Round-up: Napier thrust comes too late as Lancs seal victory


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The Independent Sport

Lancashire survived a late onslaught from Graham Napier to secure a 28-run win over Essex in Group A of the Clydesdale Bank 40 yesterday.

Stephen Moore, Steven Croft and Paul Horton all hit half-centuries as Lancashire posted 258 for 9 in their 40 overs at Old Trafford.

Essex looked in trouble on 139 for 6 in the 28th over in reply before Napier smashed 51 in just 25 balls in a quick-fire 68-run partnership with Greg Smith to give them a fighting chance.

The England fast bowler Steven Finn took three wickets in seven balls as Middlesex beat Leicestershire by 31 runs at Grace Road. Finn's burst sent the Foxes sliding to 49 for 5 as they chased a victory target of 242, and they were finally dismissed for 210 to give the Panthers their second win in three games. Finn, left out of the England side for the first Test against West Indies, finished with 3 for 30 in eight overs.

Hampshire thrashed Scotland by 89 runs in their Group B game at Bothwell Castle, rolling their opponents over for a modest 131. Michael Carberry top-scored with 76 as Hampshire finished on 220 all out with two balls of their innings remaining, but the Saltires could not mount a credible challenge – Jean Symes' 33 their best score as all six Hampshire bowlers took wickets.

Half-centuries from Tom Maynard and Zafar Ansari helped Surrey maintain their winning start to the competition as they overcame Durham by 60 runs at The Oval. After winning the toss and electing to bat Surrey were in trouble on 47 for 3, with Mitchell Claydon taking all three wickets in 12 balls. But Maynard's 77 steadied the ship and Ansari's unbeaten 60 helped the hosts to 221 for 7.

Durham lost wickets at regular intervals to undermine their chase and they were all out for 161, with Jade Dernbach, Stuart Meaker, Matthew Spriegel and Gareth Batty claiming two wickets apiece.

In Group C, Yorkshire's new Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc made a great impression on his debut with 3 for 28 but it was Gary Ballance's 77 that propelled the home side to a seven-wicket win over Derbyshire at Headingley.

Ballance, in prime form at the moment, timed his innings to perfection as Yorkshire reached their 220-run target with 14 balls to spare. The left-hander faced 60 deliveries and thumped six fours and four sixes, putting on 69 for the third wicket with Phil Jaques and an unbroken 70 for the fourth with Joe Root.

Glenn Querl starred with ball and bat as the Unicorns pulled off their first win of the season, beating Kent by four wickets with an over to spare at Canterbury. The Zimbabwe-born all-rounder followed up best figures of 4 for 41 with an unbeaten 24 from 21 balls to see his side to victory.

England all-rounder Luke Wright smashed a half-century as Sussex defeated Northamptonshire by 12 runs. The Sharks were bowled out for 180 inside 36 overs, with Lee Daggett taking 4 for 31 and Wright top-scoring by blasting 59 off 57 balls. Despite David Sales' 51 off 70 deliveries, the Steelbacks fell short of their meagre target as they were limited to 168 for 7.

On Saturday, Paul Horton's first County Championship century in more than two years steered the champions Lancashire to a face-saving draw at Edgbaston as Warwickshire returned to the top of the First Division table.

Surrey decided to bat it out for a draw in an entertaining match against Somerset at The Oval. Needing 305 to win from 85 overs, after bowling out Somerset for 180 at the start of the day, Surrey reached a promising 96 for 1 before a mid-afternoon collapse scuppered hopes of a win.