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June 20, 2009
Andrew Flintoff hit a welcome half-century, but he couldn't prevent Lancashire slumping to their second Championship defeat on the bounce as Hampshire sped to a 10-wicket victory at Liverpool with Imran Tahir proving the match-winner. Flintoff reached his fifty from 79 balls and was looking increasingly confident until he was given out caught off a top edge, a decision he didn't seemed pleased with as a trudged off. That blow opened the door for Hampshire as Tahir spun through the order having Steven Croft and Francois du Plessis caught at short leg. Lancashire didn't help themselves when VVS Laxman was run out trying for a second to square leg with the last eight wickets falling for 78. A target of 118 provided few problems for the visitors as Michael Carberry hit 62 off 73 balls.
Gloucestershire maintained their lead at the top of Division Two with a thumping nine-wicket win over Middlesex at Bristol, securing victory inside three days. The visitors resumed on a precarious 129 for 5 but soon lost Neil Dexter for 43. Shaun Udal cracked 27 while David Nash attempted to patch things together with 38, but in spite of the lower-order resistance - Chris Silverwood cracked four fours in his 26 - Middlesex were rolled for 233. This left Gloucestershire a facile target of 45 which they achieved in under 10 overs, for the loss of just William Porterfield, as Hamish Marshall flayed 28 from 16 balls to inflict yet another defeat on Middlesex, who sit forlornly second-from-bottom of the table.
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