Scotland pulled off a sensational two-run win over Lancashire at Old Trafford despite only scoring 155 for 9. The shock came a week after they had been skittled for 74 in the reverse fixture. Steven Croft took 4 for 24 as Scotland struggled for runs, and Andrew Flintoff chipped in with 2 for 13. Lancashire's innings fell apart as they crumpled to 44 for 7 before Luke Sutton and Kyle Hogg put on 71 for the eighth wicket. Eight were needed from the last over, and James Anderson needed to hit a boundary off the last ball but Gordon Drummond restricted him to a single.
In a rain-affected match at New Road, Vikram Solanki powered Worcestershire to a seven-wicket win over Glamorgan with a slick 88 from 84 balls which included five sixes. He and Stephen Moore put on an unbeaten 58 for the fourth wicket to guide Worcestershire to their target of 186, with nine balls to spare, and Ben Smith chipped in with a valuable 34-ball 41. In a match reduced to 28 overs, Glamorgan's Tom Maynard - son of Matthew - top-scored with 48 from just 29 balls, while Jamie Dalrymple cracked 44 from 31, but they hadn't counted on Solanki's explosive hitting.
A superb 102 from Stephen Peters helped Northamptonshire ease past Ireland by eight wickets at Northampton. Ireland could only muster 203 for 9 in their fifty overs, though Paul Stirling - the very highly regarded 17-year-old - top-scored with 70 from 95 balls, including four fours and four sixes. It was never a total to trouble Northamptonshire, however, and Peters found excellent support in Niall O'Brien, their pugnacious Irish batsman, who made 75. Northamptonshire lost two wickets but Peters saw them home in the 43rd over.
Ryan Cummins took 3 for 21 in a disciplined bowling performance for Leicestershire who beat Warwickshire by 45 runs at Edgbaston. In a match reduced to 23 overs, Leicestershire compiled 148 for 6 thanks to thirties from Jacques Du Toit, Jim Allenby and Boeta Dippenaar, but it was their bowlers who swung the match. Cummins removed Neil Carter for 3 while Garnett Kruger picked up the key wickets of Ian Westwood and Jonathan Trott. Tim Ambrose gave the hosts hope with 28 from 31, but there was little else from the lower-order and Warwickshire were dismissed for just 103.
South East Division
Chris Adams led from the front with a perfectly timed 109 from 103 balls to guide Sussex to a comfortable win over Middlesex at Hove, chasing down a sizeable 274 with 12 balls to spare. Middlesex's 273 was set-up by a slick 80 from Ed Joyce, which contained 12 fours, and a typically industrious 68 from Owais Shah. Middlesex's bowling is their weakest suit, however, and none of their pace attack settled into any kind of rhythm. Matt Prior crashed 79 from 92 balls, sharing in a second-wicket stand of 81 with Adams. But it was Adams' partnership of 115 with Murray Goodwin which really put the match out of Middlesex's reach, as Adams took them home with 12 balls in hand.
Jacques Du Toit
Friends Provident Trophy