Bowlers keep Kent on course

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The Independent Online

Even though only two Sunday League matches were finished, in the "frozen" North no less, at least the possible destination of the title was decided on the pitch. Kent's seven-wicket win over Lancashire means they will win their first trophy in 17 years if they beat Warwickshire next week.

Fine seam bowling by Dean Headley, Alan Igglesden, Mark Ealham and Matthew Fleming enabled Kent to dismiss Lancashire for 126. Then, a third-wicket stand of 76 between Graham Cowdrey and Aravinda de Silva made sure after an initial wobble at 22 for 2.

The rain in the south wiped out the games involving Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Both were started but failed to complete the first innings. What play there was at Northampton at least gave Worcestershire's Tom Moody and Tim Curtis to set some personal milestones. Moody reached 3,000 runs in the competition while Curtis passed 6,000.

The treble is still possible for Warwickshire but they need to beat Kent and hope Worcestershire lose to Glamorgan at home. The abandonment was even more galling for the defending champions because they had Derbyshire in real trouble at 81 for 5.

In the only other game to be completed, Yorkshire also won by seven wickets but it was a much closer affair at Scarborough as they had just one ball to spare in chasing Sussex's 165.

Anthony McGrath, a surprise choice for the England A tour party to Pakistan, hit 72 on his Sunday League debut in a 114-run opening partnership with Michael Vaughan.