The period of the 2005 English cricket season between 16 and 31 August saw Essex Eagles clinching victory in the National League, England beating Australia to ensure at least a drawn Ashes series, and England Women completing a six-wicket victory over Australia to win the Women's Ashes for the first time since 1963.
The period started with County Championship games, however, with five matches beginning on 16 August. This included the Roses battle between Lancashire and Yorkshire, which ended in a draw to keep both sides behind Division Two leaders Durham, while Sussex spent two days in beating Middlesex by an innings and 232 runs to go top of the table - a point ahead of Nottinghamshire, and 1.5 points ahead of Kent - who defeated Bangladesh A by three wickets in a tour match at St Lawrence Ground.
On 18 August, Australia were scheduled to play Scotland in a match that was to be broadcast on BBC - however, the match was rained off, giving the Australians even less time to warm up. Two days later, they began a drawn two-day friendly game with Northamptonshire, on the same day as the C&G Trophy semi-finals. Warwickshire and Hampshire took convincing victories to reach the final. Meanwhile, in the Midlands, Australia's women played two ODIs with England on the 19th and 21st of August, winning the first after bowling England out for 128 to go 2–0 up in the series, but losing the second by a two-run margin. There were also a total of 10 National League matches from the 21st to the 24th of August; three were rained off, while Sussex Sharks took a four-point lead in Division Two despite losing their first match with Leicestershire Foxes.
County Championship cricket began again on 24 August, with eight matches played in this period. Four were drawn, but Division One table-toppers Sussex fell to a 101-run defeat against Warwickshire as their Pakistani overseas player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan went wicketless in the first innings. Lancashire also recorded a win to go second in Division Two, just six points off leaders Durham with a game in hand. On the international stage, England and Australia began their battle for the Ashes once again on 25 August, where England eked out a three-wicket victory after earning a 259-run lead on first innings and becoming the first team to ask Australia to follow on in 17 years. The men's win got much more media coverage than the women's first Ashes victory since 1963, achieved through a six-wicket victory in the second and final Test inspired by the all-round efforts of Katherine Brunt (who took nine wickets and made 52 runs).
More National League games followed, with Essex Eagles securing the title thanks to a 12-run win over C&G Trophy finalists Hampshire Hawks, while Sussex Sharks ended the month with wins over Scottish Saltires and Surrey Lions to take a ten-point lead in Division Two, though with second-placed Durham Dynamos having two games in hand. The County Championship also began to reach a conclusion, with Nottinghamshire and Hampshire recording wins on the matches that started on 30 August to take the top two spots in the Division One table. In Division Two, Derbyshire came close to breaking their winless streak when they finished three runs short of a winning total against Durham, but Lancashire couldn't exploit the failures of their title-competitors as they fell to a 285-run defeat at the hands of Northamptonshire.
Glamorgan Dragons' bowler David Harrison bowled a fierce spell which only conceded 17 runs in nine overs - including five runs to extras - as Glamorgan limited the hosts Northamptonshire Steelbacks to 201 all out at Sophia Gardens. Northamptonshire's Riki Wessels hit 80 off 72 balls to take the score past 200 before lofting the ball to David Cherry to be last out. However, his 54-run partnership with Johann Louw gave Northamptonshire some hope of posing a challenge. Wickets fell with reasonable regularity, but captain Robert Croft refused to be dismissed, and his 81 not out anchored the chase. Richard Grant scored 22 not out as well, as Glamorgan made it to the target with 20 deliveries to spare, despite two wickets from Bilal Shafayat. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Durham Dynamos took a vital win in the promotion battle with Leicestershire Foxes. Michael Lewis took four for 13 as Leicestershire could only make 113 at Riverside, with only Darren Robinson passing 20. Neil Killeen and Liam Plunkett also chipped in with two wickets each. Paul Collingwood then slashed 51 not out from number three to guide Durham to the target with 18.4 overs and eight wickets to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Eighteen wickets fell on the frantic first day at St Lawrence Ground, and nineteen on the second, as two teams clashed in an interesting, low scoring match that lasted for only 173.4 overs. The Bangladesh A tourists had won the coin toss and chosen to bat, but immediately lost Nafees Iqbal for a duck. However, Tushar Imran made 86, and with some help from Shahriar Nafees (with 30) and Nazimuddin (27), he took the score to 185. That total did not look challenging, but that was before Syed Rasel's medium pace came to the scene. After Niall O'Brien and Neil Dexter put on 13 for the first wicket for Kent, Rasel and Shahadat Hossain dug out two wickets each, as Kent lost four wickets for two runs. Rasel took three more wickets before stumps on day one, and two more on the second morning, to end with seven for 50 - the only five-wicket-haul of Bangladesh A on the tour. However, only Shahriar Nafees passed 20 in the second innings, Tushar lost his golden touch (before this innings, he had made 455 runs at a batting average of 65) to only scamper 12 runs, while Antiguan-born Robert Joseph took five for 19 with his pace bowling. Kent were set 188 to win, and lost wickets at regular intervals, but 54 from the first-class debutant Dexter turned out to be crucial as Kent made it with three wickets to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)Match abandoned without a ball bowled
A capacity crowd of 4,500 was at The Grange in Edinburgh to watch the local heroes of the Scottish cricket team face off with the world's highest ranked team, Australia. The game was to be a highlight of the Scottish season, with the ground authorities reporting that they could have sold the tickets three times over. The BBC had won the rights to broadcast the match in Scotland, making it the first cricket match to be broadcast on the BBC since 1999.
However, rain poured down steadily, although a buoyant crowd still queued to enter the ground. The weather then first cut the match down to 20 overs and then starting again to prevent any play whatsoever. Although Cricket Scotland had insured against rain, so they were not at a pecuniary advantage, the lack of game represents a lost opportunity to help develop the game north of the English border. (Cricinfo scorecard)Match drawn
Australia scored more than four times as many runs for each wicket as their hosts Northamptonshire at Northampton, yet the two-day time limit and Australia's hunger for batting practice ensured a draw. Northamptonshire won the toss, and put their guests in to bat, and Steffan Jones got two early breakthroughs as Australia were set back to 69 for 3 - Damien Martyn having spent only 14 minutes at the crease for his 26 - but Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke spent good time in the middle making their centuries. The Australians declared on 374 for 6, and immediately dug into the Northamptonshire batsmen, who were effectively reduced to 48 for 5 when Tim Roberts retired hurt for 18. Glenn McGrath only bowled 11 overs, but used his time well, taking three for 24, while Shaun Tait and Brett Lee also got among the wickets with two each. Northamptonshire were bowled out for 169, and Australia opted to bat again, Simon Katich and Justin Langer both making half-centuries before the final day's play ended and the game was drawn. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Sussex enjoyed their highest victory all season by defeating Middlesex at Lord's, after Rana Naved-ul-Hasan came in at eight to slash a first class best 139. His seventh-wicket partnership with Michael Yardy was worth 228 runs in just two and a half hours, after the first six wickets had been lost for 199 runs. With Mark Davis scoring a quickfire 50 as well, Sussex went to stumps on day one with the score 522 for 9 - with the run rate at just over five an over. Middlesex' Stuart Clark got Davis out with the fourth ball of the morning, but from then on everything went downhill. Once again, just like against Gloucestershire the previous week, Rana and Mushtaq Ahmed went berserk on the opposing batting line-ups, as Rana removed the top three batsmen and Mushtaq the next three as Middlesex crashed to 87 for 6. Then, after a brief period of calm where Ben Scott and Chris Peploe added 23 runs, Robin Martin-Jenkins broke through and Middlesex lost three wickets for three runs. Middlesex finished their first innings on 128 - Martin-Jenkins taking the last wicket to end with four for 31 - and were forced to follow on, trailing by 394 runs on first innings.
Ed Smith and Ben Hutton forged Middlesex' biggest partnership of the match so far, with 45 runs, before the wheels fell off once again. Mushtaq took three wickets in an over, and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan removed four batsmen for ducks in another frantic over, as Middlesex imploded from 45 for 0 to 48 for 7. Smith tried to force Sussex to bat again at least, batting for three hours to make 69, but Mushtaq got another three wickets to end with six for 44, and Middlesex collapsed to a total of 162. Pakistani bowlers took a total of 16 wickets for Sussex - in the last Championship game they had taken 18. (Cricinfo scorecard)Surrey (12pts) drew with Gloucestershire (11pts)
Surrey's bowlers Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Akram shared out the first three wickets for only one solitary run, as Gloucestershire looked to collapse in the first innings at The Oval. Alex Gidman fought back, however, making 84 from number six, while Steve Adshead shepherded the tail with 148 not out, and Gloucestershire made their way to 350. Surrey and Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq ended with one for 110 in his first first class game of the season. Surrey initially struggled with the bat, as opener Mark Butcher only made six before he was dismissed by William Rudge.
However, Gloucestershire's bowlers failed to get consistent bite, and Mark Ramprakash smashed his way past 1,000 first class runs in the season with a season-best 192. He was well supported by Graham Thorpe, Jonathan Batty, Ali Brown and Tim Murtagh, who all made scores above 30, and Surrey finished their first innings with a total of 463 in the middle of the first session on day three, with wickets shared out among the Gloucestershire bowlers. Surrey got an early breakthrough by dismissing Craig Spearman, but Kadeer Ali and Ramnaresh Sarwan stuck to the crease, adding 151 for the second wicket. However, three wickets from Nayan Doshi late on day three seemed to turn the game Surrey's way, with Gloucestershire leading by 181 runs for the loss of six wickets at stumps. However, the fourth day's play was rained off, and the match ended in a draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Essex came back from a 120-run first innings deficit, after Derbyshire had used a day and a half for their first innings at The County Ground, Derby. Derbyshire weren't overly keen on hitting runs, though four batsmen made fifties, and especially Luke Sutton took his time at the crease. His 88 took five hours, and he faced 241 deliveries. However, Derbyshire's tactic of attrition seemed to work - after amassing 426, all while Danish Kaneria was bowling (the Pakistani leg spinner bowled 60.1 overs, taking six for 111), Derbyshire immediately got breakthroughs with the ball. Essex crashed to 18 for 3 before the Flower brothers - Grant and Andy - put on 60 for the fourth wicket to help close the gap. By stumps, they were 113 for 4 from 50 overs.
After the relatively slow proceedings on the first two days, the third day gave the spectators nearly 400 runs while eighteen wickets fell. Graeme Welch took two wickets in consecutive deliveries in the early stages, as Essex crashed to 128 for 6, but Ronnie Irani made a four-hour 99 and was well supported by James Middlebrook and Darren Gough - the latter registering 51 off just 38 deliveries. Welch finished with figures of five for 68, his second five-for of the season, as Essex finished on 306. Then, Essex's bowlers suddenly found some form, Ravinder Bopara getting two early wickets to see Derbyshire to 34 for 4. Another rearguard effort from Luke Sutton and a fine 74 from Jon Moss saw Derbyshire to stumps with a lead of 314 with eight down - Sutton still not out with 38. A further 22 runs were added on the second day, while Danish dismissed not Jake Deter to complete his second five-for of the match - Sutton was left stranded on 46 not out, setting Essex 337 to win. As Alastair Cook, Grant Flower and Bopara fell in quick succession, Essex were reeling on 82 for 3, but William Jefferson made 83 to set them back on track, and a 177-run partnership between Andy Flower and Ronnie Irani set Essex on the course for victory. They made it with five wickets to spare, and Derbyshire's winless drought continued. (Cricinfo scorecard)Lancashire (11pts) drew with Yorkshire (11pts)
Craig White and Matthew Wood gave Yorkshire control of the first day of the Roses clash against Lancashire. Wood made 86 and White 110 not out, while the Lancashire captain Mark Chilton was stumped for options and had to turn to part-time spinner Marcus North for seven overs of bowling - which yielded the wicket of Ismail Dawood. Thanks to hard hitting from Deon Kruis, who finished with 35, Yorkshire ended their innings on 417 after 125 overs, James Anderson taking the number 10 and 11 to end with three wickets, the same number as Glen Chapple. Lancashire set about chasing the total with a massive opening partnership between Chilton and Ian Sutcliffe - the pair added 223 and battered Chris Silverwood out of the attack, as the opening bowler was left with 13 of Yorkshire's 157.1 overs.
Sutcliffe was eventually dismissed seven runs short of a century, caught by wicket-keeper Dawood off Tim Bresnan's bowling, and Bresnan got another wicket when he trapped Mal Loye lbw. Bresnan and Deon Kruis were Yorkshire's best bowlers, sharing nine of the ten wickets, and starting with Sutcliffe's dismissal, Lancashire lost five wickets for 27 runs to Bresnan and Kruis. However, 146 from Andrew Symonds, and half-centuries from Dominic Cork and Warren Hegg gave Lancashire a 120-run lead. Yorkshire batted to stumps on day three without loss, and survived 89 overs on the fourth day with ease. Craig White, Anthony McGrath and Matthew Wood all made fifties for Yorkshire, while no Lancashire bowler got more than one wicket. Yorkshire remained 2.5 points ahead of Lancashire in the Championship table, but were third following Essex' victory over Derbyshire. (Cricinfo scorecard)Worcestershire (22pts) beat Somerset (4pts) by an innings and 56 runs
Somerset were bowled out for 318 on the first day at New Road, but for the efforts of Malaysian Arul Suppiah (who made 72), wicket-keeper Carl Gazzard (74) and the 18-year-old debutant from Taunton, Robert Woodman (46 not out), it would have been far worse. The Worcestershire bowlers shared out the wickets, and Somerset were in real trouble at 57 for 5, but Suppiah stayed calm and the lower order made good contributions. Nadeem Malik got the best figures for Worcestershire, with three for 63.
However, Somerset's bowling left something to be desired. After an opening stand of 51, Worcestershire powered onwards, with number three Zander de Bruyn smashing 28 fours in a four-hour 161. Ben Smith and Steve Davies also got centuries, as Worcestershire at one point were 618 for 3. Three wickets from Keith Parsons set them back, but Worcestershire could still declaration and forfeiture declare on 696 for 8. Suppiah started well once again, making 34 in a 110-run partnership with Matthew Wood as Somerset made their way to 138 for 1. Then spinners Ray Price and Gareth Batty shared the next seven wickets for 70 runs, and Somerset imploded to 209 for 8 while still needing 169 to avoid the innings defeat. A good rearguard from number eight Carl Gazzard, and his partners Andy Caddick and Simon Francis saw Somerset first past 250 and then past 300. They looked to make Worcestershire bat again when Kabir Ali had Francis bowled - his only wicket of the innings, as he finished with expensive figures of 8.5-0-50-1. Batty and Price bowled 87 of Worcestershire's total of 108.5 overs, and Price's 44 overs included 21 maidens. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Slow left arm bowler Shelley Nitschke bowled Australia to a win and a 2–0 series lead in the second match of the ODI series, after good bowling from the English women had limited Australia to 193 for 8 in 50 overs. Kate Blackwell and Lisa Keightley both made fifties for Australia, while Belinda Clark continued her poor run of form - two ducks in the Tests and 16 in the first ODI was followed up with a 45-ball 10 today. England wicket-keeper Claire Taylor made three stumpings, two off medium pace bowler Isa Guha. England's reply started well, with Laura Newton and Claire Taylor making their way to 80 for 1 after Charlotte Edwards had been dismissed initially, but the English bowler just couldn't play the spin of Nitschke, who recorded a career-best analysis of 7 for 24, despite six wides. Only Newton and Taylor passed 10, while Arran Brindle's good form (with 236 runs in three innings so far in the series) came to a halt as she was bowled by Nitschke for a golden duck. England's final score was 128 all out, with more than 10 overs potentially remaining in the innings. (Cricinfo scorecard)England won by two runs
England needed a victory to keep the five-match one-day international series alive, and with Australia needing six runs off the last over, it looked like the Australians would secure the series with two matches to spare. However, Katherine Brunt had the last say, as she first had Cathryn Fitzpatrick stumped and then helped to run out Julie Hayes for a duck. Suddenly, Australia needed four from the last ball to win, and they could only get one, as England went into scenes of jubilation - having secured their first victory over the Australian women since 1993. Earlier, Claire Taylor had lifted England to 200 for 7 with her 82, taking on Fitzpatrick who conceded 61 runs in her 10 overs. All the six Australian bowlers got one wicket, however, with the seventh being a run out. Australia's opener Belinda Clark recorded another poor score with a six-ball duck, and Australia continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Yet, at 195 for 5 with an over to spare, the wise money would normally have been on the tourists, but thanks to Brunt, it went England's way instead. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Yorkshire never managed to score in the semi-final match at The Rose Bowl, which meant that Hampshire were set a relatively easy target of 198 to win. Michael Lumb top-scored with 43, but the late order failed to score runs quickly enough to get past 200; number ten John Blain only made six off 20 deliveries, while number nine Tim Bresnan made three off ten. Yorkshireman Deon Kruis served up some economical bowling early on to John Crawley, and bowled him for a 28-ball 8, but a 147-run partnership between Nic Pothas and Sean Ervine saw Hampshire right on track, as they won with over 10 overs to spare. Ervine made his second List A century, off 96 balls, but was caught and bowled by Richard Dawson three balls later. It didn't matter much - Hampshire only needed 20 runs to win, and Shane Watson and Nic Pothas knocked them off to book Hampshire's place in the C&G Trophy final. (Cricinfo scorecard)Warwickshire beat Lancashire by 99 runs to progress to the C&G Trophy Final
Warwickshire put in a fine bowling effort to send Lancashire out of the C&G Trophy, despite Lancashire's Australian Marcus North taking three wickets. North's bowling - and others, Sajid Mahmood took two wickets - set Warwickshire back to 155 for 7, but Michael Powell and Trevor Frost put on an eighth-wicket partnership of 81 runs to carry Warwickshire to a total of 236 for 8 after 50 overs. Lancashire looked on track when Mal Loye and Stuart Law negotiated some tricky early bowling to put on 49 for the fourth wicket and see the score to 80 for 3, but medium pacer Jamie Anyon took two wickets, and a fiery spell from Neil Carter, which included two wickets to see him end with four for 26, had Lancashire bowled out for 137. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Essex Eagles edged closer to the National League title with two points at Chelmsford, though rain ravaged the game. Only eight overs of play were possible before the umpires called off the game, and in that time Essex lost both openers but still made 53 for 2 - a score including six wides bowled by the Nottinghamshire Outlaws bowlers. (Cricinfo scorecard)Gloucestershire (4pts) beat Lancashire (0pts) by six wickets
Three centuries were recorded at Old Trafford, as Gloucestershire Gladiators snatched a victory over the hosting Lancashire Lightning after being regarded with no chance earlier on. The Gladiators won the toss and got immediate success, as Jon Lewis dismissed Mal Loye with the second ball of the day, but pretty much everything went against Gloucestershire from then on, as Stuart Law, Mark Chilton and Andrew Symonds flayed the bowling to all corners. Symonds took 88 balls for his century, and went on to make 129 before being bowled by James Averis - who finished with four for 40. Law and Chilton also made fifties, but Averis' late spell and a slow 39-ball 11 from Marcus North ensured that the total ended on 267 for 7. Then, James Anderson had three men caught off his bowling, as Glouestershire crashed to 47 for 4. However, Anderson finished his spell, and Ramnaresh Sarwan crafted a century - which was shortly followed by Mark Hardinges reaching his first one-day century of his career, and in the process lifting his List A career batting average from 14.23 to 17.50, still below par for a specialist batsman like Hardinges. However, the pair added 221 runs in 116 minutes for the fifth wicket, hitting six sixes along the way, as they guided Gloucestershire out of the relegation zone in the National League. (Cricinfo scorecard)Hampshire (4pts) beat Worcestershire (0pts) by four wickets
Hampshire Hawks got the four points from a closely fought match at New Road. Worcestershire Royals had won the toss and chosen to bat, and their innings was shortened to 34 overs out of a scheduled 45 due to rain. Wickets fell regularly, four batsmen being dismissed with scores in the thirties, and the final score of 185 for 7 did not look too threatening. John Crawley and Shane Watson put Hampshire back on track after two early wickets from Kabir Ali shook them, but an economical spell from Ray Price which yielded two wickets was nearly enough. However, the other spinner Gareth Batty was not nearly as economical, and Greg Lamb took him for runs to end with 16 not out and win the game for Hampshire.Glamorgan (4pts) beat Gloucestershire (0pts) by four wickets
Gloucestershire Gladiators crashed back into the relegation zone with a defeat against Glamorgan Dragons at Sophia Gardens, succumbing to medium pace bowler David Harrison, who bowled four maiden overs to end with bowling figures of 9-4-16-2. Despite half-centuries from Kabir Ali and Alex Gidman, who looked to give the visitors a comfortable target after moving to 103 for 3, Dean Cosker ripped out three quick wickets, and Gidman was forced to consolidate. He did top score with 62, but Glamorgan were set a rather modest target of 195 to win. Jon Lewis made inroads with his medium pace early on, taking three wickets as Glamorgan stuttered to 40 for 4, but Michael Powell and Dan Cherry put Glamorgan back in it with a 79-run stand, and Gloucestershire's bowlers were made to rue their 15 wides, as they helped Glamorgan to reach their target with two overs remaining. (Cricinfo scorecard)Worcestershire (4pts) beat Lancashire (0pts) by four wickets
Chris Gayle, Worcestershire's new overseas player after Shoaib Akhtar left to play in the 2005 Afro-Asian Cup, helped Worcestershire Royals to an important victory in the National League, while Lancashire Lightning suffered their third one-day defeat in five days. Having won the toss and batted, Lancashire regularly lost wickets, and the innings of Australian Marcus North was symptomatic - he made a 19-ball 2. Stuart Law, however, scored 82, and was along with Glen Chapple the only batsman to really keep up the scoring rate. Lancashire could only muster a total of 195 for 9, and defending that target quickly became difficult ash Gayle slashed eight fours and a six on his way to a 41-ball 53. Despite Chapple's returns of 9-0-23-4 and Anderson taking two for 47, Worcestershire made it to the target with four wickets and 5.3 overs in hand. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Leicestershire Foxes recorded their second win over Sussex Sharks in two weeks to close the gap at the top of Division Two of the National League to two points. Having been put in the field by the Sussex captain Chris Adams, Leicestershire grabbed the first four wickets for 44 runs, and despite a 72-run fifth-wicket partnership between Michael Yardy and Carl Hopkinson, Sussex could only muster 186 all out - Dinesh Mongia taking the last two wickets, while conceding 17 from two overs. Mongia also contributed with the bat - after the Sussex bowlers had made things tricky for Leicestershire's top order, reducing them to 27 for 2 and then 103 for 5, Mongia remained at the crease to make 92 at just under a run a ball to see Leicestershire past the target with seven balls to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)Somerset (4pts) beat Durham (0pts) by five wickets
Durham Dynamos failed to take the opportunity of taking a lead in Division Two of the National League, as they went down by five wickets at Taunton. Having won the toss, they struggled to hit out initially, Gavin Hamilton recording 22 off 51 balls and 18-year-old Robert Woodman bowling two maiden overs. However, Dale Benkenstein made an unbeaten 60 and Gareth Breese a quickfire 28 as Durham made their way to 222 for 7 in 45 overs, William Durston getting the best figures for Somerset Sabres with two for 32 - admittedly in five overs - while South African Charl Langeveldt took two for 33 in nine overs. The Sabres hit out well chasing the target, Matthew Wood continuing on his good run of form with 76, and Keith Parsons worked well with Durston, adding 83 runs for the sixth wicket to guide Somerset home after Neil Killeen and Gareth Breese had taken two wickets each to set Somerset back to 143 for 5. (Cricinfo scorecard)Match abandoned without a ball bowled; Leicestershire (2pts), Warwickshire (2pts)
Leicestershire Foxes and Warwickshire Bears were looking to fight it out for a spot in the top three, but rain made play impossible at Grace Road, and the teams shared the spoils. (Cricinfo scorecard)Match abandoned. Surrey (2pts), Kent (2pts)Sussex (4pts) beat Warwickshire (0pts) by five wickets
Sussex Sharks opened up a four-point gap after a spell of left-arm spin bowling from Michael Yardy yielded the last six wickets of Warwickshire Bears' innings for 27 runs, the best bowling figures in Division Two of the National League all season. Earlier, Sussex pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan had made inroads with three wickets for 25, and it was only the 73-run partnership between Alex Loudon and Michael Powell that got Warwickshire past 100. Yardy's six-for left Warwickshire all out for 169, however, and in the chase Sussex were troubled by Makhaya Ntini's fast bowling as both opening batsmen were removed and Sussex crumbled to 16 for 2. However, Zimbabwean Murray Goodwin scored a solid, two-hour 86 not out, and guided the team to the target, putting on 82 with Robin Martin-Jenkins after spinner Alex Loudon had taken two wickets to set Sussex back to 91 for 5. (Cricinfo scorecard)Derbyshire (4pts) beat Scotland (0pts) by three wickets (D/L method)
The Scottish Saltires gave Derbyshire Phantoms a good fight at The Grange, but despite three wickets from Ryan Watson and an unbeaten 71 from Fraser Watts Derbyshire still came out on top. Scotland had been put in to bat by Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton, and crashed to 42 for 4 after two wickets from new-ball bowler Graeme Welch, but Watts paired up well with the lower middle order before rain set in. Seven overs were cut off the Scottish innings, leaving them with 38 overs to play, and a bit of hard hitting from Pakistani all-rounder Yasir Arafat lifted them to 179 for 7. More rain cut Derbyshire's chase to 32 overs, and under the Duckworth-Lewis method they were set 161 to win. They looked to be cruising at 120 for 2 after Steve Stubbings had put on 70 with Sutton. Watson then got three wickets and Cedric English two, as the visitors collapsed to 147 for 7, but Stubbings, still at the crease, held his head calm and ended on 75 not out to guide Derbyshire past the target with three balls to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Despite rain washing out parts of the first day at New Road, England took their first Test victory over Australia since December 1984, and their first Ashes series win since 1963. Having won the toss, England captain Clare Connor opted to bowl, and after Belinda Clark had slashed 18 runs she was trapped lbw by pacer Katherine Brunt. Wickets were shared out among the entire England team, no Australian passed 40, and by the end of the day they had crashed to 126 for 7. It took 33 deliveries for Australia to be all out on the second morning - for 131, as the efforts from the last Test, when the last three wickets outscored the rest of the batting line-up, were not repeated. Brunt took care of that, having Nitschke and Price caught behind to complete her five-wicket-haul. Batting was clearly difficult, but Jenny Gunn, Clare Connor and Claire Taylor all dug in to make scores above 30, before a vital partnership between Taylor and Beth Morgan took England to a relatively comfortable lead, as they moved to 196 for 6 before Emma Liddell struck twice and Cathryn Fitzpatrick once to leave England at 222 for 9 at close of play of day two. Liddell and Fitzpatrick bowled 59 overs between them on the second day, out of a total of 101, and although they shared seven wickets, they failed to remove either of Brunt or Isa Guha, and the last English pair added 18 before the end of day two.
On the third day, England powered on, Brunt staking her claim for Player of the Match with a vital, powerful 52 - her first Test fifty - as she eked out 83 runs with Guha for the tenth wicket, Guha making 31 not out. Leading by 158 on first innings, England got a dream start by dismissing Lisa Keightley for a duck, and wickets just kept falling. Gunn and Brunt took two wickets each as the Australians faltered to 18 for 4, before the twin sisters Kate and Alex Blackwell fought back. However, Isa Guha removed Alex, another two wickets fell, and by tea Australia were 67 for 7. An attritional partnership for the seventh wicket between Kate Blackwell and Shelley Nitschke, which yielded 112 runs in four hours, carried Australia past 100, but still they were only 21 ahead with three wickets in hand at the close of day three. The last day started just like England wanted, Katherine Brunt dismissing Kate Blackwell and wicket-keeper Julia Price with successive deliveries, and all that was left was to take the last wicket. England toiled, but the Australians defended for nearly two hours and faced 35 overs, until number 11 Emma Liddell finally edged behind to Jane Smit and was out for 24. Shelley Nitschke made her second fifty in two Tests and was left stranded on 88 not out, while slow left arm bowler Clare Connor ended with the bowling analysis of 26-20-25-1. Brunt finished with four wickets in the second innings, for a match total of nine for 111.
England were thus left to chase 75 for the Ashes, but Emma Liddell didn't want to be beaten, and her pace trapped Laura Newton and Jenny Gunn lbw in the second over as England lost their first two wickets for one run. However, Liddell couldn't get any further breakthroguhs, and even though England lost Connor and Edwards to Fitzpatrick - both lbw - Arran Brindle batted out an hour for 24 not out to see England to the target about three hours before the scheduled close. (Cricinfo scorecard)
|England||477||&||129/7||England won by three wickets|
A Flintoff 102|
SK Warne 4/102
ME Trescothick 27|
SK Warne 4/31
Trent Bridge, Nottingham, England|
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) and SA Bucknor (WI)
Man of the Match: A Flintoff (Eng)
B Lee 47|
SP Jones 5/44
JL Langer 61|
SJ Harmison 3/93
England won the toss and chose to bat, and they got off to a flyer. Boosted by no-balls from the seamers — a total of 18 before lunch — Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss made hay quickly, and enjoyed batting on a pitch which gave the bowlers no aid. They recorded their second 100-run opening partnership of the series, before Strauss was freakishly dismissed for 35, sweeping Shane Warne onto his boot and into Matthew Hayden's waiting hands at slip — a wicket confirmed by the third umpire. Michael Vaughan continued on his fine form from Old Trafford, though, punishing bad balls from Brett Lee to go into lunch with his score on 14. Trescothick, meanwhile, rode his luck, as he was bowled off a no-ball on 55, much to Lee's displeasure. At lunch England were 129 for 1.
Only 3.1 overs were possible in the afternoon session due to rain. Coming back after tea, England immediately lost two wickets to Shaun Tait, who used the cloud cover to good effect and swung the ball well. However, Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen batted well together for a 67-run partnership, although they were each dropped once. Towards the end of the day, Ricky Ponting brought himself on, and his medium pace yielded a wicket — that of Vaughan for 58. Overnight, the match was evenly poised with England 229 for 4.
After lunch, the pair continued to score quickly for another hour, and extended their partnership to 177 before Flintoff was lbw to Tait for 102, his first Test century against Australia. The loss of Flintoff did not deter the English, as Jones continued to hit runs through the off side on the way to his highest score against the Australians, making 85 before he was caught and bowled by Kasprowicz. The next two wickets fell quickly, but a stubborn last-wicket partnership of 23 between Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones — including an incident where the ball hit the stumps but the bails failed to fall off — saw England to 477 all out at tea.
In the evening session, England's bowlers, especially Matthew Hoggard, managed to find much more swing than the Australian bowlers had done, and ripped through the Australian top order. The first three wickets fell in a crucial period of 11 balls (although the third, which dismissed Damien Martyn lbw, was a debatable decision — television replays indicated that the ball might have hit the bat before the body). By stumps Australia had been reduced to 99 for 5 to complete an excellent day for England.
Michael Vaughan then gambled, by enforcing the follow-on on the visitors (the first time Australia had followed on in 17 years). By lunch, Australia had reached 14 without loss in their second innings, and they powered on in the afternoon session, only losing Matthew Hayden and adding 100 more runs before tea. For England, the afternoon session was their worst of the match — to compound their misery, Simon Jones showed signs of injury, and Andrew Strauss dropped Justin Langer on 38.
In the evening session, England managed to take three wickets, but also dropped a catch and missed a stumping. Australia thus finished the day still 37 runs in arrears but with six wickets still in hand. Simon Jones also went off the field during the evening session with an ankle injury, and was taken to hospital for an ankle scan. While Jones was off the field receiving attention, substitute fielder Gary Pratt ran out Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who verbally expressed his displeasure at England's use of subs to the players, umpires and administrators as he left the field.
The injury to Simon Jones became somewhat obvious as the pacers struggled to capture the magic that Jones had created the previous day that had forced Australia to follow on. Despite this, the Australian run rate remained low as both sides stared each other down. Mistakes by Geraint Jones and Kevin Pietersen were quickly nullified by the dismissal of Warne for 45 and Kasprowicz for 19, and after a few overs' resistance Tait was bowled middle stump for 4, leaving 129 for the English to chase after tea.
England then proceeded to send the game into a nailbiter — English wickets fell quickly as Shane Warne took four wickets (including those of Marcus Trescothick (27), Michael Vaughan (0) and Andrew Strauss (23)). Brett Lee dismissed Ian Bell (3) and at 57 for 4 England were in trouble. Andrew Flintoff (26) and Kevin Pietersen (23) then steadied the ship with an invaluable partnership of 46 before both fell in quick succession to Lee. Despite Geraint Jones (3) being dismissed cheaply, the partnership of Ashley Giles (7) and Matthew Hoggard (8) guided the English home. Man of the match honours went to Andrew Flintoff, but more importantly this gave the English a crucial 2–1 edge heading back to London for the fifth and final Test, ensuring that they could not lose the series. However, with the Ashes going to Australia in the event of a drawn series, there was still all to play for at The Oval.
Only 36 overs of play was possible on the first day at St Lawrence Ground, in which Middlesex made 92 runs for the loss of one wicket, that of Ben Hutton. The following day, Kent bowler Amjad Khan added two wickets to his overnight tally of one, as Middlesex crumbled to 136 for 4 on the second morning. However, centuries from Owais Shah and Paul Weekes swung it Middlesex' way, as they declared on 400 for 8. Kent's openers didn't wish to be any worse, with David Fulton making 110 and Robert Key 142, and Darren Stevens supplied with the fifth century of the match, making 106 before being bowled by Nantie Hayward. They declared on 549 for 6, leaving themselves roughly three hours in which to bowl Middlesex out for 149 or less, and four wickets from Min Patel gave them hope as Middlesex crashed to 77 for 6 with more than an hour to play. However, Peter Trego kept out 98 balls for a stolid, unbeaten 3, Paul Weekes got a fifty, and Middlesex saved the draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)Hampshire (11pts) drew with Surrey (10pts)
The first day was rained off, and in only three days of cricket, neither team seemed intent on forcing a result, as the run rate was limited to 3.5 runs an over. On the second day, as the first day of actual play, 406 runs were scored for the loss of twelve wickets. Surrey batted first, and after losing Richard Clinton and Mark Ramprakash early, Scott Newman lashed out in a 65-ball cameo. He hit fifteen fours in his 71 before finally being bowled by Dimitri Mascarenhas. Indeed, the second day was a day of boundaries - a total of 270 runs were hit in boundaries, most of them by Mark Butcher (14 fours in 75) and Jonathan Batty (20 fours in 124). Surrey were eventually all out for 378, Shaun Udal wrapping up the tail with the three last wickets falling in four balls. Mohammad Akram then had both openers caught behind as Hampshire closed on 28 for 2, but Surrey toiled for little reward on the third day, Nic Pothas making an unbeaten century as Hampshire declared on 361 for 6, 17 behind Surrey. Thus, the teams were left with a day to play out their second innings, and on the final day, Udal took five for 65 with his off breaks, but Surrey easily saved the draw by making 302, as captain Butcher did not attempt to risk the four points for a draw with a declaration. (Cricinfo scorecard)Glamorgan (21pts) beat Gloucestershire (3pts) by 322 runs
Glamorgan recorded their first Championship win in thirteen attempts this season at Bristol against fellow relegation candidates Gloucestershire. David Cherry made his second century of the season with changing partners, as he carried his bat to 152 not out at stumps - the total on 350 for 8. Cherry was last out, for 166, as Glamorgan were bowled out for 382 - to pass 350 for only the third time so far this season. Then, David Harrison and Alex Wharf embarked on a 19th-century-like bowling effort - in that they did almost all of the bowling. The seam pairing bowled 33 of the 34 overs, sharing all ten wickets. Gloucestershire crashed to 66 for 8 before Steve Adshead and Jon Lewis added 67 for the ninth wicket, but Whatf had Adshead caught and bowled before bowling William Rudge with the next ball. Robert Croft did not opt to bat again, however, preferring to set a big target for Gloucestershire to chase.
However, Gloucestershire bowled with more effect the second time around, Malinga Bandara taking four for 85 in a marathon 37-over spin bowling effort. Rudge repaired his golden duck, taking a wicket with his first ball of the innings to remove Mark Wallace for another golden duck. However, Rudge was taken for 36 in a six-over spell, and never returned to bowl. Dean Cosker top scored for Glamorgan with 52 from number seven as they made their way to 290, setting Gloucestershire a target of 540 to win - which would have been a first class record chase. Ramnaresh Sarwan attempted it, hitting out well after Kadeer Ali had been dismissed, but he was eventually bowled by Huw Waters for 54. Gloucestershire succumbed to 184 for 5 at stumps, needing to survive another day for the draw. Wharf spoiled that, though, taking four wickets on the fourth morning as Gloucestershire crawled to 217 and a 322-run defeat. (Cricinfo scorecard)Warwickshire (22pts) beat Sussex (8pts) by 101 runs
For once, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan went wicketless on the first day, and thus Sussex lost the match and the Championship lead at Edgbaston. Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott, who had made a career best 152 two weeks previously, now notched up his third first class century of the season as he carried his team to 329 for 7 on the first day. Trott continued on the second, and was eventually last out, having shattered his previous highest score and gone on to make 210 before he was bowled by Rana. Warwickshire were thus all out for 475, Mushtaq Ahmed and James Kirtley taking three wickets each, and Warwickshire got a good start with the ball as Makhaya Ntini and Dougie Brown removed an opener each. However, Michael Yardy, Murray Goodwin and Chris Adams all made solid contributions as Sussex moved to 244 for 3 at stumps on day two.
The third day saw a total of sixteen wickets fall, as Sussex came back to dismiss Warwickshire for a low score afte giving up a 47-run lead on first innings. Goodwin made 150, his fourth century of the season, as Sussex scored 428, while most of the Warwickshire bowlers got wickets but conceded plenty of runs in the process. Then, Rana set out to repair his poor first innings effort, taking four wickets in 15 overs as Warwickshire could only muster 180 - and that was mostly thanks to a 50-run partnership between Trevor Frost and Brown. Sussex needed 228 to win, but collapsed. Wickets were shared out among the entire Warwickshire team, James Anyon getting the most with four for 33, and Makhaya Ntini, Neil Carter and Alex Loudon also got two each, to see Sussex all out for 126. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Somerset exploited Essex' declarations to take their fourth win of the Championship season despite rain curtailing play by nearly 33 % at Colchester. After the first day was over with only three overs bowled and Alastair Cook dismissed for a duck, Somerset's overseas player Charl Langeveldt dug out Grant Flower on the second morning, but double-digit contributions from the rest of the batting line-up - William Jefferson top-scoring with 93 - gave Essex a relatively comfortable 220 for 5 by stumps on day two. They made their way to 400 and the five batting points before declaring, losing only one wicket while James Foster added 87 to his overnight score to end with 107 not out. When Somerset were asked to bat, Andre Nel whipped out two Somerset wickets with the first three balls of the game, but no Essex bowler could get any more wickets as James Hildreth scored twelve boundaries for an unbeaten 76 at the close of day three to see Somerset to 112 for 2. Overnight, the two captains agreed to a mutual forfeiture of innings, so that Essex would not have to bat again. Hence, Somerset would have to chase 289 in a day to win, while Essex would have to bowl them out. Andre Nel removed Michael Wood for a duck again, but Arul Suppiah added 29 at more than a run a ball, and former England Under-19 player Hildreth settled in well. He made his second unbeaten score of the match, this time worth 125, guiding Somerset past the winning target in 66.1 overs with five wickets to spare. Danish Kaneria bowled 24 of Essex' 66 overs, but to little effect, ending with one wicket for 80 runs, while Nel got William Durston for a duck to end with four wickets for the match - all ducks. (Cricinfo scorecard)Leicestershire (12pts) drew with Northamptonshire (8pts)
Leicestershire's first innings lasted three days, in which time they scored 390 runs for the loss of six wickets. The rain meant that only 119 overs were possible in three days. Leicestershire declared 22 balls into the fourth morning after getting 400, and spent the rest of the last day bowling Northamptonshire out for 261, Claude Henderson taking a season-best five for 63. With only one completed innings for each side, the match ended in a draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)Yorkshire (12pts) drew with Durham (11pts)
Michael Hussey and Paul Collingwood led Durham to a healthy total against the Yorkshire bowlers in the 40 overs possible on the first day at Scarborough. Hussey ended the day on 85 not out as Durham made their way to 140 for 1. Deon Kruis and Tim Bresnan got one wicket each in the morning, but Durham fought back with Gordon Muchall and Dale Benkenstein adding 157 for the fourth wicket. Durham were eventually bowled out midway through day three, having made a total of 414. Kruis took five wickets and Bresnan four, but they both conceded more than 100 runs in the process. Yorkshire opted for batting practice, batting out the last day and a half to make 475 for 6, with Paul Jaques scoring 172. Paul Collingwood took three for 56 for Durham, but could not help them to an extra bowling point, and with no possibility of taking the third extra point Durham's captain Hussey agreed to a draw after Yorkshire's 129th over. (Cricinfo scorecard)Lancashire (22pts) beat Worcestershire (6pts) by an innings and 73 runs
Lancashire recorded an innings victory at Stanley Park in Blackpool against Worcestershire to go second in the Division Two table of the County Championship. Mal Loye and Stuart Law made centuries in the first innings, which became a very difficult one for the Worcestershire bowlers. On the second day, Worcestershire finally got some breakthroughs, as Loye was dismissed for 187 and North for 60, and Lancashire could declare with a total of 562 for 8. Chris Gayle played an innings in typical fashion, hitting eight fours from 25 deliveries before he was bowled by Dominic Cork for 43. Cork also got Graeme Hick for a duck, as Worcestershire closed the second day on 111 for 3. Ben Smith and Vikram Solanki fought back, however, pairing up for 140 for the fourth wicket, and Worcestershire looked confident of avoiding the follow-on with the score on 330 for 4. However, two wickets from Andrew Symonds and three from James Anderson ended the Worcestershire effort for 376, still trailing by 186.
Mark Chilton enforced the follow on, and things went from bad to worse for the visitors. No batsman passed 25, Glen Chapple got four wickets for Lancashire, and by the close Worcestershire were 112 for 9 - needing 72 to avoid an innings defeat. However, with the tenth ball of the fourth day Chapple dismissed Kabir Ali to end with five for 32, and Warwickshire were all out for 113. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Andre Nel and Danish Kaneria conceded runs at less than four runs an over to help Essex Eagles to victory over Hampshire Hawks at Chelmsford, and the four points for the win increased their lead in the National League to an unassailable 14 points and secured the National League title for Essex. After an opening stand of 70 between William Jefferson and Ronnie Irani, Hampshire got four wickets for 31 as three Essex batsmen were dismissed in single figures before James Middlebrook put on 68 with Jefferson. However, three wickets fell for three runs and the score was 172 for 7, with Jefferson caught for 88, but Hampshire could only take two more wickets in the last half-hour as contributions from Ryan ten Doeschate, Graham Napier and Kaneria propelled Essex to 222 for 9 at the end of their 45 overs. Hampshire and England fast bowler Chris Tremlett got Napier, ten Doeschate and James Middlebrook out to end with three wickets for 48. Despite John Crawley and Nic Pothas recording a first-wicket partnership of 95, Kaneria dismissed Pothas and went on to concede 26 in nine overs - well short of the required run rate at five an over, and boundaries were rare after Pothas and Crawley were dismissed. In the end, Hampshire finished on 210 for 8, 13 runs short of victory - with their overseas players Shane Watson and Andy Bichel contributing four runs off 18 deliveries, for a run rate of 1.33 an over. (Cricinfo scorecard)Northamptonshire (4pts) beat Nottinghamshire (0pts) by four wickets
Despite Northamptonshire Steelbacks conceding 28 extras, Johann Louw the main culprit by bowling six wides, they still managed to bowl their opponents Nottinghamshire Outlaws out for 207 at The County Ground, Northampton. Louw made up for his inaccurate line by taking three wickets, including top scorer Chris Read, while Australian Damien Wright grabbed five wickets for 37 runs. That was Wright's first National League five-for of the season, and he brought his seasonal wicket-tally to 23, the most in the division at the time. When Nottinghamshire were in the field, part-time leg spinner Younis Khan took three wickets, but it didn't help, as Ben Phillips and Riki Wessels took Northamptonshire home with four wickets and five balls to spare, building on the efforts of Australian Martin Love who had made 59 from number one. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Harare-born all-rounder Ryan Watson put in the best all-round effort for Scotland all season, recording Scotland's fourth-highest score of the season with 86 and the best bowling analysis with four for 36, but none of the other players save Paul Hoffmann (conceding 21 runs in nine overs) made any significant contribution, and Durham Dynamos ran away with a 93-run victory. Batting first, Durham made 227 for 7, Gordon Muchall top-scoring with 79 and Gareth Breese upping the scoring-rate with two sixes in an unbeaten 47 off 39 balls near the end. The Scots then lost wickets left, right and centre, crashing to 54 for 6 before Watson and Craig Wright added 77 for the seventh wicket. The run out of Wright precipitated the final collapse, though, as the last four wickets fell for three runs and Scotland were all out for 134. (Cricinfo scorecard)Somerset (4pts) beat Surrey (0pts) by five wickets
Surrey Lions made 237 for 7 batting first at The Oval, despite three wickets from Malaysian Arul Suppiah. The stage was set for a bigger score with James Benning and Mark Butcher in with the score 135 for 1, but Suppiah and Ian Blackwell broke through with wickets to prevent high scoring rates towards the end. Somerset Sabres, and in particular Blackwell, were intent on winning this match. Blackwell hit six sixes and seven fours in a lightning-quick 88, adding 120 with James Hildreth for the fourth wicket before his eventual dismissal - to the part-time off spin of Mark Ramprakash. Despite Nayan Doshi getting another wicket, it was too late for Surrey, as Hildreth added 17 with William Durston to see them across the line with five overs to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)Derbyshire (4pts) beat Yorkshire (0pts) by five wickets
Graeme Welch and Andre Botha tugged Derbyshire Phantoms back to victory from 119 for 5 chasing 220 to win, as the pair shared an unbeaten 102-run partnership at Scarborough after Deon Kruis and Richard Dawson had taken out early wickets. It was Yorkshire Phoenix who batted first, Michael Lumb top-scoring with 69 while Australian Jon Moss dug out four for 28 in his nine overs. Yorkshire finished with 219 for 8, but their bowlers replied well to have Derbyshire on the rack when Travis Friend was run out to leave them on 85 for 4. Fifties from Welch and Botha turned the match around, however, and Derbyshire won by five wickets. (Cricinfo scorecard)Kent (4pts) beat Yorkshire (0pts) by six wickets
Kent Spitfires made their way to a fairly comfortable victory against Yorkshire Phoenix, who had opted to bat first after winning the toss. However, all the Kent bowlers got at least one wicket, and the Yorkshire batsmen couldn't convert their starts, as six batsmen were out with scores between 10 and 25. Kent's Andrew Hall bowled three maiden overs and took two wickets to end with the best figures of two for 19, but four bowlers grabbed two wickets each as Yorkshire were bowled out for 164. Kent were never seriously threatened in reply, as Hall put on 64 with Darren Stevens for the third wicket, and Justin Kemp had fun at the end to hit 42 not out off just 25 balls and take Kent to victory in just over two thirds of the allotted overs. Yorkshire medium pacer Ian Harvey suffered the most from Kemp's blade, conceding 40 runs in four overs. (Cricinfo scorecard)Sussex (4pts) beat Scotland (0pts) by seven wickets
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's pace bowling was too much to handle for the Scottish Saltires, as they whimpered to 132 all out despite Jonathan Beukes making 51. None of the other batsmen passed 20, as Rana took five for 30 from his nine overs, while James Kirtley bowled tightly to end with a bowling analysis of 8.5-3-8-2. Sussex Sharks strolled to the target in just over half the allotted time, Matthew Prior smashing thirteen fours and one six in a fifty-ball 69, while Sean Weeraratna took two for 20 for the Scots. (Cricinfo scorecard)Sussex (4pts) beat Surrey (0pts) by two wickets
Mushtaq Ahmed sealed a last-ball victory for Sussex Sharks in a closely fought match at The County Ground, Hove, against mid-table languishers Surrey Lions. The visitors had opted to bat first, and lost three early wickets for 40 runs, but a calm rearguard from Mark Ramprakash set the stage for some fours from Azhar Mahmood near the end. Surrey finished on 230 for 6, and got a good start when Azhar dismissed Robin Montgomerie for 0. A quick 42 from Matthew Prior, however, gave Sussex hope of chasing the target, and despite wickets falling regularly Sussex kept the required rate below seven an over, with captain Chris Adams keeping the innings together with his unbeaten 110. Mushtaq eventually faced the final ball of the match, and he hit it to the boundary, which gave Sussex the win and extended their Division Two lead to ten points. (Cricinfo scorecard)
England, buoyed by having won their first Ashes Test series in 42 years, tied the series at 2–2 with a victory at The County Ground, Taunton. Australia, however, made a good start with Laura Keightley and Karen Rolton making fifties to propel the team to 142 for 1. Two quick wickets from Clare Connor slowed them down, however, and they finished with a total on 215 for 5. Chasing that total, England lost Charlotte Edwards for 1 in the second over, but Laura Newton and Claire Taylor put them back with a 65-run partnership. Spinner Lisa Sthalekar then took two quick wickets, and England were set back to 79 for 3 after 19.3 overs. Despite two maiden overs from left-arm bowler Karen Rolton, Taylor kept hitting boundaries, ending with 116 before finally letting a ball from Cathryn Fitzpatrick onto her stumps - bowled for 116. By that time, though, she had made the first century of the series, and England only needed five more runs to win. Lydia Greenway and Jane Smit carried England over the target with nine balls to spare, setting up the fifth and final match, also at Taunton, to be a series decider. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Glamorgan were firmly sent back to earth after recording their first Championship win of the season the previous week, as it only took Nottinghamshire's bowlers 48 overs to wrap up their first innings after Glamorgan won the toss and batted. Glamorgan's number five Michael Powell made 62 as the only Glamorgan batsman to pass 25, but left-armer Greg Smith got him and three others out to finish with four for 28 off 17 overs. Glamorgan's final total was only 151, and Nottinghamshire matched that for the loss of only two wickets at the close of the first day, despite losing opener Jason Gallian for a duck. On the second, only 33 overs of play were possible, but Nottinghamshire still marched on to 231 for 2 before Darren Bicknell's dismissal for 123 precipitated a collapse. The last eight wickets fell for 52 runs, as Robert Croft took three wickets and Dean Cosker four either side of stumps on the second day.
Nottinghamshire defended a 132-run lead on first innings, and their bowlers made early inroads, however, as Glamorgan crashed to 94 for 5 with Powell and Alex Wharf at the crease. The pair fought back, adding 118 in just under three hours, as Glamorgan at least gave Nottinghamshire something to chase. Four wickets from Mark Ealham in the late hours of the third day's play, though, reduced Glamorgan to 290 for 9 at the close, and Wharf added 17 on the fourth morning with Huw Waters (who recorded an unbeaten 24-ball duck) before he was dismissed by Andrew Harris for 113, his highest first class score. Despite Wharf's century, Nottinghamshire were set a relatively low target of 176, and fifties from Jason Gallian and Russell Warren carried Nottinghamshire past the target and onto the top of the Championship table with eight wickets in hand. (Cricinfo scorecard)Gloucestershire (10pts) drew with Middlesex (9pts)
Gloucestershire recovered well from last week's defeat at the hands of Glamorgan, to give Middlesex a decent fight and take the most points from a drawn game at Bristol. The hosts batted first, and after losing Craig Spearman and Ramnaresh Sarwan early, Gloucestershire fought back with three partnerships worth more than 60. Alex Gidman, Steve Adshead and Malinga Bandara all recorded fifties; the Sri Lankan Bandara, batting at eight, took the liberty to hit two sixes in an 89-ball 70. For Middlesex, Alan Richardson and Jamie Dalrymple took four wickets each, but gave up more than four runs an over in the process as Glamorgan made 333 in 92.2 overs. Middlesex batted to stumps on day one without loss, but William Rudge removed the top three to set them back slightly. Wickets continued to fall, with Malinga Bandara taking four of them, and Middlesex crashed to 248 for 9 before a last wicket partnership between Melvyn Betts and Stuart Clark took them to 297 before Bandara dismissed Betts lbw to end with five for 71.
Betts and Clark then shared five of the ten Gloucestershire wickets to fall, interrupting Gloucestershire's innings rather regularly, but not preventing four partnerships of above 50. Kadeer Ali top-scored with 61, while Mark Hardinges was stranded on 58 to lift the hosts to a total 287, which set Middlesex 324 in five hours to win. Gloucestershire got a breakthrough in the very first over, as Ed Smith hit two fours off Jon Lewis before being caught behind after four deliveries. With Owais Shah dismissed by Bandara, Middlesex went into defensive mode, and eventually the match was declared a draw with Middlesex 121 short of the winning target. (Cricinfo scorecard)Hampshire (22pts) beat Warwickshire (4pts) by an innings and 86 runs
Hampshire dominated proceedings against Warwickshire at The Rose Bowl, occupying the crease for a day and a half to amass 576 runs in their first innings. The top three of James Adams, Sean Ervine and John Crawley set the tone with fifties, and when Crawley departed for 60 the score had moved to 279 for 3. Jonathan Trott and Makhaya Ntini shared three wickets before the end of the day, leaving Hampshire 353 for 6 overnight, but Shane Watson and Dimitri Mascarenhas shared a mammoth 234-run partnership for the seventh wicket. Watson hit a career-best 203 not out, while Mascarenhas took three hours for an unbeaten 102, the first century of his season, before Shaun Udal declared. Warwickshire stumbled early on, falling to 21 for 2, but an unbeaten 97 from Nick Knight lifted them to 145 for 4 at the close of play on day two.
Knight could not save Warwickshire alone, though, and Warwickshire lost sixteen wickets on the third day to crumble to an innings defeat. Knight got his century, ending with 116, but no other batsman passed 30, as they were all out for 258 in the first innings. They were asked to follow on 318 behind, and did rather well initially, getting the score to 110 for 1 after two hours. Then, Jonathan Trott and Ian Westwood fell in quick succession, leaving Jamie Troughton to try and tie together a match-saving innings with the lower order. He made a two-hour 76 before being ninth out, caught off Shaun Udal's bowling, ending Warwickshire's resistance. No further runs were added for the tenth wicket, as Makhaya Ntini was bowled by Udal, and Warwickshire ended on 232 all out - 86 runs short of making Hampshire bat again. Hampshire captain Udal finished with a second innings analysis of 22-8-44-6, after only one wicket in the first innings. The win left Hampshire briefly on top of the Championship, before Nottinghamshire took over the following day. (Cricinfo scorecard)
Derbyshire medium pacer Ian Hunter, formerly of Durham, got career-best bowling figures of five for 63 as Derbyshire - the only winless team in the Championship so far this season - nearly managed to record a win at Riverside Ground against the table-toppers from Durham. Nine batsmen reached double figures, yet only two passed 30, and no one made it to fifty, as Dale Benkenstein top-scoring with 49. Liam Plunkett dug out one wicket in the first evening and one on the second morning, as Derbyshire crashed to 64 for 4, but a grinding 231-minute partnership between Jon Moss (92 runs) and Chris Bassano (87) yielded 148 runs to turn the game around. Luke Sutton hit an uncharacteristically quick 55 off 119 balls, as Derbyshire ground their way to 326.
Australian opener Jimmy Maher recorded his second successive single-figure score in his first match for Durham, as the hosts crawled to 59 for 3, but centuries from Paul Collingwood and Dale Benkenstein sent them back on track. The pair added 206 runs together before Collingwood was out for 112 - his sixth first-class century in twelve matches - while Benkenstein continued to 162 not out, adding 80 valuable runs with Gareth Breese and 21 for the ninth wicket with Brad Williams before declaring. The declaration set Derbyshire 280 to win in 66 overs, and after Michael di Venuto and Steve Stubbings put on 91 for the first wicket Derbyshire eyed their first win for three years. However, despite 101 from Stubbings, the rest of the batting order could not quite hit quite quickly enough, and they finished on an agonising 277 for 6 - three runs short of victory. (Cricinfo scorecard)Northamptonshire (19pts) beat Lancashire (6pts) by 285 runs
Northamptonshire recorded their fourth win of the season thanks to their top order batting and their spin bowling. They had won the toss and batted, placing themselves well at 224 for 4, but the last six wickets yielded only 63 runs, and Lancashire seamer Dominic Cork could take three late wickets to end with four for 27. Northamptonshire were bowled out early on the second morning for 289, but immediately hit back, Damien Wright dismissing Lancashire's captain Mark Chilton for 0. In a bowling effort dominated by spinners - Jason Brown and Monty Panesar sharing 68 of the 94 overs bowled - Northamptonshire tugged away, and but for Stuart Law's 111, the hosts might have got a first innings lead. However, it was Lancashire who got a lead of 12, with Brown taking five for 113 from 36.3 overs.
James Anderson then took two early wickets, leading to a long bowling effort for him - he bowled 28 overs, but could not add to his wicket tally, while Usman Afzaal ran away to 147, adding 183 with Bilal Shafayat. Northamptonshire declared eight overs into the last day, with the score 400 for 6 to unleash their spinners on Lancashire's batting line-up - and they did so very successfully. Brown got his second five-for of the match, ending with match figures of ten for 135, and Monty Panesar also got three wickets as Lancashire collapsed in a heap for 103 - with only Chilton passing 20, in a reversal of fortunes from the first innings. (Cricinfo scorecard)Leicestershire (12pts) drew with Worcestershire (9pts)
Opener John Maunders batted for four hours for his first century of the first class season, and a further two hours to make a total of 148, which helped Leicestershire to a solid total of 407 at New Road - yet the slow nature of his batting meant there was little time to force a victory. Paul Nixon also hit a three-hour fifty for Leicestershire, while Kabir Ali got the best bowling figures with four for 95, including nine no-balls and one wide. Spinners Ray Price and Chris Gayle took a total of five wickets in their 32.1 overs, while both Shoaib Akhtar and Gareth Batty went wicketless. Worcestershire's batsmen all got starts, but not much more, and David Masters dug out both openers to end with three for 49 as Worcestershire were all out for 290 - Claude Henderson taking care of the last four wickets with nine balls, to end with four for 72 in the innings.
Leicestershire lost both openers to Kabir Ali who took three wickets at a cost of more than five runs an over as Aftab Habib and Tom New hit plenty of runs off him. Habib made 90, as Leicestershire declared on 255 for 5, setting Worcestershire 371 in five hours, but the chase was halted by bad light. When it finally got underway, Worcestershire crashed to 87 for 4 after two wickets from Charl Willoughby, but fifties from Ben Smith and Gareth Batty saved the draw for Worcestershire. (Cricinfo scorecard)