Munton plays the miser

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The Independent Online
reports from Derby

Warwickshire 290-6 Derbyshire 174 Warwickshire win by 117 runs

Warwickshire, the treble winners and Championship leaders, remain on course for another clutch of silverware, advancing to the semi-finals of the NatWest Trophy with a thoroughly superior performance against Derbyshire.

Again Warwickshire were well served throughout the team. Of their batsmen, only Neil Smith, out for the last ball of the first over, failed to get a start and Nick Knight, Dougie Brown and Roger Twose all went on to make half centuries.

Then Tim Munton, bowling his allocation right through, tied Derbyshire down by giving away a miserly 13 runs, Smith broke the one partnership to carry any threat and Allan Donald ended the contest with three wickets in seven balls to finish with 5 for 41. John Lever, the former Essex and England bowler, made Munton his man of the match.

One could have some sympathy for Derbyshire, who had to ask Adrian Rollins to keep wicket from the eighth over onwards when Karl Krikken withdrew with a damaged finger and were deprived of Dominic Cork's full powers after the England all-rounder took a nasty blow on the knee in the field. Cork was reduced to bowling off three paces and batted with a runner. Furthermore, Phillip DeFreitas twisted his left ankle when he stood on the boundary rope and resumed only after lengthy treatment.

Cork appeared to have inherited another of Ian Botham's happy knacks when his second ball, a long hop, got the wicket of Dominic Ostler. But this was not to be his day.

Warwickshire were 40 for 2 with Ostler's demise, but a stand of 98 in 19 overs for the third wicket created a strong platform, the patience of Knight complemented perfectly by the aggression of Brown, whose 58 came off only 63 balls before he holed out to long on.

Knight's attempt to accelerate brought a four and a six off consecutive balls against Kim Barnett before he was brilliantly run out by Chris Adams's throw, but Reeve and Twose maintained the momentum and then Trevor Penney combined with Ashley Giles to add a precious 41 off the last six overs.

Derbyshire let themselves down with indifferent batting on a decent pitch, losing their first three batsmen cheaply to poor strokes. Barnett was ably assisted by Colin Wells in trying to extricate his team, moving on from an unpromising 63 for 3 at tea to have half a chance at 108 for 3 with 28 overs left.

But then Penney brilliantly held on to Wells's on drive and Barnett was caught at the wicket down the leg side. Knight got himself under a steepler from Cork, and Donald yorked DeFreitas and Allan Warner with consecutive balls on the way to finishing the job.