Surrey hold nerve to take one-day title

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The Independent Online

Surrey claimed their second limited overs title of the season when they were crowned National League champions after a dramatic eight-run victory against Glamorgan in Cardiff.

Having been restricted to 198 for nine, Surrey appeared to have bowled themselves back into the game at 130 for 7. But an eighth-wicket stand of 31 between Robert Croft (20) and Mike Kasprowicz swung the balance back towards the home side.

However, when Kasprowicz slogged across the line and was bowled for 20 with just 15 needed off 18 balls the title was within Surrey's grasp.

The England all-rounder Rikki Clarke duly wrapped things up with a full-length ball to dismiss David Harrison (14) with eight balls to go and the inaugural Twenty20 champions collected their second piece of silverware of the season.

Mark Ramprakash (53) and his captain, Adam Hollioake (51), were the main contributors in a Surrey innings which lacked the opener Ian Ward, who has announced he is to leave the club in an attempt to reignite his England career. Medium-pacer Adrian Dale took four for 35.

The Surrey captain, Adam Hollioake, said: "We are limping over the line as we are on our last legs and to get this side together today was hard work. I would like to pay credit to what they have done here. They have stuck to it and got their rewards."

His departing team-mate Ward, who was watching from the commentary box, added: "It has been a pleasure to play with this bunch of guys. They are very talented. They have played fantastic cricket all the way through. It is far harder to win this league than it is to win the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy."

Leicestershire are staring at relegation after a dismal performance with the bat saw them skittled for 98 by Kent. The visitors' Danish fast bowler, Amjad Khan, took 4 for 26 and Mark Ealham 4 for 19.

Only a defiant 32 from the wicketkeeper-batsman, Paul Nixon, against his old club allowed Leicestershire to get even close to three figures.

Kent recovered from the early losses of Ed Smith and Amjad to race to an eight-wicket victory with more than 25 overs to spare as Andrew Symonds (45no) and Robert Key (44no) steered them home.

* Essex were relegated from the top flight of the Frizzell County Championship after a devastating spell of bowling from Waqar Younis, who claimed five for 12 in 24 balls to hasten Warwickshire to victory. Waqar (5-77) went through the Essex tail to dismiss them for 302 - from an overnight 247 for four - despite 78 from Mark Pettini. Warwickshire knocked off the 56 runs they needed to wrap up a nine-wicket win and secure their own First Division future.

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