Centurion Hildreth slays Dragons
James Hildreth smashed the first century of this year’s Friends Life t20 as Somerset sealed a thrilling four-wicket victory over the Welsh Dragons with one ball to spare in the Midlands/Wales/West Group.
Shaun Marsh had top-scored with an impressive 85 in the visitors’ 178 for five, but Hildreth bludgeoned 15 fours and a maximum in an unbeaten 60-ball 107 to see Somerset over the line from the penultimate delivery.
Gloucestershire picked up their first win of this year’s competition with Ian Saxelby’s four-wicket showing consigning Northamptonshire to a narrow eight-run loss.
The Gladiators posted 139 for nine and Northants slipped to 18 for four in reply as Ed Young became the first man to dismiss Cameron White in this campaign at the cost of just a solitary run.
Kyle Coetzer’s 44 gave the Steelbacks some hope, but Muttiah Muralitharan accounted for him before Saxelby picked up another couple of wickets to finish with figures of 4-16.
Warwickshire avenged their two t20 defeats against local rivals Worcestershire last season by clinching a comfortable eight-wicket victory with 21 balls to spare.
Chasing just 121, Varun Chopra’s unbeaten 49 and Darren Maddy’s 39 not out steered the Bears past the line with consummate ease.
In the North Group David Miller dazzled with six sixes and five fours in an unbeaten 74 to help Yorkshire to a 12-run win.
The South African, whose total came from 35 deliveries, provided a sizeable chunk of the White Rose’s 171 for six.
Ryan Sidebottom then took 4-25, while fellow seamer Mitchell Starc claimed 3-33, as Durham were dismissed for 159 despite the efforts of Miller’s fellow countryman Herschelle Gibbs, who helped himself to 76.
Defending champions Leicestershire broke their duck at the fifth attempt with an eight-wicket win over Derbyshire in an eight-over game at Grace Road.
Greg Smith's 23 aided a home total of 80 for three before three wickets for Abdul Razzaq and two for Rob Taylor saw the visitors close six wickets down.
The other North Group game between Lancashire and Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
In the South Group Luke Wright’s 91 from 61 balls set up Sussex’s 21-run win over Middlesex at the PROBIZ County Ground.
Opening batsman Wright struck seven fours and two sixes in the Sharks’ 161 for four before two wickets apiece from spinners Michael Yardy and Will Beer limited the Panthers to 140 for six.
Essex hit the 15 they needed from the last over to beat Surrey, playing their first game since the death of Tom Maynard on Monday, by three wickets at Chelmsford.
Reece Topley’s three wickets helped to limit the Lions to 144 for nine and opening batsman James Franklin anchored the chase with 63 not out, although Tim Phillips won the game with 14 at the end off Dirk Nannes. England Test bowler Chris Tremlett took 3-19 on his senior return from a back injury.
In another exciting finish, Kent defeated Hampshire by three runs at the Ageas Bowl.
Sam Northeast’s unbeaten 46 saw the Spitfires to 151 for five and the Royals fell just short with Matt Coles defending 18 from the final over.