Hampshire v Middlesex:
Venue: Ageas Bowl
Hampshire: Adams, Alsop, Carberry, Vince (c), Smith, Dawson, Ervine, Wheater (w/k) , McLaren, Wood, Wheal, Tomlinson, Crane and Best.
Middlesex: Squad to be announced.
Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire
Venue: Trent Bridge
Notts: Ball, Bird, Broad, Gurney, Hales, Hutton, Lumb, Mullaney, Patel, Read (c & w/k), Smith, Taylor, Wessels and Wood.
Yorks: Bairstow (w/k), Ballance, Brooks, Gale ©, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Rashid, Rhodes, Root, Wainman and Willey.
Somerset v Lancashire
Som: Squad to be announced.
Lancs: Croft ©, Anderson, Bailey, Brown, Davies (w/k) Hameed, Jarvis, Kerrigan, Livingstone, Petersen, Proctor and Wagner.
Surrey v Durham
Venue: The Oval
Surrey: Batty ©, Ansari, Burns, T.Curran, Davies, Dunn, Foakes (w/k), Harinath, Pillans, Rampaul, Roy, Sangakkara and Wilson.
Durham: Collingwood ©, Stoneman, Jennings, Borthwick, Burnham, Stokes, Richardson (wk), Pringle, Carse, Rushworth, Onions and Weighell.
Kent v Glamorgan
Kent: Northeast ©, Bell-Drummond, Latham, Dickson, Denly, Stevens, Rouse (w/k), Haggett, Coles, Claydon, Riley and Bernard.
Glamorgan: Rudolph ©, Kettleborough, Bragg, Cooke (w/k), Donald, Lloyd, Wagg, Meschede, Salter, Hogan, van der Gugten and Podmore.
Northants v Derbyshire
Venue: The County Ground
Northants: Wakely (C), Sanderson, Duckett, Gleeson, Libby, White, Cobb, Azharullah, Levi, Rossington (W/K), Murphy, Crook and Kleinveldt.
Derby: Godleman ©, C.Hughes, Rutherford, Madsen, Broom, Durston, Thakor, Critchley, Poynton, Palladino, Fletcher and Carter.
Sussex v Leicestershire
Sussex: Beer, Briggs, Brown (c & w/k), Garton, Hatchett, Joyce, Machan, Magoffin, Nash, Robinson, Shahzad, Taylor and Wells.
Leicestershire: Cosgrove ©, Horton, Robson, Dexter, Pettini, O’Brien, Ali, Hill, White, Raine, McKay, Naik and Shreck.
Worcestershire v Essex
Venue: New Road
Worcs: Mitchell ©, D'Oliveira, Moeen Ali, Clarke, Kohler-Cadmore, Whiteley, Cox (w/k), Leach, Barnard, Henry, Shantry and Morris.
Essex: ten-Doeschate ©, Cook, Browne, Westley, Bopara, Lawrence, Eyder, Foster (w/k), Napier, Porter, Masters, Zaidi and Dixon.
4/27/2016 0 Comments
Kumar Sangakkara added a fluent 71 to his first innings 171, as Surrey and Somerset played out a see saw final day before shaking hands on a draw. Surrey began the day looking to push on to an afternoon declaration but when both openers fell cheaply, Sangakkara and Steven Davies had some work to do. Davies eventually fell for 26 – but Sangakkara had the spectators swooning with his delightful drives – crossing the boundary 7 times in his 108 ball stay. Jason Roy, a man looking to force his way into the England Test team then departed for 19 at the hands of Jack Leach who ended the innings with figures of 2-34 and by the time Surrey declared at tea they were 181-8. That left Somerset with an unlikely victory target of 292 from 42 overs – and at 62-4 they would have been happy it was just the 42 overs to see out. Ravi Rampaul backed up his first innings five-for, before Zafar Ansari added three quick wickets to have Somerset nerves jangling – but James Hildreth and Peter Trego steadied ship to see out the remaining overs and end up 40* and 34* respectively, closing on 122-4 when a draw was called.
At Edgbaston, neither side were able to force an unlikely result as the weather had its say on what had looked like being a fantastic match. Warwickshire began the day poorly, Varun Chopra adding only six to his overnight tally – departing for 107. However, Jonathan Trott (74), Tim Ambrose (61*) and Rikki Clarke (51) all added half-centuries onto the Bears' total and eventually the total surpassed Yorkshire's first dig of 379 all out. The game was petering out by this stage and when Warwickshire declared on 443-9 having taken full batting points with Adil Rashid finishing with 4-127, both sides were simply going through the motions. When Yorkshire began their second innings, Adam Lyth would have been hoping to end the day with a healthy not out score, although he was denied of that by spinner Jeetan Patel – opening the bowling – falling leg before for 8. Alex Lees also fell to Boyd Rankin before the Tykes reached 73 for 2 when hands were shook. Both sides have now drawn each of their opening fixtures, and will be looking to push on to get a first win on the board.
Weather again ruled the roost at Chester-le-Street as only 14 balls were possible on the final day of Durham's match with Middlesex. Realistically, going into day four a draw was the only likely result as weather had put pay to any hopes of play on day 3 aswell. Mark Stoneman resumed the day on 139 and soon helped Durham accumulate another vital batting bonus point but shortly afterwards the rain and snow again settled in and play was abandoned for the day with conditions not improving at 3:00pm – and an inevitable draw was confirmed.
Essex wrapped up an easy innings victory over Northamptonshire at Chelmsford, Ryan Ten Doeschate finished with four wickets. The Essex captain ripped through an often frail Northants middle and lower order to end with figures of 4-31. The away sides had begun proceedings on 148-4 and were soon staring down the barrel shortly after when Adam Rossington fell leg before for 17. Jamie Porter and Graham Napier picked up three wickets apiece – Porter ending with impressive match figures of 8-101. Rory Kleinveldt did offer some late resistance with five fours coming in his 42-ball 35*, but when Napier cleaned up Ben Sanderson Essex had sealed a second victory in three County Championship matches and increased their lead at the top of Divison Two to a healthy 21 points.
Leicestershire are the occupants of second spot in the table as they consolidated their opening win against Glamorgan with a comfortable draw versus Kent. A strong batting performance including centuries for Mark Cosgrove (122), new signing Neil Dexter (131) and an impressive unbeaten 42 from 40 balls from Wayne White led the hosts to 401/9. Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond, who is regarded highly by many, fell cheaply for 4 as the ever reliable Australian Clint McKay picked up two early wickets – also accounting for the loss of Joe Denly (9). Kent eventually reached 85 for 2 as a draw was called, Sean Dickson (34) and Sam Northeast (31) both ending not out.
Worcestershire and Gloucestershire played out an entertaining draw in Bristol, Moeen Ali struck his first century of the season as the England all-rounder got some useful time in the middle ahead of the opening Test against Sri Lanka. His 136 not out came at just under a run a ball and included 17 fours and 4 maximums. The Bristolians had earlier sensed victory, reducing the Midlanders to 49-3 – but Moeen's classy knock dominated the Worcestershire reply as the visitors closed their innings at a healthy 210-4. Chris Dent (138*) had earlier completed his second century of the season so far, and Jack Taylor also added 105 as Gareth Roderick's men looked to force some pressure on Worcestershire, declaring their second innings on 382-7 - a lead of 351. Liam Norwell picked up three wickets and finished with figures of 3-69 – but had no answer for Moeen who secured the draw for Worcestershire – their second from two matches this season – while Gloucestershire sit third in the table after three matches.
Derbyshire versus Glamorgan, too, resulted in stalemate at the 3aaa County Ground after inclement weather earlier in the match. Derbyshire's innings saw curtains at 345 in reply to Glamorgan's first innings 377 – Michael Hogan picking up handy figures of 4-74 after last man Andy Carter added 39. By this time a draw was again inevitable, but Jacques Rudolph saw his team steadily to 87-2, adding 31 runs after James Kettleborough was knocked over by Luke Fletcher and Will Bragg was adjudged lbw to Wes Durston. Hail and snow then settled in and the outfield was deemed unplayable, forcing play to be abandoned after a 3:45pm inspection.
Reports by Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX)
Adverse April weather conditions caused havoc on Day Three of the County Championship as rain, sleet and snow caused issues for Counties up and down the country.
At Edgbaston, a century from former Warwickshire skipper Varun Chopra ensured that their rain-affected encounter with Yorkshire looks set for a draw after the final session was wiped out due to a heavy downpour. The visitors could only add a further eleven runs to their overnight score before Ryan Sidebottom edged Chris Woakes (4-87) to second slip to bring an end to the innings with the total on 379. Jack Brooks struck early for the Champions as the headband-wearing seamer managed to nip one back into Ian Westwood, who heard the death rattle behind him to fall for 4 with the score on 18/1. That brought skipper Ian Bell to the middle and the Warwickshire number three continued his fine early season form striking a half-century to lead the Bears fight back alongside his predecessor Chopra who was playing fluently at the other end. Bell’s fifty included eight fours before he fell off the bowling of England hopeful Adil Rashid for 59. Out strolled Jonathan Trott to the middle fresh from his unbeaten double-century last week, the retired England international picked up where he left off at Lords as the South African-born batsman played confidently hitting five fours in his unbeaten 38. But the day belonged to Chopra, the opener looked untroubled throughout in the freezing Birmingham conditions striking fourteen fours on his way to an unbeaten 101 to all but secure a draw for his side.
Marcus Trescothick rolled back the years to strike his first County Championship century of the summer to help his side to avoid the follow-on at the Oval. The former England opener made 127 before falling to Gareth Batty as he saw wickets tumble regularly around him as the 40-year-old made light work of the Surrey attack whilst his teammates struggled in the cold conditions. His knock spanned 213-balls and included 20 fours and a six as his innings proved vital for his team, as no other batsman passed 50. Lewis Gregory (47 not out) and Craig Overton (44) added crucial late runs for the visitors, who would’ve been relieved to avoid the follow-on before a heavy snowstorm brought an abrupt end to proceedings. For Surrey, who still lead by 110 going into the final day, Ravi Rampaul was the star of the show claiming his second five-wicket haul since joining the county in March. The West Indian took the important wickets of Chris Rogers, who was bowled for a paltry 11, and James Hildreth (10) caught behind to help his side to a sizable lead. The hosts would’ve been left frustrated by the adverse weather conditions as they looked to press home their advantage but they will now need to score quick runs on the fourth morning to secure anything other than a draw from this match.
Meanwhile, In Durham snow, sleet and rain meant no play was possible at all to leave the game destined for a draw. The best Durham can hope for from the final day is maximum batting points and with Mark Stoneman going so well you wouldn’t put it past the hosts. The opener will continue on 139 not out and will be eager to impress the England selectors with the tour of Sri Lanka on the horizon.
Fourteen Northamptonshire wickets fell on Day three at Chelmsford as Essex bowled themselves into a winning position at the Essex County Ground. Jamie Porter collected his second successive five-wicket haul as the hosts enforced the follow-on after bowling the visitors out for 119. Essex added 90 runs to their overnight total with Ravi Bopara (76) top scoring for the Eagles. Ryan ten Doeschate (26) and James Foster (36 not out) added late runs to push the Eagles towards 450 but when Graham Napier fell the hosts declared on 441/8. That left Northampton with a tricky looking 20-minutes to see out before lunch, and it turned into a nightmare spell for the visitors. The returning David Masters (3-27) struck twice in his opening over to leave the visitors 0/2 inside two overs. Masters’ first removed the dangerous Ben Duckett with a rank long-hop which the opener could only maneuver to Porter in the deep, the Essex stalwart then produced a beauty which pitched and left the new man Alex Wakely, and the Northampton skipper could only prod the ball to Alastair Cook. It then turned into the Porter show as the 22-year-old turned the game on its head. The Leytonstone-born man has Jake Libby caught in the slips before trapping Richard Levi leg before as Northants trudged back into the dressing room for lunch on 6/4. Masters returned after lunch and claimed the early scalp of Joshua Cobb who found the hands of ten Doeschate to leave the visitors in all sorts of bother at 14/5. Adam Rossington (67 not out) and David Murphy led a recovery of sorts for Northampton before Murphy became the first of two victims for Napier. The Colchester man trapped Murphy LBW for 20 with the hosts on 75. Kleinveldt added 11 before he fell to Porter, and the Essex man took two further quick wickets to claim his five-fer. Napier finished the job off to ensure the Eagles could enforce the follow-on and speed the match progress up by bowling last man Sanderson for 4. The visitors fared far better in the second innings, however, with Duckett reaching a half-century, but a flurry of late wickets for Porter and Napier ensured the visitors require a further 174 to avoid an innings defeat on the final day. Northampton closed on 141/4 with the Eagles in prime position to strengthen their grip on top spot.
Snow in Derby meant that the encounter between Derbyshire and Glamorgan looks set for a draw. Wayne Madsen and Ben Slater both struck half-centuries for the hosts to guide Derbyshire to 331/9 before the snow brought an end to proceedings. Replying to the Welsh counties score of 377, Slater and Madsen continued the recovery after the early losses of Hamish Rutherford and Chesney Hughes last. The pair shared 103 for the third-wicket with Slater hitting seven fours on his way 62 before he became the first man to fall to Andrew Salter (3-56). The spinner trapped Slater leg before to leave the score on 161/3. New Zealander Neil Broom came and went for 4, bowled by Kolpak star Timm van der Gugten. Wes Durston and Madsen then got together and guided the hosts to their first batting point as the pair shared a partnership of 59. Durston fell however to David Lloyd caught by Chris Cooke with the hosts still trailing by 136. New man in the middle Matt Critchley could only add 5 before he found the hands of Jacques Rudolph off Salter, then the mainstay of the innings Madsen went three runs short of a deserved century when Salter bowled the in-form man. In truth, the dismissal of Durston sparked a collapse in the cold conditions as five wickets fell for 48-runs. Michael Hogan (3-65) removed Tony Palladino for a duck to continue the slump before Craig Meschede found the Australian’s hands to remove Luke Fletcher, Derbyshire did though battle back to collect another bonus point thanks to a quick-fire 31 from Andy Carter as the snow started to fall, and it eventually brought an the day to a premature end with the score on 331/9.
The clash between Gloucestershire and Worcestershire is just about honours even despite a late flurry for Matt Henry (3-60). The New Zealander struck late three times to leave the hosts on 217/6, a lead of 186. The visitors started the day on 297/5, and added 114 to their overnight score, a lead of 31 on first-innings. Liam Norwell took the vital wickets of the impressive Joe Clarke (135, a career best) and Ben Cox (69) to finish with figures of 3-112. Despite losing Cameron Bancroft (29) early, Gloucestershire fought back thanks to half-centuries from Chris Dent (81 not out) and Ian Cockbain (67). The pair shared 108 for the second wicket to guide the hosts to a decent lead, Cockbain struck 12 fours on his way to his 67 before he well caught and bowled by Joe Leach. Leach followed that up three balls later by trapping the host’s captain Gareth Roderick leg before without scoring to leave the Bristol club on 157/3. Henry then struck three times in quick succession to tip the favour towards Worcestershire, he removed the dangerous Hamish Marshall, George Hankins, and Keiran Noema-Barnett (all bowled) to leave the hosts on 217/6 at close with the game still all to play for on the final day.
Finally, Leicestershire skipper Mark Cosgrove struck an unbeaten 99 to put the hosts in control of their encounter with Kent. Foxes seamer Zak Chappell took his first wickets at Grace Road to finish off the Kent first innings, he first has Mitch Claydon (24) caught by Cosgrove before bowling Callum Haggett (38) to leave the visitors on 264 all out. Kent got off to a flying start removing the in-form Paul Horton (3) and Gus Robson (0) early to have the hosts in trouble at 17/2. Robson was the first to go caught behind off the bowling of Matt Coles for a duck, before the same mode of dismissal did for Horton as Darren Stevens claimed his 500th Kent wicket. But that was as good as it got for the visitors as Cosgrove and Neil Dexter guided the hosts to an early close after sharing 159-runs for the third wicket. Cosgrove hit 19-fours in his 99, whilst Dexter was more patient on finding the boundary eight times in his unbeaten 57 as the hosts closed on 174/2 after only 45-overs were possible on day three after snow and rain brought the game to a premature close.
Reports by David Bowden.
Runs continued to dominate the early season matches in the Specsavers County Championship during game week three.
Kumar Sangakkara stole the show at the Oval as he smashed a brilliant 171 to help put Surrey in control of their Division One match against Somerset. The Sri Lankan was dropped twice early on and went on to make the visitors pay in memorable fashion. He struck 24 boundary fours and cleared the ropes four times as he played in typically aggressive fashion to top score for the hosts as they reached 394/5 at close in London. The early loss Arun Harinath (9) who fell leg before to Craig Overton brought the Sri Lankan to the middle and he alongside Rory Burns got the scoreboard moving at pace. The pair shared 187 for the 2nd wicket to put the ‘Rey in a commanding position. The duo played delightful all around the wicket with Sangakkara adding a little bit of Asian flair to proceedings, but only after he survived a huge scare early on as he flashed at a ball from Craig Overton only to see his edge spilled in the slips. Burns fell for an impressive 80 offering a return catch to spinner Roelof van der Merwe. Steven Davies (7) came to the middle and continued to look out of sorts before he became the first of two wickets for Tim Groenewald. Out strolled Jason Roy to the middle and he seemingly thought he was back in India; playing shots all round the wicket as he struck eleven fours on his way to a quick-fire 85. Sangakkara fell first though after sharing 65 for the fourth-wicket with Roy, the Sri Lankan finding the hands of Overton off the bowling of Groenewald with the score on 313/4. Roy continued in an aggressive manner alongside Zafar Ansari (28 not out) but the England man couldn’t see his efforts through to close falling leg before wicket just five balls before the end of play to leave the hosts in a good position on 394/5.
Meanwhile at Chester-Le-Street, Middlesex continued their fine early season form with the bat as the London club enjoyed a solid days play in Durham. The top-seven all contributed against a strong bowling attacking boasting the returning Ben Stokes. Nick Gubbins (60), Dawid Malan (74), and skipper Adam Voges (50) all struck half-centuries as the visitors reached 358/7 at close. It was a less successful match for England hopeful Sam Robson though, who fresh from a memorable week at Lords struck just 26 before becoming the first wicket to fall. Youngster Brydon Carse bowled him with the score on 58. His partner though Nick Gubbins continued to score freely striking an important 60 to get his side off to a decent start at a cold Chester-Le-Street. He struck ten fours in his 80-ball stay before becoming Graham Onions’ first victim of the day, the Middlesex opener fell leg before to the former England man. Nick Compton got a start before falling for a well-made 38, the England hopeful chopped spinner Ryan Pringle on with the score on 177/3. That brought skipper Adam Voges to the crease and the Australian found an ally in Dawid Malan and the pair shared 90 for the fourth wicket, with both making half-centuries before both fell without kicking on for a big score. Malan was the first to fall when Chris Rushworth found his edge to give a catch to Michael Richardson behind the stumps. An over later, Ben Stokes’ had his first victim of the day, having the Australian caught at gully by Scott Borthwick. John Simpson and Paul Stirling then added a vital 61 for the sixth-wicket to push the visitors past 300. Simpson was pinned in front by Onions though to depart for 38 in the fading light, and twenty runs later Stokes has his second wicket trapping James Harris LBW with the final delivery of the day to leave the game evenly poised at close.
At a damp and overcast Edgbaston only 58-overs were possible as Warwickshire and Yorkshire shared the spoils on the opening day of their Division One encounter. The hosts dominated the morning session grabbing three of the top four before Lunch. Openers Alex Lees and Adam Lyth shared 46 for the opening stand, but Lees, who is yet to find his rhythm with the bat this season fell for 19 when had his stumps rearranged by Rikki Clarke. Four runs later, Lyth departed for the same score, the England man attempted a hook shot but could only find Ian Bell at mid-off who took a juggling catch. By now, the hosts had their tails up and they struck again three overs later, Keith Barker found the inside edge of Andrew Gale’s bat and the Yorkshire skipper could only manage to manoeuvre the ball onto his own stumps to leave his side struggling on 56/3. Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow briefly led the visitor’s fight-back only for Chris Woakes to produce a beauty to dismiss Bairstow for 20. With the light fading and the rain falling, Jack Leaning and Ballance both struck unbeaten fifties to fully lead the White Rose to the road to recovery as they closed on 177/4.
Meanwhile in Division Two, Leicestershire continued their fine early season form to dominate the opening day at Grace Road despite a century from Kent opener Daniel Bell-Drummond. The host’s controlled the early stages of the match, bowling a solid line and length that put the visitors in all sorts of trouble at 48/4. Their collapse started in bizarre fashion as South-African born opener Sean Dickson was given out for handling the ball. The Kent man, inside edged the ball and as the ball was trickling towards his off-stump the opener leant down to push the ball away from danger, after a consultation between the umpires he was sent his marching orders to leave the visitors on 4/1. Joe Denly and Bell-Drummond recovered from that moment of madness to lead the Canterbury club to 42, but when Denly fell to visitors endured a mini-collapse. Wayne White bowled the former opener for 14. Sam Northeast fell in the next over to Charlie Shreck for four, whilst White struck again in his next over to remove Darren Stevens for a duck in what proved to be a very fruitful 10 minutes of play for the Foxes. That triple salvo left the visitors on 48/4, but with Bell-Drummond still standing at the other end they had hope, and he alongside Alex Blake (26) led the Kent rally. The pair shared 57 for the fifth-wicket, Clint McKay was brought into the attack to break the duo up and the Australian duly delivered removing Blake to leave the score on 105/5. Wicket-keeper Adam Rouse joined opener Bell-Drummond in the middle and pair continued to fight back as the duo took the score past 200 to take the visitors to an unlikely batting point. During the partnership, Bell-Drummond reached triple figures to dominate his team's total; he struck 20 fours in his 190-ball stay. Rouse and Bell-Drummond shared 107 for the sixth-wicket before McKay returned again to dismiss the wicket keeper for 38. With the light closing in, Leicestershire capitalized again to get the crucial wicket of Bell-Drummond who fell leg before to former Kent man Neil Dexter just four overs before the close. The visitors go into day two on 227/7.
There were four half-centuries at Chelmsford as Essex dominated the opening day at the ECG against Northampton. Nick Browne (60), Alastair Cook (64), Tom Westley (65) and Ravi Bopara (57*) all contributed as the Eagles took up a commanding position at a cold Chelmsford. The hosts were inserted after Northants decided against having a toss, and they were left to rue missed opportunities as Essex cruised along in the morning session. First, Alastair Cook was dropped on three off the bowling of Azharullah in the slips. And the England captain made them regret that as he serenely went on his way to fifty to continue his fine early season form. He was slightly overshadowed by his opening partner Browne, who looked more fluent throughout playing delightfully through the covers and through square. Browne was the first man to fall however just after lunch as he edged the ball through to Richard Levi in the slips off the bowling of Ben Sanderson for a well-crafted 60. That brought the in-from Tom Westley to the crease and the Essex number three continued where Browne left off carving the ball through the covers at ease. He, alongside Cook shared 80 as the hosts continued to look untroubled before the England captain nicked Richard Gleeson behind to wicket-keeper Adam Rossington for 64. Just when the visitors thought they had a sniff of a chance they turned round to see a former England number three walk to the middle in the form of Bopara. The Essex limited-overs captain accompanied Westley through to a fifty as the England hopeful eased his way to his third half-century of the summer. He fell, though, for 65 to become the third Essex man to fall in the sixties. He had his off-stump knocked back by Sanderson - who finished with figures of 2-79. With the light fading, Bopara and Dan Lawrence saw their side to close, Bopara even found time after a small break in play to come back out to reach his half-century as the Eagles closed on 335/3.
Hamish Marshall guided Gloucestershire to respectability after the hosts were briefly in trouble against Worcestershire. After choosing not to have a toss and electing the field first Worcestershire enjoyed a dream start. The Pears struck three times in quick succession to leave the hosts wobbling on 57/3. Firstly, overseas star Matt Henry ran out Cameron Bancroft for 15, then Ed Barnard got to work, trapping Ian Cockbain LBW for 5, then an over later Jack Shantry picked up his first wicket of the season by getting Gareth Roderick caught in the slips for 1. Chris Dent (59) and Hamish Marshall then begin to lead the recovery for the hosts, the pair shared 76 for the fourth-wicket before Dent fell after making a well-made half-century, he found the hands of Tom Kohler-Cadmore off the bowling of Barnard (2-67). George Hankins (on debut) reached 18 before he became the first victim of the summer of New Zealander Henry who had the youngster caught by Ross Whiteley. Suddenly the hosts were wobbling again on 157-5, but Keiran Noema-Barnett and Marshall calmed the nerves of the Bristol crowd by sharing a nerveless unbroken 179-run stand. The former New Zealand international reached 123 not out by close striking 15 fours in the process to help put the hosts in a good position going into day two. Noema-Barnett, meanwhile, struck an aggressive 84 to help steady the ship; he struck 15 fours and a six during his 132-ball stay. Gloucestershire closed on 336/5.
Finally, Will Bragg struck a century as Glamorgan reached 308/6 at close on day one of their Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash against Derbyshire. Tony Palladino struck three times for Derbyshire as the hosts shared the spoils with their Welsh counterparts in Derby. Indeed, the former Essex man took the first three wickets to fall for the hosts including the dangerous Jacques Rudolph for 35. First, the seamer removed James Kettleborough for 22, bowling the young opener to leave the visitors on 58/1 after Rudolph and Kettleborough had survived the opening hour. Fourteen runs later he struck again to remove the South African for 35; Palladino induced the edge to give wicket-keeper Tom Poynton a routine catch behind the stumps. Bragg and Chris Cooke then looked to wrestle back the initiative for the visitors and the pair shared 113 for the third-wicket before that man Palladino struck again to remove Cooke on 40. Bragg continued on his merry way though alongside our future star Aneurin Donald who was once again in the runs. Bragg continued to dominate proceedings however and went through to a deserved century off 171-balls. Donald, who celebrated the century of his teammate, struck 45 before becoming the first of two quick wickets for Andy Carter. Carter had Donald caught behind, he then trapped David Lloyd leg before first ball to swing the tide back into the hosts favour. Bragg became the last man to fall of the day when he was trapped leg before by Wes Durston on a career-best score of 129. The visitors closed on 308/6 with it all still to play for on day two.
Reports by David Bowden
4/23/2016 0 Comments
Durham vs Middlesex:
Durham: Stoneman, Jennings, Borthwick, Collingwood (c), Richardson (wk), Stokes, Burnham, Muchall, Pringle, Arshad, Carse, Rushworth and Onions.
Middlesex: Robson, Gubbins, Compton, Malan, Voges (c), Simpson (wk), Franklin, Harris, Roland-Jones, Murtagh and Finn.
Surrey vs Somerset:
Surrey: Batty (c), Ansari, Burns, T. Curran, Davies, Dunn, Foakes (wk), Footitt, Harinath, Pillans, Rampaul, Roy, Sangakkara and Wilson.
Somerset: Trescothick, Abell, Rogers (c), Hildreth, Allenby, van der Merwe, Trego, Davies (wk), Gregory, C.Overton, J. Overton and Groenewald.
Warwickshire vs Yorkshire:
Bears: Squad to be announced.
Yorkshire; Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Ballance, Brooks, Gale (captain), Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Rashid, Rhodes, Sidebottom and Willey.
Derbyshire vs Glamorgan:
Derby: Slater, Hughes, Rutherford (c), Madsen, Broom, Thakor, Durston, Critchley, Poynton, Palladino, Cotton, Fletcher and Carter.
Glamorgan: Rudolph (c), Kettleborough, Bragg, Cooke, Donald, Lloyd, Wagg, Meschede, Wallace, Hogan, van der Gugten, Salter and Podmore
Essex vs Northants:
Essex: ten-Doeschate (c), Cook, Browne, Westley, Bopara, Lawrence, Ryder, Foster (wk), Napier, Porter, Dixon, Masters and Beard,
Northants: Full squad to be announced.
Gloucestershire vs Worcestershire:
Gloucester: Dent, Bancroft, Cockbain, Roderick (c/w), Marshall, Hankins, Noema-Barnett, J Taylor, Shaw, Payne, Norwell and Hampton.
Worcs: Mitchell, D'Oliveira, Moeen Ali, Clarke, Kohler-Canmore, Whiteley, Cox, Leach, Barnard, Henry, Shantry and Morris.
Leicestershire vs Kent:
Leics: Cosgrove (captain), Horton, O’Brien (w/k), Robson, Dexter, Pettini, Ali, Naik, White, Raine, McKay, Chappell and Shreck.
Kent: Northeast (c), Bell-Drummond, Dickson, Denly, Stevens, Blake, Ball, Rouse (w/k), Haggett, Coles, Claydon, Riley, Qayyum, Griffiths and Bernard.
By David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
4/23/2016 0 Comments
It was a memorable week for Sam Robson at Lords, as the Middlesex man scored the highest aggregate score by any batsman for the county hitting a double ton in the first innings before following that up with a century in the second against Warwickshire.
His feat hasn’t gone unnoticed by the media and he’s now being talked about as a contender for that spare opening spot next to Alastair Cook during the Sri Lanka tests. He faces competition from Alex Hales, who holds the jersey at the moment, as well as former England man Adam Lyth, who himself struck a fine ton for Yorkshire against Hampshire. Robson’s first class average is decent, at a touch under 40, the Australian-born opener is looking to add to his seven England Test match appearances, and he averaged 30.54 in those matches including a century and a fifty. In his record-breaking innings at Lord’s last week, he faced one on the best bowling attacks in the country and made light work of them smashing 43 boundaries over his two innings. His first innings knock was vitally important, the opener struck more than half of his side's total of 452 with his score of 231. At 26-years of age, the opener has time on his side, and should he keep scoring runs he will become almost make it impossible for the selectors not to pick him.
Fresh from a winter with the England Lions, Jake Ball is enjoying a whirlwind start to his county season. Known as the Welbeck wizard he has certainly been putting a spell on Division One batsmen this summer. Currently the leading wicket-taker in the Division with 12, he is beginning to make a case for a full England call-up. His captain Chris Read has already seen him come on leaps and bounds since his time with the lions in the winter. Read said, “Jake is in fantastic form with the ball, he’s had a great winter having been in Dubai with the Lions and has had a taste of what life is like with the ECB set-up. He’s really keen to progress that side of his career.”
And you wouldn’t put it past him, the injury to Mark Wood could open the door for a new bowler to enter the England squad against Sri Lanka, and no disrespect to Sri Lanka, but it could well be a good time to call-up a newcomer to the side. He bowls at a decent pace and certainly can move the ball both ways, just ask the Surrey batting line-up. I hope he continues his fine early season form to give England selectors something to think about.
In Division Two, it was the clash of the titans at Hove as Sussex met Essex and Danny Briggs’ must be cursing his luck after dropping the England captain on one, whilst playing for the visitors at Hove last weekend. The England man went on to score an unbeaten century to lead his county to a crucial draw against the pre-season favourites. Cook, meanwhile, continues to impress for the Eagles after being caught in the ‘helmet-gate’ storm, he answered his critics, though, and in fine style. Donned with his new helmet he struck 127 not out in their second innings to lead his club to the top of the table.
Essex are in the mix for promotion and a share of the spoils in Brighton will boost their chances of promotion no end, and whilst it is early days, the Eagles will be feeling confident going into their next fixture on Sunday against Northants at the ECG. They will need to make the most of Cook’s presences before he disappears again to represent his country, Essex’s troubles over the years has always been down to their poor start with the likes of Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten-Doeschate and Cook himself so often away. Their experience will boost the Chelmsford-based club and this could be their year with a new coach, full of fresh ideas, the sky could be the limit for the Eagles.
New-look Leicestershire smashed Glamorgan during their season opener to kick start their season in style. They've brought in experienced heads, and Paul Horton led by example in Cardiff, striking two half-centuries to help his new county to victory. The former Lancashire man could prove to a vital signing for the Foxes who will look to improve on their less than impressive last few years. With Mark Pettini, Clint McKay, and Neil Dexter there is plenty of class and experience amongst their ranks, and that could well prove important come September. Pettini has guided Essex to promotion in his past as well as a One-Day trophy during his time at Chelmsford, McKay will prove to be a shrewd signing and is sure to trouble Division two batting line-ups, and Dexter has a wealth of experience in Division One with Middlesex. I am certain they will trouble and probably beat the lower teams in the Division, and if they can sneak a win or two against the likes of Worcestershire, Essex or Sussex, they could well be a surprise package, after all, their footballing counterparts are stunning the world so why can’t they.
The new toss regulations have seen some rather strange early April occurrences, so often matches are low-scoring and packed with wickets. But that just hasn’t been the case this season. There have already been three double-centurions this summer and plenty of century makers too. Home groundsmen are now far less likely to produce green-tops so batting is becoming far easier for teams. Bowlers now have to run themselves into the ground to see any reward for their efforts, The one-day game is already making it less attractive to become a bowler due to balls being whacked out the park left, right and centre, so with scores of over 500 being made in some games in early spring should bowlers be worried about this? Personally, I think it is good for the sport, it provides great entertainment, just look at the Surrey vs Nottinghamshire game during the opening weekend, that really was a great advert for the sport. It will force bowlers to find new ways of taking wickets, which should conversely be better for the future of the English game.
Meanwhile, County bowlers will have to be on the mettle when Martin Guptill arrives in the country later this summer, news broke earlier this week that the New Zealander will be joining Lancashire for the Blast. He becomes one of many Kiwis to join up for the English T20 competitions, as the competition continues to become more competitive. He's just another star name to join the tournament and he will be keen to make an impact at Old Trafford as the Manchester-based club look to make it two on the spin in the shortest format of the game.
Hampshire were dealt an early season blow as they received the news that West Indian Fidel Edwards will be missing a large chunk of the season after fracturing his leg during a warm-up football match at Headingley. The Hampshire quick man played a crucial role in the south-coast side's survival last season taking 45 wickets including 10 vital wickets during the final game of the season again Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. It is unknown how long the former West Indies test seamer will be out for but it is expected that Hampshire will utilize the loan market to replace the talisman. He posted an image on his Instagram with the caption ‘Today the process of healing starts both mentally and physically.’ He will be a big miss for Hampshire, who also lost Chris Wood and Liam Dawson to injury in Leeds.
Another man on the mend is England star Mark Wood, but it is expected that the Durham paceman will miss a large portion of the County summer after having an operation on his ankle. Wood, who had just established himself in the England set-up after taking 10 wickets in the Ashes and added a further six in the series against Pakistan missed the South Africa tour due to this injury and now looks likely to miss a large chuck of a summer that includes a visit from Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It was thought that the England man would return early this summer, and he even revealed he was in a good place in March, but since then he has suffered a setback and has endured another operation in the hope to clear up the issue once and for all. He will now begin his rehabilitation and get back to light bowling work as soon as possible.
Finally, there is another round of Championship fixtures starting tomorrow. In Division One, Durham tackle Middlesex, Surrey face Somerset, and Warwickshire welcome Yorkshire. Meanwhile in Division Two, Derbyshire entertain Glamorgan, Essex meet Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire comes up against Worcestershire and Leicestershire take on Kent.
Sam Robson – Highest First-Class aggregate score by any Middlesex batsman. (231 & 106)
Neil Wagner- 11-111 during his debut for Lancashire.
Jamie Porter – His 5-87 against Sussex at Hove was his maiden five-wicket haul
Jonathan Trott – The former England man struck a double-ton for Warwickshire at Lords. Just seven runs short of his highest first-class score.
Liam Norwell – Gloucestershire bowler Norwell was offered the opportunity to bat at three for the Bristol-based club, a chance he grabbed with both hands as he struck his first ever century against Derbyshire.
By David Bowden (Bowdenwhu)
Neil Wagner inspired Lancashire again as the Red rose close on victory in Division One, whilst Leicestershire look set to begin their new regime with a victory over Glamorgan in Division Two.
Lancashire took complete control of their Specsavers County Championship Division One clash against Nottinghamshire. Continuing the day on 311/8, Lancashire added just 22 runs to their overnight total being dismissed for 332 with Jake Ball collecting his fourth wicket of the innings by trapping Livingstone leg before for 70. Samit Patel finished off the innings by having Kyle Jarvis caught by Steven Mullaney for a well-made 37. That left the hosts with a 90 run lead on first innings; the Red Rose then took total control of the match with the ball. Neil Wagner stole the show once again collecting his second five-wicket haul of the match to claim match-figures off 11-111 to complete a dream debut and bowl his team into a winning position. He, alongside James Anderson (3-29) ensured the hosts would be only chasing 86 on the final day. Only Greg Smith (41) added any real contribution to the visitors’ second effort with the bat, as Nottinghamshire endured a nightmare second innings as they were dismissed for just 175. England fans will be relieved to hear that Anderson found his form at Old Trafford; he produced an economical spell to keep the visitors in check. He bowled nine maidens in his 23 overs taking three wickets at an economy of just 1.27 runs an over. But it was Wagner who will take all the plaudits as he destroyed the Nottinghamshire batting line-up for the second time, blowing away the tail including three quick wickets to really break the back of the lower order. It leaves Lancashire requiring just 86 on Wednesday as they bid to collect their first win of the season on their return to Division One.
Hampshire battled back bravely against reigning Champions Yorkshire to all but secure a draw for the injury-ravaged side. Hampshire lost bowlers Reece Topley, Chris Wood and Liam Dawson to injury and will now hope to secure a share of the spoils tomorrow. Continuing in a spot of bother on 141/5, the visitors produced a remarkable comeback to silence the Yorkshire crowd. Firstly, James Vince went through to a well-deserved century to send a nudge to the England selectors, he had dominated the South-Coast county score at the time as he went through to his hundred with the score at 174/5. When he departed though with the score on 203/6, his side was still staring at the follow-on full in the face. He fell leg before for 119 off the bowling of Steven Patterson. That brought wicket keeper Adam Wheater to the crease to join Sean Ervine and the pair continued the recovery sharing another vital partnership as Hampshire dug their heels in against a very talented bowling attack. The pair added 143 for the seventh wicket with a mixture of aggression and patience proving vital during their stay. Both reached milestones, with Wheater making a half-century before failing to Patterson caught by Ballance for 62. Ervine, meanwhile, reached a stunning century hitting 14 fours and a six in his 123 to help lead the visitors towards the 400 mark. He fell with the score on 391, edging Ryan Sidebottom through to wicket keeper Jonny Bairstow, but by then he had more than played his part in an unexpected Hampshire recovery. Ryan McLaren and Chris Wood (who by now was playing with an injury) continued where Wheater and Ervine left off. The duo added 59 for the ninth wicket with McLaren (55 not out) collecting his second half-century of the season. Hampshire go into the final day still trailing by 143, closing the day on 450/8.
Jonathan Trott reminded everyone of his skills as he returned to form with a timely unbeaten 219 for Warwickshire as the visitors fought back on day three. Resuming on 146/4, the Bears knew they would have to bat long into the day if they were going to manage a lead on first innings. The early losses of Tim Ambrose and Rikki Clarke for six and two respectively dealt them a blow in that pursuit, but that only brought Keith Barker to the middle. Alongside Trott, Barker whacked his way to a vital 81, which included 8 fours and a six as he shared 143 with the former England man. Trott reached his century in equally aggressive fashion hitting 15 fours during his 158-ball century, but the South African-born batsman wasn’t done there. He continued to bat with the tail as he bid to put his side in control of the match. Trott found support from Jeetan Patel and Oliver Hannon-Dalby (both 30) as he raced to a double century from 274-balls including 29 fours to lead his side to a small advantage on first innings. With a lead of 16 in the bag, Keith Barker continued to work his magic; he took two quick wickets to leave the game in limbo going into the final day as the hosts closed with a lead of 60.
New-look Leicestershire are closing on victory as they enjoyed a good day in Wales. The visitors started the day on 297/6 at Sophia Gardens, and man-of-the-moment Clint McKay added some vital late runs for the Midlands club as he struck 12 fours in his 65 to give his side a lead of 79 on first innings. He then went to work with the new-ball in his hand collecting two early wickets to set the tone for the day, he first had James Kettleborough caught behind and then two balls later he removed Will Bragg for a duck. It was just the start that Leicestershire needed as the hosts were then in effect minus 63-2. When Chris Cooke fell to Ben Raine for eight the visitors smelt victory inside three days. But a crucial fifty from Aneurin Donald put paid to those dreams as he steadied the ship for the hosts. A late clatter of wickets though for the visitors ensured that they enter the final day as firm favourites. Raine’s late wickets took him to figures of 3-48 to be the pick of the bowlers for the Foxes, but they will need to take the two final wickets early in the morning to really be in the driving seat. The hosts lead by 93 after closing day three on 172/8.
On a day where the pendulum swung one way then the next, Sussex are in control at Hove despite a good fight back from Essex in the evening session. The visitors continued the day on 252/7 and in deep trouble, but skipper Ryan ten-Doeschate and veteran Graham Napier – who’s enjoying his swansong at Essex wrestled back some initiative. The pair dragged Essex back into contention adding a vital 89 runs for the 9th wicket. Captain Ten-Doeschate reached a well-earned half-century before becoming the first victim of a topsy-turvy day in the Sussex sun. The Dutchman edged Ollie Robinson to slip to fall for 51. Napier kept swinging in the hope he could stick around with Jamie Porter for long enough to give Essex a first innings lead, but when Napier departed for 45 that dream disappeared for the visitors. Indeed, Porter and last man Matt Dixon could only add a further run to the total when Dixon was trapped leg before wicket by spinner Danny Briggs. His dismissal brought an end to the Essex innings to leave the Eagles 40 in arrears. Napier and Porter shared a far better partnership with the ball though as the pair went in search for wickets. The Essex stalwart struck first, as the all-rounder bowled Ed Joyce for 10. Sussex then went on the charge as Matt Machan and Chris Nash added 97 for the second wicket before Napier struck again having the Scottish international caught behind for 47. Ross Taylor came to the crease and added some more quick runs before the New Zealander was well caught by Westley off Jamie Porter for 22 to leave the hosts on 165-3. In truth, though, that was as good as it got for the Eagles post-lunch. They did though enjoy a far better evening session as they ripped through the middle-order to give the visitors hope going into the final day. A frantic final session of day three saw the momentum swing Essex’s way as Napier and Porter shared six wickets between them. Firstly, young Porter trapped Luke Wells leg before for 11, he then added Ben Brown to his tally by also pinning him in front for 8 as the Eagles got on a run of taking wickets. Nash was the next to fall, after making another impressive score; he fell for 92 to Graham Napier who trapped the opener LBW. Porter continued to steam in and collected a deserved fourth wicket bowling Ollie Robinson for 19. Sussex had gone from 199/3 to 231/7 in double quick time as the Eagles got on a roll. That soon became 242/9 as Napier struck twice in quick succession to grab his first five-wicket bag of the summer. The visitors, though, tiring by now, were left frustrated by a dogged final stand by Steve Magoffin and Ajmal Shahzad, the pair reached close after putting 40 on to give Sussex the edge going into the final day, they lead by 322.
Meanwhile, in Bristol, a draw looks the likely outcome as Chris Dent and Liam Norwell went run crazy for Gloucestershire. Norwell, who continued after being put as nightwatchman the night before supported Dent magnificently as the pair shared 168 for the second wicket. Dent was the first through to a century as he reached his hundred off 154 balls striking 14 fours and a six in the process. It was then Norwell’s time to raise the bat as he reached a maiden century off 120 balls. But his fairytale innings came to a close when Chesney Hughes bowled him for 102. Ian Cockbain, who had waited for an unexpectantly long time for a knock didn’t last long making just nineteen before becoming Luke Fletcher’s first victim in a Derbyshire shirt. Skipper Gareth Roderick came and went for five bowled by Andy Carter. Chris Dent finally found an ally in Hamish Marshall, who offered Dent support as the opener went past 150. Marshall struck a half-century in the meantime before Dent fell for 180, Hughes the partnership breaker again trapping him leg before. Keiran Noema-Barnett joined Marshall in the middle and also struck a fifty which included 3 fours and 3 sixes. Marshall eventually went for 72 caught off the bowling of Wes Durston, but by then he had taken the hosts to a lead. And that lead only grew and grew when Noema-Barnett (58), Jack Taylor (18) and Benny Howell (41) found the boundary at ease. The Bristol based club were eventually all out for 563, a lead of 119 going into the final day.
Reports by David Bowden (Bowdenwhu)
The England regulars were all in action in week two of the County Championship, but it was the England hopefuls who stole the show on Sunday.
James Anderson and Stuart Broad went head-to-head at Old Trafford as Lancashire took total control on Day One. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Nottinghamshire found themselves in all sorts of trouble early on as the hosts new overseas star Neil Wagner swung the ball nicely to cause chaos for the visitors top order. The New Zealander enjoyed a dream debut finishing with figures of 6-66 to put the hosts firmly on the front foot. But it was Zimbabwean Kyle Jarvis who got the ball rolling for the new-promoted hosts as he induced an edge to remove the dangerous Steven Mullaney for 19. Jarvis then bagged his second of the day pinning Michael Lumb in front leg before to leave the visitors wobbling on 48-2.
It then turned into the Wagner show as he chipped away at the middle order to give the hosts the early impetus. Whilst, the locals may well have turned up to witness a rare Jimmy Anderson (0-40) appearance in the Roses shirt, they were left feeling assured that they’ll be just fine when the England man returns to the international stage later on in the summer.
Wagner claimed his first of many for the day when he found the outside edge of Greg Smith’s bat to find the hands of Liam Livingstone. Just one over later he was celebrating again as he nipped one back into the right-handed Brendan Taylor who could only manage to smash the ball onto his middle stump. Jarvis bagged his third when he trapped Samit Patel leg before to finish with figures of 3-72. Wagner then returned to action to put the visitors in real trouble at 98-6 as he pinned Riki Wessels in front to bag his third, Wessels fell for 27. His departure brought in Stuart Broad, who teamed up with former England man Chris Read looking to steady the ship and wrestle some of the initiative back. Broad played in his typical aggressive manner hitting six boundaries in his 43 before the spinner Simon Kerrigan disturbed his stumps. Read continued on his merry way as the skipper reached a vital half-century for the visitors, but Wagner returned to finish of the tail to complete his six-wicket haul with Nottinghamshire dismissed for 242. That left a tricky final hour for the hosts to see off, and they lost the early wicket of Karl Brown. The opener was trapped leg before for 0 off the bowling of the impressive Jake Ball. Haseeb Hameed and Luke Procter though dropped anchor and safely saw the hosts to close at 25-1.
England hopeful Sam Robson struck a brilliant unbeaten 175 at Lords to give Middlesex the upper hand against Warwickshire during their opening fixture at the Home of Cricket. Ian Bell, the Warwickshire captain, decided against the toss and asked Middlesex to bat first and went on to witness an opening stand of 180 between Robson and Nick Gubbins. Gubbins eventually fell for 68, much to the relief of Ian Bell couldn’t have endured a worse start having inserted the host. He would have been feeling slightly better though when Chris Wright backed up the wicked of Gubbins up with the dismissal of Nick Compton the very next ball. Robson carried on though seemingly untroubled as he found the gaps and boundaries with ease. Dawid Malan (15) and skipper Adam Voges (21) added a further 83 with the opener before they both fell to Keith Barker to leave the hosts on 263-4. And Robson brought up a mightily impressive 150 as he score started to dominate the hosts total, the one-time England man struck 24 boundary fours on his way to his unbeaten 175 as he alongside John Simpson saw the host through the close at 317-4.
Meanwhile, at Headingley the reigning Champions got their campaign underway in a positive fashion. Despite a bad start from the hosts after being invited to bat first, Yorkshire recovered to reach 270-5 at stumps. The fight back was led by England hopefuls Adam Lyth and Jonny Bairstow, the pair both struck centuries to rescue the hosts from a potentially embarrassing first day against Hampshire. The White Rose found themselves in a bit of a hole when Bairstow strolled to the middle to join Lyth, the hosts were struggling at 41-3 after Chris Wood and Ryan McLaren had struck in quick succession for the south-coast visitors. Fellow England hopeful Gary Ballance fell cheaply for 12 as the left-armed Wood found his outside edge as the number three attempted to leave the ball, then skipper Andrew Gale also contrived to find the gloves of Adam Wheater behind the stumps falling for a duck off the bowling of McLaren. But Bairstow fresh from being named as one of Wisden Crickets top five players of the summer added a cool head to proceedings alongside Lyth who had watched his partners comes and go. Lyth and Bairstow struck the ball sweetly through as the pair shared a fourth-wicket stand of 205. Opener Lyth was the first to pass three figures as he struck 18 fours for his 111 off 188 balls. He fell though to Sean Ervine who trapped the 28-year-old leg before to bring a much-needed wicket for the visitors. And like London buses, one brought two Hampshire as Wood struck to remove Jack Leaning for one, Wheater with the catch again. That was to be the last success of the day for the visitors though as Bairstow and Adil Rashid saw the rest of the session through with ease. Bairstow closed on 107 not out having struck 14 fours and a six in his 169-ball stay to take his side into day two just about on top.
Essex travelled to Sussex as two of the bookies favourites began their Championship fixture at Hove on Sunday. At an emotional Hove, after a service was held pre-match for the late Matthew Hobden, who tragically died in the winter, the host enjoyed the better of proceedings. The Sussex players all wore the number 19 in memory of the bowler and both Ed Joyce and Chris Nash did him proud in an opening stand of 188. Nash, fit again after missing the opening fixture was in fine fluent form. He took a liking to the bowling of the wayward Matt Dixon as the opening got the hosts off to an absolute flyer.
The veteran struck 21 fours on his way to a first century of the summer off just 144 balls. Joyce meanwhile went as a more serene rate going along at a strike rate of 37.4. But he provided the glue that allowed Nash to play at his aggressive best, but when Joyce went, caught behind by Foster off skipper Ryan ten Doeschate, it sparked a collapse of sorts. The Dutchman struck again in the same over to dismiss Nash as both openers fell in the space of two balls. Just when Essex thought they were grabbing a stranglehold on the game again they looked round to see New Zealander Ross Taylor striding to the middle, mercifully though for the visitors, he wasn’t at his best and he became the first of three wickets for Graham Napier. Taylor lazily wafted at a Napier delivery to gift a routine catch to Foster behind the stumps. But at Tea Sussex were still in full control of the game, just two balls after the interval though Essex began their fight back, Tom Westley squared up Matt Machan to take a simple caught and bowled chance. The very next over Napier struck for a second time pinning Ben Brown plumb in front to leave the hosts 249-5. Luke Wells and Ollie Robinson were left with the task of getting the hosts back in control and they started to rotate the strike and put bat on ball with more authority again. But just as they were starting to gain a foothold again Westley off-spin struck. Wells pushed forward and snick off to Jesse Ryder to bring an end to Robinson and Wells’ 40-run stand. Robinson continued the fight, though, reaching a well-deserved 50 off just 73 balls. The all-rounder struck nine fours during his 86-minute stay in the middle before he too was trapped LBW by Napier. It was starting to prove to be a decent looking comeback by the Eagles who must have feared the worse when Nash and Joyce were calmly going about their business in the morning session. Youngster George Garton was the last to fall in the day as Ravi Bopara knocked his stumps back for 1, but Ajmal Shahzad (24) and Danny Briggs (6) saw the Sharks through to close on 355-8.
New-look Leicestershire enjoyed a positive opening day at Sophia Gardens as Clint McKay took six-wickets to put the visitors in control on Sunday, There were four half-centurions for Glamorgan but they were left to regret, not one of them kicking on to make a big score. Will Bragg (50), Chris Cooke (56), David Lloyd (59) and Graham Wagg (64) were all in runs in Cardiff but none pressed onto to convert their score into three figures. Make no bones about it, they were up and against a new and reformed Leicestershire bowling line-up, who felt they had a point to prove after a poor few seasons. Clint McKay, in particular, impressed removing the top three on his own on his way to a six-wicket bag. Perhaps the most important being that of Jacques Rudolph, who the edged behind to Niall O’Brien for just 6 early on. Charlie Shreck chipped in with three crucial wickets to help reduce the hosts to just 348. He removed the dangerous Cooke and Wagg to help keep the Welsh County in check. In reply, new opener Paul Horton, fresh from joining from Lancashire ensured calm alongside the impressive Angus Robson (brother of Sam Robson) and the pair saw their side comfortably to close on 15-0.
Derbyshire dominated their opening day against Gloucestershire in Bristol. Chesney Hughes and Ben Slater started to charge sharing an unbeaten opening stand of 103, with Hughes reaching his half-century in the process. Slater though fell short of that milestone falling for 42 finding the hands of Jack Taylor off the bowling of Liam Norwell. Moments later Norwell was off celebrating again after dismissing the dangerous Hamish Rutherford, who edged behind to Gareth Roderick. Hughes and new man Wayne Madsen put that slight wobble to one side though and shared a stand of 71 where the aggressive pair found the boundary with ease, but with just one more boundary required Hughes swung at one too many and saw his stumps knocked back by the impressive young spinner Jack Taylor. The West Indian-born opener fell for 96 with the score on 176-3, that brought New Zealander Neil Broom to the middle and he, alongside Madsen serenely went on their way to close, with the latter reaching his half-century just before close. Gloucestershire will need early wickets on Monday if they are to gain any kind of stranglehold on the game. The visitors closed with the score on 242-3 and in firm control.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
4/14/2016 0 Comments
Surrey and Nottinghamshire played out a thrilling encounter at Trent Bridge to remind us all why the First-Class game is the purist format of the game.
Resuming on 297/5, Surrey added a crucial 92 runs to the total with Arun Harinath top scoring for the visitors with a stunning century to rescue his team from embarrassment. Jackson Bird picked up the important wicket of the opener to swing the tie back into the hosts favour. Riki Wessels took a routine catch at slip to have Harinath walk back to the pavilion for a 137. Jake Ball then took control for Nottingham as he grabbed his first five-wicket haul of the season taking the wickets of Sam Curran for 28 and Gareth Batty for six to finish with figures of 5-98. Ravi Rampaul and Mark Footitt added an important 23 for the final stand before Brett Hutton removed Footitt caught in the covers for 5. All that meant that the hosts required just 169 for victory in two sessions, and they were off to a flyer with first innings centurion Steven Mullaney starting where he left off with a run-a-ball 42 as Nottinghamshire reached 72 with loss in double quick time. His wicket though sparked a collapse of epic proportions with five wickets falling for 28 runs. Mullaney was trapped leg before by Rampaul, the it turned into the Thomas Curran show as he struck three times in two overs to swing the tide back into Surrey’s favour. Suddenly the hosts found themselves struggling on 91/4, Curran had Michael Lumb and Wessels caught behind in quick succession whilst Brendan Taylor was caught at slip of the same bowler. Samit Patel fell eight runs later as Surrey now smelt blood and the possible chance of pulling off a victory that had looked so unlikely. Rampaul removed Patel caught in the slips by Kumar Sangakkara to leave the host 100/5 still requiring 69 to win with just five wickets in hand. Out strolled the experienced skipper Chris Read to the middle alongside Greg Smith – who was going quite nicely at the other end edging closer to a half-century. The pair shared a stand of 36 to calm the frayed Trent Bridge nerves somewhat before Rampaul struck again to remove the reliable Read for 22. Smith, though, continued to chip away at the total and reached his half-century which proved to be a crucial one, his resistance eventually ended though when Curran removed him for 54 to leave Brett Hutton and Jake Ball with 17 to get for victory. Curran, Rampaul and Footitt all steamed in but the pair survived to guide the hosts to victory in this pulsating clash, which acts as the perfect advert for the first-class game. Hutton finished 14 not out, whilst Ball ended his fine game unbeaten on 9 as the host closed on 172/7 to claim a 24-point success.
Meanwhile at the Ageas, Hampshire survived a scare to secure a comfortable draw against Warwickshire. The Bear resumed Wednesday morning on 283/6 with Ian Bell still batting at his fluent best and the England man added 44 to his overnight total to reach 174, the Warwickshire captain struck 20 fours during his 285-ball stay to guide his team to a lead of 158 on first innings. Bell became one of James Tomlinson three victims as the host battled back to ensure the lead was a reachable one. Tomlinson had the centurion caught by James Vince and then the same pair combined to remove Boyd Rankin for a duck to bring the innings to a close with the visitors on 360. The hosts, in reply, made a steady start with Michael Carberry and Tom Alsop understandably in a watchful mood battling to save the game for the south-coast club. Carberry (14) was the first to fall though fending off Keith Barker to find Chopra at slip. That brought captain James Vince to the middle and he, alongside; Alsop began to steady the ship. The pair put on 35 to reach 59/2 but Rankin struck to remove Alsop as the game began to swing back into Warwickshire’s favour. Alsop found the hands of Sam Hain for 24 to spark a mini-collapse. Seven runs later another man was walking back to the dressing room as Jeetan Patel had Will Smith trapped leg before for 3. And the hosts really were in trouble when the captain suffered the same fate when Rikki Clarke trapped Vince leg before wicket for 21. Suddenly the Bears sniffed victory, but the cool head of Liam Dawson and Sean Ervine had other ideas. The duo shared 42 for the fifth wicket to calm the host’s nerves. Ervine fell though with Hampshire still behind trailing, Barker struck to have the Kolpak star caught behind for 22. That was to be the final scare though as the brilliant Dawson (50 not out) and Adam Wheater (34 not out) ensured the hosts saw the game through with handshakes just before 6pm concluding the game as a draw. The hosts pick up nine points whilst Warwickshire pick up 12.
A game that promised much going into the final day ended up as a damp squib as Durham and Somerset were unable to get on the field of play on Wednesday. Durham, through Keaton Jennings’ unbeaten hundred, were left in a promising position going into the final day but overnight rain and persistent rainfall in the morning meant the umpires were forced to abandon the game early. Durham picked up 10 points whilst the visitors claimed just the eight.
Essex were the only winners in Division Two as they got their campaign off to an emphatic start. Requiring just 92 to win after good work from the bowlers reduced Gloucestershire to 215 the day before on a good deck for batting, Nick Browne and Alastair Cook resumed on 34 without loss. The pair played some wonderful strokes all around the wicket as Browne, in particular, looked back to his best after his first innings disappointment. He struck an unbeaten half-century as the hosts cruised to victory. England Captain Alastair Cook survived a scare though as Gareth Roderick missed a simple stumping off the bowling of Jack Taylor, but in truth that was only a momentary loss of concentration for the opener who continued his fine early season form to finish on 35 not out. Browne did survive a scare too as he was dropped at point by Ian Cockbain but by then the game was gone and Browne finished the game in style as he hit a straight drive back past the bowler to give the Eagles a ten-wicket success and a 23-point victory to start the season. They face a tricky looking away trip next week though as they travel to pre-season favourites Sussex.
Elsewhere, rain ruled as Ben Duckett was cruelly denied a triple-century and was left stranded for the second day in a row on 282 not out in Northampton’s 481/7 against Sussex. It meant the hosts took nine points from their opening fixture and pre-season favourites Sussex took just six.
Finally, for the fourth game in a row, the soggy New Road outfield left Worcestershire and Kent frustrated. Despite the sun shining the grass was just too sodden from the previous week's rain. They share five points each.
Reports by David Bowden (Bowdenwhu)
At a sombre Trent Bridge after the news of one of their favourite sons retirement, James Taylor, the game on the outfield is evenly poised.
A century from Arun Harinath and runs for Kumar Sangakkara aided a fine Surrey fightback as the visitors enter the final day with a lead of 76 with five wickets in hand. Harinath, who batted all day, shared a solid second wicket stand of 142 with the Sri Lankan as Surrey looked to secure parity. But when Sangakkara fell to the first ball after tea the hosts sensed an opportunity to press home their advantage. Sangakkara, who was caught behind off the bowling of Jake Ball for 83 became the first man in the over to fall. Three balls later Ball struck again as Read took another routine catch to dismiss Davies for a duck. Suddenly the game was wide open again as Surrey still were yet to reach the hosts first innings total after being invited to bat again. Jason Roy joined the fluent Harinath and played nicely for his 37 striking at more than a run-a-ball before he was trapped leg before by Brett Hutton. By then though Surrey led, albeit by a tiny margin. But whilst Harinath was still there the ‘Rey still felt in control, and he eased his way to a deserved hundred with the close of play in sight. He alongside Ben Foakes took the lead well past 50, before the wicketkeeper became the last man to fall on day three caught and bowled by Samit Patel. But Harinath saw through the day unbeaten on 114 and you feel he will need to add plenty more to that if the visitors are going to escape with a positive result. Nottinghamshire are still firm favourites and you can be sure they’ll want to win this one for Taylor.
Elsewhere, after a damp squib of a day two, Hampshire and Warwickshire continued their battle in the Southampton sun. Hampshire resumed the day on 189-8 and could only add 13 runs before they were all out for 202. Overnight batsman Ryan McLaren who entered the action unbeaten on 84 only added a single to his total before he was bowled by Riki Clarke to end his brave riposte. Clarke then finished the innings off 12 runs later having Fidel Edwards caught by Keith Barker for four. Edwards soon put the disappointment of getting out behind him as he bagged two quick wickets. He removed both openers leg before to leave the visitors 10-2. Suddenly it was game on, unfortunately though for the hosts out strolled Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott to the middle, two batsmen that ooze international class. Bell, taking charge of his first match as captain produced a classy innings consisting of 12 fours on his way to an unbeaten 130 helped his side to a vital lead entering the final day. Trott (27) meanwhile, fell to part-time spinner James Vince in a less than glamorous return to first-class cricket for the former England man. Bell, though did find an ally in current England man Chris Woakes who stayed with his captain to the final ball of the day. The all-rounder made a crucial 66 before falling leg before to the impressive Edwards. You feel this match is heading for a draw, but quick runs in the morning from Ian Bell and Riki Clarke could yet turn this match on its head.
Meanwhile, Durham will have to declare pretty early on tomorrow morning if they are going to force a result after rain meant there was no play possible at Chester-Le-Street on Tuesday. They currently lead by 300, with Keaton Jennings unbeaten on 105.
In Division Two only one game saw any play on Tuesday as Essex closed in on victory at the ECG. Essex were dismissed for 385 before lunch with runs from James Foster (34), Graham Napier (33) and Jamie Porter (20 not out) ensured the hosts held a useful lead of 123. Josh Shaw was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors claiming figures of 4-118 including the wickets of Jesse Ryder and Matt Dixon during the morning session. The Eagles though got off to a dream start after the lunch break as Porter claimed two wickets in consecutive balls in the visitors reply. He first had Australian Cameron Bancroft caught behind, then the very next ball he had Ian Cockbain in the same fashion to leave Gloucestershire in disarray at 0-2. And it was to get worse for the visitors as Matt Dixon got in on the action having Chris Dent caught at square leg after a loose, lazy shot found Tom Westley. Captain Gareth Roderick who was left stranded on 88 in the first innings and Hamish Marshall looked to steady the ship. But the brilliant Porter had other ideas as he produced an absolute snorter of a delivery to knock out Marshall’s off-stump. That left the visitors staring down the barrel at 25-4 and fearing an innings defeat. Benny Howell and Keiran Noema-Barnett (both 21) alongside Roderick chipped away at the deficit though to give the visitors hope of an unlikely draw. When Graham Napier and Ravi Bopara removed Howell and Noema-Barnett though those hopes began to shatter. Essex now expected to be home in time for dinner but hadn’t factored in the Jack Taylor effect. He and his skipper guided the 'shire past the Eagles score with a combination of brutality and patient play. Napier removed the dangerous Roderick (58) as the Gloucester skipper found Cook at slip, but that only allowed Taylor to cut loose. The all-rounder began to flay the Essex bowling attack to all parts of the Essex County Ground pitch on his way to an aggressive 74 which included seven fours and five sixes. Those runs saved the visitors from embarrassment as Bopara removed Shaw and Liam Norwell before Taylor swung at one too many and found Porter at Long on. Taylor’s heroics had at least given the visitors a lead of 93. The hosts had nine overs to at least reduce that target a little before they returned tomorrow. Nick Browne and Alastair Cook safely negotiated those tricky late overs reaching 34 without loss with Browne 25 not out and Cook 4 not out leaving the pair requiring a further 58 tomorrow to secure an early season victory.
Elsewhere, draws are the only likely option at Northampton and Worcester, as rain forced no play to be possible on Tuesday. It means that there hasn’t been a ball bowled yet this season at New Road, whilst Ben Duckett was forced to wait a whole day to add to his total of 282.
Reports by David Bowden (Bowdenwhu)
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