Royal London Cup: Krunal Pandya stars in thrilling match


Krunal Pandya hit 74 and picked up a wicket

Krunal Pandya hit 74 and picked up a wicket ©Getty


Surrey v Warwickshire

Surrey and Warwickshire played a thriller at the Kennington Oval as the game ended in a draw. Warwickshire posted 293/5 for the first time, largely thanks to a 160-point partnership between Michael Burgess and Krunal Pandya. While Burgess shot 93, Krunal hit a crucial 74. The visitors then struck with the ball at regular intervals to reduce the opposition to 72/4. But a stunning recovery was in store as Nico Reifer and Nick Kimber nearly pulled off a miracle. Kimber’s quick 84 was then finished off by Krunal, who managed to castle it. Matt Dunn at the death nearly got the job done before a Liam Norwell yorker in the final forced a tie.

Durham v Middlesex

Stephen Eskinazi marked a majestic century as Middlesex secured a commanding victory over Durham. Chasing 269, Middlesex got the job done with over eight overs to spare as Eskinazi broke a superlative ton to finish unbeaten on 146. He had the backing of Mark Stoneman and Sam Robson as the duo hit their 50s. Earlier in the day, Umesh Yadav picked up a five-wicket shot to put Durham out for 268. Umesh retired opener Graham Clark for a second-ball duck and also got rid of Scott Borthwick in the power play before adding wickets at the death to complete his five-iron. In the middle of the races, Michael Jones held on with a century, which in the end was not enough.

Sussex v Leicestershire

Sussex made light work of their contest against Leicestershire in a game that lasted just 50 overs in total. Leicestershire’s efforts with the bat saw just two batters break the 20-run mark as they were knocked out for a paltry 120. Even though Harrison Ward was fired early, Sussex were unfazed as Alistair Orr and Tom Clark ensured victory was a mere formality as their side chased 121 in 19 overs.

Gloucestershire v Somerset

An all-around performance from Jack Taylor gave Gloucestershire a comfortable five-wicket win over Somerset. Taylor first picked four wickets to trigger a meltdown that saw Somerset go from 72/1 to 98/5. They managed to recover to some degree to put 199 on the board and would have guessed their chances when Gloucestershire were struggling at 69/4 in the chase. However, Taylor stepped in once more as he hit five sixes in his unbeaten 77 to guide his team home.


Yorkshire v Worcestershire

Ben Cox’s 46-ball 70 counterattack was in vain as Yorkshire beat Worcestershire by four wickets. Cox took charge with his struggling side at 94/4. With fellow half-centurion Jake Libby for company, Cox made sure his team put up a competitive total on the board. Chasing 247, Yorkshire were struggling at 37/3 before George Hill turned things around. Hill hit a nice ton and struck up some useful partnerships that helped Yorkshire turn the tide. He eventually finished with 130 as Yorkshire got the job done with 16 balls to spare.

Northamptonshire v Essex

Northamptonshire beat Essex in a thrilling high scoring game at Northampton. Essex put 343 on the board for the first time after a century of Feroze Khushi and fifty of Tom Westley. Pursuing this massive goal, the hosts lost their first games with just 14 points on the board. But skipper Will Young ensured the momentum was turning in his side’s favor by adding 212 for the third wicket with centurion Saif Zaib. Even though the visitors continued to tie the hosts with regular wickets after that position, Zaib stood straight at one end before the lower order did the job to the death in spectacular fashion.

Lancashire v Derbyshire

Steven Croft’s vigilant unbeaten 87 helped Lancashire to a 39-point win over Derbyshire in a low-scoring encounter. Lancashire were struggling at 67/4 when Washington Sundar was sent off for a first-ball duck. But Croft teamed up with Rob Jones as the duo struck cautiously on a surface that was not conducive to batting. Both batters beat overs and guided Lancashire to a competitive 221/4. As Shan Masood fought for Derbyshire in the chase, the rest fell apart. Will Williams picked up four wickets and Washington made amends with the ball by participating in a few wickets as Derbyshire were knocked out for 182.

Kent v Hampshire

Tom Perst’s 181 and Nick Gubbins’ 117 were the highlights of Hampshire’s 163-point win over Kent. The Centurions added 207 for second wicket with Perst managing to bat deep in the innings, breaking seven sixes in his 181. That superlative batting effort took them to 396 and Kent never looked to be in the chase. Alex Blake was the only batter to put up some resistance as he hit five sixes in his 62 from 43 balls. But with the rest in ruins, victory was a foregone conclusion for the visitors.

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