London: England opener Marcus Trescothick continued his superb start to the year as Somerset powered to an emphatic eight-wicket Benson and Hedges Cup win over Northamptonshire at Wantage Road on Saturday that boosts its chances of securing a quarter-final place. The left-hander hit 15 fours in his unbeaten 109 off 117 balls as the visitors passed Northamptonshire's 219 for six with more than 10 overs to spare. It was his second century in the competition - and his third in all cricket - so far this season, Trescothick warming up in impressive style for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's later this month. He and Somerset's Australian captain Jamie Cox (72) added 145 for the second wicket to make it three wins out four for the West Country County. Meanwhile Nick Knight, the man whom Trescothick has overtaken in the Test stakes, also made a century. At Edgbaston the left-hander's undefeated 107-steered Warwickshire to a 55-run win against Glamorgan. The two-day double - he made 101 against Northamptonshire on Friday - kept alive his side's chances of reaching the quarter-finals. Another England exile, Mark Ramprakash, was also in the runs, his unbeaten 97 off 117 balls, taking Surrey to a six wicket win over Essex at The Oval. He was backed up by England wicket-keeper Alec Stewart, who in his first game of the season scored 59 off 118 balls, including six fours. Earlier England captain Nasser Hussain and Australian Stuart Law shared a 105 run partnership. Law was the first to reach 50, scored off 68 balls including five fours. Hussain got to 50 in 77 balls, including three fours and one six, but the partnership was broken next ball, when Law fell for 55 to a good Alistair Brown catch at short mid-wicket off Ian Salisbury's bowling. Hussain was eventually out for 63 his caught behind by Stewart off Surrey captain Adam Holioke. The former England One-day captain took four for 36 with his sly medium-pacers. Meanwhile Durham's Paul Collingwood (95 not out) produced his second match-winning performance in a week to guide his team a seven wicket win over Leicestershire at the Riverside. Collingwood followed up his 89 at Derby on Tuesday in fine style after helping to restrict Leicestershire to 200 for seven with one for 34 and two slip catches. The north-east county was without Queenslander Martin Love for this match after the Australian broke his finger in Friday's defeat against Nottinghamshire. Only When Darren Stevens and Daniel Marsh were putting on 56 for the fifth wicket did Leicestershire look like posting a challenging target. But Marsh, son of former Australia wicket-keeper Rodney, went when well set, bowled for 38 trying to run off spinner Nicky Phillips to third man.
Copyright AFP 2001