Kaneria gives Eagles lift with first Pro40 win

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Danish Kaneria played a starring role with both bat and ball as Essex Eagles claimed their first Pro40 victory of the season in beating Sussex Sharks by 26 runs yesterday.

First the Pakistan spinner scored a valuable 25 as Essex recovered from a woeful start to total 177, and then he claimed five for 22 with his teasing leg-spin as the visitors were bowled out for 151 in 38 overs.

Chris Adams led a spirited Sussex recovery and Michael Yardy also did his best to keep them in the hunt but Kaneria was able to weave his magic and send the visitors to a defeat which seriously jeopardises their hopes of winning the title that Essex have carried off for the last two seasons. Sussex lost their last six wickets for 38 runs in nine overs.

Middlesex Crusaders inflicted the first defeat of the NatWest Pro40 League on Kent Spitfires when they claimed a 36-run victory at Lord's after the visitors suffered a complete collapse.

Robert Key compiled a superb 72 for the Spitfires but the England A player saw his side slump from 100 for 2 to 151 all out, with Tim Murtagh finishing with figures of 4 for 21.

Earlier, a brilliant spell from Martin Saggers had restricted the Crusaders to a score of 187 for 5, with Nick Compton top scoring on an unbeaten 48.

The Second Division leaders Yorkshire put up a poor batting performance against Surrey to lose by five wickets at Scarbrough. Surrey's Mo Akramwas particularly good, with a burst of 3 for 5 in 17 deliveries.