Roses semi-final match

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The Independent Online
Yorkshire and Lancashire have been drawn to meet in the semi-finals of the Benson and Hedges Cup. Lancashire, the holders, yesterday completed a five-wicket home win over Gloucestershire to seal a semi-final meeting with their great rivals, winners over Surrey on Tuesday, at Old Trafford on 11 June.

In the other semi-final Northamptonshire, who yesterday clinched a 23- run home victory over Kent, will meet Warwickshire, 12-run winners over Glamorgan, also on Tuesday, at the County Ground.

This will be a repeat of of last season's NatWest Trophy final, won by Warwickshire, but the spotlight will inevitably fall on Manchester, where Yorkshire will aim to book a first final appearance since 1987.

That was also in the Benson and Hedges Cup, with Yorkshire winning a tied match against Northamptonshire by virtue of taking more wickets.

Since then the county has gone through some of the leanest times in their proud history. But there is no shortage of confidence in the Yorkshire camp following the destruction of Surrey, and skipper David Byas will be boosted by the memory of last season's two-wicket Roses win in the NatWest quarter-finals.

Yorkshire hope their batsman Martyn Moxon will recover from a bruised thumb in time to play Lancashire, who were steered to victory yesterday by Neil Fairbrother.

The 32-year-old left-hander, left out of the recent Texaco Trophy series with India despite playing in this year's World Cup, hit an unbeaten 80 to steady the holders.

Fairbrother's innings, which included two sixes and 11 other boundaries, rescued Lancashire from a perilous 34 for 4, chasing Gloucestershire's 158, having resumed overnight on 12 for 3.

John Emburey shattered Kent's Cup dream after being pushed back into the limelight yesterday. The new Northamptonshire player-coach was not too keen to bowl as his side threatened to lose their grip on a semi-final place. But, having accepted the challenge, the veteran spinner captured three crucial wickets in the space of seven balls to settle a contest with 24 runs to spare.

BENSON AND HEDGES CUP Semi-final draw: Lancashire v Yorkshire; Northamptonshire v Warwickshire (Matches to be played on 11 June).

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