Cricket: Wasim piles on the pressure

Click to follow

LANCASHIRE KEPT up the pressure on Essex at the top of the AXA League with a comfortable 71-run win over Gloucestershire at Old Trafford yesterday.

While the leaders were beating Glamorgan to maintain their advantage on run-rate Lancashire were never in trouble once Wasim Akram and Neil Fairbrother came together.

Wasim smashed an unbeaten 75 from just 42 balls with six sixes and five fours. The captain added 99 with Neil Fairbrother, who hit a fourth successive one-day half-century and finished with 76 from 101 balls, as Lancashire scored 114 runs in the final 10 overs.

They changed the course of the game with Gloucestershire having restricted the home side to 110 for 4 after 30 overs.

The total of 222 for 6 proved way beyond Gloucestershire who crashed to 151. The result means Lancashire have lost just once in 11 one-day games at their headquarters this season.

Middlesex went down to their third AXA League defeat in four matches, losing by six wickets as Warwickshire romped home with 16 overs to spare at Lord's yesterday.

The visitors, in sixth place before play, bowled out third-placed Middlesex for 102 as Gladstone Small returned competition-best figures of 5 for 18, his previous best was also against Middlesex.

Middlesex, who included Phil Tufnell for his first one-day match of the season, might have posted a competitive score if their Australian opener Justin Langer had not been run out for 13. The prolific left-hander, making his last Middlesex appearance at Lord's this season, was called for a quick single by Keith Brown but Trevor Penney, racing in from point brilliantly, threw down the stumps with Langer well out of his ground.

Middlesex were 57 for 4 from 18 overs before Small got into his stride. Brown skied the ball to Piper, David Goodchild was comfortably caught at mid-on by Ashley Giles for a single and, with the next ball, Small bowled Richard Johnson.

Only a last-wicket stand of 23 between Tufnell and Kim Bloomfield took Middlesex past 100. Warwickshire would have won the match even earlier had their captain, Brian Lara, batted at No 3 rather than delaying his entrance until No 6. He struck 26 from 20 balls including three fours and a huge six.

Vikram Solanki ended Worcestershire's run of five consecutive defeats in all competitions with 88 off 96 balls in a seven-wicket win against Nottinghamshire at New Road.

Solanki overcame a slow pitch to hit seven fours and the only six of the match to guide his side home with 7.3 overs to spare after they dismissing the visitors for a modest 154.

Sanath Jayasuriya scored his first century of the tour to inspire Sri Lanka to a 16-run victory over Northamptonshire in their second one-day contest at Wantage Road yesterday.

The free-scoring left-hander dominated the attack, hitting 16 fours in his 119 as the tourists reached 308 for 6 in their 50 overs. Despite half- centuries from Tony Penberthy and Mal Loye the home side fell short, losing the Worthington Challenge Series 2-0.