Lancashire start to struggle

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The Independent Online
Lancashire's quest for cricket's grand slam was dealt a further blow with a five-wicket Sunday League defeat by Gloucestershire at Cheltenham yesterday.

The hosts, who completed a 10-wicket County Championship victory on Saturday, restricted Lancashire to a moderate total of 182 for 9 on a dry, firm wicket, and then passed that with 13 balls to spare.

The 20-year-old Anglo- Australian Andrew Symonds hammered 47 runs off 34 balls with two sixes and four fours, while skipper Jack Russell celebrated his recall to the England squad with a brisk 21 off 24 balls as Gloucestershire plundered 101 off the last 15 overs to win.

Ronnie Irani and Mark Ilott guided Essex to a thrilling four-wicket victory against Somerset at Southend to help them join Glamorgan on top of the table.

The pair, who came together with 51 needed from the last seven overs, reached their target of 212 with just three deliveries to spare. Irani finished unbeaten with 39 from 42 balls, while Ilott struck an invaluable 20 from 17 deliveries.

Peter Moores made a competition best 89 not out and Bill Athey an unbeaten 61 as Sussex secured a convincing seven-wicket win over Leicestershire at Hove. The home side, set a target of 263 to win, romped home with 4.4 overs to spare as the pair produced an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 152 in 19 overs.

A career-best bowling performance by Simon Brown put Durham on the way to a seven-wicket victory against Yorkshire at Headingley. The left-arm seamer took 4 for 20 as Yorkshire were shot out for 133 in 39.1 overs on a slow, low pitch.

Brown produced a burst of 3 for 1 in four balls after Bradley Parker and Richard Blakey had rescued Yorkshire from a bad start. But Durham, after early problems, were always in control and Manoj Prabhakar pepped their victory charge with 55 off 71 deliveries, including two sixes and five boundaries.

Even a six off the last ball by Jonathan Wileman was not enough for Nottinghamshire in their pursuit of Surrey's 268 as they fell one run short.

Ricky Ponting made his first century against county opposition as Young Australia declared 65 runs behind Worcestershire in their three-day match at New Road.

The 20-year-old, who toured the West Indies with the senior side earlier this year, reached an unbeaten 103 from only 136 balls before the declaration at 332 for 3. Ponting hit 17 fours and two sixes while sharing in stands of 110 with Justin Langer (88) and 111 with Martin Love (53no).

In 20 overs before the close Worcestershire made 62 for 1, a lead of 127.

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