Cook and Flintoff find form with the bat
Andrew Flintoff stormed back into form with 93 from 41 balls, along with two economical wickets, to help Lancashire wallop Derbyshire at Derby. Lancashire got off to a brisk start with VVS Laxman stroking 63 from 45 balls, but it was the impact of Flintoff which turned the tide. Cracking 9 fours and 6 sixes, he boosted Lancashire to the tournament's second-highest total of the season. No Derbyshire bowler was spared the punishment, and Nantie Hayward was severely punished, conceding 52 from his four overs. Derbyshire, bottom of the table, made a good fist of the chase, as Chris Rogers and Greg Smith each cracked fifties, but Flintoff picked up 2 for 32 - both victims bowled - as Derbyshire's pursuit ran out of steam, falling 56 runs short.
Alastair Cook is not renowned for his cavalier batting, but he warmed up for the Ashes with a bullet of an innings to help Essex crush Surrey at The Oval. Cook cracked exactly 100 from 57 balls, the third-fastest this season, as Essex compiled the third-largest total, 210 for 3, before rolling Surrey for just 126. Cook and Mark Pettini, who made 87 from 53, flayed Surrey in an opening stand worth 169, with Cook carrying his bat. Graham Napier then made two early breakthroughs to leave Surrey tottering on 12 for 2, a position from which they were unable to recover, in spite of 23 from Mark Ramprakash and Usman Afzaal's 16-ball 30. Napier (2 for 19) was well supported by Danish Kaneria, James Middlebrook and Ryan ten Doeschate, each of whom also took two wickets.
Midlands, Wales, West Division
Heavy rain prevented Somerset and Northamptonshire's match from concluding at Taunton, with both teams taking a point each to share the top spot in the table. Northamptonshire made a rapid start, reaching 49 without loss, before thunder and lightning ended proceedings in a hurry.