Magical Moeen savages Gladiators
Moeen Ali’s career-best Twenty20 score helped Worcestershire clock up 213 on their way to a 47-run victory over Gloucestershire in their Friends Life t20 Midlands/Wales/West Group game at New Road.
Opener Moeen smashed 82, surpassing his previous best of 72, while Australian Phil Hughes weighed in with an unbeaten 78, just five shy of his highest score in this format.
The pair put on 100 for the second wicket as the Royals racked up 21 fours and seven sixes in a dominant display with the bat.
Gloucestershire opener Hamish Marshall clearly understood the magnitude of the task and wasted no time in tearing into the hosts’ attack.
But, after he had been sent back for a 23-ball 43, the wickets began to tumble for the visitors with Jack Shantry claiming a quartet of scalps.
Gareth Andrew, who had earlier made 32 not out, snared three wickets as Gloucestershire were dismissed for 166 with seven balls to spare.
Jos Buttler’s wonderfully-crafted half-century under pressure guided Somerset to a five-wicket win over Northamptonshire at Taunton.
Ireland spinner George Dockrell thwarted the visitors' early progress with 2-17, leaving Cameron White and David Willey to share an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 52.
Australian White struck a 44-ball 47 and Willey made 30 from 18 deliveries to lift Northants to 137 for five.
Coming in at 64 for three after James Middlebrook’s two wickets, Buttler needed just 38 deliveries to make an unbeaten 58 and see Somerset home with a ball to spare.
The Welsh Dragons were grateful for two late sixes from Jim Allenby as they recorded a five-run victory over Warwickshire on the Duckworth/Lewis method following showers at the SWALEC Stadium.
An early stoppage for rain saw the game reduced to 18 overs a side and Warwickshire duly posted 141 for five, thanks largely to 53 from opener Varun Chopra and Darren Maddy’s 49.
Marcus North fell cheaply in reply, but Shaun Marsh contributed 30 not out off 25 balls and Allenby was unbeaten on 24 from 15, having struck maximums in successive overs, when further precipitation forced the teams off after eight overs with the hosts on 62 for one.
Kent brought Surrey’s 100% start to a crashing halt as they romped to an eight-wicket triumph in the South Group.
Captain Rob Key and Darren Stevens compiled an unbroken 69-run stand for the third wicket to see the Spitfires past their target of 117 with 22 balls remaining.
Key’s steady 51 from 57 was complemented by Stevens’ bruising 43, which came off 25 balls and included four maximums.
Surrey had won the toss and chose to bat, but they lost Jason Roy to the first ball of their innings and toiled to 51 for four off 11 overs as captain Rory Hamilton-Brown and Tom Maynard both departed to the tune of seven.
Gary Wilson, who played a pivotal role in salvaging a respectable total in a winning cause against Middlesex, posted his second successive half-century, finishing unbeaten on 53 to steer Surrey to 116 for seven, but it proved in vain.
Elsewhere in that group, Chris Liddle’s career-best 5-17 helped Sussex edge past Middlesex by 11 runs at Lord's.
The left-armer struck three times in four deliveries in the penultimate over to deny the hosts, who ended on 132 for eight, after Neil Dexter and Chris Berg had scored 36 and 23 respectively to give the chasing side hope.
The visitors had struggled early on in the contest after electing to bat, but New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris made 48 on his debut while Murray Goodwin chipped in with 43 to guide them to 143 for eight.
Nottinghamshire coasted to their second successive North Group victory thanks to a seven-wicket win over Durham.
Johann Myburgh, on his home debut, top-scored with 45 off 41 balls, but Harry Gurney took 2-28 off four overs to restrict the hosts to 114 for five.
Michael Lumb and Alex Hales shared an opening stand of 62 and, despite the pair departing for 46 and 30 respectively, Notts raced to victory with 22 deliveries to spare.
Andrew Gale led from the front as Yorkshire condemned defending champions Leicestershire to their third straight defeat with a 22-run victory at Headingley Carnegie.
The White Rose captain backed up his decision to bat first with 70 off 42 deliveries in an opening stand of 116 with Phil Jaques, who contributed 48 to a total of 170 for four.
Josh Cobb gave Leicestershire a solid start with 46 and Ramnaresh Sarwan added 45, but Mitchell Starc took three wickets in the final over to skittle the visitors for 148.