Previews Natwest Blast June 1st 2016:
Durham v Nottinghamshire:
Where? Chester-Le-Street, Durham
Durham: P2, W1, L1
Notts: P1, W0, L1
Last time out:
Durham: Won by 6 wickets v Lancashire
Notts: Lost by 6 wickets v Birmingham
Durham: Stoneman (c), Mustard (w/k), Collingwood, Clark, Richardson, MacLeod, Pringle, Jennings, Borthwick, Coughlin, Arshad, Rushworth, McCarthy
Notts: Ball, Carter, Christian (c), Fletcher, Gurney, Hutton, Lumb, Mullaney, Patel, Smith, Taylor, Wessels (w/k) and Wood
Durham: Phil Mustard
Notts: Brendan Taylor
Weather: Dark clouds highs of 11c (bring your wooly’s!)
Glamorgan v Essex:
Where? SWALEC, Cardiff
Glam: P1, W1, L0
Essex: P1, W0, L1
Last time out:
Glam; Won by eight wickets v Surrey
Essex: Lost by eight runs v Surrey
Glam: Rudolph (c), Lloyd, Ingram, Donald, Cooke, Meschede, Wagg, Salter, Steyn, van der Gugten, Hogan, Cosker, Wallace (w/k), Selman, Kettleborough, Penrhyn-Jones.
Essex: Bopara ©, Ryder, Westley, Lawrence, ten Doeschate, Zaidi, Foster (w/k), Riaz, Taylor, Masters, Dixon and Quinn
Glamorgan: Dale Steyn
Essex: Ryan ten Doeschate
Weather: Cloudy with highs of 18c
Sussex v Somerset:
Where? County Ground, Hove
Sus: P1, W1, L0
Som: P1, W0, L1
Last time out:
Sus: Won by one run (D/L) v Gloucestershire
Som: Lost by eight wickets v Kent
Sus: Beer, Briggs, Brown (w/k), Finch, Garton, Jordan, Machan, Mills, Nash, Shahzad, Taylor, Weise and Wright ©
Som: Allenby ©, Gayle, Trego, Jayawardene, Hildreth, Myburgh, van der Merwe, Davies (w/k), Leask, J.Overton, Gregory, Arafat and Waller
Sus: Chris Jordan
Som: Chris Gayle
Weather: Dark clouds with highs of 16c
Odds provided by oddschecker.com, Please gamble responsibly.
An outstanding last wicket partnership of 31 between Jack Leach and last man Tim Groenewald saw Somerset nervously home against Surrey, who had victory stolen from their grasp as they could not find that elusive last wicket as Somerset made their way to their victory target of 301. Good contributions from Marcus Trescothick and Jim Allenby, who both made 56, as well as 44 from the bat of Peter Trego helped Somerset edge their way towards victory, but it was left to number eleven Groenewald to hit the winning run and seal the one wicket win.
Surrey had been in a strong position at several points on what turned into the final day of the match but collapsed from 94-6 to 138 all out as Jamie Overton took four wickets. Surrey looked certain victors during the Somerset 2nd innings – wickets fell at regular intervals and when Stuart Meaker removed Trescothick and James Hildreth in the same over, Somerset were staring down the barrel at 92-3. Chris Rogers also fell cheaply for 28, to the youngster Tom Curran – but signs of life emerged when Jim Allenby and Trego put together 80 for the fifth wicket. Craig Overton, Allenby and then Ryan Davies all fall in quick succession after tea to put Somerset on the brink at 237-8. That brought together Jamie Overton, who made a quickfire counter attacking 29 including a six and 3 fours, and Leach who played sensibly on the turning pitch for his 24 from 88 balls to go with match figures of 8-97, but when Overton fell to a brilliant one-handed catch from wicketkeeper Ben Foakes 31 were still required and Gareth Batty was bowling well. Groenewald and Leach nurdled their way towards the victory target, reaching it largely in singles. At two runs required for victory, Matthew Pillans and Gareth Batty – who had taken a ten-wicket match haul – had the field up and a maiden at scores level from the experienced Batty had Somerset nerves jangling, as Surrey looked to salvage a tie. But it was left to Groenewald to drive it through the tight infield to strike the winning run and secure Somerset's first victory of the season following six draws in succession.
Written by Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX)
Day Two reports
Yorkshire vs Lancashire - Yorkshire turn screw on Lancashire in Roses clash
Yorkshire are firmly on top in the Roses match at Headingley, having inflicted a heavy first innings deficit of 112 on their Red Rose rivals. Yorkshire closed their first innings on a healthy 308, only a seven-run improvement on their overnight score – but a far cry from the precarious position they faced on day one, at 74-5. The White Rose then ran through Lancashire's batting order to have them bowled out for a below-par 196, leaving the early season table toppers lagging behind in proceedings. The opening partnership of Tom Smith and young prospect Haseeb Hameed was moving along swimmingly, but at 46 it was ended when Smith's innings was curtailed by an outstanding grab from Gary Ballance at backward point – the first of Steven Patterson's two wickets. Hameed then followed swiftly after for well made 17, edging Bresnan to Lyth at slip - the foundations for a collapse were set. Jack Brooks then removed Luke Procter and Alviro Petersen with successful lbw appeals, before Patterson had Karl Brown caught behind for a 10-ball duck and all of a sudden Lancashire were 69-5. Liam Livingstone provided some resistance, making 60 not out to continue his fine early season form, an innings including 7 fours and 1 six. Steven Croft was the next to go, Bresnan having him caught by Leaning for 14. Tom Bailey soon followed, Liam Plunkett grabbing his only wicket of the innings. Then came somewhat of a fightback – Neil Wagner made 12 before being Adil Rashid's first victim, Zimbabwean Kyle Jarvis made a 25-ball 33 before being stumped off the same bowler and last man Simon Kerrigan was Rashid's third, but the recovery from 92-7 to 196 all out had kept Lancashire fighting.
Yorkshire then began their second innings steadily, the opening partnership reaching 41 before Alex Lees was caught behind off Tom Smith, who bowled five maidens in his six-over spell, conceding just four runs. Jack Leaning was then sent back as quick as he made his way out, caught by a diving Smith for 4 off the bowling of Wagner, and it was a trio for Lancashire as they fought back late in the day when Ballance edged Wagner behind for 8. Heading into day three Yorkshire will be looking to kick on from their score of 77-3, but that fightback late in the day will remind the Tykes that this match is not done and dusted just yet.
Middlesex vs Hampshire – Hampshire face battle to avoid second defeat as Middlesex look set for victory
Middlesex dominated in every aspect on day two of their clash with Hampshire and look like sealing an easy victory inside three days at Merchant Taylors' School. Having resumed on a strong 342-3, Middlesex pressed home their advantage. John Simpson made a quickfire century from 151 balls including 3 sixes, and Adam Voges continued on from his first day hundred as the Londoners eventually declared at 467-3. Middlesex then continued to emphasise the dominance they had shown with the bat, bowling Hampshire out for 131 and enforcing the follow on. Michael Carberry was first to go in the third over, to the bowling of Tim Murtagh. Murtagh then took the next two in Jimmy Adams and Will Smith and later followed that up with scalp of Sean Ervine to finish with figures of 4-33. Toby Roland-Jones, too, impressed with the ball, running through Hampshire's lower order to take four of his own - Adam Wheater, Tino Best, Mason Crane and James Tomlison all fell to the Englishman with Wheater the only of that quartet to make a score of note, a useful 21 given the circumstances. Ollie Rayner and James Fuller were the other wicket takers as Hampshire's batsmen just couldn't answer to the high-quality bowling of Murtagh and Roland-Jones. Middlesex's Australian captain Adam Voges then decided to enforce the follow-on, and Will Smith – pushed up from number three in the first innings to open in the second – fell to the second ball of the innings, caught behind off Murtagh. It looked like a formality for Middlesex, but for some relative resistance from Jimmy Adams (21 not out) and Michael Carberry (21) – the latter dismissed by James Fuller. Fuller then got through Ervine's defences to have him bowled for a solitary run before Adams and Liam Dawson (17 not out) saw Hampshire to close on 62-3, still a mammoth 274 runs behind to make Middlesex bat again and just seven wickets remaining. It was an outstanding day for the Londoners who look like sealing victory easily on day three.
Worcestershire vs Gloucestershire – Shantry lights up New Road as match finely poised.
Worcestershire tail-ender Jack Shantry smashed a stunning century on Day Two at New Road, before Gloucestershire's Graeme van Buuren replied with a hundred of his own to leave the match delicately poised heading into day three, Gloucestershire still trailing by 213 runs with five first innings wickets remaining. Resuming on their overnight score of 316-8, day one centurion Tom Kohler-Cadmore added just 16 runs, but in doing so moved onto a career-best score of 169, a feat that was matched by Shantry later on. Shantry began somewhat quietly, his first fifty coming from a pedestrian 79 balls – but it was his second that sent the bank holiday New Road spectators running for cover. In essence, it was a chase for a fifth batting point, as the 110 over mark loomed – but Shantry moved from 50 to 100 in a sensational 14 balls. Given a life on 39 when a slice landing safely as fielders converged, Shantry struck two David Miles overs for a huge 44 as he amassed 3 fours and six sixes – the last of which brought up his three figures. Astonishingly, Shantry and batting partner Charlie Morris' last wicket partnership of 69 did not include a run from last man Morris, as he blocked his way to a 21-ball 0 not out. Shantry eventually fell for 106, but had achieved his target of gaining his side a valuable fifth batting bonus point, and Gloucestershire set about overhauling Worcestershire's 439 all out. The innings did not get off to the best of starts for the Bristolians, they couldn't keep Shantry out of the game as he removed Chris Dent for 5. Gareth Roderick and eventual centurion Van Buuren then steadied ship making 120 together before former fell leg before to D'Oliveira for 60. Shantry then took the key wicket of Michael Klinger for 8 before Joe Leach and Ed Barnard each took a wicket late in the day, dismissing Hamish Marshall and George Hankins respectively. It was then left to Van Buuren to bring up his first century in England, doing so in the last over of the day – but there was no taking this day away from Jack Shantry who will marvel in the role he's played in swinging this match slightly in favour of the Pears. Gloucestershire closed on 222/5, a further 213 runs behind and will face a tough day tomorrow to stave away the threat of defeat.
Kent vs Leicestershire – Rain and bad light hampers progress as Bell-Drummond continues fine form
Early rain and bad light late in the day put pay to either side staking their claim for victory on day two at The Spitfire Ground. Daniel Bell-Drummond, however, did continue his impressive early season form which has seen him mentioned by some as a possible England opener. Bell-Drummond made his sixth fifty this season as Kent laid the foundations for their innings, reaching a steady 117-2 at close. Opening partner Tom Latham fell early on to the bowling of Clint McKay, but that brought a resolute Joe Denly to the crease. Bell-Drummond and Denly added 88 together before the latter was adjudged leg before to Ben Raine for 32. Captain Sam Northeast was next in, and he made his way to 5 not out before bad light put an early end to the day, with no play possible after tea, the day was officially abandoned by the umpires at 5:45. Kent will look to push on in their batting effort tomorrow, although no result looks likely after rain on day one had interrupted play as well as the delays on day two.
Reports by Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX)
Four matches started on Saturday in the Specsavers County Championship where Division Two leaders Essex endured a disappointing day at Wantage Road.
In Division One, Nottinghamshire recovered from a slow start to take control of their clash with Durham at Trent Bridge. After winning the toss and deciding to bat first the hosts lost two early wickets with Chris Rushworth striking twice to remove Steven Mullaney and Jake Libby before Graham Onions had Greg Smith caught in the slips to leave the Outlaws in trouble on 27/3. Michael Lumb and Brendan Taylor led the recovery as the pair shared 66 for the fourth wicket. But with the score on 93, James Weighell collected the first of his two wickets in the day. The youngster had Lumb caught by Scott Borthwick for 22, that brought Samit Patel to the middle and Taylor and the former England all-rounder led the hosts into a position of power going into the second day. The duo added 168 to take the hosts to a couple of batting points. Brendan Taylor reached a deserved century during the partnership striking 18 fours during his 189-ball stay. He fell though for 114 when Rushworth caught him off the bowling of Weighell to leave the Outlaws on 261/5. After passing 10,000 first class runs Patel fell for 84 when he was clean bowled by Borthwick with the score on 291/6. Patel and Taylor had taken the hosts from the perilous position of 27/3 to a dominant position of 291/6, and Riki Wessels and Brett Hutton continued to have their foot on the pedal as the duo took the hosts to 353/6 at the close.
At Taunton, Somerset enjoyed the better of a rain-affected opening day in the West Country. Surrey won the toss and chose to bat first, and despite losing Rory Burns early when the opener edged Craig Overton through to Marcus Trescothick at second slip. Arun Harinath (32) and Kumar Sangakkara (45) took the visitors through to 70, but Harinath fell to Jimmy Allenby to become the second to depart. Twenty runs later Allenby was off celebrating again after he pinned Gary Wilson leg before to start to turn the tide the host’s way. Moments after the lunch break the experience Sri Lankan Sangakkara lobbed a catch back to Tim Groenewald to leave the visitors in a spot of trouble on 111/4. Zafar Ansari and Steven Davies led the visitors through to just before the tea interval but Davies fell just before he could tuck into his cuppa. Jack Leach the man with the wicket trapping the former wicketkeeper LBW to make the hosts cakes taste that much sweeter. After tea, Leach returned like a man on a mission striking three more times in four balls. He first had Ansari caught at slip by Trescothick, he then removed Thomas Curran (0) and Surrey skipper Gareth Batty, also for a duck to leave the visitors at a disappointing 201/8 after deciding to bat first. Ben Foakes and Matthew Pillans shared 35 together before the rain came to signal the end of the opening day.
In Division Two, Essex rather curiously elected to do away with the toss and invite Northampton to bat first on a pitch known to be kind to batsmen. Ben Duckett and Rob Newton soon tucked into a weakened Eagles attack sharing 167 for the opening stand. Essex, who rested Jamie Porter and David Masters for the clash had youngsters Aaron Beard and Matt Quinn bowling on a flattish deck and Duckett and Newton got through to lunch untroubled with both reaching half-centuries before the interval. Duckett was at his usual aggressive best striking regular boundaries as he punished some poor Essex bowling. After reaching 75, Newton threw his wicket away driving Ravi Bopara to point to give sub fielder Kish Velani a simple catch. It had taken the Eagles 42 overs, but at last, the visitors had a wicket to celebrate. Another century stand greeted Ryan ten Doeschate’s men though as Rob Keogh joined Ben Duckett to frustrate the visitors further. Duckett continued to smash the Essex attack around the park reaching three figures for the second time this season playing an almost one-day style knock. After adding 112 runs for the second wicket, Keogh fell to the part-time spin of Dan Lawrence who induced an outside edge to have him caught behind for 41. Duckett and Josh Cobb continued to make the most of some buffet bowling from the Eagles who clearly missed the talismanic Porter. Bopara though did add some respectability for the visitors striking three times late on. He first bowled the impressive Duckett for 189 which including 28 fours and a six. Four balls later Bopara had Adam Rossington caught by Jaik Mickleburgh before Steven Crook found the hands of Tom Westley to fall for a duck to give the all-rounder figures of 4-64 at the close of play. Cobb and David Murphy ensured the hosts would go in at close in complete control, though, on 376/5.
Finally, on a rain-affected first day at Hove, Sussex dominated the early passage of their encounter with Derbyshire. With rain about, Sharks captain Ben Brown made the obvious decision to bowl first and when play began at 4pm his decision was immediately justified when Steve Magoffin edged through to Chris Nash off the second ball of the day. Hamish Rutherford and Billy Godleman guided the visitors through to 33 when Rutherford lost his off-stump to Stuart Whittingham on his home debut for Sussex. And ten runs later Whittingham was celebrating again as he had Wayne Madsen caught by Harry Finch. The visitors were in disarray soon after when Godleman fell for 17 to Ajmal Shahzad. Neil Broom was the next to fall, for 22, when Shahzad had the New Zealander caught by Luke Wells. It was soon 84/6 when Shahzad bowled Tom Poynton for 1. Derbyshire were enduring a nightmare, and it got worse when Matthew Critchley gave Whittingham his third scalp. Shiv Thakor (View From the Outfield’s future star) offered some resistance for the visitors as he reached an unbeaten 44 at the close, but he lose two further partners in Tom Taylor (14) and Tony Palladino (0) with both men falling to Magoffin as the visitors closed on 142/9 and in all sorts of trouble on the south coast.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
Middlesex v Hampshire:
Where? Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood
Mid: P6, W0, L0, D6 (5th)
Hants: P5, W1, L1, D3 (8th)
Last SSCC match:
Mid: Match drawn v Somerset
Hants: Win by 69 runs v Nottinghamshire
Mid: To be announced...
Hants: Carberry, Adams, Smith, Dawson, Ervine, Alsop, Wheater, McLaren, Andrew, Best, Crane, Tomlinson and Wheal
Sunday: Cloudy with highs of 19c
Monday: Dark clouds with highs of 15c
Tuesday: Dark clouds with highs of 16c
Wednesday: Cloudy with highs of 18c
Kent v Leicestershire:
Where? St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
Kent: P6, W2, L0, D4 (2nd)
Lei: P5, W1, L1, D3 (5th)
Last SSCC match:
Kent: Won by seven wickets v Derbyshire
Lei: Lost by seven wickets v Worcestershire
Kent: Northeast (c), Bell-Drummond, Latham, Denly, Dickson, Ball, Stevens, Billings (w/k), Haggett, Coles, Tredwell, Hunn and Bernard
Lei: Horton, Robson, Dexter, Cosgrove (c), Pettini, Eckersley, O’Brien (w/k), Ali, Wells, Taylor, Raine, McKay, Shreck and Sykes
Sunday: Cloudy with highs of 17c
Monday: Rain with highs of 14c
Tuesday: Dark clouds with highs of 16c
Wednesday: Cloudy with highs of 17c
Worcestershire v Gloucestershire:
Where? New Road, Worcester
Worcs: P6, W1, L0, D5 (3rd)
Gloucs: P6, W1, L1, D4 (4th)
Last SSCC match:
Worcs: Won by 7 wickets v Leicestershire
Gloucs: Match drawn v Northants
Worcs: Mitchell ©, D’Oliveira, Clarke, Kervezee, Kohler-Cadmore, Whiteley, Cox (w/k), Leach, Barnard, Henry, Shantry, Morris and Russell
Gloucs: Roderick (c/wk), Dent, Van Buuren, Klinger, Marshall, Hankins, Noema-Barnett, J. Taylor, Miles, Payne, Shaw and Norwell
Sunday: Cloudy with highs of 20c
Monday: Cloudy with highs of 19c
Tuesday: Dark clouds with highs of 16c
Wednesday: Dark clouds with highs of 18c
Odds provided by Oddschecker, please gamble responsibly.
Previews by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
Old foes reunite for the first time this summer after a year apart they clash again as all eyes turn to Headingley for the Clash of the Roses. View From the Outfield brings you everything you need to know ahead of the big match.
Sunday 28th May 2016:
Specsavers County Championship:
The Big One:
Yorkshire v Lancashire:
Where? Headingley, Leeds
Last time they met?
Old Trafford August 31-September 3rd 2014 – Yorkshire won by an innings and 18 runs.
After winning the toss in Manchester, the hosts elected to bat first, and despite half-centuries from Luis Reece, Tom Smith and Ashwell Prince the Red Rose could only manage a below-par 278 all out. The experienced Ryan Sidebottom collected three wickets alongside the younger pair of Jack Brooks and Adil Rashid – who also collected three wickets apiece as the visitors looked to continue their climb to the title. In reply, opener Adam Lyth flayed the Lancashire attack around the park to reach 251 before falling to pick of the Red Rose attack Steven Parry (3-109). Lyth found good support from Rashid – who continued to enjoy some late season form striking an unbeaten 159 to guide his side to 610-6 declared. The leg-spinner capped his fine all-round display to finish with figures of 5-117 in the Lancashire second innings to bowl his side to a comprehensive success. Despite a century from Australian Usman Khawaja, the hosts fell 18 runs short of making the Tykes bat again and stumbled to another costly defeat, as the Red Rose would eventually descend back to Division Two.
Lancashire are enjoying their return to the top flight currently sitting at the summit of the County Championship Division One table 19 points ahead of their rivals Yorkshire who sit back in fourth place.
In all, Lancashire have played five games, winning three against Surrey, Hampshire and Nottinghamshire respectively, losing one and drawing the other with their bowling trifecta of Neil Wagner, Kyle Jarvis and Tom Bailey proving to particularly effective.
Yorkshire meanwhile. Have played five, winning once and drawing the rest. Whilst they haven’t hit the highs of last year yet, they remain unbeaten and stretching their home run to 19 without defeat at Headingley.
Yorks: Ballance, Bresnan, Brooks, Gale ©, Hodd (w/k), Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Rashid and Rhodes
Lancs: To be announced,,,
Sunday: Sunny Intervals with highs of 18c
Monday: Cloudy with highs of 16c
Tuesday: Dark Clouds with highs of 15c
Wednesday: Cloudy with highs of 16c
Preview by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
There were plenty of shocks in the Natwest Blast on Friday evening as holders Lancashire fell to a second defeat of the season and Yorkshire fell to a heavy defeat to Leicestershire at Headingley.
At Edgbaston, the Pears beat the Bears to claim the Midlands bragging rights after Brett D’Oliveira continued his fine early season form to lead the visitors to their second success of the summer. After being invited to bat first by the ‘Rapids’ Birmingham got off to a flying start with Ian Bell and Sam Hain finding the boundary with ease to lead the hosts to 50 without loss after five overs. Hain’s departure though soon slowed the rate down as the visitors battled back in the middle overs. Hain fell to Jack Shantry (1-37) to depart for a quick-fire 24. Three tight overs followed as Joe Leach and Ed Barnard stemmed the flow of runs brilliantly, and the frustration showed when Barnard removed Porterfield for a run-a-ball twelve launching a ball down the throat of Alex Kervezee. After a promising start the hosts found themselves in a hole, and when D’Oliveira impressed with the ball to remove Laurie Evans leg before for two the Bears were in trouble on 83/3. D’Oliveria, the grandson of Basil, bowled a tight spell alongside Barnard to frustrate the hosts, and with Ian Bell going along at a run-a-ball the visitors were in command. Bell reached his half-century playing his typically classy way, but in truth, his innings was just a bit too pedestrian as he fell with the score on 121 off the final ball of the 16th over. You couldn’t keep Dolly out of the game as he caught the former England man off the bowling of Leach who fell for 66.
The Bears were behind the rate, and they knew it, Luke Ronchi their overseas star tried to rescue the situation and he hit a couple of lusty blows in his score of 21 before finding the hands of Kervezee in the deep to depart with an over-and-a-half to go. That left the inexperienced pair of Ateeq Javid and Mark Adair to up the scoring rate in the final over. Javid hit an early boundary before running out his partner off the second ball, and then hitting Matt Henry to Tom Kohler-Cadmore to fall himself with a ball to go. In the end, the hosts reached a below-par score of 155/7 from their 20 overs. The Rapids’ reply didn’t get off to a well ‘rapid’ start losing Kohler-Cadmore and Joe Clarke early to Adair and Recordo Gordon respectively. Clarke, in particular, was unlucky after Laurie Evans excellently pouched his nonchalant flick into the leg side. The visitors were soon three down when skipper Daryl Mitchell edged Boyd Rankin through to wicketkeeper Ronchi to leave the Pears on 45/3. Kervezee and D’Oliveira then steadied the ship sharing 53 for the fourth wicket at a good tempo. The in-form D’Oliveira particularly impressive playing shots all around the Edgbaston playing field as he eased the visitors to the finish line. Kervezee struck 40 before being bowled off an inside edge, whilst Ross Whiteley fell to Gordon for a well-made 23 trying to finish the game off in style with a six, only to lose his off-stump. But with just one required, fittingly, man-of-the-match D’Oliveira (62 not out & 1-17 from four overs) smashed Oliver Hannon-Dalby over the ropes to seal a five-wicket success for Mitchell’s men.
Elsewhere, in the North Group, reigning Champions Lancashire’s hopes of retaining their title took another blow as Durham ran out six-wicket winners at Old Trafford. Losing regular wickets proved to be the hosts downfall as only overseas star Martin Guptill and captain Steven Croft added meaningful contributions in their score of 149/8 from their twenty overs as the Red Rose fell short of par in Manchester. The New Zealander Guptill, opening for the hosts struck a brilliant 72 hitting 10 fours and a six during his 46-ball stay at the crease but when he departed halfway through the twelve over the Lancashire innings lost all momentum. Barry McCarthy and Usman Arshad were the pick of the Durham attack taking three wickets apiece as the pair combined to keep the hosts innings in check. Indeed, three wickets fell in the 16th over, bowled by McCarthy to well and truly put the brakes on the Lancashire innings. In the end, they rather limped to their total of 149 and they knew they would have to bowl out of their skins to defend that.
Things didn’t start well for the hosts as Durham smashed 43 from the first two overs as Mark Stoneman and Phil Mustard combined in brutal fashion to get the visitors off to a dream start. Neil Wagner struck though this his first ball to remove Stoneman for 13 as Kyle Jarvis recovered from being smashed for 20 in his only over of the match beforehand to take a good catch. Mustard continued to find the boundary with ease though as he reached 46 hitting five fours and three sixes before he found the hands of Guptill. By then though the bulk of the damage was done with the score at 73/2 from six overs. Graham Clark and Michael Richardson picked up where Mustard and Stoneman left off smashing the Red Rose attack to all parts with no bowler really able to slow the rate down. Despite Clark falling to Wagner for 36, Durham were in complete control and Richardson (34 not out) alongside Keaton Jennings guided the visitors home with 30 balls to spare to claim their first win of the t20 summer.
Yorkshire were stunned by a Ben Raine inspired Leicestershire as the Foxes thrashed the Tykes by 54-runs at Headingley. Raine struck a career-best 48 before collecting impressive figures of 3-7 to guide his side to victory in Leeds. After being inserted by the hosts, Leicestershire were off the worst possible start losing skipper Mark Pettini for a duck as Tim Bresnan started the match with a wicket maiden. The hosts boasted a side packed full of local talent continued their positive start when James Wainman had Mark Cosgrove caught for 20 by Ben Coad. Irishman Kevin O’Brien attempted to up the ante for the visitors with a trio of boundaries but he soon fell too. England’s Liam Plunkett the man with the wicket as the all-rounder found Adil Rashid in the deep. Raine though continued to steady the ship hitting at just above a run-a-ball to be the glue the Foxes innings required. It allowed the likes of Niall O’Brien (39) and Lewis Hill to play the aggressive knocks to boost the visitor’s total passed par. Indeed, O’Brien and Hill (24 not out) only dealt in maximums hitting seven between them as the pair added vital late impetus to help the visitors to 174/7 from their 20 overs.
In pursuit of 175 for victory, a flurry of early wickets put the hosts immediately on the back foot with Raine and Kevin O’Brien striking to remove Adam Lyth, Alex Lees and Adil Rashid to leave the hosts struggle at 20/3. Tom Wells then joined the party striking in his first over to remove Jack Leaning and suddenly the White Rose were in all sorts of trouble on 32/4 from eight overs. Will Rhodes (45) and Gary Ballance (17) attempted a counter charge adding thirty runs in three overs but when Ballance became O’Brien’s second victim it was looking like game over.
Tim Bresnan struck a lusty blow before picking out Neil Dexter in the deep to give Jigar Naik his only wicket of the day to fall for 10. Dexter himself removed Liam Plunkett for a duck in the very next over to leave the hosts on 89/7. That soon became 98/8 when O’Brien collected his third and final wicket of the day bowling Andy Hodd for 1 to finish with figures of 3-27 from his four overs. Yorkshire’s top scoring Will Rhodes hit three fours and a brace of sixes before being the penultimate man to fall. He found the grateful hands of Wells off the bowling of Dexter to leave the Tykes on 109/9 and in the words of David Lloyd the cars were beginning to start. It was to be Raine who finished the game off to put Yorkshire out of their misery to cap a fine all-round game for the youngster. He bowled Ben Coad for one as the visitors secured a comfortable success to stun the locals and claim their first Blast success of the summer.
Elsewhere, in Northampton, the Steelbacks defeated the Falcons in a high-scoring game at the County Ground. Wes Durston and Chesney Hughes both struck forties, whilst late runs from wicketkeeper Tom Poynton (37 not out) pushed the visitors to a competitive total of 195/7. Sri Lankan leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna continued to impress for the hosts as he claimed figures of 2-27 including the vital wicket of Durston to be the pick of the Northants attack. For the hosts, there were vital contributions four of the Steelbacks top five batsmen as they snuck home to claim their second close fought win in a row. Richard Levi struck a rapid fire half-century to get the hosts of to a flying start. The Kolpak pro struck three fours and four sixes to propel the hosts towards the victory line. They did endure a wobble as Andy Carter struck three times late on in the game but Steven Crook (33 not out) picked up where he left off in the Championship fixture earlier in the week to guide the hosts to a three-wicket win.
In the only game in the South Group Middlesex were comfortable winners over Hampshire at Uxbridge. In the picturesque setting of Uxbridge Cricket Ground Dawid Malan richly entertained the paying punters smashing five sixes and ten fours on his way to 93 as the hosts racked up the runs. The Middlesex skipper dominated the hosts scoring but found able support from Adam Voges (23) as the pair led the hosts to a mammoth score. Tino Best didn’t enjoy his Blast debut for Hampshire going for 51 from his four overs as Uxbridge proved too small for Best’s rapid bowling. Shahid Afridi and Gareth Andrew were the pick of the visitors bowling attack taking two wickets apiece but Malan’s heroics had led the hosts to a more than useful 195/6 from their 20 overs. In reply, the visitors struggled to get going losing wickets regularly and in clusters as Middlesex impressed with the ball. Indeed, only Adam Wheater and Liam Dawson threatened to spoil the Middlesex party. But a disciplined bowling display by the hosts ensured Hampshire would fall way short. Toby Roland-Jones and Ravi Patel both had hat-trick opportunities as both Sean Ervine and Will Smith collected golden ducks. But the real story was the dramatic collapse from the visitors who went from contenders at 55/1 to no hopers at 96/8. This is a great win for Middlesex who claim their first t20 win at the first time of asking and still have the big-hitting Brendon McCullum to come into their side.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
Timm van der Gugten produced match-winning figures of 4-14 as Glamorgan stunned Surrey at the Oval to win by eight-wickets to get their Natwest Blast season off to a dream start.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Steven Davies and Jason Roy set about getting the hosts off to a flyer and after a couple of early boundaries for the pair at 28 without loss after three overs, it looked as though the large Oval crowd could be set for some fireworks. Van der Gugten had other ideas though and he produced a fine spell of bowling to silence the home crowd. He first removed Davies for 11 who slashed to Craig Meschede. The Dutch international then struck the vital blow in the same over, Kumar Sangakkara edging a drive through to Chris Cooke behind the stumps.
In truth, the hosts never recovered from that double blow as wickets continued to tumble. Early in the next over the visitors were off celebrating again, Michael Hogan the man with the wicket as he induced a rash shot out of Jason Roy who skied a catch to Colin Ingram – who took a good tumbling catch to remove the England one-day opener for 15. It became 32/4 when Zafar Ansari edged Meschede through to Cooke to fall for a duck, suddenly you could hear a pin drop inside the Oval as Glamorgan continued to dominate.
Sam Curran and Gary Wilson attempted to lead a Surrey recovery and the pair shared 24 for the fifth wicket, in a stand dominated by Curran who struck four boundary fours in his 21 to get the crowd back on their feet, but he soon fell to the bowling of Meschede. The former Somerset man forcing the youngster into a loose stroke that found the grateful hands of David Lloyd. In the same over it got worse as Azhar Mahmood, who had saved the London club last week at Chelmsford with a match-winning knock set off for a single, only to tear his calf. The Pakistani all-rounder was forced to retire hurt and wasn’t able to return to the field for the remainder of the match.
His departure left the hosts effectively on 56/6 and in all sorts of bother that soon became 60/7 when the impressive Van der Gugten returned to bowl Wilson around his legs for 5. The Australian-born Dutchmen was not only picking up wickets but was also economical and he picked up a double wicket maiden when he trapped James Burke plumb in front for a duck to finish with excellent figures of 4-14 from his four overs.
The evergreen Dean Cosker returned to the attack to finish off the Surrey innings as the hosts limped to 93 before the spinner removed Tom Curran who found Meschede in the deep to fall for 20. In his next over Cosker rocked Pillans middle stump back to cap a brilliant team fielding display for the Welshmen.
In reply, the visitors coasted home to victory with Lloyd smashing six fours in his 21-ball stay for 31 before he hit Pillans down the throat of Gareth Batty. Colin Ingram came in and smashed the first six of the night during his eight-ball cameo for 11 before he went for one too many and was well held by Pillans off the bowling of Burke.
They had a cool head in the experienced Jacques Rudolph though, and he hit at just under a run-a-ball to lead his side home to a comfortable victory finishing 34 not out as his side ran home comfortable winners with seven-and-a-half overs to spare.
Report by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
After donning the whites for four days it is time for some fireworks in the Blast as white ball cricket returns around the country.
Middlesex v Hampshire
Where?: Uxbridge, London.
Mid: Malan (c), Franklin, Fuller, Gubbins, Harris, Higgins, Patel, Podmore, Rayner, Roland-Jones, Simpson (w/k), Sowter, Stirling, Voges.
Hants: Adams, Carberry, Alsop, Wheater (w/k), Ervine, Dawson, Afridi, McLaren, Smith, Andrew, Crane, Best, Wheal.
Mid: Won by 43-runs v Surrey (Last season)
Hants: Lost by six-wickets v Lancashire (Last season)
Weather: Sunny intervals highs of 19c
Lancashire v Durham:
Where?: Old Trafford, Manchester.
Lancs: Croft (c), Clark, Brown, Buck, Buttler (w/k), Davies, Edwards, Guptill, Jarvis, Lilley, Livingstone, Mahmood, Parry, Petersen, Wagner.
Dur: Stoneman (c), Mustard (w/k), Borthwick, Collingwood, Jennings, MacLeod, Clark, Pringle, Richardson, Weighell, McCarthy, Coughlin, Arshad.
Lancs: Lost by nine-wickets v Derbyshire.
Dur: Lost by 38-runs v Worcestershire.
Weather: Sunny intervals with highs of 19c
Northampton v Derbyshire:
Where?: County Ground, Northampton.
Nor: Wakely (c), Crook, Azharullah, Cobb, Keogh, Stone, Prasanna, Levi, Rossington, Duckett, White, Sanderson, Kleinveldt.
Der: Durston, Broom, Neesham, Elstone, Thakor, Poynton, Carter, Rutherford, Madsen, C.Hughes, A.Hughes, Critchley, Cotton.
Nor: Won by five-wickets (D/L) v Leicestershire.
Der: Won by nine-wickets v Lancashire
Weather: Sunny intervals with highs of 17c
Birmingham v Worcestershire:
Where?: Edgbaston, Birmingham.
When?: 19.00, live on sky.
Bears: Bell (c), Adair, Evans, Gordon, Hain, Hannon-Dalby, Javid, Patel, Porterfield, Poysden, Rankin, Ronchi (w/k), Thomason, Wright.
Worcs: Mitchell ©, Kohler-Cadmore, Clarke, Santner, Whiteley, D'Oliveira, Cox (w/k), Leach, Henry, Barnard, Shantry, Morris, Russell, Kervezee
Bears: Won by six-wickets v Nottinghamshire
Worcs: Won by 38-runs v Durham
Weather: Sunny intervals with highs of 18c
Yorkshire v Leicestershire:
Where?: Headingley, Leeds.
Yorks: Lees (c), Ballance, Bresnan, Carver, Coad, Hodd (w/k), Leaning, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Rashid, Rhodes, Wainman, Waite.
Leics: Pettini (c), Cosgrove, K O’Brien, Akmal, N O’Brien (w/k), Wells, Dexter, Taylor, Raine, McKay, Naik, Sykes, Hill.
Yorks: Won by eight-wickets v Birmingham (last season)
Leics: Lost by five-wickets (D/L) v Northampton
Weather: Sunny intervals with highs of 17c
Odds provided by Oddschecker.com, please gamble responsibly.
Previews by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
Hampshire secured their first win of the season in dramatic fashion to climb off the bottom of the season, whilst Durham eased to victory at Edgbaston to climb into second place.
Hampshire set up a thrilling finish by declaring at nine down to leave a tantalising total of 304 for Nottingham to chase down in just over two sessions. Knowing that they would probably only require nine wickets with Chris Read missing with an injured hand, the hosts enjoyed a dream start with fiery West Indian Tino Best bagging two early wickets for the south-coast club. He removed the returning Jake Libby – who returned from a loan spell at Northampton for this game. The opener edged Best behind to Wheater to fall for four as Hampshire got the start they desired. And that start got even better when the West Indian trapped Michael Lumb leg before to leave the visitors in trouble on 21/2. Steven Mullaney and the impressive Brendan Taylor restored some calm into proceedings adding 29 for the third wicket before Mullaney edged through to Jimmy Adams in the slips off the bowling of Ryan McLaren and suddenly the hosts were favourites. Even more so when McLaren struck again 18-runs later inducing another edge to give Wheater his second catch of the innings with Riki Wessels the man to depart for 6. That brought Samit Patel to the crease and alongside Taylor, he began to turn the tide in the visitors favour. The pair added 108 for the fifth wicket with Taylor making his half-century in the process. He struck ten fours during his stay at the crease making 71 before hitting Mason Crane down the throat of Best to leave the score at 176/5. That turned out to be the key wicket as separating the pair pushed the advantage towards the hosts. Dan Christian, Nottinghamshire t20 captain looked to up the ante striking three fours and a six as he looked to push for victory, but his departure sparked a collapse. He saw his middle stump go cartwheeling after a pumped up Best nipped one back into the Australian and suddenly it was very much game on, especially when the hosts knowing they only required a further three wickets for victory. Four balls later, Hampshire were firm favourites as Brett Hutton (in for the England bound Jake Ball) cut Best to third man – where Crane took a fine catch to remove the tail-ender for a duck. The onus was now firmly on Samit Patel, who had now passed his half-century, but he edged through to Ervine off the bowling of youngster Crane. And Crane sealed the victory with his very next ball when Harry Gurney swiped the leg-spinner straight to the hands of Michael Carberry and Hampshire were off celebrating their first win of the season.
Keaton Jennings' century and Paul Collingwood's steady 44 were enough to see Durham home on what turned into a comfortable final day for the Northerners. They began the day needing 84 more runs to seal victory against a Warwickshire side looking to take 6 wickets to steal the win. Jennings and Collingwood began the day in fine fettle, Jennings reaching his third century of this season before eventually being bowled by the experienced Jeetan Patel with 40 still required. One would have expected nerves, but the Tyneside outfit dug in their heels and Ryan Pringle hit a crucial, nerve-easing 19*. Collingwood, too, fell to Patel but it was too little too late – and fittingly it was left to youngster James Weighell, fresh from his maiden first-class five-fer in Warwickshire's second innings, to score the winning run with an edge off the New Zealand off-spinner. Warwickshire will be disappointed having been in such a strong position after Chris Woakes' day two heroics – but Durham's resolve shone through, fighting back and having the Bears all out for 114 in their second dig kept their run-chase well within reach. The triumph sealed a second consecutive win for Durham and left them sitting second in the County Championship standings – with Warwickshire falling one position behind their conquerors in third.
Middlesex were left frustrated by poor London light and James Hildreth as they were forced to settle for a draw. After Jack Leach completed his five-wicket haul to dismiss the hosts for 423, the visitors lost two early wickets to suggest the Middlesex member may have a result to celebrate. Tim Murtagh removed both openers to leave the visitors still behind the eight ball on 16/2. And they still trailed by eleven when the experienced Chris Rogers edged a turned ball from Ollie Rayner to John Simpson behind the sticks. Middlesex sniffed victory, particularly when James Harris removed Jim Allenby cheaply when the lead at just 10. But at the other end, Hildreth looked solid as a rock to continue his fine early season form. He finally found support from Peter Trego – who played in typically aggressive fashion hitting six fours and a six in his latest half-century of the season. After sharing 99 with Hildreth, Trego departed to Ollie Rayner caught by Harris for 58, and indeed, his departure sparked a mini-collapse. With the very next ball of the match, Rayner was off celebrating again when he dismissed Lewis Gregory first ball. Ryan Davies didn’t last long either as the off-spinner bowled the wicketkeeper for a duck to leave the visitors on 158/7 with a lead of just 111. Hildreth and Craig Overton (19 not out) ensured there were to be no further scares to see the visitors through to a draw as bad light brought a premature end to proceedings with Hildreth left unbeaten on 85.
In Division Two, Kent narrowed to gap at the top of the table after securing a remarkable win in Derby. After trailing by 80 runs on first innings, Kent knew they would have to bowl the hosts out cheaply on the final morning to have any chance of victory. Resuming on 9/3 Derbyshire reached 49 before losing their first wicket of the day when Neil Broom hit the impressive James Tredwell straight to Adam Ball to fall for 18. Tredwell’s spin alongside Calum Haggett’s pace was causing the hosts all sorts of problems as wickets continued to tumble. Wayne Madsen was the next to fall with the score on 61, and the lead at a precarious 141. The former Derby captain was pinned in front by Haggett to fall for 37 (the top score of the innings). Billy Godleman returned to the outfield after retiring hurt the night before but could only muster one before he was trapped LBW by Tredwell, and suddenly Kent were in complete control of the match. Haggett was the beneficiary of another successful LBW appeal when he trapped Tom Poynton in front for his second wicket of the match. And when Tredwell rocked back the stumps of first-innings centurion Shiv Thakor (10) the games was suddenly the visitors to lose. Tail-enders Tony Palladino and Matthew Critchley added 10 before Haggett claimed his third wicket of the day pinning Critchley leg before for 18. The paceman then finished the innings off two runs later picking up another successful LBW to leave his side with just 175 to chase for victory. After his heroics in the first innings, Sean Dickson could only muster 16 before Tom Taylor bowled him, but Ball promoted up the order shared 54 for the second-wicket to calm any nerves on a pitch that was offering some movement. He alongside the in-from Daniel Bell-Drummond played in an aggressive fashion as the pair looked to wrap up victory quickly. Indeed, their half-century stand came at five-an-over with Bell-Drummond peppering the boundary ropes on a consistent basis. Ball did eventually depart though for 23 falling leg before wicket to Palladino. By the time Same Northeast strode to the middle Bell-Drummond had already surpassed the fifty mark off 68-balls striking seven fours in the process. Northeast and DBD continued the assault though sharing a fifty stand off just 59-balls as the race for victory continued. Northeast, the Kent skipper struck three fours and two sixes in his 30 before Chesney Hughes removed the skipper 23-runs short of the victory target. He needn’t have feared though as just four balls later the game was over. Bell-Drummond smashed the final ball of Hughes' over for six before Alex Blake (the new man in) plunged Critchley for three successive sixes to seal the win in style as the visitors secured a seven-wicket victory to climb into the second spot just 6 points behind leaders Essex.
Will Bragg’s magnificent unbeaten 161 wasn’t enough to secure Glamorgan their first victory of the season as Essex survived a scare to snatch a draw at the SWALEC. With a lead of 242-runs at the start of the final day, the Welshmen continued to bat through the morning before declaring just before lunch to leave Essex with an unlikely target of 334 from 70 overs. In that 90 added Bragg went past his career-best score of 129 through to a maiden 150 and beyond as he helped to set the Eagles a daunting target. Indeed, during the four remaining overs before lunch, the visitors lost Jaik Mickleburgh cheaply off the bowling of the impressive Timm van der Gugten who had the Essex opener fending to Michael Hogan in the slips. Things got even better for the hosts soon after the interval as Essex’s in-form men Tom Westley (8) and Ravi Bopara (6) both fell cheaply to van der Gugten and Michael Hogan respectively. Nick Browne though looked at ease at the other end, batting time and hitting the bad ball away when required. Whilst it became obvious Essex would never be in with a shout of victory, it was becoming equally as evident that the departure of Browne was key. He, alongside Dan Lawrence shared a dogged 32-run stand coming from 18 overs to ease any Eagles nerves. But when Lawrence shouldered arms to a delivery from Hogan soon after the tea interval and saw his off-stump disturbed those butterflies started to return for the visitors. Browne though still looked becalmed at the crease and added a further 44-runs with an uncharacteristically defensive Jesse Ryder to make the draw look the most likely result. Browne completed a well deserved and crucial half-century as his dogged nature proved to be vital for the Essex cause. He fell though for 71 to renew the hopes of a home win when Graham Wagg’s part-time off-spin trapped the Essex opener leg before. Suddenly the hosts believed again but Ryan ten Doeschate and Ryder showed good resilience to ensure the visitors would leave Wales with a share of the spoils.
Finally, a brilliant batting effort from Rob Newton and Steven Crook secured a draw for Northampton in Bristol. In a game that saw Gloucestershire dominate for large spells Newton and Crook both struck fine centuries to frustrate the hosts. Opener Newton resumed unbeaten on 58 and continued to resolutely bat through the day and went past three figures off 208-ball and taking his side to a narrow lead in the process. The experienced opener had struck 18 fours in his 235-ball stay for 108 when David Payne - who finished with figures of 3-72, bowled him. Indeed, every Northants batsmen contributed with Rob Keogh and Adam Rossington both passing 30. But the second key contributor was Steven Crook who produced a brilliant match-saving century to add to his score of 60 in the first innings. Crook marshalled the tail to finish unbeaten on 103, which included 17 boundary fours when hands were shook to signal a draw with the visitors on 399/8.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu) and Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX)
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