91 balls from Michael Lumb and a second-wicket stand of 116 with Michael Carberry who made 56. Chris Benham's powerful 49 boosted the final tally, but it wasn't quite enough.
Somerset secured their second Pro40 win of the season but, they too, left it late before edging home with one ball to spare against Nottinghamshire at Taunton. Regular brisk contributions from the middle order, along with Craig Kieswetter's 57 off 85 balls, kept the target in sight. Graeme Swann made life tricky with an impressive spell which brought four wickets and it came down to four needed off the final over. Somerset were made to sweat as Mark Ealham went for just two off four balls before Omari Banks hit the winning runs. Nottinghamshire were given a solid platform by Will Jefferson's 53 before Adam Voges controlled the innings. But a steady stream of wickets meant it needed Paul Franks' 34 off 16 balls - including 28 off the final over - to reach 240.
A thunderous late assault from Mark Wallace carried Glamorgan to a four-wicket victory with one ball remaining against Leicestershire at Colwyn Bay on an afternoon of thrilling high scoring. The final over started with 17 needed and Wallace swung a four followed by two sixes from the first three balls. It isn't often that an effort of 114 off 119 balls will go unrewarded, but that's the position Jacques du Toit found himself in after the home side chased down a huge 292. Batsmen took advantage of some inviting short boundaries throughout and Wallace hit 48 off 17 balls, after coming in with 64 needed off five overs, to haul Glamorgan across the line following Ben Wright's 45 off 29 deliveries. Michael Powell held the chase together with 81, but when he went it seemed so had Glamorgan's hopes. Wallace had other ideas. du Toit's efforts, though, were impressive as he smashed 14 fours and five sixes in his maiden one-day century. The innings was sealed by a stand of 97 with Dillon du Preez, who clubbed five sixes in a 23-ball 49 to follow his century against Yorkshire last week, but it would prove in vain.
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A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers