- 2005 English cricket season (17–31 July)
See also: 2005 English cricket season
The period of the 2005 English cricket season from 17 to 31 July included the conclusion of the 2005 Twenty20 Cup, the first Ashes Test match, 13 County Championship games and three Under-19 ODIs between England and Sri Lanka. It began with five National League matches on 17 July, which included a 668-run match between Middlesex Crusaders and Gloucestershire Gladiators. The following day, there were four quarter-final matches in the Twenty20 Cup, and Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Somerset Sabres and Surrey Lions proceeded to the semi-finals at The Oval on 30 July - the Sabres were the only team winning away, while Surrey beat Warwickshire Bears 4–3 in a bowl out.
Essex Eagles beat Lancashire Lightning by eight wickets on 19 July to extend their lead in the first division of the National League to eight points with one game in hand - however, Middlesex closed it to four points again with a win on the 20th, but had played two games more than Essex. Most of the Championship matches started on 20 July, and in Division One Hampshire, Kent, Nottinghamshire and Middlesex all recorded victories to form the top four on 23 July. In Division Two, Northamptonshire and Yorkshire recorded wins, while the top sides Durham and Lancashire drew to remain on top.
However, the eyes of most cricket fans were on Lord's, where England took on Australia. After England were put in the field and bowled Australia out for 190, Glenn McGrath stole the show with nine wickets for 82, and Australia recorded their highest team score of the entire series with their second-innings 384 as they completed a 239-run victory on the fourth day of the Test. Bangladesh A also played three tour matches in the period, losing one, drawing one and abandoning one, while there were six National League matches on 24 July. Sussex Sharks beat Surrey Lions to regain the table lead in Division Two after a brief spell with Durham Dynamos at the top, while Worcestershire Royals moved off the bottom of the table with a Duckworth-Lewis win over Gloucestershire.
England Under-19s began their three-ODI series with Sri Lanka Under-19s on 26 July, with a win, before they travelled to Old Trafford where they played out a no-result and a win to take the series 2–0. In the County Championship, there were four draws in five matches, as rain thwarted play on the first three days of the round from 26 to 29 July. Nottinghamshire took the table lead from Kent, however, as Kent did not play in this round. Durham were the only team to win, beating Somerset at the Riverside to double their lead in Division Two, admittedly with second-placed Yorkshire having a game in hand. Finally, on 30 July, the Twenty20 Cup was rounded off - Lancashire Lightning beat Surrey Lions in the first match, amassing 217 for 4 to win by 20 runs, before Somerset Sabres eked through in the second semi by just four runs. In the final, however, Graeme Smith hit 64 not out for the Sabres, and Somerset won by four wickets to take their first Twenty20 Cup win.
totesport League - Sunday 17 July round
Middlesex v Gloucestershire (17 July)
Gloucestershire (4pts) beat Middlesex (0pts) by four wickets
Middlesex Crusaders amassed 333 for 4 in 45 overs - that's nearly seven and a half runs an over, well over the average five in 45-over games - and still lost to Gloucestershire Gladiators. It did not look as the score would be as big at first, as Paul Weekes with 81, Ed Smith with 53, Owais Shah with 55 and Scott Styris with 42 kept the score ticking at roughly a run a ball. However, Kenyan-born Jamie Dalrymple slashed four sixes and seven fours in an unbeaten 24-ball 60 to up the run rate late on, and Gloucestershire's Jon Lewis, who earlier in the summer had played ODIs for England, conceded 86 runs in nine overs. Gloucestershire always kept up with the run rate, however, as Phil Weston, Craig Spearman and Matthew Windows lifted Gloucestershire to 275 for 2, and despite Paul Weekes' late burst of four wickets, Mark Alleyne and Ian Fisher shared a stand of 18 to see Gloucestershire to the target. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Nottinghamshire v Hampshire (17 July)
Nottinghamshire (4pts) beat Hampshire (0pts) by one wicket
Captain Stephen Fleming stood tall for Nottinghamshire Outlaws winning them the game as they chased down 241 at Trent Bridge. Hampshire Hawks had batted first, and no Hawk batsman converted their starts, and Gareth Clough's two for 44 threatened to stop their innings prematurely, as they were 152 for 6 when Kevin Latouf gave a return catch to Samit Patel. However, a big seventh-wicket partnership between Dimitri Mascarenhas and Sean Ervine lifted Hampshire to 240 for 8. Mascarenhas and Ervine also grabbed two wickets each in the Nottinghamshire reply, and things looked grim for the hosts when Chris Read departed for 4 with Nottinghamshire still needing 114 runs for the last four wickets.
However, Fleming and Mark Ealham put the chase back on with a partnership of 75, before Hampshire struck again with wickets in successive overs, and then Shaun Udal had Greg Smith lbw for 6. Needing 15 for the last wicket, Fleming shielded Andrew Harris from strike (Harris faced three balls in a partnership of 19), to end with 102 not out - his sixteenth one-day century - to win the match for Nottinghamshire with an over to spare. Notable also was the 36 extras Hampshire conceded, including six penalty runs. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Worcestershire v Glamorgan (17 July)
Glamorgan (4pts) beat Worcestershire (0pts) by five wickets
Worcestershire Royals would be ruing lost opportunities after the game with Glamorgan Dragons at New Road. Winning the toss and batting first, captain Vikram Solanki paired up for 91 with Stephen Moore, who would go on to make 104. Zander de Bruyn also made an unbeaten fifty to lift Worcestershire to 273 for 3. The Indian international Sourav Ganguly was the only Glamorga bowler to come out with some credit, as he got one wicket for 19 in his five overs. Worcestershire started creditably, snaring the wicket of Robert Croft in the second over, but Glamorgan sent out another pinch-hitter in Alex Wharf who made 38 before he was bowled bu David Leatherdale who took two for 35. However, Sourav Ganguly with 53, Michael Powell with 82, and David Hemp with an unbeaten 51 off 36 balls chased down the target. The Glamorgan batsman took a particular liking to England Test spinner Gareth Batty who finished wicketless for 69 runs. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Durham v Warwickshire (17 July)
Warwickshire (4pts) beat Durham (0pts) by five wickets
Durham Dynamos were to regret their decision of batting first against Warwickshire Bears. On a poor pitch, Warwickshire bowlers Heath Streak, Dougie Brown and Neil Carter took full advantage - the latter two bowling a total of nine maiden overs, while Streak took three for 13 before breaking down with an injury. Durham were 49 for 8 before Liam Plunkett and Neil Killeen chipped in with low but sensible scores, while Dale Benkenstein made 90 at the other end - over sixty per cent of Durham's total of 147. Despite Ashley Noffke taking two early wickets, Alex Loudon anchored the chase with 51 off 61 deliveries, and Warwickshire batted to 148 for 5 with over ten overs remaining. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Surrey v Derbyshire (17 July)
Derbyshire (4pts) beat Surrey (0pts) by five wickets
Surrey Lions' dismal one-day season continued. Despite innings between 39 and 46 from the men batting from one to four, and a quickfire 29 from spinner Nayan Doshi which led to a defendable total of 260 for 8, the track at The Oval still yielded many runs, and Steve Stubbings and Michael di Venuto slashed boundaries at will - a total of 27 were noted, including two sixes from Stubbings, and the boundaries were worth 112 of the pair's 196 runs. To add to that, Surrey bowled 24 extras, so their partnership had yielded 217 runs before Mohammad Akram broke through their defences - as both were dismissed two runs short of a century. The damage was done, however, and Derbyshire Phantoms ended on 264 for 5 with nearly six overs remaining. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Twenty20 Cup Quarter-Finals
Lancashire v Derbyshire (18 July)
Lancashire beat Derbyshire by 17 runs to progress to the Semi-Finals of the Twenty20 Cup
After Mal Loye's boundary-filled 73, off just 32 balls, Derbyshire Phantoms were probably happy that they escaped with conceding 189 runs in their game with Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford. Lancashire tried to employ pinch hitters such as Dominic Cork and Greg Chapple to get the runs flowing quickly, but they disappointed slightly, hitting at just over a run a ball. Derbyshire's chase looked possible despite Gary Keedy taking the wickets of Michael di Venuto and Jonathan Moss, two danger men, early on - as they were 121 for 3 - but Keedy dug out another wicket, and that spurred a collapse to 139 for 8, part-time off-spinner Andrew Crook joining in with two for 35. Derbyshire needed some big hits from the specialist bowlers in the end, and crumbled to 172 with three balls remaining, James Anderson getting the honour of taking the last wicket. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Leicestershire v Middlesex (18 July)
Leicestershire beat Middlesex by 19 runs to progress to the Semi-Finals of the Twenty20 Cup
Defending champions Leicestershire Foxes reached their third successive appearances in the Twenty20 Cup semi-finals, after a fiery spell of bowling from South African Charl Willoughby helped them defend a potentially low target. Batting first, all the Leicestershire batsmen made reasonable contributions, but no one exceeded 40. With the help of 17 extras, Leicestershire finished on 159 for 6. However, Willoughby snared out three early wickets - finishing his spell of four overs with three for 11, including a rare maiden over - as Middlesex Crusaders crumbled to 16 for 3. When Jamie Dalrymple and Scott Styris threatened to win the game back with a partnership of 87, another South African, Claude Henderson rapped out two more wickets, and despite Styris being unbeaten on 73, Middlesex could only scamper 140 for 7. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Northamptonshire v Somerset (18 July)
Somerset beat Northamptonshire by four wickets to progress to the Semi-Finals of the Twenty20 Cup
Northamptonshire Steelbacks failed to take full use of their home advantage, and Somerset Sabres escaped with a four-wicket win to reach their first semi-final of the Twenty20 Cup. Northamptonshire's batsmen made quick scores between 20 and 30, but Ian Blackwell's spell mid-match of three for 16 pegged Northamptonshire back to 118 for 6. Ben Phillips then made an unbeaten 27 to lift his team to 154 for 8, however, but he couldn't take a wicket while bowling. Despite three run-outs, Somerset made it through on the penultimate ball, as Matthew Wood recorded 58 and Blackwell a 16-ball 31 to lay the foundation before Keith Parsons set the pace late on with an unbeaten 38. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Surrey v Warwickshire (18 July)
Match tied (D/L Method); Surrey won 4-3 in a bowl-out and progress to the Semi-Finals of the Twenty20 Cup
In an incredible finish to the knock-out quarter-final between Surrey Lions and Warwickshire Bears, the match was tied, so the players had to resort to a bowl-off - cricket's version of a penalty shootout, in which five players have two attempts at bowling at unguarded stumps, and if the stumps fall down, that was one point for their team. Surrey opened the batting in this match at The Oval, having been put in to bat by the Bears' captain Nick Knight. It was a shaky effort, often interrupted by wickets, and part-timer Jonathan Trott snared two wickets for 19 - admittedly tail-enders Ian Salisbury and Tim Murtagh. Mark Ramprakash, however, hit an unbeaten run-a-ball 34 to guide Surrey to 149 for 8, well below a par score. Warwickshire's innings then began under heavy cloud cover that assisted the Surrey swing bowlers. After Neil Carter went first ball, Warwickshire struggled in the rain, and the bad weather eventually stopped play just before five overs was played - so that, if the players couldn't return, the match would be declared a no-result. However, the rain gave way reasonably quickly, and quick hitting from Trevor Penney in particular - who made 20 off 12 balls before being caught off a ball from Rikki Clarke closed down the deficit.
With five overs being cut off the Warwickshire chase, they needed 118 from 15 overs, and they had got to 115 for 8 with one ball remaining and Dewald Pretorius and an injured Heath Streak, who had not bowled, at the crease. The umpires consulted, and were uncertain about what would happen if Warwickshire scored two - which, in the event, happened. As the par scores under Duckworth-Lewis were level, the captains agreed to have a bowl-off (alternatively the umpires could have forced a bowl-off or decided the game on a toss of the coin). After five players had tried to get the stumps down, both teams had managed the feat twice, and now a sudden death style bowl-off followed. The next player from each side managed to get the stumps down once each, so the score was now 3-3, but Warwickshire's Heath Streak missed both his attempts and Tim Murtagh got the stumps down and won the match for the hosts by 4-3. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Bangladesh A Tour Match
British Universities v Bangladesh A (18 July)
British Universities beat Bangladesh A by two wickets
In a twelve-a-side match at The Parks, Oxford, a strong Bangladesh A side including nine internationals went down to a combined universities side, admittedly including two current county professionals. Bangladesh A batted first, and made 249 for 6 in their 50 overs, Nafees Iqbal top-scoring with 109, while young prodigy Mushfiqur Rahim also made 50. Bangladesh A proceeded to gift away 35 extras - including 21 in wides - which probably cost them the match, as the Universities passed their score with ten balls remaining. Talha Jubair and Abdur Razzak showed promising things with the ball, though, taking four for 50 and two for 37 respectively. (Cricinfo scorecard)
totesport League - midweek games
Lancashire v Essex (19 July)
Essex (4pts) beat Lancashire (0pts) by eight wickets (D/L method)
In cloudy conditions at Old Trafford, Essex Eagles grabbed eight Lancashire Lightning wickets and limited seven batsmen to sub-15 scores in a match shortened to 40 overs a side. Only Iain Sutcliffe and Mark Chilton passed 15 for Lancashire, while spinners Danish Kaneria and James Middlebrook shared five wickets between them. Lancashire eventually finished on 154 for 8, and Essex were set 156 to win due to a small rain-interruption in Lancashire's innings. Despite two wickets from James Anderson, Essex made it to the target with more than seven overs to spare, Grant Flower making 66 and Ravinder Bopara an unbeaten 45. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Glamorgan v Middlesex (20 July)
Middlesex (4pts) beat Glamorgan (0pts) by 111 runs
After Paul Weekes had given Middlesex Crusaders a solid platform with his 72, the young batsmen showed application as Glamorgan Dragons sunk to yet another defeat. Both Ed Joyce and Ben Hutton made 61 at rates well-over a run-a-ball, as the pair added 110 for the sixth wicket, before number 11 Alan Richardson finished off with a last-ball six off Robert Croft to bring the total to 284 for 9 after Croft had grabbed three late wickets. Then, Chris Peploe took four for 38, Owais Shah held four catches despite not being the wicket-keeper, and Glamorgan rolled over for 173 in 35.4 overs. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Derbyshire v Durham (20 July)
Durham (4pts) beat Derbyshire (0pts) by six wickets
Derbyshire Phantoms were set back initially by three wickets from 22-year-old Graham Onions and that prevented them running away to a big score. Despite Travis Friend making 52 and Graeme Welch only taking 24 balls for his unbeaten 37, Derbyshire still couldn't post more than 223 for 8, and after shaky initial batting from opener Nicky Peng, Durham Dynamos were guided to the target by 97 from Michael Hussey and 70 from Gordon Muchall. An extra won them the game with eight balls to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Hampshire v Sussex (20-23 July)
Hampshire (19.5pts) beat Sussex (6pts) by 35 runs
Hampshire's veteran wicketkeeper Nic Pothas made his way to a four-hour 135, his twelfth first-class century, after Jason Lewry, James Kirtley and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan had reduced Hampshire to 102 for 6 in the middle of the afternoon session on the first day. Pothas was well supported by Zimbabwean Sean Ervine, who made 69, and the pair added 191 in three hours before Naved-ul-Hasan broke through with the last ball of the day, having Ervine caught by IanWard. Hampshire slumped to 309 on the morning of day two, and solid contributions from the entire batting order - bar number three Michael Yardy who made a duck - lifted Sussex to a slender seven-run lead amid Ervine's swing bowling, which yielded five wickets for 73. However, Mushtaq Ahmed got the early breakthrough for Sussex, and James Kirtley ripped out two quick wickets as Hampshire folded to 22 for 3 overnight.
Kirtley and Naved-ul-Hasan continued to pile on the pressure on the third morning, as they eked out two catches and reduced Hampshire to 28 for 5, a lead of 21. However, once again, the all-rounders fought back. Australian Shane Watson made 82, while Pothas added 74, and number 11 Chris Tremlett made an unbeaten 44 to ensure that Hampshire set a competitive target of 271, despite Kirtley's five for 67. IanWard made 60 and Murray Goodwin an unbeaten 51 as Sussex cruised to 167 for 3 after only 38 overs on day three, needing 104 more to win on the fourth day.
Goodwin added 20 more on the final morning before Dimitri Mascarenhas snared him out, but he had stood tall in Mascarenhas' early spell on the morning of day 4, which had yielded three wickets for two runs. Goodwin was eventually caught by Greg Lamb, but Sussex still needed only 55 for the last three wickets - however, Sean Ervine added the wickets of Pakistanis Rana and Ahmed to his tally to help bowl Sussex out for 235. Thus, Hampshire took the victory in a closely contested game, although they were later deducted half a point for a slow over rate. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Surrey v Kent (20-23 July)
Kent (21pts) beat Surrey (7.5pts) by four wickets
At Guildford, Surrey opted to bat first against the league-leaders Kent, and despite losing Richard Clinton for a ten-ball duck early on, the first day belonged to Surrey. Three batsmen passed 90 - Graham Thorpe, Mark Ramprakash and Ali Brown, who top-scored with 107 having been 101 not out overnight - as Surrey eased their way to 452 for 8 declared, never really bothered by any of the Kent bowlers. Kent were not daunted by Surrey's high score, however, not even when Robert Key and Darren Stevens departed in quick succession to see Kent to 202 for 4, but Matthew Walker and Justin Kemp added 233 for the fifth wicket, both making centuries. Kemp was eventually bowled by Azhar Mahmood for 124, but Walker went on to make 173 as Kent racked up 572, a lead of 120.
In reply, Richard Clinton and Jonathan Batty put on 107 for the first wicket, as the match headed towards a draw. However, patient work from spinner Min Patel, who was asked to bowl 47 overs, yielded four wickets (all of whom batted from number six and down) for 110 runs, and Patel was supported by two wickets by Andrew Hall to limit Kent's target to 231. After a frantic 34 overs, during which Mohammad Akram no-balled four times in his six overs while taking two for 30, Justin Kemp showed his skill at hitting quick runs as he made 47 not out, with three sixes, off 37 balls. In the end, Kent won with five balls remaining before the umpire would call time, and Surrey were also deducted half a point for a slow over rate. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire (20-22 July)
Nottinghamshire (20pts) beat Warwickshire (4pts) by ten wickets
An eventful match at Edgbaston looked to give Nottinghamshire the lead in the County Championship, as they swept aside Warwickshire with few problems. The Warwickshire batting line-up lost Ian Bell, who was on Test match duty for England, and after an opening partnership of 101 between Nic Knight and Ian Westwood, an implosion followed. Warwickshire faltered to 168 for 8, and only 21-year-old Luke Parker, playing his seventh first-class match, saved them from a sub-200 score as he made an unbeaten 34.
Warwickshire's bowling, which lacked an injured Heath Streak, also suffered, and despite excellent figures of six for 92 from Alex Loudon the Nottinghamshire batsmen ran away with it as Darren Bicknell, Jason Gallian and Australian David Hussey all made fifties. Then, it was a Nottinghamshire spinner's turn to take centre stage - Graeme Swann. In 23 overs, he took six for 57, including the entire Warwickshire middle order from three to six - only Westwood passed 25, and Warwickshire could only muster 133. As if to make the humiliation complete, Swann was promoted to number 1, and hit one boundary and four additional runs before stumps were drawn after one over. Nottinghamshire were eight for no loss overnight, chasing 12 to win, and Darren Bicknell hit the winning runs off Dewald Pretorius four balls into the fourth day. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Glamorgan v Middlesex (21-23 July)
Middlesex (22pts) beat Glamorgan (4pts) by an innings and 23 runs
The first day of the match at Sophia Gardens belonged, as expected, to Middlesex. After Ed Smith had dominated proceedings in the first hour, making 29, Ben Hutton and Owais Shah made a partnership of 109 to lift Middlesex, and their entire middle-order made contributions, as the score finished on 534 - Shah finishing on 101, Kenyan-born Jamie Dalrymple scoring 108, and number nine Peter Trego smacking 72 off 54 balls. When Glamorgan batted, Trego took three quick wickets, to end with three for 52, and Scott Styris helped mopping up the Glamorgan tail with three for 42. Only Robert Croft passed 25 - thumping 84 off 76 balls with 72 runs in boundaries - as Glamorgan subsided for 232 and were asked to follow on.
Middlesex seamer Melvyn Betts set back Glamorgan's second innings effort with two wickets to see them to 25 for 2, but opener and wicketkeeper Mark Wallace defied them with 64, and Sourav Ganguly also made 55 as Glamorgan made their way to 208 for 5, with a slight chance of making Middlesex bat again. However, Styris took the last four wickets en route to bowling figures of five for 57 as Middlesex secured the innings victory. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Northamptonshire v Worcestershire (20-23 July)
Northamptonshire (19pts) beat Worcestershire (6.5pts) by 82 runs
Worcestershire's fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had a field day despite serving up no balls on the first day at Northampton, but that was only the first day, and Northamptonshire came back to win the game. The match had started well enough for the hosts Northamptonshire, but a menacing spell from the Pakistani fast bowler reduced them from 150 for 2 to 173 for 8 - Matt Mason helping out with two wickets as well. Shoaib finished with six for 47, including twenty runs conceded due to no-balls - while Monty Panesar and Jason Brown rescued the hosts to 299 with a last-wicket stand of 62. Young wicket-keeper Steve Davies then made a career-best 95 in his sixth first-class game, which helped lift Worcestershire to 381, a lead of 82.
Northamptonshire lost six wickets to spinners in their second innings, Ray Price and Gareth Batty taking three each while Shoaib was expensive, conceding 67 in thirteen overs, as Northamptonshire were bowled out for 364 - Bilal Shafayat making 84 and Riki Wessels 102. Chasing 283 to win, Worcestershire got off to a good start with an opening partnership of 54, but Northamptonshire's spinner Monty Panesar took three for 47 to leave them 139 for 5 overnight, Ben Smith unbeaten on 50. Smith only added seven to that score, while Panesar took three more wickets, bowling 26.5 overs in one straight spell which yielded six for 77. Johann Louw and Brown also got one wicket each, as Worcestershire succumbed for 200 to suffer their third successive Championship loss, which sent them out of the promotion zone. Worcestershire were also deducted half a point for a slow over rate. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Yorkshire v Leicestershire (20-23 July)
Yorkshire (17pts) beat Leicestershire (7pts) by six wickets
Australian Chris Rogers continued his fine run of form as his 93 gave Leicestershire a good start, which Ottis Gibson and Claude Henderson exploited by scoring 127 for the eighth wicket to lift Leicestershire to 366 all out. South African Deon Kruis got the four lowest-batting batsmen to end with respectable figures of four for 90, but Yorkshire did not use their innings well, as Gibson, Charl Willoughby and Stuart Broad took three wickets each and Yorkshire crumbled to 187.
Tim Bresnan then removed both the openers for ducks, but John Maunders and Chris Rogers made healthy knocks to take Leicestershire to a somewhat respectable 217 for a sizeable target - while Richard Dawson took four for 54 and Tim Bresnan added another man to his tally and finished with three for 44. Michael Wood and Joe Sayers set Yorkshire on track to chasing the target of 397, pairing up for 115 before Wood was caught out for 70, and Yorkshire were 132 for 1 overnight, setting up an intriguing chase. And, as in May when the teams met at Grace Road and Yorkshire chased a club record 406, Yorkshire recovered from a dismal first innings to take the victory. Sayers made 104, Anthony McGrath 55, and Ian Harvey an unbeaten 54 as Yorkshire reached the target, making their second highest fourth innings total to win in their 142-year history until this match - and both of those were against Leicestershire in 2005. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Derbyshire v Durham (21-24 July)
Durham (11pts) drew with Derbyshire (7pts)
Paul Collingwood made a first-innings 190 - 52% of the Durham total - on his return to County Championship cricket following his stint with the England ODI team in the NatWest Series. However, Derbyshire's second highest score of the season, and rain cutting off about 80 overs of the match, resulted in the match in a draw. The hosts had taken three early Durham wickets for 59 after being put in the field, but Collingwood and skipper Dale Benkenstein lifted Durham with a 250-run partnership - to 309 for 4. However, Derbyshire did get some kind of revenge - five wickets fell for nine runs by the end of the day, as Durham were 363 for 9 at stumps, and only eight runs were taken before the last wicket fell on the second day. Durham took wickets as well, though, as Mark Davies got three wickets for four runs, including Michael di Venuto for 32, and Liam Plunkett also took three wickets as Derbyshire made 161 in 41.1 overs.
Asked to follow on, di Venuto took 113 balls for his second-innings century, but batted more slowly after that as Derbyshire began to build a lead with a 252-run stand between di Venuto and Hassan Adnan. A brief spurt of wickets, initiated by di Venuto departing for 203, saw Durham lose four men for six runs to go to 360 for 6, but Travis Friend and Graeme Welch made 135 in a seventh-wicket partnership as Derbyshire set a target of 330. After Durham had batted out 36 of their 66 overs, scoring 93 runs and losing two wickets to spinner Ant Botha, play was stopped and the match declared a draw due to poor weather conditions. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Lancashire v Essex (21-24 July)
Lancashire (10pts) drew with Essex (9pts)
Essex batted resolutely and calmly, without any rush until the fifth session, and quietly worked their way to 536 for 9 declared at Old Trafford. Grant Flower made a healthy 115 before being caught behind off Gary Keedy, while his brother Andy made 138. Australian Andrew Crook got the best figures for Lancashire, three for 71 with his part-time off-spin, but he was also very expensive in only ten overs. Lancashire number three Mal Loye replied with 194 after Andre Adams had dug out the hosts' captain Mark Chilton for 4, as the match ground towards an inevitable draw, Loye spending 200 balls for his century and eventually spending nearly eight hours at the crease before being caught by Alastair Cook off Grant Flower, six runs short of what could have been his second double century in July 2005. Lancashire eventually batted out a mammoth 220.3 overs - Danish Kaneria bowling 70.2 of those without a single wicket - to make 655 for 6 before the captains agreed to a draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Bangladesh A tour match
Gloucestershire v Bangladesh A (20-22 July)
Gloucestershire won by 130 runs
Bangladesh A, still without a win on tour of England, shocked Gloucestershire initially at Bristol. Shahadat Hossain took three wickets for the tourists, and Syed Rasel and Talha Jubair also chipped in, as Gloucestershire imploded to 72 for 7. However, 83 from wicketkeeper Stephen Snell lifted them to 232, before Jon Lewis and James Averis dug into the tourists to reduce them to 29 for 3. However, Tushar Imran played his way to his fourth first-class century, a career-best 119, to give the tourists a slender lead of 19 after a 122-run fourth-wicket stand between Tushar and Alok Kapali. However, Gloucestershire were determined to prove their class the second time around, and after losing Kadeer Ali for 1 after half an hour they were in control, batting their way to 330 for 5 in just 65.1 overs before declaring as Alex Gidman recorded a 94-ball century. Sri Lankan overseas player Malinga Bandara then took five for 45 with his leg-spin as the tourists imploded from 106 for 2 to 181 all out. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Start of the Ashes
First Test: England v Australia (21-24 July)
Australia 190 & 384 Australia won by 239 runs England 155 & 180
A low-scoring first day of cricket at Lord's included two batting collapses, first from Australia and then from England who got their go at batting just before tea. Ricky Ponting won the toss and chose to bat, and after Steve Harmison had shaken up the opening batsmen early on, hitting Australia's batsmen with bouncers, in particular one that had Justin Langer on the elbow, a procession of wickets began. Matthew Hoggard was inaccurate, but the early swing under the cloud suited him, and the ball that he did get on line swung between bat and pad to smash into Matthew Hayden's off stump. Australia still scored quickly, helped by aggressive field placings from England, but Harmison got the reward for short and pacy bowling when Ricky Ponting edged him to Andrew Strauss at third slip for 9. Langer, who had looked immaculate all morning and taken on the bowlers, was next to depart, Michael Vaughan getting reward with his bowling changes as Andrew Flintoff lured Langer into an expansive pull to Harmison at square-leg. And when Simon Jones was brought on in the sixteenth over, he got an immediate reward, with Damien Martyn gone for 2. Another man came and went before lunch, Michael Clarke, and Australia were five down after the first session of play.
Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Shane Warne all played a part in getting Australia past 100, with their scores in the 20s, but Harmison - coming back for a second spell - wrapped them up with variations in length along with his ever-reliant pace. He finished with five for 43, allowing Glenn McGrath to be stranded on 10 not out, and McGrath was to take centre stage when England batted. They survived six overs until tea, scoring ten runs, but McGrath, who bowled his usual accurate line and length and got the odd ball to move, reaped massive rewards. Marcus Trescothick fell first ball after tea, edging to slip, and Strauss fell in similar fashion three balls later. Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell were shaken up, but survived six overs - before McGrath started the torture again. They were both bowled, as was Andrew Flintoff, and England had lost five wickets for 21 runs, with five of their front line batsmen out in single figures. However, Kevin Pietersen and Geraint Jones gave England a glimmer of hope, pairing up for 58 before Brett Lee's reverse-swing with the old ball induced a backward edge off Jones' bat to Adam Gilchrist. Ashley Giles hit two quick boundaries, but a short pacy ball from Lee undid him, and England were 92 for 7 overnight - needing 98 for the last three wickets to get level with Australia.
England's difficulties continued in the morning. Despite McGrath not getting nearly as much swing, Hoggard departed for an eight-ball duck, cutting a delivery from Shane Warne to Hayden in the slips. Throwing caution to the wind, Pietersen launched himself into his natural game, taking twenty-one runs off seven deliveries before finally being out caught by Damien Martyn, a splendid catch just metres off the ropes, as England looked to subside for 130. However, in yet another twist, Simon Jones and Harmison fought back with some streaky accumulation, pairing up for 33 - the fifth-highest partnership of the game thus far - to reduce Australia's lead to 35 runs. England also got a good start fielding, Pietersen having a flat throw at the stumps to run out Langer for 6, but Hayden and Ricky Ponting rebuilt well.
In fact, the entire top order apart from Langer batted to high scores, but Clarke needed an extra life to do it. Pietersen dropped him on 21, with the Australian score 139 for 3, and instead of England getting the vital breakthrough Clarke and Martyn ran away with it, hitting 155 in 34.3 overs. Flintoff was smashed to all corners, and his figures read for 84 runs in nineteen overs, but England fought back late in the day - in the frantic last ten overs, started by an inside-edge from Clarke off Hoggard, Australia lost four wickets for 24 runs. However, Australia had gained a lead of 314 runs by the end of the second day, and still had Katich there on 10.
Four overs into the morning, Ashley Giles returned what could arguably be said to be his most useful contribution of the match, having Brett Lee run out for 8. However, the always defensive Jason Gillespie proved too difficult to get out for England, Harmison menacing him with bouncers and yorkers but not managing it, and it was the quietly toiling Jones who finally got his reward with an away-swinger that crashed into Gillespie's off-stump - after having a number of catches dropped, one especially simple one by namesake Geraint. Glenn McGrath and Katich continued with a partnership of 43, as England was set what would be a world record 420 to win.
They started positively, riding their luck and good favour with the umpires - a number of lbw appeals were turned down both before and after tea - as Strauss and Trescothick paired up for 80 for the first wicket before Strauss edged a classic pace-man's short-ball from Lee back into the bowler's waiting hands. Vaughan got nicely off the mark with a four with his second ball, however, suggesting that England would be playing positively to get the target - but Lee and Warne just kept pounding. Trescothick departed for 44, edging a straight ball from Warne to first slip - having taken him for ten in the previous over - and Bell was left hopelessly plumb to a ball that did not turn. When Vaughan - who had failed to buy a run off the last 23 deliveries - was bowled comprehensively by Lee, there was nowhere to hide for England, and not even an unbeaten 42 from Pietersen to see England to stumps could hide the inevitable - that England needed 301 for the last five wickets, with a world-class bowling attack at the other end.
Rain frustrated both Australia and neutral fans on the morning of the fourth day, but after four hours the sun finally broke through and the covers were taken off. It only took ten overs for Australia to wrap up England's innings, McGrath taking four of the five wickets required and Warne the last - Giles, Hoggard, Harmison and Simon Jones all gone for ducks - as England could only add 24 runs, 22 of them from Pietersen who was left stranded on an unbeaten 64 to have a Test batting average of 121 after the first match. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Gloucestershire v Worcestershire (24 July)
Worcestershire (4pts) beat Gloucestershire (0pts) by 20 runs (D/L method)
Despite being strengthened by their new acquisition from the West Indies, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Gloucestershire Gladiators still went down at Bristol. Having been put in to bat by Worcestershire Royals after rain delayed the start, Kabir Ali dug out a wicket with his first ball, and despite 51 from Matthew Windows Gloucestershire still only posted 168 for 9. In reply, Vikram Solanki and Stephen Moore batted 12.4 overs without loss before rain intervened, and Worcestershire were then 20 runs ahead of their Duckworth/Lewis target. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Nottinghamshire v Northamptonshire (24 July)
No result; Nottinghamshire (2pts), Northamptonshire (2pts)
Only 26 deliveries were bowled at Trent Bridge by Greg Smith and Mark Ealham of the Nottinghamshire Outlaws, who conceded 20 runs to Martin Love as Northamptonshire Steelbacks moved to 25 for 0 before rain stopped the game for good. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Kent v Somerset (24 July)
Somerset (4pts) beat Kent (0pts) by eight wickets
The match between Kent Spitfires and Somerset Sabres at St Lawrence Ground was shortened to 16 overs owing to bad weather. Kent were sent in to bat, and lost three early wickets, two to Andy Caddick and one to Richard Johnson, for only 11 runs. Robert Key and Justin Kemp both made 17, and James Tredwell smacked two sixes for his nine-ball 22 as Kent came back to 90 for 6, which was still below six runs an over. Tredwell also took two for 19 with his off breaks, but Graeme Smith hit nine fours as he made his way to an unbeaten 56, and James Hildreth won the match for Somerset with a six off Tredwell, with 20 balls potentially remaining in their chase. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Scotland v Leicestershire (24 July)
Leicestershire (4pts) beat Scotland (0pts) by seven wickets
The Scottish Saltires, playing their first National League match following their ICC Trophy victory, fell down to earth brutally at The Grange. Despite Ryan Watson scoring 70 and Dougie Lockhart 42, there was little support, and the Scots only mustered 166 for 9 in 45 overs - Claude Henderson taking three for 25 for Leicestershire Foxes. Skipper Craig Wright bowled eight overs for ten runs, taking the wickets of Tom New and Darren Robinson in quick succession, but it helped little as Darren Maddy survived to make 95 not out and lead Leicestershire to a seven-wicket win with nine overs to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Surrey v Sussex (24 July)
Sussex (4pts) beat Surrey (0pts) by 48 runs
An interesting match at Guildford was shortened to 22 overs a side due to rain. However, the scores were similar to what could have been in a 45-over game, as Sussex Sharks amassed 219 for 9 - Murray Goodwin top-scoring with 44, while Luke Wright plundered three sixes in a 14-ball 35. The Surrey bowlers all got wickets - except for Ian Salisbury - but also conceded more than seven runs an over. A Surrey Lions side including three debutants - Stewart Walters, Rory Hamilton-Brown and Jake Dernbach - crumbled despite the efforts of Mark Ramprakash who made 63, as they were all out for 171. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Yorkshire v Warwickshire (24 July)
Warwickshire (4pts) beat Yorkshire (0pts) by seven wickets
Yorkshire Phoenix were tied down by Warwickshire Bears bowlers Dougie Brown and Alex Loudon, as the Phoenix only managed to post 201 for 7 at Scarborough. Brown took one for 32 and Loudon one for 23 off nine overs each, Michael Lumb being restricted to 57 off 86 balls as top scorer for Yorkshire. Two early wickets from Neil Carter also helped the Warwickshire fielding effort. In reply, Carter smacked six sixes and five fours, taking 38 balls to make 65, and Jonathan Trott and Jamie Troughton took Warwickshire to the target with seven wickets and just over seven overs to spare, as Yorkshire's losing streak in the National League was extended to three matches. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Bangladesh A tour matches
Hampshire v Bangladesh A (24 July)
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
Glamorgan v Bangladesh A (26-28 July)
After a first day where Glamorgan had racked up 380 runs, Michael Powell top-scoring with 111 and Alex Wharf making 77 while Syed Rasel took four for 89, the touring Bangladesh A side were sent in to bat. Only 10.1 overs of play was possible on the second day, though, and Andrew Davies took two wickets while Alex Wharf was taken for 36 runs off just five overs. Day three was rained out, so the match at Abergavenny ended in a tame draw, with Bangladesh A finishing on 54 for 2. (Cricinfo scorecard)
First Under-19 "ODI": England Under-19s v Sri Lanka Under-19s (26 July)
England Under-19s won by eight wickets
Stuart Broad and Andrew Miller shared seven wickets between them with fast bowling as the visiting Sri Lankan youth team crumbled to 124 all out, wicket-keeper and opener Sameera de Zoysa from Kurunegala top-scoring with 24. After an opening partnership of 40 things went awry for the tourists, as Broad took two wickets with two balls. The target of 125 was chased with ease, Kent right-hander Joe Denly making 45 while Worcestershire wicket-keeper Steven Davies made an unbeaten 28. (Cricinfo scorecard)
totesport League - midweek games
Hampshire v Worcestershire (26 July)
Match abandoned without a ball bowled; Hampshire (2pts), Worcestershire (2pts)
At Rose Bowl, Southampton it was not possible to play cricket due to rain, and the two teams Hampshire Hawks and Worcestershire Royals walked away with two points each. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Kent v Warwickshire (27 July)
Warwickshire (4pts) beat Kent (0pts) by three wickets
In a day/night match at St Lawrence Ground, Warwickshire captain Nick Knight sent Kent in to bat, and his South African pace bowler Dewald Pretorius took a flurry of wickets in good bowling conditions. Ending with five for 32, he took the first five wickets of the innings as Kent collapsed to 29 for 5, but South Africans Justin Kemp and Martin van Jaarsveld rebuilt quickly. Despite little support - no batsman apart from himself passed 25 - Kemp made his way to 84 off 93 balls, as Kent scrambled 177 for 9. In reply, Warwickshire got to 19 for 0, but a fiery spell from Martin Saggers yielded three wickets, as Nick Knight, Ian Bell and Jamie Troughton were all dismissed in single figures. Warwickshire's fifth-wicket partners saw off the opening bowling, however, and went after the part-timers instead, in chase of what suddenly looked like a big target of 178.
Alex Loudon rebuilt well, however, with just 20 of his 73 runs coming in boundaries, while his first partner Jonathan Trott failed to hit any runs and probably did the team a favour when he edged a ball from Robert Joseph - cousin of West Indies batsman Sylvester Joseph - behind, gone for 10 off 40 balls. The wicket looked like it was the first of a collapse, however, as Trevor Frost departed shortly afterwards with Warwickshire on 62 for 6. However, Trevor Penney made 42 - including just the one four - in a 77-run partnership with Loudon, and Dougie Brown made an unbeaten 16 at the end to lead Warwickshire home with five balls to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Nottinghamshire v Surrey (26-29 July)
Nottinghamshire (8pts) drew with Surrey (7pts)
Surrey batted first at Trent Bridge, after Mark Ramprakash had won the toss, but despite Ramprakash making 42 the Nottinghamshire bowlers were completely in control. Andrew Harris took three for 55, Greg Smith removed three wickets in quick succession as Surrey fell from 53 for 1 to 57 for 4, and Surrey were bowled out for 136 with only four batsmen making their way into double figures. Nottinghamshire's reply lasted 66 overs, after eight wickets had fallen in 53 overs on the first day to take the first day wicket tally to 18, and Martin Bicknell got six for 56 with his swing bowling, his best return of the season. However, Nottinghamshire could thank Mark Ealham who negotiated the difficult conditions well to make 55 as Nottinghamshire earned a 90-run lead.
Surrey lost wickets regularly in the reply on day two, Scott Newman resisting with 40, but by stumps on day two they were 93 for 3 - rain having limited the day's play to 40 overs, yet a result looked very probable. However, day three was rained off, and an unbeaten century from Rikki Clarke sent Surrey into a good position at 292 for 6, where they declared to leave Nottinghamshire 203 runs from 40 overs. Nottinghamshire made a good attempt at chasing it, but lost five wickets quickly for 90 runs to Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Akram. David Alleyne and Mark Ealham dug in before two quick wickets fell, but Ryan Sidebottom shut up shop with Smith to hold on for the draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Sussex v Gloucestershire (26-29 July)
Sussex (7pts) drew with Gloucestershire (7pts)
Rain damaged both the first and the second day at The County Ground, Hove, and only 93 overs were possible in two days. Yet, 18 wickets fell on those two days, 14 of which on the second day. Sussex resumed play on the second day with an overnight score of 97 for 4, and immediately lost two wickets to swing bowler Jon Lewis, who ended with four for 62. However, a quick blast of four fours, one six and one single from Jason Lewry lifted Sussex to 191 all out. The Gloucestershire reply never got off the mark, as seven batsmen were out in single figures and the highest partnership was 33. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan got good output with the ball, however, taking four for 26 as Gloucestershire ended on 142.
Despite early breakthroughs from Lewis and Steve Kirby Sussex fought back, as Michael Yardy, Murray Goodwin and Chris Adams all passed 40 to see Sussex to 200 for 4 at stumps on day three. Lewis took four wickets on the fourth morning to bowl Sussex out for 267, Yardy completing his century before he was caught off Ian Fisher, setting up a potentially exciting finish with 317 required off 74 overs. Gloucestershire never attempted the chase, however, and Sussex failed to get them out, despite 19 overs of spin from Mushtaq Ahmed which yielded three wickets for 25. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Leicestershire v Essex (26-29 July)
Leicestershire (11pts) drew with Essex (8pts)
Ronnie Irani and Alastair Cook, who both made fifties, lifted Essex to 297 after being put in to bat at Grace Road. David Masters was Leicestershire's best bowler, with four for 65, and he bowled eleven maidens in 25 overs. However, Masters and the rest of the Leicestershire middle order showed precariously little resistance with the bat, as Darren Gough took two quick wickets before stumps on day 1 and Tony Palladino joined in with two more as Leicestershire imploded to 20 for 4. John Maunders and Aftab Habib lifted Leicestershire to a more respectable score, but they were still 132 for 6 at close on day 2, with half the second day's play lost due to rain. The third day was rained off, and on the fourth day Habib went on to make an unbeaten 153, Leicestershire declared on 382 for 8, and the match ended in a draw as Essex easily survived 29 overs to make 80 for 2. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Somerset v Durham (26-29 July)
Durham (22pts) beat Somerset (5pts) by 207 runs
Durham continued their march through Division Two of the County Championship, recording their sixth win of the season thanks mainly to Paul Collingwood and spineless batting from Somerset. Collingwood made 181, for his second successive match with a century, and along with half-centuries from Mike Hussey, Gordon Muchall and Gareth Breese it lifted Durham to 476 for 9 declared seven overs into day three after the second day had been broken up by the rain. Jamaican spinner Gareth Breese then snared five for 83 as Somerset made their way to 303 in 68 overs, while Durham got to 208 for 1 in reply before declaring for the second time in the match - only Graeme Smith getting a wicket for Somerset. Smith started positively with fellow opener James Francis, adding 56 for the first wicket, but Breese added another four to his tally as he finished with match figures of nine for 138. Ian Blackwell played an unusually cautious knock of 8 off 62 balls, but he was eventually lbw to Michael Lewis, and Somerset subsided for 174 to lose by 207 runs. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Yorkshire v Derbyshire (26-29 July)
Yorkshire (12pts) drew with Derbyshire (11pts)
Phil Jaques and Anthony McGrath lifted Yorkshire with a third-wicket partnership of 310, 13 off the county record set in 1928, and although Jaques only added two to his overnight score of 217 before he was out caught, Yorkshire still amassed 570 thanks mainly to Ian Harvey and Craig White. Derbyshire spinners Ant Botha and Andy Gray got cheap wickets towards the end, as White was left stranded on 67 not out with the lower-order making insignificant contributions. However, Chris Silverwood and Richard Dawson chipped away at the Derbyshire batting line-up, taking two wickets each as Michael di Venuto was fairly alone with his 79 and Derbyshire made their way to 247 for 7 at stumps on day 2. That turned out to be the score at the end of day 3 as well, rain preventing any play as the match moved closer to a draw. Derbyshire's late-order battled for another thirty overs before they were bundled out for 350, and despite Deon Kruis snaring two early wickets in the follow on, Derbyshire survived 60 overs to make 173 for 5 at the end of day four and save the draw (Cricinfo scorecard)
Second Under-19 "ODI": England Under-19s v Sri Lanka Under-19s (28 July)
Only twenty-six balls were delivered in this one-day game, Stuart Broad taking another wicket to bring his tally of the series to five. However, Sri Lanka Under-19s made 20 for 1 from 26 balls, before playing conditions made cricket impossible. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Third Under-19 "ODI": England Under-19s v Sri Lanka Under-19s (29 July)
England Under-19s won by seven wickets
Sri Lanka Under-19s looked to succumb for a much lower score than the 129 they eventually managed, as seven of their first eight batsmen were out for single figure scores as the tourists plunged to 24 for 6 and 59 for 9. Stuart Broad and Tom Smith took seven wickets between them, while medium-pacer Ben Harmison, brother of Steve took two before all-rounder Shalika Karunanayake made 58 to save some face for the tourists. However, England's skipper Varun Chopra made an unbeaten 69 to anchor the chase, while Steven Davies made 31, as England Under-19s eased to 130 for 3 with nearly twenty overs to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Twenty20 - Semi-Finals and Final Day
Lancashire v Surrey (30 July)
Lancashire won by 20 runs and qualified for the Twenty20 Cup final
In the first of two semi-finals at The Oval on the Twenty20 Cup finals day, Lancashire Lightning lived up to expectations by smashing 217 for 4 in twenty overs against Surrey Lions - well helped by eleven wides and six penalty runs, although Lancashire's top five all contributed. Only Nayan Doshi came away with some face on the bowling side, taking two for 35, but with Andrew Flintoff making 49 and Andrew Symonds an unbeaten 52 the target quickly reached dangerously high levels - from a Surrey perspective, anyway.
Ali Brown and James Benning started well with an opening partnership of 93, as Dominic Cork and James Anderson were taken for runs, but Benning, Scott Newman, Brown and Rikki Clarke fell in quick succession to see Surrey struggle at 104 for 4. Mark Ramprakash and Azhar Mahmood upped the ante again, but when Flintoff and Anderson broke through with one wicket each, and Surrey crumbled to 195 for 7. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Leicestershire v Somerset (30 July)
Somerset won by four runs and progress to the Twenty20 Cup final
Defending champions Leicestershire Foxes failed to take care of an excellent position against Somerset Sabres, as the second semi-final became a low-scoring, yet thrilling affair. After Dinesh Mongia had taken three for 30 to set Somerset back to 139 for 7 after Graeme Smith (with 29), Matthew Wood (38) and Marcus Trescothick (25) had lifted them to 89 for 1 at one point during the innings. Carl Gazzard, Somerset's young wicketkeeper, made 26 to lift them to a final total of 157 for 9.
In reply, Darren Maddy and HD Ackerman lifted Leicestershire to 74 for no loss after eight overs, requiring "only" 83 from the last twelve. However, Ian Blackwell took three quick wickets to send Leicestershire to 90 for 3, Richard Johnson (figures of 3-0-21-3), Keith Parsons (3-0-15-0) and William Durston (3-0-18-1) bowled tightly to frustrate the Leicestershire batsmen, and despite a last-ball six from Paul Nixon, Somerset won by four runs and qualified for the final, where they would be facing Lancashire Lightning. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Lancashire v Somerset (30 July)
Somerset beat Lancashire by seven wickets and won the 2005 Twenty20 Cup
Somerset Sabres completed their run by springing the final upset to beat Lancashire Lightning in the Twenty20 Cup final. It should perhaps have been renamed Sixteen16, because rain earlier in the day delayed the schedule and meant that the final had been shortened to 16 overs a side, while the semi-finals had both been 20 overs. However, Somerset did not mind - their strongest batsmen were their numbers one and two, Graeme Smith and Marcus Trescothick, and the more relative impact these two would have, the better for the Sabres. Their task was made easier, though, as Somerset fast bowler Andrew Caddick dug out a couple of early Lancashire wickets, which was followed a run-out and two wickets in two balls from Richard Johnson, as Lancashire crawled to 41 for 5.
Australian-born Stuart Law stood tall at the crease, defying the Somerset bowlers to make 59 before being run out on the very last ball, but Somerset only needed 115 from 16 overs - a run rate of 7.19. Smith and Trescothick started positively, before Trescothick's England team-mate Andrew Flintoff had him edge behind to Warren Hegg for 10. With two more wickets falling, Lancashire would perhaps have fancied their chances with the Somerset score on 65 for 3, but Smith defied them with an unbeaten 64, adding 53 in a fourth-wicket stand with young James Hildreth to guide Somerset to the target with seven wickets and eleven balls to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Worcestershire v Australians (30 July-1 August)
The first day only allowed one over of play, after Vikram Solanki sent Australia in to bat and Justin Langer hit a four off Kabir Ali. On the second day, Langer and Matthew Hayden accumulated 110 for the first wicket, and runs just kept flowing as the Australians made 402 in a day - Brad Haddin top-scoring with 94, Jason Gillespie making an unbeaten 53 including two sixes, while Nadeem Malik got the best bowling figures three wickets for 78. Ali, meanwhile, was punished, to end with 124 conceded runs in 20 overs.
Worcestershire got off to a good start on the final day, Stephen Moore and Solanki making 85 for the fourth wicket after Jason Gillespie shook the top order early on. However, Michael Kasprowicz took four quick wickets as Worcestershire imploded from 133 for 3 to 151 for 9, while a bit of late order slogging from David Pipe and Malik sent the score to 187. Malik was last out, caught and bowled by Kasprowicz to complete the Australian's five-wicket-haul and mark the end of the Worcestershire innings. Australian captain Ricky Ponting opted for batting practice, and the Australians made 168 for 2 before stumps, Ponting scoring an unbeaten 59 while Michael Clarke, who was promoted to opener, also repaired a first-innings failure, making 59 off 55 balls before being run out. (Cricinfo scorecard)
totesport League - Sunday game
Yorkshire v Kent (31 July)
Kent (4pts) beat Yorkshire (0pts) by five wickets
In the mid-table battle in Division Two, Yorkshire Phoenix went down despite an unbeaten 116 from England captain Michael Vaughan. Yorkshire were missing Ian Harvey for this game, and it showed, as no other batsman passed 30 and Vaughan was woefully alone in getting the target up. It was eventually set at 217 for Kent Spitfires, and as Matthew Walker found his rhythm to hit seven fours in an unbeaten 56, Kent got to that target with five wickets and four balls to spare, despite Vaughan's off-breaks yielding two wickets for 42 runs. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Chronological progress of the 2005 English cricket season
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