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May 28, 2009
Chris Rogers and Greg Smith produced a hard-hitting opening stand of 84 to build on a career-best bowling performance from Tom Lungley, as Derbyshire powered to the top of the North Division with an eight-wicket victory over Leicestershire at Grace Road. Leicestershire owed their meagre total of 127 for 9 to their teenage talent James Taylor, who top-scored with 40 from 39 balls, but he was comprehensively trumped by Lungley, who returned the impressive figures of 5 for 27 in four overs. Rogers then burst out of the traps in the run-chase, belting eight fours and three sixes in a 36-ball 58, and was ably supported by Smith, who was there at the end with an unbeaten 47 from 53. The match was so one-sided that Stuart Law was unable to get to the crease and give his controversial new Mongoose bat another airing.
Following his latest fitness snub from the selectors, Samit Patel did his utmost to remind England of his enduring qualities with bat and ball, while another England outcast, Chris Read, chimed in with 58 not out from 47 balls, but their efforts were not enough to rescue Nottinghamshire following a spectacular top-order implosion against Lancashire at Old Trafford. Chasing 152 following a solid Lancashire performance in which no-one managed more than Faff du Plessis' 31 from 21 balls, Nottinghamshire capitulated to Tom Smith, who removed Ali Brown with his first ball and Graeme Swann with his fifth, and Glen Chapple. At 19 for 5, the game was as good as over, except no-one told Patel and Read. The pair resuscitated the innings with a sixth-wicket stand of 43, and Read went on to add a further 66 unbeaten runs for the eight wicket with Ryan Sidebottom. But in the end they couldn't make up that early lost ground.
Ravi Bopara switched effortlessly back to Twenty20 mode with 45 from 31 balls, while his opponent in Friday's tournament curtain-raiser against Holland, Ryan ten Doeschate, made 28 from 24, as Essex outmuscled Sussex under the floodlights at Hove. Batting first, Essex posted a gettable 148, a total that might have been even more but for a careless five run-outs - including Bopara just as he was reaching top gear, and his England team-mate James Foster first-ball. In reply, Sussex suffered a set-back when Luke Wright fell to David Masters for a second-ball duck, but it was his namesake Chris Wright who did most of the damage with 4 for 24. Graham Napier wrapped up the match with five balls remaining with his third wicket.
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