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Morgan stakes England claim with rapid century

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Eoin Morgan will hope to return to international cricket in England's ODI series against West Indies © PA Photos
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Eoin Morgan sent a timely reminder to the England selectors by hitting the fastest century of the season as Middlesex crushed Lancashire by 167 runs in their Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A clash at Lord's.

Morgan, who struggled in both Tests and one-day internationals during the winter, showed that he is back to his audacious best by reaching his hundred off only 49 balls, 17 fewer than the previous quickest by Durham's Phil Mustard against Nottinghamshire last Sunday.

He went on to make 116 off 54 balls with 11 sixes and six fours and, with Paul Stirling, Morgan's fellow Irishman, making a rapid century of his own as Middlesex ran up a total of 350 for 6, their highest in one-day cricket. It was always going to be too many for Lancashire who slumped to 55 for 5 before Paul Horton's defiant 49 enabled them to reach 183.

Will Gidman impressed with both bat and ball to ensure Gloucestershire claimed a commanding 109-run triumph over Worcestershire at New Road. The all-rounder struck 76 at the top of the order, while captain and brother Alex's 59 moved the visitors to 238 for six after they had won the toss. And Will then took two for 10 in his six overs as Worcestershire were all out for a paltry 129.

Glamorgan claimed their first win of the season after beating Durham by 15 runs in Group B at Colwyn Bay. Despite being bowled out for 163 after deciding to bat first, the visitors' woes with the bat continued after they were dismissed for 148.

Former England international Simon Jones laid waste to their top order en route to figures of four for 23, and Michael Richardson's 45 was the only real show of resistance from Durham.

Both matches in Group C fell foul of the weather. Northamptonshire had made 168 for four from 32 overs after being put into bat and Kent had made only six without loss off one over in reply when play was abandoned at Tunbridge Wells.

Sussex's match with Derbyshire at Horsham was abandoned after 24 overs. At that stage unbeaten Sussex were struggling on 111 for five with Tim Groenewald (three for 30 off eight) impressing for Derbyshire.

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