Australia batsman Phillip Hughes scored his first one-day century at Lord's to help Middlesex Panthers to their highest score in Friends Provident Trophy history, only to finish on the losing side to Group B winners Somerset.
The opener, who plays his final match for the county tomorrow against Warwickshire, is returning home on Wednesday – earlier than originally scheduled. The Middlesex coach, Toby Radford, said: "Phillip is going back in order to attend a pre-Ashes camp. We have known about this for three weeks." With three centuries, Hughes had made a spectacular contribution to the start of the County Championship season, but prior to yesterday had scored only 58 runs in five Trophy ties since his 74 on competition debut against Scotland.
The left-hander's efforts were not enough here to prevent the Somerset Sabres maintaining their unbeaten record in the competition as they reached a revised target of 290 from 41 overs with 11 deliveries to spare to dent Middlesex's hopes of qualifying for the last eight. The visiting captain, Justin Langer, led the victory chase with an unbeaten 78 from 69 balls with nine fours and a six.
The Panthers' total of 341 for 7 was the third-highest score in the competition this season. The total was built around a second-wicket stand of 151 in 25 overs between Hughes and Owais Shah after Billy Godleman had been run out in the fourth over.
Rain led to a revised target of 333 to win from 48 overs for Somerset and Marcus Trescothick and Craig Kieswetter got them off to a positive start with a stand of 77. Middlesex looked marginal favourites when Somerset faltered at 209 for four after 31.4 overs, but further rain and a second revision ensured Somerset made it.
Essex are just one point away from a quarter-final berth after their game with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road was abandoned after 18 overs.
Lancashire are already sure of a place in the last eight and only Derbyshire can prevent Essex joining them with the sides, who both have two games left to play, set to play at Chelmsford tonight under floodlights.Reuse content