Scotland made to suffer

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The Independent Online
It was not a day for the underdogs in the first round of the NatWest Trophy. None of the minor counties or the foreign legion managed to beat their major counterparts - although some of the first-class teams suffered a scare or two before sealing victory.

Scotland made a respectable score of 250 for 9 against Gloucestershire at Bristol - but that was in reply to the home side's mammoth total of 351 for 2. Tony Wright, who made 177, and Nick Trainor (143) put on 311 for the opening wicket - the highest partnership in the history of the tournament - as the Scottish bowlers must have wished they had not crossed Hadrian's Wall.

Yorkshire were in serious peril early on against Ireland at Headingley - but then Darren Gough got to work to make sure the Irish did not claim their second first-class scalp of the season - they overcame Middlesex in the Benson and Hedges Cup.

Gough took 7 for 27, including a hat-trick, to dismiss Ireland for just 53, their second-lowest score during 18 years in the competition. All this came after Gough had hit 46 off 47 balls to help Yorkshire recover to 249 all out, after Ireland had reduced them to 55 for 6.

At Edgbaston, Norfolk's captain, the former Derbyshire bowler Paul Newman, took 4 for 23 as Warwickshire were reduced to 25 for 6. Ashley Giles came to the rescue, though, with a top score of 69 as the Midlands men reached 207 - and he then took 5 for 21 as the East Anglian side were bowled out for 127.

The closest finish was at Lord's, where the 18-year-old England A tourist Owais Shah, who has just sat his A-levels, hit a brave unbeaten 27 to help Middlesex (227 for 7) to a three-wicket win over Kent (225 all out) with only four balls to spare.

Reports, scoreboard, page 29; Rain aids West Indies, page 31

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