County Championship round-up: Davies' assault and Batty's blitz demolish Lancashire defences

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The Independent Online

Steven Davies cracked a century before Gareth Andrew and Gareth Batty ripped through Lancashire in a convincing 105-run win for Worcestershire in the NatWest Pro40 First Division yesterday. Davies hit three sixes and 12 fours in an 83-ball 103 not out that lifted the Royals to 189 for 5 in a match reduced to 25 overs at Old Trafford.

It was a target that proved well beyond the hosts, who crashed to 84 all out, with Andrew taking 3 for 12 and Batty a brilliant 3 for 2 from three overs.

Ollie Rayner scrambled a single off the final ball as Sussex beat Durham by three wickets at The Riverside. The Sharks had needed only one from three balls but Callum Thorp came close to denying them until Rayner managed to find the winning run. The wicketkeeper Phil Mustard hit 82 as Durham ran up 221 for 6 from 38 overs, with Sussex's pursuit of a revised target of 224 aided by Matt Prior's 79.

Somerset ended Nottinghamshire's 100 per cent record in Pro40 this year with a thrilling three-wicket victory, clinching the win off the penultimate ball at Taunton. Omari Banks made the winning hit after Craig Kieswetter (57), Zander de Bruyn (44), James Hildreth (38) and Wes Durston (36) had chipped away at a target of 241. Graeme Swann kept the Outlaws in contention with an outstanding 4 for 35 from eight overs.

Adam Voges (68 not out) and Will Jefferson (53) top-scored in Nottinghamshire's 240 for 7, but it was a savage last over assault from Paul Franks (34no) which ensured a challenging total.

Mark Hardinges, who is to be released at the end of the season, was the Gloucestershire hero with an unbeaten 27 that took his side to a thrilling two-wicket win over Hampshire at Cheltenham. The Hawks posted an imposing 236 for 4 in a 35-over contest but Hamish Marshall (47) and Marcus North (56) kept the Gladiators in contention. Hardinges then crashed 27 from 20 balls, including two sixes and a four, to see them over the finish line with one ball to spare.

In the Second Division, Jacques du Toit's 144 from 119 balls with 14 fours and five sixes was surprisingly not enough to earn victory for Leicestershire, who lost by four wickets to Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay. Mike Powell hit 81 and there were also useful contributions from David Hemp (46) and Ben Wright (45) in the home side's reply but the game looked over with 64 needed from five overs. Yet Mark Wallace (48no) had other ideas and settled the match in dramatic fashion with a six off the penultimate ball.

Jim Troughton completed his first County Championship century of the season as Warwickshire played for bonus points on the last day of a drawn match with Northamptonshire at Edgbaston yesterday. He was dropped in the first over of the morning session and batted through a rain-interrupted day to secure three extra points with his unbeaten 138 from 244 balls in a total of 353 for 4.