Cricket / Round-Up: Ealham eager to please as Kent cruise

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FIELDING first on Sundays is fast becoming de rigeur. Of the first four matches to finish yesterday, the side opting to chase sauntered home in such comfort that the smallest margin was six wickets, writes Rob Steen.

Kent certainly benefited as Mark Ealham (6 for 53) wrecked Hampshire for 198 at Basingstoke, Trevor Ward, the AXA Equity & Law League's heaviest scorer, keeping the visitors in joint first place with 112 off 91 balls to spur a seven-wicket win.

With the exception of Glamorgan's square dance at The Oval, the most obvious case of overmatching occurred at Chesterfield, where David Byas (106 not out) showed his prejudice towards Derbyshire with a maiden one-day hundred, adding 165 for the first wicket with Martyn Moxon (80) as Yorkshire swept to a target of 208 with nine wickets to spare.

Durham had even greater cause for glee at Gateshead Fell, Ian Botham felling Mike Gatting and Desmond Haynes to put the skids under last season's 40-over champions, Middlesex, who bowed by five wickets to become the hosts' first county victims since last August.

Having tied with Northamptonshire last week, Worcestershire maintained their flair for drama at New Road, although this time the plot went awry as Leicestershire won by four runs, the hosts' first 50-over reversal.