Yorkshire, the Sunday League leaders, extended their run of impressive form with their eighth victory in nine games as they eased past Essex at Headingley by six wickets. David Byas, the Yorkshire captain, followed two half-centuries with an unbeaten 40 to guide his team to victory with more than 15 overs to spare.
But it was his bowlers who took the major honours as Essex were dismissed for 108 on a poor one-day pitch offering a wide variety of bounce. The early loss of Nasser Hussain appeared to unnerve an inexperienced Essex side, who were always struggling after being put in.
Chris Silverwood kept them under pressure with an opening six-over spell of 2 for 10 before Craig White tore the heart out of the innings. He took all his wickets in a 16-ball burst which cost four runs on his way to a competition-best return of 4 for 21.
Nottinghamshire maintained their challenge by cruising to a seven-wicket win over Kent. They visitors completed one of the fastest victories of the season with more than 16 overs in hand at Tunbridge Wells.
Kent produced an appalling display and never recovered from losing David Fulton to the third ball of the innings. They lost their top order with only 31 on the board and only a seventh-wicket stand of 43 by Graham Cowdrey and Steve Marsh provided any respectability.
Somerset had a comfortable seven-wicket win over Leicestershire with 13 balls to spare at Grace Road to keep alive their slim hopes of taking the title.
Leicestershire were restricted to 194 for 8 and Somerset rattled off the runs with little trouble after an opening stand of 133 in 27 overs between Mark Lathwell and Peter Bowler. It was Somerset's best opening partnership of the season and it laid the foundations for their fourth successive victory.
Northamptonshire also stayed in the reckoning with a tight five-wicket win over Gloucestershire at Bristol. They had been left chasing 175 for 9, and their prospects of victory looked in some doubt before Tim Walton, with an unbeaten 31, saw them home with just four balls to spare.Reuse content