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Lancs up for Roses.

THE news that Muttiah Muralitharan is delaying his return home by a week is the deciding factor in backing Lancashire to win their televised National League Roses match at Headingley today.

Murali was supposed to be heading back to Colombo tomorrow, but Lancashire's pursuit of the Division One title has won them an extra few days grace.

The demon Sri Lankan off-spinner has proved far more

effective in the championship (66 wickets at 11.77) than in the National League (four wickets at 30.5), but his presence is still crucial as Lancashire seek to avenge a NatWest quarter-final defeat at the hands of the enemy from o'er tops.

Miserly Murali took three for 12 off nine against a bamboozled Gloucestershire on Tuesday, a match which also saw big runs from John Crawley and Neil Fairbrother.

Yorkshire's prospects of winning this competition have been rocked by five defeats in six, and even though they are in contention they will have one eye firmly focused on Sunday's NatWest semi in Bristol.

They are also almost certainly without star all-rounder Gavin Hamilton, who tweaked a hamstring on his last outing.

Anthony McGrath is the highest run scorer in the top section and looks big at 11-2 to be the Tykes top scorer.

England captain Nasser Hussain could return for Essex at home to Leicestershire. But even so, two wins in ten matches is a dreadful statistic and with the ultra-competitive Foxes still needing points to stay up, the visitors are preferred.

Surrey are overpriced at 7-4 to beat Sussex in their

Division Two clash at Hove.

Sussex were well beaten by Somerset on Tuesday, a match which saw both danger men, Chris Adams and Michael Di Venuto, miss out.

Surrey, who are set to welcome back their England stars, will target that duo and should they get them out cheaply won't find too much resistance lower down.

Derbyshire, with Michael Slater gone and with Dominic Cork sidelined, are vulnerable to leaders Somerset.

Recommended bet: Treble (Stanley): 8-11 Lancs, 8-13 Leics, 7-4 Surrey.

NATIONAL LEAGUE SIX-MATCH FORM

(*denotes won/lost on Duckworth Lewis method, team's score in bold)

DIVISION ONE

GLOUCESTERSHIRE v KENT

Lancs (a) L 178/8 181/4 Leics (a) L 120 121/4

Hants (h) L 211/9 189 Essex (h) W 139 141/5

Warks (h) W 198/8 202/7 Worcs (a) NR 88/4 -

Yorks (h) W 261 133 Yorks (a) W 178/8 179/7

Worcs (a) L 184 183 Warks (h) W 219 221/9

Leics (h) L 214 176 Essex (a) W 245 225

ESSEX v LEICESTERSHIRE

Hants (a) L 187/4 188/7 Kent (h) W 120 121/4

Kent (a) L 139 141/5 Warks (a) W 250/8* 138/8

Hants (h) L 259/5 120 Worcs (a) L 250/6 248

Lancs (a) L 168 171/3 Yorkshire (h) L 231/6 131

Yorks (a) W 241/7 194 Hants (a) W 248 245/6

Kent (h) L 245 225 Gloucs (a) W 214 176

YORKSHIRE v LANCASHIRE

Worcs (h) L 228/7 143 Gloucs (h) W 178/8 181/4

Kent (h) L 178/8 179/7 Hants (a) W 210/7 214/6

Gloucs (a) L 261 133 Warks (h) NR 46/4 -

Warks (a) L 214/5 213 Essex (h) W 168 171/3

Leics (a) W 231/6 131 Warks (a) W 127 130/4

Essex (h) L 241/7 194 Leics (a) W 208 156

DIVISION TWO

DERBYSHIRE v SOMERSET

Middx (a) W 139 114 Sussex (a) W 167/8 168/2

Nhants (a) NR - - Middx (a) W 205/4* 187/7

Nhants (h) L 187/6 180 Middx (h) L 218 219/2

Durham (a) L 143/9 146/3 Surrey (a) W 225/9 227/8

Surrey (h) L 238/9 174 Derby (h) W 243/7 247/4

Somerset (a) L 243/7 247/4 Notts (h) W 227/8 231/3

SUSSEX v SURREY

Somerset (h) L 167/8 168/2 Notts (h) NR - -

Durham (a) W 134 135/2 Glam (a) L 294/4 223

Notts (a) L 246/4 200/8 Somerset (h) L 225/9 227/8

Middx (h) W 297/5 288/6 Derby (a) W 238/9 174

Glam (a) W 201/8* 121 Glam (h) W 187 44

Nhants (h) NR - - Nhants (a) L 235/8 230

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE v GLAMORGAN

Notts (a) W 225/9 228/5 Durham (h) L 198/7 189

Derby (h) NR - - Surrey (h) W 294/4 223

Derby (a) W 187/6 180 Notts (a) L 240/7 214

Notts (h) W 182/5* 118/9 Sussex (h) L 201/8* 121

Sussex (a) NR - - Surrey (a) L 187 44

Durham (a) W 201/5* 137 Derby (a) Tie 207/8 205

DURHAM v NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Glam (a) W 198/7 189 Nhants (h) L 225/9 228/5

Sussex (h) L 134 135/2 Surrey (a) NR - -

Derby (h) W 143/9 146/3 Sussex (h) W 246/4 200/8

Middx (a) L 207/6 182 Glam (h) W 240/7 214

Nhants (h) L 201/5* 137 Nhants (a) L 182/5* 118/9

Sussex (a) L 161 162/3 Middx (h) W 197/8 198/5

National League matches

CORAL HILLS LADBROKES S JAMES STANLEY SUNDS TOTE

HYorkshire (Division One) 11-8 Evs 11-10 11-10 Evs 6-5 11-8

Lancashire 8-15 8-11 4-6 4-6 8-11 8-13 8-15

Best-price percentage: 100

Essex 13-8 5-4 5-4 11-8 6-5 5-4 7-4

Leicestershire 4-9 4-7 4-7 8-15 8-13 4-7 2-5

Best-price percentage: 98

Gloucestershire 5-6 4-6 8-11 5-6 8-11 5-6 8-11

Kent 5-6 11-10 Evs 5-6 Evs 5-6 Evs

Best-price percentage: 102

Derbyshire (Division Two) 9-4 13-8 6-4 13-8 7-4 2 7-4

Somerset 1-3 4-9 1-2 4-9 2-5 4-11 2-5

Best-price percentage: 98

Durham 13-8 11-10 5-4 6-4 11-10 6-5 5-6

Nottinghamshire 4-9 4-6 4-7 1-2 4-6 8-13 5-6

Best-price percentage: 93

Northamptonshire 2-5 1-2 4-7 2-5 1-2 4-11 8-15

Glamorgan 7-4 6-4 5-4 7-4 6-4 2 11-8

Best-price percentage: 97

Sussex 4-6 1-2 4-6 4-6 2-5 4-7 8-13

Surrey 11-10 6-4 11-10 11-10 7-4 5-4 6-5

Best-price percentage: 96

HLive on Sky - singles accepted, otherwise minimum trebles except Sunderlands singles & Stan James doubles. Draw - match void.

NCL STANDINGS

DIVISION one

P W L T NR Pts

Worcestershire 10 7 2 0 1 30

Lancashire 10 6 2 0 2 28

Yorkshire 11 6 5 0 0 24

Kent 11 5 4 0 2 24

Leicestershire 10 5 4 0 1 22

Gloucestershire 10 5 5 0 0 20

Hampshire 11 4 6 0 1 18

Warwickshire 11 3 7 0 1 14

Essex 10 2 8 0 0 8

DIVISION TWO

P W L T NR Pts

Somerset 10 9 1 0 0 36

Sussex 11 8 2 0 1 34

N'thamptonshire 11 7 2 0 2 32

Nottinghamshire 10 4 5 0 1 18

Glamorgan 10 4 5 1 0 18

Middlesex 11 4 7 0 0 16

Derbyshire 11 3 6 1 1 16

Surrey 11 3 7 0 1 14

Durham 11 2 9 0 0 8

To win National League Division Two

CORAL HILLS LADS STANLEY SUNDS SURREY TOTE

Somerset 1-3 8-13 1-2 4-11 8-15 8-13 4-11

Sussex 10-3 5-2 11-4 3 11-4 9-4 5-2

Northamptonshire 7 4 9-2 6 4 5 10

To be top Lancashire run-scorer

(best 1999 NCL score/average score shown) CORAL LADS S JAMES STANLEY SUNDS

M Atherton (95not, only inns; -) 3 3 7-2 10-3 7-2

J Crawley (84; 38.16) 4 10-3 7-2 7-2 3

A Flintoff (143; 68.5) 4 4 4 4 4

N Fairbrother (50; 23.25) 5 7-2 9-2 9-2 9-2

M Chilton (44; 25.2) 5 5 5 5 5

M Watkinson (26; 18.8) 5 6 13-2 6 6

G Lloyd (55; 35.66) 5 7 11-2 6 7

W Hegg (30; 13.75) 14 25 20 20 25

Top scorer (combined) - Tote: 6 Atherton, 13-2 Crawley, 7 Faibrother, Flintoff, 15-2 Byas, 8 White, 12 Chilton, McGrath, Vaughan, Wood, 14 Lloyd, Watkinson, 16 Harden, 20 Parker, 25 Hamilton, 33 Blakey, 40 Felloes, Hegg, 66 Austin, 100 Chapple.

To win National League Division One

CORAL HILLS LADS STANLEY SUNDS SURREY TOTE

Worcestershire 10-11 5-4 6-5 10-11 Evs 10-11 10-11

Lancashire 5-4 11-10 5-4 5-4 11-8 11-8 10-11

Leicestershire 14 12 14 16 16 20 20

Others: 40 (all with Tote) Kent, Gloucs, Yorks. Win only (Surrey 1/4 1,2)

To be top Yorkshire run-scorer

(best 1999 NCL score/average score shown) CORAL LADS S JAMES STANLEY SUNDS

D Byas (87; 27.33) 4 4 7-2 7-2 7-2

M Vaughan (72; 24.66) 4 4 4 9-2 9-2

G Blewett (48; 15.4) 4 9-2 4 7-2 9-2

C White (67; 23.77) 7-2 4 9-2 5 4

A McGrath (75; 44.62) 11-2 7-2 4 9-2 4

R Harden (42; 28.75) 8 8 13-2 8 9

G Hamilton (27; 13.57) 10 14 14 11 12

R Blakey (21; 14.14) 14 20 25 20 28

G Fellows (18; 17.75) 20 40 33 25 40
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Davies, Steve
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 12, 1999
Words:1521
Previous Article:RESULTS & FIXTURES.
Next Article:Gamble pays off for Ballyskeagh Produce; BREEDING LINES.


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