Holders Gloucestershire make NatWest semis

Match-winning centurion Tim Hancock returned from a serious hand injury to guide holders Gloucestershire into the last four of the NatWest Trophy at the expense of Northamptonshire at Bristol today.

Match-winning centurion Tim Hancock returned from a serious hand injury to guide holders Gloucestershire into the last four of the NatWest Trophy at the expense of Northamptonshire at Bristol today.

Hancock's 110 - his first one-day hundred in his first NatWest match of a season interrupted by the injury - underpinned Gloucestershire's 280 for eight.

With a second-wicket stand of 121 with veteran Kim Barnett along the way, it all proved too much for Northants who could muster only 218 for nine in reply from their 50 overs to fall to a 62-run defeat.

It left Hancock with much to smile about on the pavilion balcony where he received his man of the match award.

He said: "I was very pleased with today. We always felt that if we got a good total we could defend it here.

"But Northants are a highly-rated batting side, and we did well with the ball again. It was a very satisfying win."

Reflecting on his successful return to the fray after his broken hand, Hancock revealed he had not been the best of patients.

"It was my first ever injury. I was fairly bored for four weeks doing nothing," he said.

He wasted no time in regaining the thread once back in the middle today, hitting eight fours and two sixes in his 131-ball innings.

The second of his sixes brought up his century and 200 for his team. But it was always the Gloucestershire cause he was most concerned with, and he added: "It is always nice to get 100 - but mainly I am very pleased to win, to be honest."

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