Despite the sun finally appearing in game week four of the County Championship, early rain in the week meant only one result was achieved on final days action.
In the Rose's match, Peter Handscomb struck a memorable quick-fire century but it was all in the name of entertainment as the match had petered to a draw long before the Australian smashed Lancashire to all parts of Old Trafford. In truth, the moment Ryan McLaren (84) and Stephen Parry had taken the hosts passed the follow-on total this game was as good as confirmed as a share of the spoils. McLaren, Simon Kerrigan (59) and Tom Bailey (40) had some fun in the Manchester sun though to boost the Red Rose passed 400 and put the hosts in a no lose position. Indeed, it left Lees and Handscomb the task of entertaining the sparse crowd with some hard hitting. Lyth missed out on the fun after seeing his stumps disturbed by Kerrigan for nine to become the only man to fall. Handscomb rushed to his ton though seemingly wanting to get an early dart back to Headingley smashing 12-fours and a six during his 77-ball stay at the crease. Lees meanwhile was slightly more sedate striking eight-fours and a six in his unbeaten knock of 62. All that was left was for the Australian to pick up his Roses ton and shortly after he raised his bat, the players shook hands and trudged off with a share of the spoils. The visitors finished on 177/1 picking up nine points whilst Lancashire claimed 10.
Another century maker was veteran opener Marcus Trescothick, the former England opener single-handedly saved the game for Somerset as Warwickshire finally showed signs of life in this Championship Campaign. In this rain-affected encounter, the hosts began the final day in a spot of bother on 94/4 with all hopes hanging on Somerset's favourite son. And Tresco didn't disappoint, the hard-hitting opener struck eleven fours on his way to a vital century but he couldn't save his side from avoiding the follow-on with only Peter Trego (52) offering any sort of support. Grant Thornton (4-34) and the ever-reliable Rikki Clarke (3-29) were the picks of the Warwickshire attack as the visitors dismissed their hosts for 230, and then promptly invited the West Country club to bat again in the hope for an unlikely success on the road. That hope was boosted when they struck early through Sukhjit Singh, but that man Trescothick stood firmly in their way. The opener finished unbeaten on 46 as he and skipper Tom Abell (35 not out) steadied the ship to ensure the points would be shared in Taunton.
In Division Two, Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach was the hero for the Pears as they hurried to a final day success over Derbyshire. Leach took 5-32 as the hosts were dismissed for a paltry 98 on a final day collapse that the Derbyshire faithful would sooner forget. Shiv Thakor (4-45) and Jeevan Mendis (4-98) had earlier rushed through the Worcestershire middle order to ensure the visitors didn't run away with the game as the Pears declared on 415/9. The clatter of wickets in the morning session was a sign of things to come as Derbyshire never threatened to save the game, Their top order was blown away by Ed Barnard and Leach as they slumped to 18/4 before collapsing further to a shocking 59/8 with skipper Leach running through the middle order quickly. Only the unlikely duo of Tony Palladino (28) and Tom Taylor (9) offered any real long-term resistance but they could only lead the total to two shy of a team hundred as Nathan Lyon finished the match off removing Palladino to take the Pears to an innings and 42-run success on a memorable final day for the visitors.
The other two finished encounters ended in a draw with Kent and Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan forced to share the spoils.
In Cardiff, Chris Cooke and Colin Ingram batting all day to rescue the hosts an unlikely draw the jaws of defeat. The duo met at the crease last evening with the total on 194/5 with the Outlaws looking likely to wrap up yet another innings success. But Cooke and Ingram had other ideas as they guts and gritted their way through the final day. The pair both made deserved centuries with Ingram finishing on an unbeaten 155 hitting 14-fours during his mammoth 427-ball stay at the crease, whilst Cooke struck 17-fours and a six in his unbeaten 113. It was a heroic effort from the pair who shared 226-runs for the sixth wicket to frustrate the visitors as England's Stuart Broad went wicketless.
Meanwhile, Darren Stevens struck another century to continue his fine early season form as Kent drew at Grace Road with Leicestershire. The veteran all-rounder struck exactly 100 before falling to Tom Wells. His innings included 15-fours and a six in a typically aggressive knock which was hit at more than a run-a-ball. He was well supported by wicket-keeper Adam Rouse who reached a fifty before falling just ten runs later. Matt Coles (56 not out) and James Tredwell (55) added some late runs to ensure the Spitfires were in a position where they couldn't lose the game. But in reality but for a freak occurrence the draw was almost the most likely outcome. The experienced Paul Horton ensured that there would be no late scares by making a patient and assured 40 before becoming the first man to fall with the score on 57. The fall of Harry Dearden for 17 signalled the end of the game as the players shook hands and called it a day with the points shared.
In the only ongoing game in game-week four, Sussex took control of their encounter with Durham at Hove following a stunning double century from Luke Wells. The Sussex top-order batsman shared a massive 376-run third wicket stand with Stiaan Van Zyl as the hosts began to bat their Northern visitors out of the game. Van Zyl struck a century of his own to close Day Two unbeaten on 144 hitting 15-fours and a six as Durham toiled in the South Coast sunshine. And nobody enjoyed the sunshine more that Wells who smashed 34-fours and seven sixes on his way to a career-best 258 as he helped the hosts to a 452/4 at close on the second day a lead of 165. Durham will hope for early wickets on the third morning if they have any chance of salvaging anything from their trip to the coast.
N.B. Middlesex v Surrey report at the bottom of Cricky's brilliant column on Kumar Sangakkara.
Reports are written by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
Jack Leaning and Jack Brooks dodged the rain to put the White Rose in control of the Rose Match at Old Trafford. On another rain-affected day in Manchester Leaning struck a vital unbeaten century to lead Yorkshire into a strong position at the mid-way point of the match. The youngster struck seven fours and two sixes on his way to 118 not out at the close as the visitors continued to pile on the runs in between the rain showers. Brooks who struck a quick-fire 94 to take the Tykes passed 400 ably supported Leaning. The left-arm seamer struck four massive sixes and seven boundary fours in his unbeaten stay of 135-balls thus far. Lancashire will be disappointed at the half-way point after initially being in control early on day one when they had their rivals in trouble on 90/3, but the injury to England’s James Anderson has left them a bowler short and the White Rose lower order has capitalized on that to close on 421/7, with Andrew Hodd the only man to fall on a frustrating second day for the hosts.
Meanwhile, in the Divisions other local rival game at Lords, Middlesex enjoyed a dominant second day to turn the game in their favour. Having started Day two on 268/5 with the dangerous Kumar Sangakkara at the crease Surrey would’ve hoped to be booking in for bed and breakfast at the crease, but any hopes of that were dashed when the Sri Lankan fell early on having added just one to his overnight score. The impressive Kiwi James Franklin the man to remove Sangakkara for 114 as he edged into the safe hands of Ollie Rayner at third slip. Moments later the Middlesex captain was celebrating his second scalp of the morning removing Sam Curran for just two as the Rayner/Franklin double act struck again. Sam’s brother Tom Curran was the next to fall as the wickets continued to tumble at the Home of Cricket as Rayner’s slip catching ability was tested for the third time and to nobodies surprise inside Lord’s he snaffled it up to give Toby Roland-Jones his first wicket of the match. Gareth Batty and Stuart Meaker guided the visitors to a third batting bonus point and passed 300 but when Steve Finn took a good catch to remove the Surrey skipper for 12 off the bowling of Tom Helm the innings soon curtailed pretty quickly with Meaker falling soon after too, Helm again the man with the wicket. The meant that Surrey had collapsed from 268/5 to 313 all out. Nick Compton and Nick Gubbins guided the hosts through to lunch but soon after Gubbins was back in the hutch for good as he was pinned LBW by Sam Curran to fall for 17, it was soon 50/2 as Compton – who is desperate for a decent score fell for 19 edging Mark Footitt to Ben Foakes behind the stumps. Stevie Eskinazi and Dawid Malan led the host’s fight back though sharing exactly one hundred runs for the third wicket. Eskinazi played in stylish fashion on his way to his half-century reaching the rope regularly, before he became the third Middlesex man to return to the pavilion as Footitt/Foakes combined again to remove the youngster for 67. Malan still looked good at the crease though and was starting to dominate the strike as the new men struggled to settle in the face of some good bowling from Footitt and Meaker. Adam Voges (9) and John Simpson (11) both fell cheaply, but Malan finally found another partner in skipper Franklin – who continued to enjoy a good match. He made an entertaining half-century as the pair hurried the hosts towards the visitors’ score of 313. The hard-hitting New Zealander struck nine fours and two sixes to close on 63 not out, but the moment of the day belonged to Malan who reached a well deserved century just before the close striking 15 fours in 177-ball stay thus far. The hosts closed on 296/5 just 19-runs behind Surrey going into the third day.
Essex fought back superbly in the evening session to turn the game on its head at Chelmsford after the day had initially belonged to the visitors. Starting the day just two wickets down the Eagles lost wickets regularly as Hampshire enjoyed more luck with the ball on the second day. Resuming the day on 243/2 the hosts lost Dan Lawrence and Alastair Cook early as Kyle Abbott proved what a handful he is again to give just rewards for his efforts. He first removed Lawrence who was trapped in front when playing across a ball, and after playing and missing at a few Cook (124) finally fished at one too many of Abbott and nicked off Lewis McManus behind the stumps. Adam Wheater’s wretched form with the bat continued when he became the next to fall for just seven leg before to Gareth Berg. Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate attempted to get the innings back on track and the duo shared 51 for the sixth wicket. Bopara though soon fell after the extended lunch interval, Abbott nipped one back to the former England man who shouldered arms only to see his stumps disturbed by the South Africans inswinger. Just five runs later the big South African had his fifth wicket again tickling the stumps to remove the Essex skipper ten Doeschate for 37. Rain then delayed the encounter with Simon Harmer and Neil Wagner at the crease, but when the players returned Harmer soon fell as he was wrapped on the pads by Berg and he saw the umpired finger raised to return to the pavilion for just 3. Two Kiwis then combined to briefly frustrate the visitors in difficult conditions as Wagner and Matthew Quinn shared 16 for the ninth wicket before spin did for the pair to wrap the innings up with Essex on 360. Then a miraculous post Tea session put Essex well and truly on the front foot as Jamie Porter, Bopara and Quinn ripped through the Hampshire top order. Indeed at one stage, the South Coast club found themselves teetering on 18/5 after a blistering start with the new ball for the Eagles. What makes that 18/5 even more remarkable is the fact the opening pair put on 18 before Porter found the edge of Liam Dawson’s bat to find the gloves of Wheater. Four further wickets then fell without a run added as Essex ran up a mockery. Porter bowled James Vince for a duck; Michael Carberry was pinned in front by Quinn for 5, the Kiwi then removed the dangerous Rilee Rossouw first ball when he chipped to Wagner and Bailey also fell for a duck in a wonderful spell for the Eagles as Porter picked up his third. Sean Ervine and Berg briefly led the recovery adding 14 runs only for the pair to both fall in quick succession to Bopara to leave the visitors in deep trouble on 34/7. The impressive Abbott though alongside McManus combined to save a little bit of face as the duo reached close without further loss adding 58-runs for the eighth wicket. What will concern the visitors is the fitness of Fidel Edwards who is due in next to bat, he left the game with a suspected muscle injury so the visitors may only have one wicket left in the hutch with a deficit of 268-runs still looming large.
Finally, in Division one, rain ruled at Taunton on Day two of Somerset’s encounter with Warwickshire. Only 37-balls were possible on Saturday as the poor weather had the final say, but in those six and a bit overs, there was time for former England man Jonathan Trott to add another half-century to his collection as the Bears added 31-runs on the second day closing on 124/3.
5/3/2017 0 Comments
Reports by Harry Hill (@HarryHill96)
Where else can we start than at Northampton, where a stunning 277 run a piece tie left the honours even. Northants skipper won his first toss in 11 attempts and elected to bowl first on an overcast day at Wantage Road. Worcestershire lost Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Tom Fell early thanks to Graeme White and Richard Gleeson respectively. Daryl Mitchell and Joe Clarke stabilised the innings before a useful contribution of 82 from Ben Cox and a quick-fire 42 from Ed Barnard gave Worcestershire a decent score to defend. In response, good early bowling from Jack Shantry and Ed Barnard saw the dangerous Josh Cobb and Richard Levi out early. Rob Newton, however, played superbly for his 107 off 123 balls, sharing a century stand with Alex Wakely (52). With the tension rising, Northants required an unlikely 14 from the last over, Adam Rossington (63*) found the boundary with immense calmness. However, with two needed from the last ball, a scrambled single left both teams with a point each.
At a high scoring day of 50 over cricket at Headingley, Jonny Bairstow starred after contributing an enthralling career-best 174 off 113-balls to Yorkshire’s run case. Durham skipper Keaton Jennings won the toss and elected to bat, which appeared the correct decision with a superb opening stand of 124 from Stephan Cook and Jennings himself. Following a spectacular catch at deep mid-wicket by Peter Handscomb from the bowling of Matthew Waite, Jennings was walking back to the hutch for 72. That did not deter Cook, who was seamlessly joined in the middle by Michael Richardson, both of whom reached a ton. When Cook eventually fell in the 40th over with the score at 248-2, progress was slowed somewhat with the wickets of Clark, Collingwood, and Coughlin giving Durham a respectable 335-5, but will think that they should have finished better. Bairstow took no time to get started in his effort towards the highest ever List-A score at Headingley and notable contributions from England Test Captain Joe Root (55) and Peter Handscomb (47) saw Yorkshire reach the target inside 48 overs.
At a rain-affected game at the Ageas Bowl, Middlesex beat Hampshire by 89 runs (D/L Method). The ever-impressive Nick Gubbins was the key man for Middlesex with the bat reaching 114 from 117 balls. After Middlesex reached 180-2, wickets kept falling at regular intervals, thanks in part to four wickets from Reece Topley and three for young spin bowler Mason Crane helping to dent Middlesex’s progress. Chasing 296 to win, the Hampshire top order couldn’t deal with Toby Roland-Jones’ brilliantly hostile bowling (4-10). The threat of rain hung over the Hampshire reply and only George Bailey (52*) and Sean Ervine (33) offered any real resistance. The rain eventually came and the players were called off the field with Hampshire well behind the rate at 146-7 from the 30.3 overs possible.
5/2/2017 0 Comments
Essex and Surrey played out an absolute humdinger as the Eagles snuck home by one-wicket in a low-scoring thriller at the Oval. South African Kolpak Simon Harmer was the visitors’ hero as he struck an unbeaten 44 to lead his new county to success.
Chasing a below-par 210 for victory the Eagles were off to the worst possible start losing Nick Browne, Alastair Cook and Varun Chopra early on to leave Chris Silverwood’s men in trouble on 12/3. Tom Westley (34) and Ravi Bopara (36) steadied the ship by sharing 66-runs for the fourth wicket but the pair were soon back in the hutch in quick succession to put the Eagles behind the eight ball once again. Both would’ve been disappointed in the way they were dismissed playing poor shots as they seemingly suffered a rush of blood to the head to fall to the impressive Dernbach (4-31).
The hosts soon became red-hot favourites when Adam Wheater played an equally rash shot to gift his wicket to Ravi Rampaul. Ryan ten Doeschate and Sunday’s hero Ashar Zaidi were brought together with the task of seeing the Eagles home to their paltry looking target. Zaidi, though, couldn’t repeat his heroics and hauled out to Tom Curran off the bowling of veteran Gareth Batty (2-45). That brought Harmer to the middle to join his skipper and the South African showed tremendous composure and class to aid ten Doeschate to whittle down the target. The Kolpak duo shared 51 for the eighth wicket before the flying Dutchman was strangled down the leg-side by a wayward off-spinner from Batty to fall for a well-made 45.
Harmer continued to impress however and took on the mantle of making the remaining 30 odd runs with the tail. New Zealander Neil Wagner offered some resistance before being tempted into a big hook shot and offering a simple catch to Dom Sibley on the boundary rope to fall for 4. Suddenly Surrey were looking to steal a win that looked so unlikely at the interval. Harmer though farmed the strike brilliantly alongside Matt Quinn who bravely picked up the singles and a streaky four to edge the Eagles closer to victory. And they did steal a dramatic win in the final over as Harmer fittingly swung a full-toss from Sam Curran to the fence for four to give the Eagles their second win on the spin.
Earlier in the day, Quinn and Bopara took three wickets apiece to restrict the hosts to a modest total after Surrey won the toss and elected to bat under blue skies. Perhaps the key moments came when Wagner sent down a beauty to tickle the edge of Kumar Sangakkara’s bat to remove the Sri Lankan for just six. In reality the host never recovered from finding themselves on 46/4, but good runs from former Essex wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (77 not out), Scott Borthwick (37) and Tom Curran (33) at least gave the ‘Rey’s bowlers something to bowl at by reaching 210 but Essex squeaked home in dramatic fashion with four-balls to spare.
Elsewhere, in the south group, Somerset and Kent played out an equally enthralling game. Over 700-runs were scored in the encounter as the Taunton faithful saw runs galore. Indeed, there were three centurions in this entertaining Royal London One-Day Cup, including a rapid ton for Kent’s Alex Blake. The Spitfires middle-order batsman struck ten fours and a staggering seven sixes to race to 46-ball hundred to propel the visitors total passed 350. Blake shared a 120-run stand with fellow centurion Daniel Bell-Drummond who made a far more sedate century striking just eight-fours in his knock of 106 off 120 balls as Kent made a massive 352/6 from their 50-overs. That put the visitors firmly in the box seat, but Peter Trego, loved by so many in the West Country has the Taunton faithful ducking and diving once more as he smeared a further six sixes to give more catching practice to the Somerset members in the crowd. Although he was aggressive in his approach Trego underpinned the innings magnificently making a crucial 135 that included vital stands with Dean Elgar (55) and James Hildreth (64) as the trio chipped away at their mammoth target. And although Trego departed with 58-runs required he has put his side back in control of the encounter with a vital ton, it left Roelof Van der Merwe and Lewis Gregory the task of seeing the job through and the pair duly delivered sharing 17-runs for the seventh wicket to take the hosts to victory with 15-balls to spare in a remarkable contest at the Coopers County Ground.
Meanwhile, at Hove, Sussex claimed their first success of the season in the 50-over cup as they secured a 58-run (D/L) win over Glamorgan. After winning the toss and electing the bat the hosts made 292/6 thanks largely to a century stand between Ben Brown and the impressive Stiaan van Zyl. New summer signing van Zyl made a vital 96 that included seven fours and a duo of sixes before hauling out to Jacques Rudolph hunting for his century. His stand of 116-runs with Brown underpinned his side’s total, which proved too hot to handle for their Welsh counterparts. A rain break marginally reduced the visitors total to 281 but regular wickets meant they were never really in the hunt. Rudolph (51) and Chris Cooke (62) threaten to spoil the host’s party but when they fell to Danny Briggs (3-53) and David Weise (2-40) respectively the game was all but up for the visitors. Victory for the hosts was confirmed when Marchant De Lange was bowled by the rapid Jofra Archer (2-30) with the Welsh side all out for 221 some way short of their victory target.
We travel north now and to the 3aaa County Ground in Derby as Derbyshire fell to a four-wicket defeat at the hands of near neighbours Nottinghamshire. The visitors were blessed with international stars including James Pattinson, Stuart Broad, Michael Lumb and Alex Hales and they needed to call on the experience of every single one of them to sneak home in this encounter. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Derbyshire skipper Billy Godleman set about proving he made the right decision but sharing 148 for the first wicket alongside Ben Slater. Slater (72) struck eight-fours before being run out by Riki Wessels to be the first man to fall. Godleman continued his fine early season form though to reach the nervous nineties for the second game in succession and the former Essex man failed to get a century again as he fell to Samit Patel for 90 with the score on 209/3. Wayne Madsen (66 not out), Daryn Smit (21) and Gary Wilson (22 not out) pushed the Falcons to a competitive score though as the hosts ended on 303/4. Rain reduced the Outlaws target to 286 from 47-overs and England one-day opener Alex Hales soon went about making that task more manageable with a typically aggressive display of batting as he plundered 11 fours and two sixes on his way to 77 off just 58-balls to get Nottinghamshire off to a flying start. When Matthew Critchley removed the opener the score had already reached 130/2 off just 18.2 overs. Wessels was equally aggressive when he was joined at the crease by Patel as the duo added a further 41-runs to add more impetus to the chase. Wessels fell on 67 to the bowling of Derbyshire overseas Jeevan Mendis but by then the visitors were in complete command of the chase with just a further 115-runs needed in 22-overs. A walk in the park in modern cricket, and Brendan Taylor and Patel chipped that all the way down to just 44-run when Taylor hit Mendis to Shiv Thakor to fall for 22. Hope then sprung eternal for the Derbyshire faithful as Patel fell just three runs later as Madsen removed the former England all-rounder for a well-made 59. Billy Root, the brother of Joe, saw the visitors home though finishing unbeaten on 23 as the Outlaws secured the local bragging rights to seal victory in the last over.
And finally, Leicestershire’s Mark Pettini thwacked a career-best 159 to star in a comfortable 103-run success over Warwickshire at Grace Road. The former Essex captain hit 19 fours in his 135-ball stay to dominate his sides’ total of 363/7. The opener was well supported by Aadil Ali (52) and Tom Wells (67) as the hosts went run crazy in front of their home fans. Warwickshire’s woeful season continued however as their bowlers were carted all around the park with only Keith Barker (3-65) offering any resistance. It was Barker who eventually removed Pettini who skied a catch to Sam Hain to fall for his List A high of 159, but by then the damage has been done from a Warwickshire point of view as the hosts had already reached a commanding 328/4, Wells clubbed a few more to add an even more gloss to the total as the Foxes reached 363/7 from their 50-overs. In reply, the visitors lost wickets in clusters as the Bears never really threatened to chase down their mammoth target. Sam Hain and Tim Ambrose were the only two to offer the visitors any hope as the duo added 118-runs for the fourth wicket with Hain making a welcome return to form striking a century that included eleven fours, but when he went for 103 to Tom Wells any momentum the Bears had built up went. Ambrose followed soon after and with his wicket went the match for Warwickshire. He fell for 83 to Wells who continued his fine all-round performance to finish with bowling figures of 3-44. A late order batting collapse somewhat summed up the visitors season thus far as they lost their last five wickets for just 10-runs as Gavin Griffiths (3-35) and Cameron Delport wrapped up the match for Leicestershire who ran out deserved winners.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
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