2005 English cricket season (1–15 August)

2005 English cricket season (1–15 August)

The period of the 2005 English cricket season from 1 to 14 August included two Ashes Test matches, two rounds of the County Championship, two Under-19 Tests, and the opening Test of the Women's Ashes. It began with the Australians completing a draw against Worcestershire in a three-day tour match, while Sussex Sharks kept up their good National League run with a win over Somerset Sabres and Bangladesh A won a one-day game against Lancashire.

On 3 August, six matches in the Championship started, and Kent and Sussex completed victories inside three days. Kent thus remained on top of the Division 1 table. Warwickshire and Hampshire were taken into the fourth day - Warwickshire coming back from a tricky position, trailing by 332 with seven Middlesex second-innings wickets still to take, while Hampshire managed to bowl second-from-bottom Gloucestershire out in a day at Rose Bowl. In Division Two, Lancashire used their victory at Grace Road in Leicestershire to exploit a rare slip-up from Durham and grab 16 points in the title-battle.

However, the Championship matches came in the background due to the second Ashes Test, where England took on Australia at Edgbaston Cricket Ground for the second Test of the five-match series. England carried a 0–1 deficit into Edgbaston, having been defeated by 239 runs in the first Test, but with Glenn McGrath slipping on a ball while playing rugby and tearing his ankle ligaments, England took the momentum.

Australia trailed by 99 on first innings, but had England in trouble at 75 for 6 in the second innings, before Andrew Flintoff - despite struggling with a shoulder injury - struck 73 runs and took three wickets as England went to stumps on day three in the ascendancy - leading by 106 with two Australian wickets left to grab. Warne, Brett Lee (Australia's top-scorer with 43 not out) and Michael Kasprowicz cut 104 of those runs off the target, but Kasprowicz gloved Harmison behind to Geraint Jones, to leave England 2-run winners and the series tied at one-all.

The English youth team were the first to record a Test victory, however, beating Sri Lanka by 220 runs in an Under-19 Test. Essex Eagles took control of Division One of the National League on the evening of England's victory over the Aussies, after eking out a four-run win over Middlesex Crusaders. Yorkshire Phoenix finally won a League match after a two-month drought, beating the Scottish Saltires, while Division Two table leaders Sussex Sharks fell to Leicestershire Foxes.

On 9 August, the second Under-19 Test and the first women's Test began - the first ended in an England win, almost as convincing as the first Test, while Arran Brindle scored a maiden Test century to save the draw for England Women. The Ashes battle recommenced on 11 August, and this time the Australian team included McGrath. It made little difference - the England captain Michael Vaughan scored 166 on the first day to propel England to 444, and although rain wrecked day three, a win still looked possible for England after Andrew Strauss' 106. However, Australian captain Ricky Ponting made a battling 156 for Australia, earning him the Man of the Match award and the team a draw with nine wickets down.

There were also matches in the Championship during the Test - Warwickshire, Sussex and Northamptonshire recorded wins, but rain played a major part and four matches ended in draws, including the top of the table battle in Division One between Kent and Hampshire. Kent gained two bonus points over Hampshire, however, and now led by 17 points. The period was rounded off with another National League round - table-toppers Essex Eagles fell to 122 and a 60-run loss against Gloucestershire Gladiators, while Sussex Sharks suffered their second successive loss in Division Two and Yorkshire Phoenix were defeated by Somerset Sabres in a 688-run batting feast at Taunton, and England Under-19s began their third and final Test by scoring 298 in the first innings.


National league - weekday games

Sussex v Somerset (1 August)

Sussex (4pts) beat Somerset (0pts) by 11 runs

Robin Montgomerie and Matthew Prior opened the batting with a partnership of 13, and Murray Goodwin added a further 97 with Montgomerie for the third wicket, as Sussex Sharks made 266 for 3 in their 45 overs. Montgomerie's 132 not out was his highest List A score Somerset Sabres lost wickets regularly, and despite dispatching Mushtaq Ahmed for 70 in 9 overs, they finished on 255 for 9 - Michael Yardy taking four for 26, while Ian Blackwell top-scored for Somerset with 57. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Worcestershire v Northamptonshire (2 August)

Northamptonshire (4pts) beat Worcestershire (0pts) by 38 runs

Usman Afzaal scored 117 off just 103 balls as Northamptonshire Steelbacks ploughed their way to 275 for 4, Afzaal pairing up with Martin Love for the second wicket for a partnership that was worth 155 runs. The Royals' innings struggled from the outset, when Stephen Moore was dismissed for a duck, and despite 52 from Graeme Hick, Worcestershire imploded to 185 for 9 at one point, with Bilal Shafayat taking four for 33 with medium-pace bowling. In the final overs, Shoaib Akhtar had some hitting fun at the end, scoring 36 off 17 balls in vain as Worcestershire ended on 237 for 9. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Derbyshire v Somerset (3 August)

Derbyshire (4pts) beat Somerset (0pts) by 15 runs

Derbyshire Phantoms jumped into fifth in the table thanks to their win over Somerset Sabres, who for the second time in that week conceded more than 260 in 45 overs. Michael di Venuto slashed 11 fours on his way to 87, and despite two maiden overs from Andrew Caddick, Derbyshire made 277 for 5. Carl Gazzard and Malaysian Arul Suppiah gave Somerset a chance of chasing the big total with their 125-run second-wicket stand, but Jonathan Moss took four for 60 with his off breaks and Andy Gray three for 47 with medium-pace. That plunged Somerset to 241 for 9 before William Durston made 24 not out to see Somerset to the end of 45 overs - still 16 runs short of victory. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Tour matches

Lancashire v Bangladesh A (1 August)

Bangladesh A won by seven wickets (D/L Method)

Lancashire put out a second-string side against Bangladesh A, admittedly including former ODI bowler Sajid Mahmood, and were duly punished by the tourists, who cruised to a seven-wicket victory. Having won the toss, the Bangladeshis chose to bowl at Lancashire, and after Andrew Crook and Iain Sutcliffe had put on 35 for the first wicket, Shahadat Hossain dug out two quick wickets. Lancashire recovered somewhat before rain stopped play for nearly two hours, but when the players returned, Abdur Razzak ran through the middle order. He took three wickets for 25, and Lancashire collapsed to 149, with two run outs. Bangladesh were set 152 to win due to the rain interruption, and the tourists scored slowly before Tushar Imran came to the crease. Tushar took 91 balls to forge 93 runs, his sixth one-day fifty, as he guided Bangladesh A to a total of 155 for 3 with more than 15 overs remaining in the match. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Yorkshire v Bangladesh A (3-5 August)

Yorkshire won by 126 runs

A second-string Yorkshire pummeled the Bangladeshi bowlers, and despite the short timeframe - three days instead of the County Championship's four - they still got a win. With a run-rate of more than four an over they quickly made their way to 357 for 2 on the first day - Matthew Wood made an unbeaten 202, five short of his career highest score, and shared an opening partnership worth 272 with Joe Sayers. In reply, Tushar Imran made his second first-class century on tour, and the fifth of his career, with 116 in a little over three hours, and 19-year-old Nazimuddin made 60 as the tourists made their way to 325 - left-armer David Lucas taking five for 49. Yorkshire lost two wickets before stumps to be 48 for 2, but Michael Lumb made a century on the final day to ensure continued Yorkshire domination as they declared on 240 for 2, setting Bangladesh a target of 273 in three and a half hours. Lucas continued on his fine form from the first innings, taking three wickets, and no Bangladeshi passed 30 as they succumbed for 146 - Lucas took three for 35, fellow left-armer David Wainwright took three for 22 with his spin, and even part-time medium-pacer Richard Pyrah got one wicket in his two overs. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Under-19 Test

1st Under-19 "Test": England Under-19s v Sri Lanka Under-19s (3-6 August)

England Under-19s won by 220 runs

On the first day, 16-year-old left-arm spinner Sachith Pathirana took four wickets to interrupt England's progress, but runs were taken off the other bowlers and England's youth players were set at 133 for 4. Fifties from Moeen Ali - cousin of England international Kabir Ali - Tom Smith and Nicholas James turned the game towards England, however, as England made their way to 386 for 7 at stumps and 411 all out a little while afterwards, despite Pathirana ending up with six wickets for 125. Sri Lanka's wickets fell regularly, with the highest partnership being worth 50 for the fourth wicket, and Mark Footitt got three for 61, despite bowling six no-balls. However, Angelo Matthews stood tall and made his way to 80, including 16 fours, which rescued the tourists to a somewhat respectable 295 - trailing by 116 after being bowled out five overs into the third morning.

Fifties from Varun Chopra and Kevin Latouf showed that England were determined to get a big lead, leading by 315 with five wickets in hand at the close of on day three. After adding 37 in five overs on the fourth morning, England declared, leaving a target of 353. Footitt took two early wickets, but again revealed a no-ball problem, as he bowled five in nine overs. Still, Sri Lanka collapsed to 59 for 5, before a 38-run partnership between Pathirana and Lahiru Peiris gave them some hope. However, Leicestershire's Stuart Broad ended the matter with five for 17 from 12.2 overs, and Sri Lanka ended on 132, losing the first Test by 220 runs. (Cricinfo scorecard)

County Championship

Division one

Gloucestershire v Hampshire (3-6 August)

Hampshire (21pts) beat Gloucestershire (7pts) by 178 runs

Gloucestershire bowlers Steve Kirby, Jon Lewis and Malinga Bandara threatened to make a mockery of Shaun Udal's decision to have a bat at Bristol, as Hampshire fell to 81 for 7, with five batsmen out for single-figures. However, a 257-run partnership - a Hampshire record for the eighth wicket - between Nic Pothas and Andy Bichel turned the match around, as Lewis was carted for 112 runs in his 20 overs, despite five of them being maiden overs. Hampshire finished their innings on 385 all out, after Pothas had made 139 and Bichel 138, and Gloucestershire struggled initially with the bat, losing their first two wickets for 25 runs (admittedly with Kirby filling the role of nightwatchman).

On the second day, Alex Gidman posted 115 and Steve Adshead 73 to lift Gloucestershire from 191 for 6 to 363. Hampshire then collapsed again, falling to 23 for 3 (including the wicket of nightwatchman Chris Tremlett) before John Crawley and Shane Watson rescued them with a 120-run partnership, as spinners Bandara and Ian Fisher toiled away to little effect. Hampshire eventually declared on 388 for 7, with four of their batsmen passing fifty, which left Gloucestershire 411 to win in a day. That never looked likely, but attritional cricket from Ramnaresh Sarwan and Matt Windows lifted Gloucestershire to 156 for 2, and then Gidman came in to add a further 39 for the fourth wicket. However, Shane Watson got a vital breakthrough with the wicket of Gidman, Shaun Udal unleashed a spell of furious off-spin on the tail, taking six for 61, and Gloucestershire were bowled out with an hour to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Kent v Glamorgan (3-5 August)

Kent (22pts) beat Glamorgan (5pts) by an innings and 124 runs

Kent, as expected, beat Glamorgan, but were worried on occasion. Having been shaken early on as Glamorgan dug out four early wickets, Kent were lifted by a 267-run partnership between Darren Stevens (who made 208) and Andrew Hall (133) which helped them along the way to a final first-innings score of 587, with Min Patel taking 55 balls for a 64 from number nine. Six Glamorgan players were then out in single figures, Amjad Khan taking three for 68, but number three David Hemp stood tall with an unbeaten 171. Glamorgan were 188 for 9 at one point on day two, but survived to stumps to 236 for 9, and just kept going - their number 11, Huw Waters, made 34 from 192 balls, and he added 118 with Hemp, for the second-highest stand of the match.

However, Hemp was worn out after his marathon knock, and was sent in at five as Glamorgan followed on. Glamorgan were bundled out for 157, Hemp only lasting half an hour before he was lbw to Hall, who took four for 32. Justin Kemp and Simon Cook also got two wickets each, while Jonathan Hughes top scored with 27. This was Glamorgan's tenth loss in the County Championship this season. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Warwickshire (3-6 August)

Warwickshire (19pts) beat Middlesex (5.5pts) by three wickets

Warwickshire had got adequate replacement for their injured Zimbabwean Heath Streak, as Makhaya Ntini took four for 79 on his debut for the Bears against Middlesex. However, Paul Weekes made 92 not out to rescue them from a poor position at 139 for 6 to a final total of 323. Then, another overseas player making his overseas debut - Stuart Clark from New South Wales, Australia - took five wickets, three on the first day and two on the second, as Warwickshire plummeted to 85 for 6. It took another 92 - from Scot Dougie Brown to see them past 200, and his four-hour knock proved invaluable to Warwickshire's eventual turn-around.

Ben Hutton and Owais Shah looked to set a massive target on day three, however, pairing up for 151 to add to Middlesex' 51-run first innings lead - but again Ntini came to the rescue for Warwickshire, as only Shah got the ball off the square and Middlesex whimpered from 281 for 3 to 330 all out. Shah finished not out, having hit 15 fours and two sixes in a five-hour 156. Peter Trego then took two wickets with two balls as Warwickshire fell to six for two, but Jamie Troughton smacked four sixes and twelve fours in a quickfire 119 as Warwickshire forced their way to 221 for 3 at stumps, with Nick Knight not out overnight on 67, leaving the match interestingly poised with 161 to win and seven wickets in hand. Knight was dismissed for 75 by the Australian Clark, who also removed Neil Carter for 15, but Alex Loudon proved too difficult to get out. His unbeaten 95, along with 27 not out from Luke Parker, saw Warwickshire pass the target with three wickets to spare, despite Middlesex' slow over rate, which caused them to be deducted half a point. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Surrey (3-5 August)

Sussex (21pts) beat Surrey (4pts) by five wickets

Surrey won the toss at Hove against Sussex, and chose to bat - and lost the wickets of both their openers in the first 20 minutes to fall to seven for two. Mark Ramprakash, Rikki Clarke and Jonathan Batty steadied the ship, and Surrey made their way to 157 for 3, only for all-rounder Robin Martin-Jenkins to snare a couple of wickets and incite a collapse to 187 for 8. Azhar Mahmood's quickfire 57 not out lifted them to 248, but Sussex posted 67 for the first wicket, and despite by four wickets from Azhar which sent the hosts to 180 for 6, Martin-Jenkins made 88 from number eight to help Sussex to 378 and a lead of 130.

Openers Scott Newman and Richard Clinton made up for their first-innings failure and batted 22 overs until stumps on day two without giving away their wickets, but on the third morning James Kirtley got the vital breakthrough, having Clinton caught for 12 off 79 balls. Rikki Clarke's 75 led Surrey to set a target, at least, as the Pakistanis dominated - Naved-ul-Hasan got four for 70 and Mushtaq Ahmed three for 96. Surrey had some Pakistanis of their own, as Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Akram took two and one wicket respectively, and Sussex scrambled to 33 for 4 at tea on day 3, chasing a meagre 125 to win. After tea, however, Michael Yardy and Matthew Prior attacked Nayan Doshi with fury - Prior finishing with 66 not out off just 48 balls - as Sussex eased to the target with five wickets to spare, losing Yardy for 35 but still holding out for the win. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Division two

Essex v Durham (3-6 August)

Essex (18pts) beat Durham (3pts) by two wickets

Durham won the toss at Southend-on-Sea, and their first innings lasted two sessions for 196, New Zealander Andre Adams taking five for 60 while Danish Kaneria took three for 30 for Essex. Essex also lost five wickets on the first day, to trail by 89, and as Tony Palladino and James Middlebrook were dismissed in quick succession Durham were 62 behind with three wickets in hand, with Australian Michael Lewis having taken four for 69. However, opener Alastair Cook was still there, and he was eventually last out after batting for four and a half hours, crafting 107 as Essex made it to 245 and a lead of 49. Adams dug out both openers when Durham returned to bat, but four partnerships of more than 40 - the highest between Dale Benkenstein and Gareth Breese, who added 92 - saw Durham to a first-innings total of 347, as captain Benkenstein top-scored with 124.

Essex needed 299 to win, and had four sessions to do it. They lost Ravinder Bopara after 12 minutes, caught off Liam Plunkett, but Andy Flower and Alastair Cook forged a 72-run partnership before Durham medium-pacer Mark Davies struck and had Cook caught behind. At stumps on day three, Essex were 129 for 2. Lewis and Gareth Breese did a lot of bowling for Durham on the fourth day, totalling 65.1 of Durham's total of 100.1 overs, and after Ronnie Irani departed for 48, Durham limited the Essex partnerships to no more than 25. Andy Flower stood tall, however, spending six and a half hours at the crease to end with 132 not out - and his eighth-wicket partnership of 25 saw Essex cut the target to 10. Palladino hung in there with Flower, contributing a single, and Essex won by two wickets. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Leicestershire v Lancashire (3-6 August)

Lancashire (19pts) beat Leicestershire (5pts) by 234 runs

Leicestershire were in the game at Grace Road for exactly two days, after having Lancashire effectively 68 for 3 in the second innings. However, they lost it from there, and Lancashire took the win to go into second place in the Championship table. Lancashire had won the toss and batted first, with Iain Sutcliffe top scoring with 93, as nine batsmen made it into double figures but only Sutcliffe managed a fifty. Medium pacer Ryan Cummins got three for 32 in his first game for Leicestershire, but only bowled ten overs, as the captain preferred an ineffective but economical Claude Henderson. After making their way to 16 for 0 on the first day, Leicestershire fell apart twice, first from 69 for 0 to 78 for 4 and then from 160 for 5 to 183 for 8. However, Aftab Habib made 84 to lift them to 261, only 30 behind Lancashire's first-innings score.

In Lancashire's second innings, Ottis Gibson got two quick wickets as Lancashire fell to 22 for 3 shortly before stumps on the second day, but Australians Stuart Law and Andrew Symonds batted well together with a 111-run partnership before Law was out to Henderson. Symonds powered on from there, bludgeoning 17 fours in his 121, and Glen Chapple and Warren Hegg made season-best scores of 60 and 77 respectively as they added for 121 for the eighth wicket. Lancashire declared on 368 for 9, not bothering to send in James Anderson to bat, thinking he might be better use with the ball. Indeed, he was - he took three for 39 before stumps on day three, as Leicestershire collapsed to 78 for 5 in chase of 399. There wasn't much respite on the fourth day either - after Dinesh Mongia and Habib had added 27, Anderson came back with two quick wickets, finishing with five for 79. Dominic Cork and debutant leg-spinner Simon Marshall wrapped up the Leicestershire chase as they were all out for 164. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Derbyshire v Somerset (4-7 August)

Somerset (21pts) beat Derbyshire (7pts) by five runs

Arul Suppiah, James Hildreth and Wesley Durston helped themselves to boundaries and Somerset to a big first-innings total in a close match against Derbyshire. Suppiah passed fifty for the first time in his first-class career with a five-hour 123, while Durston was stranded on 146 not out - his only century of the season. Graeme Welch took four for 82 to be Derbyshire's most effective bowler, but that did not say much, as they conceded 460 to Somerset's batsmen. However, Derbyshire's tactic of slow attrition worked well against Somerset's frontline bowlers, Andy Caddick and Ian Blackwell. They made 438, in a mammoth 149 overs, before declaring with eight men down - four Derbyshire batsmen making fifties, Ant Botha top-scoring with 91, while 40 overs from Caddick yielded four for 102. Somerset weren't too keen on a big target either, making 61 in 32 third-day overs, as the match looked to peter into one of the most drab draws of the Championship season.

However, on the fourth day, 426 runs were hit and enough wickets fell to get a result. Blackwell smacked 88 not out in 85 balls as Somerset added 184 in the first fifty overs of the day before declaring, which set Derbyshire 268 to win in 50 overs - a good one-day total. Derbyshire attempted the chase, Jon Moss slashing 106 and adding runs with Luke Sutton, and at 247 for 4, Derbyshire looked to have a good chance at winning it. However, two run-outs and two wickets each for Blackwell and Caddick saw Derbyshire lose their last six men for 15 runs, and Somerset snatched a five-run win. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Worcestershire v Northamptonshire (4-7 August)

Northamptonshire (17pts) beat Worcestershire (3pts) by 137 runs

Worcestershire gave away the initiative in the second innings, losing by 137 runs thanks to a frantic second-innings 190 from David Sales. It was the visitors, Northamptonshire, who chose to bat first at New Road, and after seeing off Shoaib Akhtar and Kabir Ali in a frantic opening spell where Bilal Shafayat went for 1, Northamptonshire looked fairly confident at 177 for 4. Then Shoaib returned, taking four wickets (to end with bowling figures of 9.2-1-55-5), and the wheels fell off as Northamptonshire lost their last six wickets for 12 runs. Stephen Moore continued his fine form, making 62, as Worcestershire looked to gain a slender lead - Ben Phillips taking a couple of wickets to give Northamptonshire some hope of tying the hosts down. Then, Damien Wright ripped through with some quick wickets, as Worcestershire went from 110 for 3 to 147 for 8 - only for Shoaib and Matthew Mason to give Worcestershire the lead thanks to a boundary-filled 47-run partnership.

Ali and Mason then chipped away at the Northamptonshire batsmen, and would have fancied their chances when the visitors were 64 for 5. However, a quickfire partnership between Sales and Wright turned the match on its head again, as the pair added 188 runs in 112 minutes - one run less than Northamptonshire had managed in the entire first innings - to send Northamptonshire into a relatively big lead on this pitch. Sales was 152 not out overnight, and powered on to 190 before Malik had him caught. However, the damage was done, and Worcestershire faced a steep target of 360 to win - or five sessions for a draw. Losing Moore and Graeme Hick early on, Ben Smith attacked for a fine 92, and a 45-minute flurry of runs from Zander de Bruyn gave Worcestershire some hope at 154 for 3. However, Monty Panesar got four for 40, Phillips dug out three for 56, Worcestershire lost the last seven wickets for 68 runs, and whimpered into a heap. Worcestershire were later deducted one point due to a slow over rate. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Test match

Second Test: England v Australia (4-7 August)

Flag of England.svg England 407 & 182 England won by 2 runs

ME Trescothick 90
SK Warne 4/116

A Flintoff 73
SK Warne 6/46

Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
Umpires: BF Bowden (NZ) and RE Koertzen (SA)
Man of the Match: A Flintoff (Eng)

Flag of Australia.svg Australia 308 & 279

JL Langer 82
A Flintoff 3/52

B Lee 43*
A Flintoff 4/79

Day One

The psychological battles before the match saw Australia planting many stories in the press about England already being in trouble. England kept quieter, until just before the game stories appeared about how the Edgbaston game would be decided at the toss: whichever side won it would choose to bowl first and would win. England's mind games paid dividends when Ricky Ponting did just that, as Michael Vaughan admitted that if he had won the toss, he'd have batted, and as the match progressed, it became clearer and clearer that the pitch would take plenty of turn near the end.

England took advantage of being inserted and came back strongly, especially considering the 239-run drubbing they had received at Lord's a couple of weeks earlier. The Australian bowlers were smashed to all corners on the first day as, for the first time in their 493-Test history, Australia conceded more than 400 runs in a first day of Test cricket. The English mentality seemed to be to attack from the outset, and it was helped by the freak injury that Glenn McGrath sustained before the match. During a warm-up (playing rugby), the pace-man accidentally stood on a cricket ball, tearing ankle ligaments. Australia had to field Michael Kasprowicz as replacement, and on a pitch where inaccurate bowling was immediately punished, McGrath's line and length would surely have been useful.

Instead, Marcus Trescothick made innumerable smashes off Brett Lee to the cover boundary. Andrew Strauss preferred Jason Gillespie for his runs, and their 112-run opening partnership was the highest by England in the Ashes series so far this year - indeed, the second highest of the series thus far, only beaten by Damien Martyn and Michael Clarke's 155 at Lord's. They continued on their fine form from Lord's, where they had made 80 in the second innings, and the jitters from the one-day series seemed to have vanished with McGrath. Admittedly, Trescothick was caught off a no-ball on 32, but few remembered that as he crafted his way to 90 - being second out shortly after lunch, with the score 164 for 2, after only 32.3 overs.

England lost both Ian Bell, who continued his relatively poor Ashes series with his third successive single-figure score, and Michael Vaughan, who pulled a short Gillespie delivery to the hands of Lee, in the space of the next five overs, but still pounded on. Kevin Pietersen, in his second Test match, hit ten fours and one six, and forged a 103-run partnership in 105 balls with Andrew Flintoff, which turned the match back to England's favour. Flintoff's 68 was scored quickly, including five sixes, and again Lee got the most stick - he was taken for 26 in the 18 balls he faced.

Lee did get one wicket, though, and Australia could have been forgiven for thinking it was the most important. Pietersen pulled to Simon Katich for 71, off just 76 balls, and with the score on 342 for 7, England would have to get something extraordinary out of the tail to get past 400. But they did - Steve Harmison smacked two fours and a six in an entertaining, if brief, 17, and Simon Jones stuck around with Matthew Hoggard for a vital last-wicket partnership of 32, Jones making 19 not out. Shane Warne finally got the better of Hoggard, but England had made 407, in just under 80 overs. The Australian openers took to the field for the last half-hour of the day. However, heavy rain prevented another ball being bowled on the first day.

Day Two

However, the quick scoring and the first Test result led many people to believe that Australia would come back with a vengeance on the second day of the matcht. Instead, Steve Harmison bowled a maiden over first up to Justin Langer, and Matthew Hayden holed out to Harmison's new-ball partner Matthew Hoggard for a golden duck - the first of Hayden's career. The dismissal was to set the tone of the innings. Although Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer hit runs just as quickly as England had done, the umpire's finger went up twice more before lunch - Ricky Ponting swept to the opposing captain Vaughan for 61, and Damien Martyn was run out taking a risky single for 20. Once again, Vaughan was in the action, hitting the stumps with a throw from mid-off. Langer and Michael Clarke continued after lunch in the same vein, but again, a couple of quick wickets - Clarke edging a quicker ball from Ashley Giles behind and Simon Katich falling in the same way to Andrew Flintoff swung it England's way. At 208 for 5, the Australians were struggling, but another good partnership between Langer and Gilchrist saw them to tea with no further loss.

The pair looked to close England's lead, but again the England bowlers intervened - this time in the shape of the invisible man in England's attack, Simon Jones, who got plenty of reverse swing and used that to trap Langer with a yorker - gone for 82, which was to be Australia's highest score in the innings. Australia's tail - thought to be strengthened by the absence of McGrath, were all dismissed for single-figure scores, Andrew Flintoff taking the two last men lbw with the two last balls, although there was some argument about the first dismissal.

However, England got their 99-run lead and continued to hack away at the Australian bowlers before stumps. After Trescothick and Strauss had smashed boundaries at will against the seamers, Ponting brought on Warne in the seventh over, and Warne broke through with his second ball of the match - a leg break that came into the left-hander's stumps and broke them completely, and Strauss was bowled for 6. Nightwatchman Matthew Hoggard survived four balls to end the day - England still leading by 124, with nine wickets in hand.

Day Three

The third day was just as exhilarating to spectators as the first two; a total of seventeen wickets fell as Shane Warne and Andrew Flintoff took centre stage in an enthralling contest. First up, however, it was Brett Lee, who shattered England with three quick wickets - Trescothick slashed at a wide delivery, skipper Vaughan disappointed yet again with the bat as he failed to cover his stumps to a straight one, and Hoggard naturally had to go eventually - edging to Hayden in the slips for 1.

England were shaken, with the score at 31 for 4, and with Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen at the crease. Pietersen could consider himself lucky to survive, after a suggestion he had been caught first ball. He survived, and went on to make 20, only to be given out off a similar situation from Shane Warne. His 41-run partnership with Bell steadied things somewhat, and there were hopes among England fans that Bell would make his first significant score against the tourists. Instead, he fell two overs after Pietersen, having given the tiniest of edges to Gilchrist for 21.

So, with the score at 75 for 6, England once again needed a big partnership, this time from Flintoff and wicket-keeper Geraint Jones. The pair saw England to lunch, but Flintoff had suffered a shoulder injury and looked in obvious pain. In the first over after lunch, Jones gave an edge to Ponting - seven down for 101. Giles batted responsibly, padding up to Warne, but eventually felt the need to play at one, which Hayden held with relative ease. Harmison came and went, facing one delivery, and it was all up to Simon Jones and Andrew Flintoff to see England to a challenging target.

That they did. Jones kept his head, managing 12 runs in his 42-minute stay at the crease with some streaky fours, while Flintoff smacked Lee everywhere. Flintoff also took runs off Kasprowicz, with one over yielding 20 runs for England, including a couple of no balls. At one point during Flintoff's innings, Ponting had nine men on the boundary, something rarely seen in cricket. One six hit by Flintoff landed on top of the stands. Flintoff ended with 73 - the only man to pass 25 for England - before being bowled by Warne. Warne finished with stunning figures of six for 46 from 23.1 overs, having bowled unchanged from the seventh over till the end - but, as luck and Australia's batsmen would have it, his failure to get Flintoff out earlier would be crucial.

Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer started positively, taking runs off the occasional bad balls that were served up by Harmison, Hoggard and Giles, and before anyone noticed, they had racked up 47 for no loss, and were well on the way to chasing the target of 282. Then, Flintoff came in to bowl his first over. The ball was hurled down the pitch, and swung enough to deceive the Australian batsmen - Flintoff got Langer and Ponting out in the same over, and Australia were struggling again, the score on 48 for 2.

A few overs of relative calm followed, Hayden forging runs with Martyn but never looking too assured, and his dimissal, came in an over where Australia had actually looked on top. However, Simon Jones got the last laugh over Hayden - only to later be reprimanded by the ICC for his celebrations. England kept muscling on, and despite never playing on top of their game they got four more wickets before the scheduled close of play. Giles got two of those, dismissing Katich and Gilchrist, and then an inswinging ball from Flintoff took care of Gillespie, who was trapped lbw.

An extra half-hour of play was allowed, as a result was nearing, but Warne and Clarke defied the English. Warne was lucky on more than one occasion, playing streaky shots that could easily have got him out, but he did smash Giles for 12 in one over. He was not out overnight - however, Steve Harmison, bowling his third spell of the day, brought the third day's proceedings to an end with a slow delivery that was not read correctly by Clarke, who missed the ball completely to be bowled. England now only needed two wickets on the fourth day - Australia, however, needed 107 runs for the victory.

Day Four

On the fourth day, Australia defied all predictions with a 45-run partnership between Warne and Lee, before Warne was forced back onto his stumps by Flintoff to get dismissed hit wicket. Kasprowicz came in and supported Lee well, fending off aggressive bowling from Flintoff and Harmison. The pair had England on the back foot as their victory target neared closer and closer, edging virtually everything. With three to win, and three results possible, Harmison had Kasprowicz caught behind, with replays showing that the ball hit the batsman's hand when it was off the bat. If the hand had been on the bat, it would have been a correct decision - as it stood, it was incorrect to give him out. However, that mattered little to most viewers, who recognised the difficult job of the umpire. England were thus victors - if in almost the most narrow way possible - and the series very much alive. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Rather than engaging in the victory celebrations, the immediate reaction of Flintoff to the winning dismissal was to console the despondent batsmen—a gesture which was widely commented upon as indicative of the good sportsmanship and mutual respect between the teams which characterised the series.

England's two run victory is the narrowest result in Ashes cricket history (there have been two Tests won by a margin of only three runs). It is also the second narrowest run victory in all Test cricket history. (other narrow victories given here)

National league - Sunday games

Division one

Essex v Middlesex (7 August)

Essex (4pts) beat Middlesex (0pts) by four runs

Essex Eagles extended their lead in the National League to eight points with a close win over Middlesex Crusaders and quenched nearly all hopes of a close finish for the title in that competition. Batting first, they had been worried by the opponents' captain Ben Hutton, who took three for 42, including top-scorer Ronnie Irani, as Essex faltered to 118 for 6. The Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate ran well to make 44 off just 37 balls, as he played a major part in getting the Essex total to 202 for 8. Middlesex' top-order struggled, as only Paul Weekes passing 20 from the top seven, while Ed Smith and Ed Joyce both recorded ducks. At 102 for 6, and with skipper Hutton gone for 2, Middlesex still needed 101 runs with only four wickets in hand, but a patient 71-run partnership between Weekes and Ben Scott left Middlesex to hit 31 runs for the last three wickets. Scott hogged the strike, but couldn't get the necessary boundaries, and Middlesex finished their 45 overs on 198 for 9, five runs short of a victory that would have put them level on points with Essex. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Hampshire (7 August)

Gloucestershire (4pts) beat Hampshire (0pts) by five wickets

Mark Hardinges took four for 40 to help Gloucestershire Gladiators record a thumping victory over Hampshire Hawks, after tying down and frustrating the opponents' batsmen. Hardinges was the main culprit as Hampshire lost their last nine wickets for exactly 100 runs to post a total of 178, despite Nic Pothas, Sean Ervine and Shane Watson all making at least 40. In reply, William Weston and Matt Windows paired up for 106 runs for the second wicket, and not even Chris Tremlett, who took three for 34, could stop Gloucestershire from reaching the target with more than ten overs to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Division two

Kent v Surrey (7 August)

Surrey (4pts) beat Kent (0pts) by five wickets

Surrey Lions recorded only their fourth win in the National League system this year with a five-wicket win over Kent Spitfires at St Lawrence Ground. Kent, having chosen to bat first, were dismissed by medium-pacer Neil Saker, who took four for 43, and Tim Murtagh, who joined in with three for 28. Jade Dernbach, Ian Salisbury and Nayan Doshi also took a wicket each as Kent finished on 211, with Irish wicket-keeper Neil O'Brien top scoring with 43 - his innings tugged Kent back from 124 for 6. Andrew Hall took three quick wickets as Kent fielded, reducing Surrey to 25 for 3, but Ali Brown's quickfire 65 and Jonathan Batty's 82 turned the match around, and Rikki Clarke hit 35 to take Surrey to the target with nearly four overs to spare. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Scotland v Yorkshire (7 August)

Yorkshire (4pts) beat Scotland (0pts) by five wickets

Scotland Saltires ran Yorkshire Phoenix close in the National League game at Edinburgh, but failed to capitalise on a good start and were eventually beaten by five wickets. Having been put in to bat, Fraser Watts and Jonathan Beukes paired up for 77 for the first wicket, and Beukes went on to make 78. However, six Scottish batsmen were dismissed in single figures, Deon Kruis took three for 27, and the Scots were limited to 203 for 9. John Blain, who have played internationals for Scotland, turned out for Yorkshire, but conceded 34 runs in five overs. Yorkshire lost an early wicket in Craig White, who was bowled by Yasir Arafat for 2, but with five batsmen going into double figures and Phil Jaques recording 57, the Phoenix made it to the target with 21 balls to spare, despite good figures of two wickets for 23 from Beukes. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Sussex v Leicestershire (7 August)

Leicestershire (4pts) beat Sussex (0pts) by six wickets

Leicestershire Foxes eked out a last-ball victory over Sussex Sharks to tighten up the title battle in Division Two of the National League. Batting first, Sussex were tied down by Ottis Gibson, as the Barbadian seamer took four for 37 with three maidens in his nine overs. Chris Adams top-scored with 78, while Rana Naved-ul-Hasan blasted 45 off just 31 balls to propel Sussex to a competitive 223 for 8. Sussex fast bowler James Kirtley then bowled a maiden to begin Leicestershire's innings, and had Tom New caught for an eight-ball duck later. However, Darren Maddy and HD Ackerman added 185 for the second wicket, and despite wickets tumbling around him, Ackerman finished on an unbeaten 114, hitting the winning four off the last ball. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Tour match

Durham v Bangladesh A (7 August)

Bangladesh A won by 86 runs

147 from Shahriar Nafees and Nazimuddin's seven-ball 28 - which included three sixes, two fours and a two before he was caught and bowled off Ben Harmison - lifted Bangladesh A to a massive 299 for 6 in 50 overs, despite Neil Killeen removing Tushar Imran and Alok Kapali with successive balls mid-innings. Nafees had paired up with Mehrab Hossain for 209 for the first wicket. Durham started with a 40-run opening partnership, but Syed Rasel and Shahadat Hossain both took two wickets with successive balls, separated by a few overs. Shahadat went on to take four for 34, while Australian Callum Thorp top-scored with 52 - in vain, as Durham imploded to 213. Durham's captain and opener Lowe ground out 36 runs from 80 deliveries to halt Durham's chase severely. (Cricinfo scorecard)

National League - weekday games

Division one

Northamptonshire v Lancashire (8 August)

Lancashire (4pts) beat Northamptonshire (0pts) by 64 runs

Despite four for 39 from Johann Louw, Lancashire Lightning recovered well from an early position of 52 for 3 against Northamptonshire Steelbacks. 80 from Andrew Symonds, a quick 44 from Dominic Cork and a captain's innings of 36 from Mark Chilton, took the score to 236 for 9. James Anderson, the former England ODI player, took three quick wickets to leave Northamptonshire struggling at 35 for 4, and from then on, it only went downwards for the Steelbacks. Andrew Crook wrapped up the innings with three cheap lower order wickets, and Northamptonshire crumbled to 172 all out. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Nottinghamshire (9 August)

Nottinghamshire (4pts) beat Gloucestershire (0pts) by eight wickets

Gloucestershire Gladiators were gracious hosts at Cheltenham College, as they allowed themselves to be beaten by eight wickets and bowled out for 87 by Nottinghamshire Outlaws. Despite the low scores, it took a whole 35.1 overs to get them out, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Mark Alleyne gluing to the crease for scores of 15 off 46 balls and 11 off 28 balls respectively. All the bowlers got wickets, with the exception of spinner Samit Patel, who nevertheless got fine figures of 5-2-7-0. Pakistani batsman and part-time leg-spinner Younis Khan, with only ten List A wickets to his name, got three for 5 - including Sarwan and Alleyne - to wrap up Gloucestershire's resistance. In reply, Anurag Singh hit an unbeaten 30 and Younis Khan 28 not out as Nottinghamshire eased to the target in half the time allotted. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Hampshire v Lancashire (10 August)

Hampshire (4pts) beat Lancashire (0pts) by eight runs

Hampshire Hawks recovered to post a challenging target after early setbacks, caused by two wickets from Lancashire Lightning spinner Andrew Symonds and losing Nic Pothas early through a run out. They struggled to 86 for 4 before Shane Watson put them back on track with an unbeaten 106, helped by Greg Lamb, who made 42. In a match dominated by foreign or foreign-born players, Marcus North and Symonds put on a 94-run partnership to help Lancashire to 155 for 2. However, Australian all-rounder Andy Bichel took three for 34, Dimitri Mascarenhas rounded off his nine overs by taking two wickets with the two last balls, and Lancashire were left to score 23 from 24 balls with a wicket in hand. James Anderson tried, hitting two fours, but with nine required off ten balls he was lbw to Shaun Udal for nine to give Hampshire an eight-run victory. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Division two

Surrey v Leicestershire (9 August)

Surrey (4pts) beat Leicestershire (0pts) by six wickets

HD Ackerman lifted Leicestershire Foxes to a big target against Surrey Lions at The Oval, having opted to bat first after winning the toss. His 78 gave Leicestershire a good platform after losing the first three wickets for 85, and Paul Nixon and Jeremy Snape both scored with a batting strike rate above 150 to get Leicestershire to 258 for 5. Leicestershire dug out three Surrey wickets early, but a massive partnership between Mark Ramprakash and Ali Brown worth 166 runs turned the match around, and despite Charl Willoughby having Ramprakash caught behind, Brown paired up with Azhar Mahmood to hit Surrey to the target with more than five overs to spare. Brown's 108 not out was off only 63 balls, including sixteen boundaries. (Cricinfo scorecard)

2nd Under-19 "Test"

2nd Under-19 "Test": England Under-19s v Sri Lanka Under-19s (9-12 August)

England Under-19s won by 183 runs

England took their second win of the three-Test series to take an unassailable series lead. The going had been tough early on, though, as the first day was limited to 40 overs due to rain at Scarborough, and Shalika Karunanayake took four for 31 with his fast-medium bowling. Earlier, Kevin Latouf had smacked his way to 51 - including nine fours - but Karunanayake got rid of him and three more in quick succession, as England crumbled from 112 for 3 to 126 for 7. England added 18 more runs before rain stopped play, but Ben Harmison and Tom Smith kept going on the second day. The pair added 105 as Harmison made 76 and England managed to get past 200. Smith got good help from the lower order, and his unbeaten 78 showed promise, while Karunayake took another wicket to end with five for 78. Sri Lanka quickly crumbled to 151 for 9, again thanks to Smith, who took four for 26 in 14 overs, but Charles Fernando and Chathupama Gunasinghe made a last-wicket partnership of 76 - hitting six sixes between them - to lift Sri Lanka to 227, 67 behind England's first innings score.

Having added 16 without loss before the close of day two, England added runs slowly but surely on the third day, led by skipper Varun Chopra who top-scored with a gritty three-and-a-half-hour 64. After a short setback to 171 for 6, where Gunasinghe took four for 61, Chris Thompson and Nick James lifted the team back with an 81-run stand. James made a half-century with three sixes, while Gunasinghe took another wicket on the final day to end with five for 70 - leaving Sri Lanka 348 to win in nearly a day. But Mark Footitt and Adam Harrison took four wickets each, and despite determined resistance from Chatura Herath and Lahiru Peiris, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 164. (Cricinfo scorecard)

1st Women's Test

1st Women's Test: England v Australia (9-12 August)

Match drawn

England got an excellent start to the first women's Test at Hove, where two debutants were to take centre stage; but the match petered out into a draw.

In one of the highlights of the first day of play, Belinda Clark — arguably Australia's best batter — had been bowled by Jenny Gunn for a two-ball duck. It was to be Gunn's only wicket of the day, but probably the most vital. All-rounder Rosalie Birch and 15-year-old debutante spinner Holly Colvin then took two wickets each as Australia crumbled to 115 for 7, Karen Rolton being the only batter on top of the bowlers.

However, as the day wore on, England lost their stamina, and the lower order batters took over. No. 7 Cathryn Fitzpatrick, No. 9 Julie Hayes and Test debutante No. 10 Shelley Nitschke all made fifties as Australia eked out 223 more runs before the end of the first day, losing only two more wickets, and Nitschke was 70 not out overnight. She finished on an unbeaten 81, as Australia added a further 27 before Clea Smith was lbw to Katherine Brunt, to end with 355. England scored slowly after losing Laura Newton for 24, as they used 129 overs to make 273 — Charlotte Edwards top-scoring with 69, while Arran Brindle made her second Test half-century with 54.

Nitschke and Lisa Sthalekar took three wickets each, but England fought back. Gunn took two more wickets, removing both openers for ducks, as Belinda Clark recorded a pair, but Karen Rolton and Sthalekar took the score beyond England's grasp. Rolton was finally run out for 97, but she had led the Australians to a 254-run lead at the end of day three. Australia added a further 51 to that on the fourth morning - slow left arm bowler Clare Connor taking four for 68 in a marathon bowling effort. England quickly determined 306 in 95 overs was too tough after they crumbled to 14 for 3, but Brindle stood firm at the crease, taking four hours for a maiden Test century, and England made it to the end of the scheduled time having only lost seven wickets. Thus, the second Test would now decide the series. (Cricinfo scorecard)

County Championship

Division one

Glamorgan v Warwickshire (10-12 August)

Warwickshire (22pts) beat Glamorgan (3pts) by ten wickets

Warwickshire took control of proceedings on the first day at Colwyn Bay, as they fielded a bowling attack with no English-born players against Glamorgan. South African international Makhaya Ntini, interestingly, was the least effective, only getting the wicket of number 11 Dean Cosker, and conceding 49 runs in the process. Meanwhile, Scot Dougie Brown took four for 58, but Glamorgan actually recovered quite well from 76 for 6 to their final score of 239. However, their blunt bowling attack were shown up again, as Ian Westwood recorded his maiden first-class century, four batsmen passed fifty, and Warwickshire muscled their way to 545 for 7 before declaring. Jonathan Trott also made 152 for Warwickshire, while Robert Croft was the most effective bowler - with three for 126.

Wicket-keeper Mark Wallace then smashed 68 not out off 50 balls to see Glamorgan to the end of the day at 99 for 1. However, he only faced two balls on the third morning before being lbw to Brown. Most of the Warwickshire bowlers got in among the wickets - part-time medium pace bowler Trott taking two for 19 in four overs, for example - and Warwickshire were set three to win, which they achieved off fourteen deliveries as Nick Knight hit a single off David Harrison. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Sussex (10-13 August)

Sussex (21pts) beat Gloucestershire (4pts) by 226 runs

Sussex recorded a comfortable win at Bristol against Gloucestershire, to escape further from the relegation zone - in a match completely dominated by Sussex' overseas bowlers. Murray Goodwin, Chris Adams and Matthew Prior all made quick half-centuries, to propel Sussex to 365, while the Gloucestershire spinners shared seven wickets - Malinga Bandara taking four for 64 and Ian Fisher three for 93. Indeed, spinners were to take the brunt of the bowling, as Gloucestershire had only gone in with two specialist seamers - and one of them, Steve Kirby, broke down with an injury in his fifth over of the day.

Gloucestershire resumed the second day on 28 for 1, and players from the Indian subcontinent were to dominate the day's proceedings, as they took all of the thirteen wickets. Sussex' Pakistani spinner Mushtaq Ahmed took six for 65, while Rana Naved-ul-Hasan added three to his overnight tally of one to end with four for 53. No Gloucestershire batsman passed 50, as they trailed by 141 on first innings. Sussex took on seven overs from the seamers, before Michael Ball and Bandara started another marathon spell. The openers survived to pair up for 67, but then Bandara took a burst of wickets, finishing the day with four for 58 as Sussex closed the second day's play on 128 for 4.

On the third day, Prior and Michael Yardy made a fifth wicket-partnership worth 141 runs, and Sussex could declare with a lead of 405 runs, after Bandara was taken for runs to end with the expensive innings bowling analysis of 26-3-112-4. Again, Gloucestershire subsided to the Pakistani bowlers, but for once an English-born bowler got his name up on Gloucestershire's scorecard - Alex Gidman was lbw to James Kirtley for 7. Rana took five and Mushtaq three as Gloucestershire collapsed to 179, Ramnaresh Sarwan making 117 of those. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Nottinghamshire v Middlesex (10-13 August)

Nottinghamshire (7pts) drew with Middlesex (10pts)

Andrew Harris took four expensive wickets for Nottinghamshire on the first day of the match against Middlesex at Trent Bridge. The match was left hanging in the balance overnight as Middlesex made 325, mostly thanks to 128 from Ed Smith, who made his second century of the first-class season. Ryan Sidebottom was economical, but went wicketless in his 15 overs, while Mark Ealham took two key wickets, of Smith and Owais Shah. Nottinghamshire lost no wicket in the 12 overs before stumps, making 33, but on the second day they quickly lost wickets to the medium pace of Peter Trego, which yielded career-best figures of six for 59.

Graeme Swann's 53 lifted Nottinghamshire to a somewhat respectable 181, but batting was easier than Nottinghamshire had made it look. Owais Shah and Ed Joyce added 225 for the third wicket to prove exactly that. Shah ended with an unbeaten 173, while Joyce got his third century of the season with 101, and Jamie Dalrymple also added 45 before he was lbw to Younis Khan. The wicket of Dalrymple precipitated a declaration, which set Nottinghamshire 530 to win in four sessions. Nottinghamshire, however, batted well in the evening session on the third day, making 107 for no loss, and after eight overs on day four rain set in and the two captains agreed to a draw. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Hampshire v Kent (12-15 August)

Kent (12pts) drew with Hampshire (10pts)

Darren Stevens and Robert Key both passed 1000 first-class runs for the season as they lifted Kent to a competitive total at The Rose Bowl. Stevens top-scored with 101, while Hampshire's Australian all-rounder Andy Bichel took four for 122 - but was thoroughly smacked about by Min Patel and Amjad Khan on the second morning. The pair added 65 for the final wicket to take Kent to a first-innings total of 446. Sean Ervine hit plenty of boundaries in reply, as Hampshire eased to 82 for 1 before play was stopped due to bad weather.

On day three, however, Kent hit back. In 33 fiery overs before lunch, Amjad Khan and Min Patel both took two wickets, and despite more runs from Ervine - who finished with 74 - Hampshire crumbled to 182 for 7 at lunch. However, Andy Bichel and Nic Pothas added 138 for the eighth wicket, as Hampshire eked out 325, with Bichel top-scoring from number nine with 87 off 90 balls. Kent got a good start to their attempt to get quick runs and put a big target up for Hampshire, as they moved to 140 for 4 just before the close of play, but Shane Watson took two quick wickets and Shaun Udal one, and all of a sudden it was up to Justin Kemp and Andrew Hall to save Kent, as they were 153 for 7 overnight. Kemp fell on the fourth morning, as Kent rolled over for 185, setting up a potentially exciting finish with 307 runs to get in 83 overs. A 95-run partnership between Sean Ervine and John Crawley put Hampshire into a good position at 139 for 1, but Hampshire failed to score quickly enough, and three wickets from Simon Cook could not quite force a victory as Hampshire hung on to finish on 241 for 8 and draw the match. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire (14-16 August)

Nottinghamshire (22pts) beat Warwickshire (2.5pts) by an innings and 151 runs

Ryan Sidebottom dug out the top four, ending with four for 41, and Andrew Harris got exactly the same figures (but from half the overs), as Warwickshire crashed to 156 at Trent Bridge after winning the toss and opting to bat first. And from then on, it only got worse for the visitors from the Midlands. Only Dougie Brown's 34 not out took them past 150, and he then took two wickets as Nottinghamshire looked to go the same way - being 45 for 3. However, David Hussey and Chris Read batted well together, seeing Nottinghamshire to stumps and making fifties. Their 148-run partnership gave Nottinghamshire a healthy lead, but Hussey did not stop there. He made a career-best 232 not out - eventually running out of partners as Nottinghamshire finished on 514, to secure a first-innings lead of 358. Brown took five for 128, but despite bowling the most overs of all he could not stop the rampant Hussey. Nick Knight was injured and could not bat, so with ten men Warwickshire had to score 358 to make Nottinghamshire bat again. It was an impossible task - Alex Loudon and Neil Carter both made scores in the forties, but the team succumbed to 207 and their third innings defeat of the season. Warwickshire were later deducted 0.5 points for a slow over rate on day two. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Division two

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire (10-13 August)

Northamptonshire (17pts) beat Derbyshire (4pts) by 182 runs

Northamptonshire won the match at The County Ground, Northampton despite only posting 140 all out in the first innings. Derbyshire's medium-pacer Ian Hunter took four for 50 to get the best figures for Derbyshire, dismissing three Northamptonshire batsmen were dismissed in single figures. Graeme Welch chipped in with economical bowling, conceding only 21 runs in ten overs and claiming three scalps. Steve Stubbings and Michael di Venuto then made batting look easy with an opening partnership of 81, but two wickets from Johann Louw evened out the game somewhat, and Monty Panesar wrapped up Derbyshire's innings with three wickets on the second day, as Derbyshire were all out for 219.

After Welch's bowling had yielded two early catches to see Northamptonshire to 43 for 2, Australian Martin Love took centre stage. He slashed 34 fours to end the second day unbeaten on 159, an innings higher than the entire Northamptonshire first innings total, and the hosts closed the second day's play on 311 for 3, Usman Afzaal having added 59 from number four as well. Love added only 18 before he was lbw to Mohamed Sheikh, but half-centuries from David Sales and Riki Wessels, ensured that Northamptonshire could declare with a lead of 388, giving themselves five sessions to win the game. The weather forecast for the final day, however, had predicted rain, so Northamptonshire wanted to get in early. Spinners Jason Brown and Monty Panesar shared nine wickets, as Derbyshire battled out the third day to 204 for 9, but Australian Damien Wright wrapped up the innings by having Hunter bowled two balls into the fourth morning. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Somerset v Yorkshire (10-13 August)

Somerset (12pts) drew with Yorkshire (11pts)

Yorkshire and Somerset fought out a high-scoring draw at Taunton. Having opted to bat first, the visitors lost Joe Sayers for a duck, but Phil Jaques and Michael Lumb made centuries to see Yorkshire to 368 for 4. Then, Charl Langeveldt took the wickets of Craig White and Lumb, and Deon Kruis edged Andy Caddick behind for a duck to leave Yorkshire 377 for 7 overnight. Caddick wrapped up the innings on the second morning, finishing with six for 96, before Somerset opener Michael Wood started notching up boundaries. He made 35 fours and one six in a nine-hour cameo which yielded a total of 297 - before he was caught by Tim Bresnan 14 short of Somerset's highest innings for the season. With help from Ian Blackwell, who made 62, and Keith Parsons' 94, Somerset amassed 581 in a day and a half. Andy Caddick got an early breakthrough for Somerset, but Sayers and Anthony McGrath defied them, with a 119-run partnership for the second wicket. Only six overs of play was possible on day four before rain set in to ensure a drawn game. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Durham v Leicestershire (12-15 August)

Leicestershire (12pts) drew with Durham (10pts)

Rain intervened on both the first two days at Riverside, limiting play to 56.1 overs, compared to the expected 200 on fine days, and that was probably a major cause of the drawn game. Durham ground their way to 260 for 3 amid the rain, however, Michael Hussey smashing five sixes in his third Championship century of the season, for 146 runs. David Masters was the star of the third day, though, completing a six-wicket-haul as Durham lost their last seven wickets for 55 runs to end with a first-innings total of 315. In reply, Liam Plunkett took two early wickets, but Dinesh Mongia's unbeaten 77 saw Leicestershire to stumps on day three - still trailing by 98 runs with seven wickets in hand. Leicestershire batted on for 50 overs on day four, Gareth Breese taking five for 91 as Leicestershire were bowled out for 443, while Mongia notched up 29 boundaries in his only first-class century of the season, finishing with 164 before he was stumped off Breese. With 50 overs remaining and one innings to go for both sides, Durham just took their time at the crease as batting practice, Hussey boosting his batting average with 61 not out. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Tour match

Surrey v Bangladesh A (10-12 August)

Match drawn

A Surrey team including two former internationals - England batsman Mark Butcher returning from injury, and the retiring Pakistani spin bowler Saqlain Mushtaq - amassed 336 for 5 before declaring after 74 overs at The Oval. The internationals made little impact in the first innings, however, as Butcher was caught for 5 and Saqlain did not bat. James Benning slashed 22 boundaries in his 124 before being run out, and wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd made an unbeaten 50 in his first first-class game. Bangladesh A battled well in reply, equalling Surrey's score before they were bowled out, while Saqlain got three for 82. Tushar Imran continued on his rich vein of form, making 70 and top-scoring. Scott Newman and Richard Clinton led Surrey to 73 without loss, but two quick wickets from Talha Jubair turned the game slightly. Mark Butcher repaired his first innings failure, however, as he made 90 to lead Surrey to 332 for 6 before they declared again. Jubair got four for 99 from an expensive 19 overs. However, the task of surviving 24 overs was easy enough for the tourists, who only lost one wicket, that of Shahriar Nafees who made a quickfire 63. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Test match

Third Test: England v Australia (11-15 August)

Flag of England.svg England 444 & 280/6d Match drawn

MP Vaughan 166
SK Warne 4/99

AJ Strauss 106
GD McGrath 5/115

Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Umpires: BF Bowden (NZ) and SA Bucknor (Jamaica)
Man of the Match: RT Ponting (Aus)

Flag of Australia.svg Australia 302 & 371/9

SK Warne 90
SP Jones 6/53

RT Ponting 156
A Flintoff 4/71

Day One

With the series square after England's close win in the second match at Edgbaston in Birmingham, the stakes of the third Test at Old Trafford in Manchester had risen significantly. The day began with England winning the toss, and choosing to bat first, thus giving Shane Warne a chance to become the first man to take 600 Test wickets in England's first innings, and he did so against Marcus Trescothick who mistimed a sweep shot and was caught behind by Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist, earning Warne a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd.

After naming an unchanged line-up, England were immediately faced by the pairing of Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. There were doubts about whether these could play before the match started, due to injuries sustained earlier, but they both passed fitness tests. England's wickets fell slowly, with many a missed opportunity for Australia helping the hosts to run up a big first innings total. This was also helped by a fruitful partnership between Trescothick and Michael Vaughan, who added 137 before Trescothick was dismissed after lunch. Vaughan became the first man in the series to get a century.

The frustrated Australia team faced a fearless England side who challenged them at every turn, and recovered nicely even after the dismissals of Trescothick and Vaughan, who couldn't resist smacking a full toss from Katich straight to McGrath at the boundary. Vaughan was dismissed after 166 runs, which was destined to be the highest individual score in the series. Australia were also faced with a more defiant Ian Bell, who had struggled in the first two Tests. Picking up where Vaughan left off after tea, Bell, Kevin Pietersen and nightwatchman Matthew Hoggard closed out the day for England with the score 341 for 5.

Day Two

Bell did not add to his overnight score, being given out caught behind in controversial circumstances, as replays indicated he did not make contact with the ball. Following a brief rain interval England then lost two more wickets just before lunch, Andrew Flintoff after scoring a quick-fire 46 and Geraint Jones for 42. After lunch Australia quickly dispatched the remaining two wickets for just a further 10 runs, bowling England out for a score of 444, with Glenn McGrath finishing on his worst-ever Test figures of nought for 86.

Australia started their innings tentatively with Matthew Hoggard dropping a low catch Matthew Hayden off his own bowling. Just before tea Australia lost their first wicket with Hayden out caught at short leg from Ashley Giles first over. After tea Australia lost another couple of wickets, Ricky Ponting caught for seven and Hayden given out lbw for 34. Gilchrist put on 30 before edging the first ball of Simon Jones' spell to Geraint Jones.

This brought in Michael Clarke who had been recuperating at the team hotel after damaging his back on the first day. Due to this injury, Clarke needed Hayden to act as a runner. Warne made inroads with the bat, just like at Edgbaston four days previously, but Clarke only managed to add seven runs before being deceived by a slower ball from Simon Jones. Warne and Jason Gillespie saw the day out with Warne finishing on 45 not out.

The day finished with Australia on 214 for 7, 230 behind and needing another 31 runs to avoid a follow-on. The score was adjusted from 210 overnight due to an umpire failing to signal a four byes.

Day Three

Rain delayed the start of play until 16:00 BST, and even then only 8 overs were possible before play was again suspended, although a further 6 overs were bowled later on before yet more rain meant that play was abandoned for the day. Australia had the better of the short day's play, adding 50 runs without loss to pass the follow-on target, although Warne was lucky to survive on two occasions thanks to errors by Geraint Jones: when Warne had 55 he missed a relatively straightforward stumping opportunity, and on 68 he was dropped after edging a ball from Flintoff. Australia closed on 264 for 7, still 180 in arrears, but England probably felt that they missed several opportunities to put the game beyond their opponents.

Day Four

Having been hampered by a rain-shortened day three, the Australians were ready to put more wood to the ball on day four, and they did not disappoint. Warne continued his march towards his maiden Test century before holing out with a hook shot to a well placed Giles at 90. Simon Jones mopped up the other two wickets to bowl Australia out for 302, Jones finishing the innings with a career best figures of six for 53.

The English opening batsmen of Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick began England's response, scoring 26 before lunch. After lunch, Trescothick played on to be bowled after scoring 41 giving McGrath his first wicket of the match. Strauss put together a fine century, his sixth from just 17 matches, scoring 106 before getting out caught. Gilchrist demonstrated how difficult wicket-keeping was by missing two stumping opportunities to remove Bell and failing to hold a catch to remove Flintoff. Bell capitalised on Gilchrist's errors, partnering Strauss for 28 overs and recording a well-deserved 65. Geraint Jones also added a swift 27 with England more concerned about scoring quickly than staying at the crease, and England declared on 280 to give them a spell at Australia in thes evening and a chance of winning the match the next day. McGrath recorded another five-wicket haul in an innings, but was expensive, giving away 115 runs. Warne, despite bowling 25 overs, failed to take a wicket, recording figures of nought for 74.

Australia needed 423 to win, which would be a record fourth innings total to win a match. Australia saw out the last 10 overs without losing a wicket and put 24 runs, leaving 399.

Day Five

English hopes of a win were high, and 20,000 people were locked out of the stadium in addition to the 23,000 capacity crowd. Australia started the day needing 399 runs from 98 overs if they were to claim an unlikely victory. The day started poorly for them with Langer falling for 14 on the seventh ball of the day, nicking a ball delivered by Matthew Hoggard behind to Geraint Jones. Ponting narrowly survived being run out early on and this proved crucial in the context of the match as the momentum gradually swung in Australia's direction. At one point Australia racked up runs at such a rate that a win became a real possibility. Despite losing Clarke and Jason Gillespie in quick succession to send the team to 264 for 7, Ponting battled on before eventually succumbing to Harmison after seven hours on the crease to record the first Australian century of the series with a score of 156. This was good enough to earn Man of the Match honours.

After the dismissal of Ponting, Australia were 354 for 9 with only four overs remaining, and another thrilling climax occurred with England having a real chance of snatching victory in similar fashion to the second Test. However the unfancied pairing of Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath handled the remaining 24 deliveries to finish on 371 for 9, 52 short of victory but sufficient to draw the game and leave the series tied at 1–1. (Cricinfo scorecard)

National League

Division one

Glamorgan v Lancashire (14 August)

Lancashire (4pts) beat Glamorgan (0pts) by eight wickets

Lancashire Lightning recorded a relatively easy victory at Colwyn Bay, beating Glamorgan Dragons by eight wickets. Dominic Cork took four for 37 as the Dragons crashed to 173 all out, Alex Wharf - who had been promoted to three as pinch hitter - top scoring with 36. Mal Loye then carried Lancashire past the target with 79 not out, while Stuart Law, Marcus North and Andrew Symonds all passed 25. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Gloucestershire v Essex (14 August)

Gloucestershire (4pts) beat Essex (0pts) by 60 runs

Essex Eagles imploded to 122 all out in chase of a small target to bring a tiny measure of excitement into the National League title race, while Gloucestershire Gladiators recorded a rare victory to take them out of the relegation zone. Batting first, Gloucestershire were bowled out for 182 in only 44.1 overs, Matt Windows top-scoring with 57 while Darren Gough and Grant Flower took three wickets each. Malinga Bandara and Martyn Ball shared the highest partnership of the match, adding 59 runs for the ninth wicket to carry Gloucestershire from 118 for 8. Essex then crawled to 49 for 7, James Averis finishing with amazing figures of 8-2-9-2, while Ball and Mark Alleyne also grabbed two wickets each. Despite 46 from New Zealand all-rounder Andre Adams, Essex were all out for 122 when Adams was caught off the bowling of Mark Hardinges. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Middlesex v Northamptonshire (15 August)

Northamptonshire (4pts) beat Middlesex (0pts) by 14 runs

Middlesex Crusaders waved a definite good-bye to their hopes of a National League title, losing their second game in a row and failing to take advantage of Essex Eagles' loss the preceding day. Martin Love and Robert White slashed fifties for an opening partnership of 117, and after two wickets from Chris Peploe, Bilal Shafayat entered. Taking a fancy to young medium-pacer Chris Wright, the 21-year-old slashed five sixes and seven fours to make 85 not out - only his fourth fifty in List A cricket. Middlesex' reply was led by Paul Weekes and Ed Smith - the pair started brightly, making 105 for the first wicket, but following Smith's departure only one batsman passed 20, and Middlesex failed to keep up with the required run rate to finish on 247 for 9, despite 111 from Weekes. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Division two

Derbyshire v Sussex (14 August)

Derbyshire (4pts) beat Sussex (0pts) by three runs

Michael di Venuto made 129 not out, his third one-day century this season, to lift Derbyshire Phantoms to a final score of 232 for 3, which would turn out to be just enough to win the game. Sussex Sharks were looking to win and open a gap at the top of the league, and with ten runs needed with three wickets in hand and at least two overs remaining, it looked like they would coast to victory. However, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan holed out a catch to Jon Moss, Mushtaq Ahmed could add no run from three balls, and in the end, James Kirtley was bowled by Moss on the last ball, with Kirtley needing to hit a boundary to win the game. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Somerset v Yorkshire (14 August)

Somerset (4pts) beat Yorkshire (0pts) by two runs

In a high-scoring match at The County Ground, Taunton, Matthew Wood and Ian Blackwell both cracked centuries as Somerset Sabres made their way to 345 for 4. Blackwell's 114 came off just 61 balls, with a total of 74 runs in boundaries. Paul Jaques, Ismail Dawood and Michael Wood all made half-centuries, but in the end Yorkshire Phoenix needed 23 to win off the last over, number 11 Deon Kruis facing Blackwell. The first ball was a dot ball, but a six and three fours followed - however, Kruis needed four for the tie and six for the win on the last ball. He couldn't get the ball to the boundary, and Somerset prevailed by two runs. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Women's ODI

1st Women's ODI: England v Australia (15 August)

Australia won by 12 runs

England set themselves up well against Australia, but failed to hit out in the last over thanks to some accurate and fierce bowling from Cathryn Fitzpatrick, who had earlier hit 38 not out with the bat to lift Australia to 222 for 7 after three for 39 from Clare Connor. Arran Brindle continued on her magnificent form from the first Test, when she made a fifty and a hundred, and in partnerships with Jenny Gunn and Claire Taylor she lifted the English to 198 for 4 with her score of 81. With only 25 runs left to hit for the last six wickets, it was there for the taking. But Fitzpatrick returned, having taken the wicket of Laura Newton earlier on, and she took three more wickets as the English lower order were strangled - and collapsed to 210 all out with five balls remaining in the innings. Fitzpatrick ended with figures of four for 19 from 10 overs, and Emma Liddell also took three for 29. (Cricinfo scorecard)

Under-19 Test

3rd Under-19 "Test": England Under-19s v Sri Lanka Under-19s (15-17 August)

England Under-19s won by 173 runs

Englands Under-19 recorded their third victory of the Test series, and as in the first two the margin of victory was more than 100 runs. Varun Chopra, Ben Harmison and Moeen Ali all made fifties after Chopra won the toss and chose to bat first - Ali's an unbeaten 52. Chathupama Gunasinghe and Shalika Karunanayake both took three wickets between them, but couldn't get more regular breakthroughs, and England took control on day two. Tom Smith took three wickets and Mark Footitt two, and just as Sri Lanka were recovering from their early morning jitters, part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali was sent on. In 6.1 frantic overs, Ali conceded 29 runs, but he took the last four wickets as Sri Lanka crumbled to 155, Gunasinghe left stranded on 18 not out.

Ali continued his all-round performances the next morning. After 52 not out and four for 29, he was sent in to bat with the score 203 for 4, after Kevin Latouf had departed for 56. The Sri Lankan bowlers were treated with disdain, as he made a 56-ball century, England's first ton of the series, and England declared on 366 for 5 - 509 runs ahead. Despite spirited resistance, Tom Smith got the first three wickets, and finished with four for 77, while Moeen Ali took three for 82 to cap a magnificent day. Sri Lanka's number six, Angelo Mathews, made 123 not out - the highest score of the series - but got little support except from number ten Charles Fernando, who made 52 in a whirlwind ninth-wicket partnership with Mathews, but Fernando was bowled by Joe Denly and Moeen Ali could take the last wicket. Ali's final match returns were 152 runs in two unbeaten innings and bowling figures of 26.3-2-111-7. (Cricinfo scorecard)

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