Dawson spins web around Middlesex
Liam Dawson doesn't turn 19 until next March, but an impressively composed performance for Hampshire gave his side a tight 26-run win over Middlesex at Lord's. Hampshire, who batted first, were stumbling at 61 for 4 before Dawson combined with Sean Ervine in a counterattacking partnership worth 100. Ervine stole the show with a brilliant 103 from just 76 balls, coping confidently with Middlesex's spin pairing of Murali Kartik and Shaun Udal, but Dawson's 45 from 59 represented an innings of growing maturity from a highly regarded young allrounder. Chasing 229, Middlesex lost a couple of early wickets but Andrew Strauss set them on course with an authoritative fifty, combining nicely with Eoin Morgan. Until, that is, Dawson found one to bite on Strauss who completely misread the line and was trapped in front for 71. At the other end, Imran Tahir responded to the breakthrough to rediscover his length and he soon had Morgan bowled around his legs for 36. Dawid Malan enhanced his growing reputation with a six and three fours, including two remarkable reverse sweeps, but when Dawson had him caught for 26, it spelled the end of Middlesex's fight and they were bowled out in the 39th over. Dawson finished with the admirable figures of 4 for 45 from his eight overs.
Paul Collingwood turned in a superb allround display with bat and ball, but it was Michael di Venuto's unbeaten 101 that provided the cornerstone of Durham's comprehensive eight-wicket win over Worcestershire at New Road. Steven Davies continued his fine form for the home side, cracking 49 from just 43 balls, but wickets tumbled at the other end as Durham's seamers probed consistently. Graeme Hick provided support with a brisk 35, and though there were 20s from Moeen Ali and Gareth Andrew, Collingwood (2 for 26) and Paul Wiseman (2 for 27) limited any late-order slogging as Durham were set 184. After losing his opening partner, Phil Mustard, di Venuto was in complete command, smacking 18 fours and a six and sharing in an unbroken third-wicket stand of 141 with Collingwood who was unbeaten on 65 from 55 balls. It was Durham's third win in five matches.
A fine allround display from Essex trounced Glamorgan by the convincing margin of 130 runs at Colchester. Essex's dominating 231 for 9 was set up by their captain, Mark Pettini, who smacked 70 from just 61 balls - an innings that included seven fours and two big sixes. Essex's two players returning from England duty, Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook, only managed 12 and 11 respectively but Pettini was given excellent support by Grant Flower whose 53 came from 71 balls. Glamorgan's chase began poorly, losing Robert Croft to the fourth ball of the innings and David Hemp followed in the next over, edging Graham Napier behind. Glamorgan could never recover from the position of 5 for 2, as Napier (2 for 15), Chris Wright (2 for 24) and Bopara (2 for 18) shared the wickets around. Jamie Dalrymple, who revels in such situations, struck a defiant 51 but was the ninth man out as Glamorgan were dismissed for a paltry 101 in the 31st over.