Title race wide open as rain helps Glamorgan move into second place

David Prior
Saturday 28 December 2013 05:05
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The race for the Norwich Union League title is still wide open after the leaders Worcestershire Royals suffered a seven-wicket defeat to Glamorgan at New Road.

The Royals, who had only lost one match in this competition before yesterday's rain-affected encounter, remain top of the table, but the Dragons have moved into second and, with a game in hand, could overhaul Worcestershire. The home side were restricted to 202 for 9 off 45 overs, with Adrian Dale the pick of the visiting bowlers with 3 for 32 off nine overs, while Andrew Davies and Darren Thomas took two wickets apiece. Glamorgan made a poor start to their reply, losing their first three wickets with 28 on the board in the ninth over before the veterans Matthew Maynard and Steve James took charge.

The former England batsmen put on 80 in 83 balls without further loss, Maynard unbeaten on 32 off 47 balls and James not out on 41 off 43 when the heavens opened and brought the match to an early close in the 22nd over. Under the Duckworth/Lewis method the Dragons were required to have made 91 at this stage to be awarded four points for the victory.

Warwickshire Bears made the most of Worcestershire's slip with a seven-wicket win over Leicestershire Foxes under the Duckworth/Lewis method at rain-hit Edgbaston.

Dominic Ostler smashed a brilliant unbeaten 103 off 100 balls to steer his side – chasing a revised target of 203 from 36 overs – to victory with more than five overs to spare.

Jim Troughton also shone, cracking 66 off 60 deliveries in reply to the Foxes' total of 250 for 6 off 45 overs. Leicestershire had earlier been indebted to Iain Sutcliffe, cruelly run out two short of his century, and the veteran Phil DeFreitas, who clubbed 44 off only 40 balls.

Northamptonshire Steelbacks claimed a 16-run victory under the Duckworth/Lewis method in their rain-abridged Second Division game against Hampshire Hawks at Northampton. The visitors had slumped to 133 all out from 41.3 overs in their innings. Darren Cousins (3 for 36) had been the pick of the Northamptonshire attack with Jeff Cook and Graeme Swann claiming a brace of wickets apiece. In reply, the hosts looked set for a comfortable win on 52 without loss from 14.4 overs, with Mal Loye unbeaten on 31, when the rain came.

Essex Eagles' Will Jefferson hit a magnificent 111 not out which proved to be in vain as Middlesex Crusaders secured a two-wicket victory at Lord's in another rain-affected game.

The 6ft 9in opener batted throughout the Eagles innings before it was prematurely ended with three overs remaining and the visitors on 194 for 8. After a long rain delay, Middlesex were set a revised target of 77 off 10 overs which they achieved with one ball and two wickets to spare.

Owais Shah, with 25 off 13 balls, and James Dalrymple, with 16 off eight balls, got the hosts off to a good start but they had to hold on at the end with Paul Weekes cracking the winning boundary.

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