Cricket: Universities' House party

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The Independent Online
WILL HOUSE produced a memorable all-round performance as the British Universities shocked Gloucestershire with a seven-run victory - despite a defiant, unbeaten century from Jack Russell - in the Benson and Hedges Cup at Bristol yesterday.

The 22-year-old Kent player hammered 64 off 44 balls as the students compiled 279 for 5 from their 50 overs in the Group C tie. Then House weighed in with 5 for 58 to take the Gold Award and peg Gloucestershire at 272 for 9, notwithstanding Russell's one-day best of 119 not out and 93 from Tony Wright.

Gloucestershire only had themselves to blame after spilling three catches in an abysmal fielding display after winning the toss. Russell and Wright's efforts apart, the home batting was unimpressive too, with opener Tim Hancock's 16 the next best score.

The Universities captain, Anurag Singh, set the tone by hitting 56 off 88 balls, with four boundaries. He shared a second-wicket stand of 96 with Mark Chilton. Then came House, smashing two sixes and seven fours in his 64, made off just 44 deliveries.

Gloucestershire were soon in trouble at 29 for 3 in reply before a stand between Russell and Wright added 207 for the fourth wicket. Russell's runs came off 137 balls, with a six and eight fours, while Wright's 93 was off 99 deliveries with 10 boundaries - and they seemed to have turned the game Gloucestershire's way. But the students held some excellent catches in the closing stages and capitalised on some woeful efforts by the home lower order.

A sixth-wicket stand of 83 in 11 overs between Durham's Martin Speight and Mike Foster yesterday wrecked Scotland's hopes of a third Benson and Hedges Cup win in 19 years. The Scots made 210 for 6 after choosing to bat at Chester-le-Street and looked certain to win when they reduced Durham to 120 for 5 in the 37th over. But Speight hit 55 and Foster 35 to set up a two-wicket win with nine balls to spare.

David Hemp's rarely used seamers took four wickets, and he then top-scored with 34 as Warwickshire overhauled a modest Minor Counties total of 111 to take pole position in Group A. Captain Brian Lara hit an unbeaten 30 off 27 balls.

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