Cowan proves the penultimate hero for Essex

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The Independent Online
Essex left it late to secure victory on the opening day of the Axa Life League at Chelmsford yesterday. After Ronnie Irani had been run out for 48, Ashley Cowan hit Cardigan Connor for four off the penultimate ball to seal a three-wicket win over Hampshire.

Chasing 199, Essex had been five down with 70 still needed but Darren Robinson (26no) and Danny Law (23) added 33 in four overs. Mark Ilott then hit a dozen in as many balls before being out in the 39th over with 15 still required. However, Robinson and Cowan combined to do the necessary. Will Kendall and Matthew Keech made half-centuries for Hampshire.

Mal Loye (68) and Tony Penberthy (74) shared a superb opening stand of 149 to lead Northamptonshire to a nine-wicket win over Sussex at Hove. The visitors, set 161 to win, stormed home with 9.3 overs to spare. Keith Greenfield made 58 for Sussex.

At Old Trafford, Graham Lloyd's rich vein of form for Lancashire continued as he hit 134 to help defeat Durham by 57 runs. Lloyd, who scored 102 in the Championship match, shared a stand of 197 with John Crawley (83). Mike Roseberry made an unbeaten 91 in Durham's 211.

Steve Watkin's opening spell of 3 for 7 in six overs set up a win for Glamorgan even though the wet Welsh weather did its best to steal the deserved points away. The new new Duckworth-Lewis method of determining rain-interrupted matches settled the outcome at Cardiff where Glamorgan beat Warwickshire by "plus 17 runs''. Warwickshire struggled to 147 for 7 and Glamoragn were 81 for 3 after 20 overs of their reply when play was abandoned.

Opener Matthew Walker's 80 from 74 balls helped Kent to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Derbyshire at Canterbury. Set 185 to win, Kent passed their target with more than eight overs to spare with new signing Alan Wells contributing an undefeated 56. For Derbyshire Gul Khan top scored with 71 and Kent's leg-spinner Paul Strang finished with 2 for 34 on his Sunday debut.

Tom Moody guided Worcestershire to a seven-wicket win over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Replying to the home side's 183, the Worcestershire captain made 89 in 97 balls, putting on 102 in 18 overs with Graeme Hick. And Leicestershire capsized at home to Gloucestershire: chasing 236 they were all out for 125.

n Warwickshire will start their Benson and Hedges Cup campaign at Worcestershire today amid fears that their captain, Tim Munton, may need back surgery. A decision will be made today, when the 31-year-old seamer has a second appointment with a specialist in Nottingham.

More cricket, Scoreboard, page 17

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