Ramprakash blasts Surrey to victory
A round-up of the opening evening of the Twenty20 Cup
Mark Ramprakash struck a match-winning 85 not out from 52 balls
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It may be just a bit of fun on a Friday night, but Surrey
needed something to boost their season. And they got it at the Oval, beating Middlesex
in a close London derby at The Oval
. They had looked out of it, after slumping to 24 for 3, chasing 163, but Mark Ramprakash (85*) and Jon Batty (49) paved the way for their revival, with a fourth-wicket stand worth 110. Ramprakash was out of step early on but stayed firm and celebrated his late driven sixes - including the one which won the match off ex-Surrey player Tim Murtagh - with both arms aloft. James Benning may be thought of as the king of this game, but he made just 3, and it was Ramprakash who was once again Surrey's hero. The weather was mostly fine but it, and Ramprakash, begain to rain on Middlesex's parade in the closing overs.
Some consolation news for Middlesex, though: Chad Keegan limped off the pitch after damaging his ankle, but told Cricinfo after the match that he expected to be fit for their next game this Sunday.
A surprising evening at Chelmsford
, where Murray Goodwin's century wasn't enough for Sussex
; so, Essex
won comfortably, but their victory wasn't much to do with their new recruit Adam Hollioake. Sussex made 165, with Goodwin blasting 102 not out from 65 balls, but Essex knocked them off with 19 balls to spare. Hollioake bowled two overs, none for 21, and didn't bat, while Grant Flower's topscore of 37 was enough to help them to the win.
The dramatic finish of the night came at Southampton
Greg Lamb was dismissed off the final ball with one run needed to beat Kent
leaving the match tied. Robert Key led the way for Kent with 59 off 53 balls.
Justin Langer on the attack for Somerset
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Jeremy Snape took a hat-trick to give the reigning champions Leicestershire
both their breath back and victory against Yorkshire at Grace Road
. In a match reduced to 16 overs, Leicestershire climbed to 154, but Gerard Brophy and Craig White made the target look vulnerable with an opening stand of 57. Even three quick wickets later, Yorkshire had a very good chance. Enter the captain, Snape, who dismissed three victims in one over to really put the skids under the visitors. Yorkshire still made game chase, but it was not enough.
Spin proved king for Lancashire at Old Trafford
, as Gary Keedy and Sanath Jayasuriya restricted Durham
to 149, which was duly overcome. Their target could have been lower - Durham were 73 for 5 - but Gordon Muchall and Gary Park at least gave Durham's bowlers something to work with. Liam Plunkett did his best, with two wickets, but it was not enough. Mal Loye and Steven Croft were Lancashire's saviours, with an unbeaten stand of 113 after they had been in early trouble at 35 for 3.
Mark Ealham and Gareth Clough bowled out Derbyshire
to set up a straightforward victory for Nottinghamshire at Derby
. Ealham took 3 for 37, Clough 4 for 24 to dismiss Derbyshire for 148. Samit Patel's unbeaten 55 did the rest.
were able to steal a march on the rest of the group with a close win against Somerset at Edgbaston
. They deserved their early lead, too - Tim Ambrose's 47 lifted them to 166, while Jonathan Trott celebrated his England call-up with 44, but that had looked inadequate as Marcus Trescothick and Justin Langer climbed into the attack. But when their opening stand of 47 was broken, they lost wickets steadily and Warwickshire held their nerve, to win by 7 runs.
Northamptonshire's match with Worcestershire was abandoned without a ball bowled, as was Glamorgan's game against Gloucestershire.
For photos of Friday evening's action, click here