Blain blossoms as Northamptonshire cruise to victory

Northamptonshire 212-5 Gloucestershire 94 Northants win by 118 runs

After winning their first four zonal matches to ensure a home quarter-final in the Benson and Hedges Cup, Gloucestershire suffered a rare humbling here yesterday as the pace bowler John Blain enjoyed one of his best days as a Northamptonshire player.

After winning their first four zonal matches to ensure a home quarter-final in the Benson and Hedges Cup, Gloucestershire suffered a rare humbling here yesterday as the pace bowler John Blain enjoyed one of his best days as a Northamptonshire player.

The 23-year-old from Edinburgh, who made a name for himself when his 10 wickets for Scotland achieved the best strike-rate by any bowler in the 1999 World Cup, took 5 for 30 yesterday, which was the principal factor in Gloucestershire's demise for a paltry 94 in reply to Northamptonshire's 212 in a match reduced to 44 overs per side.

Blain, still seeking a regular place at Wantage Road, landed his first five-wicket haul in a limited-overs game since taking five Derbyshire wickets on his Sunday League debut in 1997. It was enough to win the Gold Award, although not enough to propel his team into the last eight even with three wins from five after results elsewhere pushed them out of a qualifying position.

His first spell wrecked Gloucestershire's upper order, reducing them to 8 for 3 in the third over. In the space of just six balls, Blain found the outside edge to dismiss Kim Barnett, caught at first slip, and Ian Harvey, snapped up behind the stumps, before straightening one to clip the extremity of Chris Taylor's right pad as the batsman shouldered arms. He struck again in his fifth over, bowling the New Zealander Craig Spearman through the gate, leaving Gloucestershire on 33 for 4.

It was a start from which they never recovered. Indeed, their lowest competition score of 62 against Hampshire in 1975 was under threat as Tony Penberthy and Ricky Anderson took two wickets each to plunge them into further disarray at 48 for 8 in only the 16th over. At least that was unwelcome landmark was avoided as Jack Russell dredged some stubborn resistance and James Averis inflicted a few hefty blows before Blain claimed the latter as his fifth victim.

After a mizzly morning had delayed the start by 75 minutes, Northamptonshire's prospects of halting Gloucestershire's run looked less than convincing after they had been asked to bat first, Harvey adding quickly to his tally of 16 wickets in this year's competition. The Australian all-rounder had Mike Hussey leg before and another delivery did enough to induce an edge from Mal Loye.

More setbacks followed as David Sales steered a ball from Mark Alleyne straight to the solitary slip before Graeme Swann miscued a pull to be caught at mid-on. But from 52 for 4 the picture steadily brightened as Russell Warren (78no), aided first by Penberthy then by Jeff Cook, came up with the display of character needed if Northamptonshire were to at least give themselves a chance of reaching the last eight.

Warren's partnership with Penberthy added 44 before the latter was lbw to Averis and his fifth-wicket alliance with Cook put on 116, a county record for the competition.

BENSON AND HEDGES CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW
Sussex v Warwickshire
Gloucestershire v Worcestershire
Essex v Yorkshire
Leicestershire v Lancashire

Ties to be played on 21 or 22 May

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum