Smith makes the difference

Derbyshire 72-7 Nottinghamshire 75-0 Notts win by 10 wickets
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The Independent Online

The Benson & Hedges Cup turns into a 20-over slog in 2003 – but even next season's mould-breaking short format may seem somewhat drawn-out compared with this contest, which was settled in less than half the time the new game will need.

Nonetheless, the attention span of spectators was still put to the test, largely because those patient enough to stay after a morning of heavy rain had to wait six hours and 10 minutes for play to start.

For Nottinghamshire, it was worth the wait. It is to be hoped that their captain stood drinks for the Trent Bridge groundstaff last night for making the minimum 10-overs-a-side requirement possible. Beaten by Yorkshire in a failed short run-chase on Sunday, they won this one in a canter, with 10 balls to spare.

Chris Read and Lance Klusener, the only batsmen needed, played exceptionally well. Read struck half a dozen boundaries off 23 balls, Klusener three fours and two sixes, the second of which, pulled over mid-wicket off Graeme Welch, won the match.

Derbyshire's innings began well but finished terribly. A clatter of wickets was always likely in the desperate thrash at the end but Derbyshire lost so many in the last two overs that they could add only five runs in the process, reducing the benefit of the brisk start provided by Michael di Venuto and Steve Stubbings, who shared 52 runs before Nottinghamshire made a breakthrough.

But then Greg Smith, the left-armer, clinched his second Gold Award in three days, following Sunday's 5 for 39 against Yorkshire, by blowing away Dominic Cork, Dominic Hewson and Mohammad Ali in the space of five deliveries without conceding a run.

Smith returned figures of 3 for 8, after which Jason Kerr was caught behind off Andrew Harris and Steven Selwood lofted one to mid-off.

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