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NUL champions Glamorgan Dragons suffer end of term defeat

Warwickshire Bears beat Norwich Union champions Glamorgan Dragons by 74 runs Cardiff as the cricket season came to an end

Farid Bakri
Warwickshire Bears beat Norwich Union champions Glamorgan Dragons by 74 runs Cardiff as the cricket season came to an end. Matt Maynard's half-century was the highlight of the Welsh side's innings as they were dismissed for 201. Earlier Warwickshire had set an imposing 275 with a 114 run partnership between Dougie Brown and Dominic Ostler. Brown scored 73 off 52 balls while Ostler fell narrowly short of his century when he was caught by Robert Croft off the bowling of Adrian Dale for 97. Glamorgan's bowling was at times no match for the batting side and in the end their batting was no match for their visitor's bowling.
Worcestershire Royals finished in second place in the table after defeating Leicestershire Foxes by 28 runs at New Road, while Taunton was the setting for Somerset Sabres final match of the season against an ordinary Durham Dynamos team. The home side won the toss and elected to bat and despite losing Jamie Cox and Piran Holloway early on used the pitch to their advantage as the middle-order batsmen piled on the runs. Matthew Wood scored 80 and Michael Burns a 42-ball 54 which included six boundaries and three sixes. Somerset made 254 for six and in reply their opponents fell apart. They lost their last eight wickets for only 25, five of them falling within the space of two runs. Peter Trego claimed three for 14 and Keith Dutch two for nought as the home side rounded off an otherwise poor season with a 175 run victory.
It was a day of runs at The Rose Bowl as Hampshire Hawks entertained the crowd by chasing Northamptonshire Steelbacks' 285 for six. The visiting side chose to bat first on a wicket offering very little to the bowlers. David Sales struck 93 and featured in a 127 run partnership for the third wicket with Mark Powell (64) as their side got off to a flyer. In response Hampshire's Jamie Francis led the fight back with a wonderful hundred. He remained unbeaten on 103 off 87 balls. Zimbabwean Neil Johnson (73) and John Crawley (52) also played key part as their side won by six wickets with three balls to spare.
Sussex Sharks lost to Essex Eagles at Chelmsford after the home side had earlier been dismissed for 189. Aftab Habib scored a slow 53 but helped beef up his team's run tally. Darren Robinson and John Dakin also contributed to the below-par score. Sussex began positively in reply and at one point, Murray Goodwin (55) and Turk (36) put on 83 for the third wicket but they were both caught by John Stephenson. After this the batting fell apart and when Mark Waugh was introduced into the attack the collapse was complete, with the Australian claiming three for 14 to help Essex round off a superb season with a 29 run victory.
Graham Thorpe returned to Surrey Lions' line-up and roared his way past the Gloucestershire Gladiators to record a stylish 104 ball 114 before he was caught and bowled off Mike Smith, who claimed five for 30 at The Oval. Ali Brown was trapped leg-before to become Smith's first victim and the bowler then claimed the wickets of Mark Ramprakash and Ian Ward with the score on 31. Thorpe though remained resolute and found the boundary on 14 occasions. Adam Hollioake and Jon Batty aided him along the way as their side made 263 for eight. In reply Gloucestershire never really got off to the start they needed and after Craig Spearman and Jack Russell's opening stand had been broken, wickets fell cheaply and easily. Hollioake picked up figures of three for 15 as the home side won by 79 runs.
Luck was on Yorkshire Phoenix's side as they shot down Kent Spitfires to record a 79-run victory at Headingley. Once Steve Waugh had been run out for a run-a-ball 37, wickets fell regularly with Kent lasting 37 overs to score 220. Ed Smith and Mark Ealham, who smashed five fours and two huge sixes, had set the tempo early on but then found it hard to keep momentum going. Earlier, Yorkshire had been put in to bat and made full use of the pitch. Austrlian Matt Elliott set the standard with a deserved century and was savage to all of the visiting bowlers. He found the gap time and time and again and his running frustrated the fielding side. Along with Anthony McGrath (85*), he put on 198 for the fourth wicket to give Yorkshire a commanding total of 299 for three and in the end a deserved victory.
Derbyshire Scorpions were indebted to Steve Selwood as they finished their season on a high with a comprehensive 22-run win over Middlesex Crusaders at Derby. The home side struggled early to Tim Bloomfield (three for 28) before Selwood settled in and played patiently for his unbeaten 81. He helped his side make 210 for eight, which in the end proved to be out of reach for Middlesex. They lost Sven Koening and Robin Weston to the first ball of the opening two overs. Ed Joyce and Jamie Dalrymple fought back with half-centuries after being reduced to 34 for four. Their hard work failed to make amends though as Graeme Welch struck six times to finish off his opponents. The visitors were finally dismissed for 188.