Harvey's heroics keep Gloucestershire alive

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The Independent Online

The Australia all-rounder Ian Harvey kept the National League First Division title race alive by bowling Gloucestershire to a narrow five-run win over Essex at Bristol.

The visitors appeared to be on course for a victory which would have handed the title to Surrey - who were not playing - as they entered the last over requiring nine to win with two wickets in hand. Harvey was thrown the ball and he responded by removing Ravinder Bopara with his third ball, leaving Essex needing seven off three deliveries. Two dot balls meant James Middlebrook had to hit the last delivery for six but he was bowled and Gloucestershire closed the gap on the leaders to two points, although they have played one game more.

The Australian had earlier chipped in with 43 off 23 balls before Matt Windows hit 83 off 95 balls as Gloucestershire reached 232 for seven.

Yorkshire rose off the foot of the First Division after a seven-wicket victory over Worcestershire, who replace them at the bottom. Matthew Wood cracked 91 in 112 balls while Michael Lumb (62 not out off 72 balls) guided them home with eight balls to spare.

The England seamer Matthew Hoggard had earlier claimed 3 for 29 but Graeme Hick (52), Justin Kemp (46) and Ben Smith (42) ensured Worcestershire posted a total of 223 for 7.

Northamptonshire guaranteed themselves promotion from the Second Division with a 27-run victory over Durham, while Carl Hooper led the way as Lancashire beat Hampshire by 45 runs to safeguard their position as divisional leaders.