Graeme Hick rolled back the years with a clinical and brutal display of strokeplay, as Worcestershire overwhelmed Gloucestershire by nine wickets at New Road. Hick clubbed 11 fours and a six in a 58-ball 88, and made light work of Gloucestershire's sub-par total of 168. He was the dominant partner in an opening stand of 143 with Vikram Solanki, who was hardly sluggish in making 51 from 43 balls, and on 71, he went past 1000 runs in the tournament's history. None of the visiting bowlers had any answer to his onslaught, least of all Carl Greenidge, whose two overs went for 32 runs. Earlier, Marcus North was the pivotal figure for Gloucestershire with 45 from 33 balls, as he added 53 for the third wicket with Chris Taylor, but it was not nearly enough.
A 62-ball century from Greg Smith gave Derbyshire the perfect start to their Twenty20 campaign, as Darren Gough's Yorkshire came a cropper at Headingley. Smith opened the batting after Rikki Clarke won the toss, and he was still there at the end of their innings, having cracked 12 fours and two sixes in a tone-setting performance. Tim Bresnan struck an early blow for the hosts when Dan Birch was caught and bowled for 12, but Wavell Hinds joined in a 149-run stand for the second wicket before being run out for 61 from 43 balls. Derbyshire's total of 181 for 2 looked imposing even before Michael Vaughan - auditioning for a role in Allen Stanford's million-dollar showdown - fell second-ball for a duck. His fellow opener, Andrew Gale, also went cheaply for 4, and only Anthony McGrath, with a 43-ball 55, put up any resistance.
For Martin Williamson's report on Middlesex's seven-wicket demolition of Essex at Lord's, click here.
England Domestic Season