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IND v SA [W] (1)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)

Essex win National League title

A round-up from the latest matches in the National League as Essex storm to victory and take the title

Cricinfo staff

Division One

Points Table
Tight bowling by Essex's Danish Kaneria, and an innings of 88 by Will Jefferson allowed Essex through to a 12-run win over Hampshire, and the National League title. Jefferson aside, there was little of much substance from the rest of Essex's innings, with both Grant and Andy Flower falling for single-figures. John Crawley got Hampshire off to an excellent start - he and Nic Pothas put on 95 for the first wicket. But wickets tumbled at regular intervals, and Danish Kaneria stemmed the flow of runs to take 4 for 26 from 9 overs to seal a win for Essex.
Northamptonshire overcame a stuttering run-chase to beat Nottinghamshire by four wickets, with five balls to spare. Nottinghamshire failed to bat out their 40 overs, falling to 207 all out thanks to a five wicket-haul from Damien Wright. Chris Read top-scored with 45 from 50 balls, but Nottinghamshire's eventual score of 207 was never likely to trouble Northamtonshire. A partnership of 83 between Usman Afzaal and Martin Love set them up nicely, but wickets continued to fall and Love was dismissed for 59 by Younis Khan, one of three wickets for the Pakistani. Despite losing their sixth wicket, Riki Wessels and Ben Phillips saw the home-side through by four wickets.

Division Two

A brilliant, destructive innings of 88 by Ian Blackwell saw Somerset through to a comfortable five-wicket victory over Surrey. Surrey's innings started promisingly, with a 65 from James Benning and a pair of forties from Jon Batty and Mark Butcher. Arul Suppiah took three wickets with his left-arm spin, but Surrey ended with a useful score of 237 for 7. In reply, losing Matthew Wood for a duck and both John Francis and Arul Suppiah cheaply. This brought Blackwell to the crease, who smashed 88 from just 53 balls. Combined with James Hildreth, whose unbeaten innings of 75 was equally excellent, albeit less destructive, the pair took Somerset home by five wickets, with more than five overs to spare.
A hundred partnership between Ant Botha and Graeme Welch was the catalyst for Derbyshire who defeated Yorkshire at Scarborough. Yorkshire set Derbyshire 220 to win, but only Michael Lumb, with 69, and Joe Sayers with 41 made significant contributions. Derbyshire, too, struggled early on in their reply, with Deon Kruis taking two quick wickets to reduce the visitors to 85 for 4. When Luke Sutton was run out for 27, Derbyshire still needed 102 to win, and did so comfortably thanks to Welch and Botha, both of whom hit half centuries.
Durham easily defeated Scotland by 93 runs through a professional all round performance. Gordon Muchall and Gareth Breese were the key run-makers, Muchall's 79 including eight fours and a six. Ryan Watson took 4 for 36 then provided the only real resistance to Durham's attack with an impressive 86. Breese, Brad Williams and Liam Plunkett took two wickets each.