Mascarenhas puts Hampshire top
Dimitri Mascarenhas lifted Hampshire to the top of Group A as his exceptional figures of 4 for 39 set up an emphatic six-wicket victory over Nottinghamshire at the Rose Bowl. Mascarenhas claimed each of the first three wickets to fall then added Chris Read for a 14-ball duck as Notts slumped to 50 for 6, with Dominic Cork also buzzing the ball around in helpful conditions to finish with 3 for 13. Will Jefferson and Paul Franks put up some decent resistance for the seventh wicket, making 93 and 50 respectively in a stand of 94, but Billy Taylor separated the pair then worked his way through the tail for figures of 3 for 40. In reply, Michael Lumb and John Crawley added 68 for the first wicket to get the chase off to a decent start, and victory was a formality even though Ryan Sidebottom showed some timely form with 2 for 39 in ten overs.
Leicestershire's 19-year-old batsman, James Taylor, produced the second century of his senior career and his first in limited-overs cricket, to propel his team to a hard-earned 18-run victory over Worcestershire at New Road. Taylor struck seven fours and a six in his 109-ball 101, and shared in two sizeable stands with HD Ackerman and Boeta Dippenaar, who both made 63. Leicestershire's total of 282 for 3 was always going to be challenging, especially when Vikram Solanki fell early to Alex Wyatt for 3, but Steve Davies and Stephen Moore both made half-centuries to keep the chase going. Ben Smith later added 54 in the middle-order, but Worcestershire's ambitions were derailed by Claude Henderson, who claimed 3 for 44 including two wickets in three balls to prevent any prospect of an even tighter finish.
Ian Bell produced a timely reminder of his talents by guiding Warwickshire to a comprehensive six-wicket victory over Middlesex at Edgbaston. Bell, who links up with the Test squad in Durham this evening, made 60 not out from 82 balls, as Warwickshire chased down a disappointing total of 165 with almost 15 overs to spare. The hard work in the run-chase, however, was done by Neil Carter at the top of the order, who belted 56 from 45 balls to put the result beyond doubt. It was a bit of a fall from grace for Middlesex who topped 300 in their previous match against Kent, but this time were unable to get going. One of their centurions from that match, Nick Compton, fell for a third-ball duck, although the other, Eoin Morgan, did manage to top-score once again with 62 from 110 balls. Carter, who enjoyed a fine all-round perform, took 3 for 40 in nine overs.
Ashwell Prince made 78 from 97 balls as Lancashire eased to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Northamptonshire at Old Trafford. After winning the toss and bowling first, Lancashire were given early control by Glen Chapple who removed both openers with 35 on the board, before Kyle Hogg had Andrew Hall caught behind for a duck. Nicky Boje responded with a fighting half-century before being run out, whereupon Gary Keedy bagged David Willey for a first-ball duck. Chasing 212, Lancashire lost Tom Smith early, but Prince and Paul Horton added 97 for the second wicket to lay the platform for victory.
Danish Kaneria inspired Essex to a crushing seven-wicket victory over Glamorgan at Cardiff with a remarkable haul of 4 for 16 in 10 overs. Ripping his legbreaks from the very start of his spell, and bowling Ryan Watkins with a ball that ballooned over his shoulder and onto the top of the stumps, Kaneria had at one stage reduced Glamorgan to 57 for 7, before Ben Wright restored some order with an unbeaten 40. David Masters was also on fine form with 3 for 21 in eight overs, as Essex were left to chase a modest target of 125. They lost Mark Pettini early, but Varun Chopra and Graham Napier made 37 and 41 respectively, before Matt Walker and Grant Flower sealed the contest with just under half the overs remaining.