County Round-Up: Kirby faces the wrath of ECB over aggression

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The Independent Online

Controversy marred a drawn Second Division match in the Liverpool Victoria County Championship between Gloucestershire and Derbyshire at Bristol when the umpire Neil Mallender ordered the home side to take off fast bowler Steve Kirby.

In the penultimate over Kirby, who was found guilty last summer of ball-tampering, bowled a ball that thudded into the chest of tailender Andy Gray.

Gray dropped his bat and ripped off a glove, turned away from Kirby as the bowler tried to apologise. Martyn Ball had to complete the over. Gray and Kirby eventually shook hands but the 27-year-old paceman will be officially reported to the England and Wales Cricket Board. Having been set a remote target of 355, Derbyshire finished on 286 for 8.

The Gloucestershire chief executive Tom Richardson defended Kirby, saying: "The umpires have to make their report but at the moment I don't anticipate there will be much further action. Everyone knows that Kirby is a wholehearted trier who gives everything to the game."

Struggling Glamorgan remain bottom of the Second Division after collapsing in spectacular style to Northamptonshire, despite only needing 225 to win at Wantage Road.

The Welsh county suffered from their batsmen's inability to form any meaningful partnerships and were all out for a paltry total of 56 after lunch. The Australian paceman Matthew Nicholson taking 6 for 23, while Monty Panesar, overlooked for England's limited-overs matches, finished with impressive figures of 3 for 11 with his left-arm spin.

Worcestershire raced to a nine-wicket victory after being set a target of 120 to win at Chelmsford, despite Essex doing their best to keep the match competitive by amassing 486 in their second innings. However, the visitors won comfortably with Phil Jaques finishing unbeaten on 60.

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