Middlesex made it three wins from three games after easing to a seven-wicket victory over Essex in the Twenty20 Cup at Chelmsford yesterday to extend their lead at the top of the South Division. Tyron Henderson was the architect, top-scoring with a quickfire 64 as well as taking three wickets. Essex batted first but only James Foster and Graham Napier offered any resistance with an unbeaten 50 and 31 respectively, while only two more players made it to double figures. Dirk Nannes took 4 for 28 and Henderson 3 for 27 as the hosts limped to 132 all out. Middlesex cruised to victory with 23 balls remaining.
Essex were leapfrogged in the table by Surrey, who won the game between the two bottom sides at The Oval. Abdul Razzaq took two wickets and scored an unbeaten 39 to guide Surrey to their first win in this season's competition. Sussex batted first and made a respectable 141 for five, with Chris Nash top-scoring with 52 in 41 balls. In response, Surrey were wobbling at 90 for 5 after Dwayne Smith took three wickets. However, Razzaq and Usman Afzaal guided Surrey home.
Northamptonshire extended their lead at the top of the Midlands, West & Wales Division with a 27-run victory over Gloucestershire at Bristol to maintain their 100 per cent record. For the visitors Johann Louw and Stephen Peters both claimed three wickets, while Rikki Wessels was unbeaten on 43 with David Sales making 41 and Rob White 39 to finish on 162 for five. Gloucestershire were 135 all out, Marcus North top scoring with 36. The match between Glamorgan and Worcestershire in Cardiff was called off because of rain before a ball was bowled.
Simon Marshall took four wickets as leaders Lancashire condemned bottom side Leicestershire to their third consecutive defeat in the North Division with a 37-run victory at Old Trafford. Lancashire reached a promising 163 for 5 but they lost their remaining five wickets for four more runs.
In response, Leicestershire were grateful to H D Ackerman who made 63 with only Boeta Dippenaar (35) and Matthew Boyce (10) making double figures.
Yorkshire recorded their first win in three attempts as they beat Derbyshire by 11 runs at Chesterfield. Anthony McGrath hit six sixes in an unbeaten 72 to help Yorkshire to 169 for 5. Michael Vaughan was the Tykes' second-highest scorer with 31. Derbyshire were making decent progress but then lost five wickets for 34 runs. Greg Smith scored 68 off 42 balls including one six and 10 fours.