Durham and Warwickshire both beat the weather to secure their first wins of the season in round six of the County Championship.
Warwickshire climbed to the top of the County Championship after collecting their first success of the summer at the hands of Nottinghamshire who endured a nightmare batting display to slip to a 53-run defeat. Only the brilliant Samit Patel threatened to stop the rampant Bears – who took seven wickets in a rain-affected final day. Patel struck a 68-ball century in an aggressive knock, he hit 12 fours and eight sixes before becoming the last man to fall for 124. Chasing 227 to win the hosts endured a terrible start falling to 25/5 after a terrific spell from Keith Barker (4-38) put the visitors in control. He added to the dismissals of Steven Mullaney and Michael Lumb from the previous night to remove Greg Smith (8) and Riki Wessels (0) to leave the hosts in a giant hole. Brendan Taylor (26) – the only other man apart from Patel to reach double figures shared an unbroken stand of 89 to halt the Warwickshire charge. But once Taylor fell to Chris Wright (3-23) the hosts crumbled to defeat despite Patel’s late fireworks. The spin of Jeetan Patel took two quick wickets to remove Chris Read and Brett Hutton to put the Bears on the brink. And when Wright returned to strike in consecutive overs the game was won to lead the visitors to the summit of Division One, a point above Yorkshire who could only draw in Taunton.
Meanwhile, Durham took ten wickets on the final day to secure their maiden win of the campaign collecting a 73-run win against a resolute Lancashire side. With poor weather forecasted on the final day Durham skipper, Paul Collingwood decided to declare overnight setting the visitors 325 to win. And it looked to be an inspired call as the Red Rose slumped to 97/5 as the top order looked to flay early runs in an attempted to reach their target. Their positive intent proved to be their downfall with many departing playing aggressive shots. Opener Karl Brown struck nine fours in his 26-ball stay before becoming the second man to fall leg before to Graham Onions playing across the line. Youngster Brydon Carse struck twice in back-to-back overs to leave the visitors in trouble on 97/4, and when Steven Croft fell to Barry McCarthy it seemed as though the game would be ending early. Alex Davies (39) and Liam Livingstone rallied though for the Red Rose as they threatened to spoil the Durham party. Livingstone struck an unbeaten half-century containing three fours and two sixes during his 105-ball stay. But after sharing 67 for the sixth-wicket James Weighell induced an edge from Davies to revive Durham’s hopes. Seventeen runs later they were off celebrating again after Tom Bailey fell to Carse who claimed his third wicket of the day. Neil Wagner fell to the spin of Scott Borthwick for four as the host attempted to wrap up victory quickly in the fading light. Still requiring a further two wickets the floodlights came on to provide extra light for the hosts and Weighell struck to bring an end to Kyle Jarvis’ dogged stay at the crease. The tail-ender faced 57-balls in difficult conditions to hold Durham up, but he edged to Keaton Jennings to fall for 28. And when Graham Onions returned to bowl last man Simon Kerrigan for four the hosts wrapped up victory just after tea.
Somerset were left frustrated by the weather as Yorkshire escaped the West Country with a draw. Jamie Overton struck early to remove Steven Patterson (32) with a hooping inswinger to leave the Tykes to follow-on. Under dark skies, the visitors produced a patience batting display to secure a draw. Alex Lees faced 97-balls without striking a boundary for his eleven in what proved to be the order of the day for the Tykes. Indeed, the White Rose only struck 12 fours in their entire second innings effort as they batted resolutely to frustrate the hosts. Adam Lyth fell for 18 when Overton struck to bowl the former England opener. Jack Leach then took the wicket of Will Rhodes as the hosts sniffed a chance of victory, and the wickets continued to fall throughout the day, but the weather kept returning to save the Tykes. With only 75 overs possible on the final day, Overton took three wickets including those of Lees and Gary Ballance (18). Tim Groenewald struck twice quickly to restore some hope for Somerset but Jack Leaning and Liam Plunkett shared 42 for the seventh wicket to ensure the visitors left Taunton with a draw to keep the pressure at the top of the table.
Surrey and Middlesex were forced to settle for a draw as their game was brought to a premature end as poor south London weather had the final say. The draw always looked likely after a solid start from Rory Burns and Arun Harinath the night before, but regular rain and poor light ensured there would be no play possible on the final day. Both sides remain winless with Middlesex collect 10 points from the fixture, Surrey took nine.
Meanwhile, in Division two, only Gloucestershire could force a positive result as rain ruled the country.
At Chelmsford regular rain meant Essex couldn’t force their third home victory against Derbyshire as captain shook hands with the visitors on 261/4. No play was possible until mid-afternoon as poor weather in the Essex region forced the Eagles to wait for their chance. When they returned to the field Jamie Porter removed nightwatchman Tom Taylor (19) to give Essex a small chance. And when the dogged Hamish Rutherford fell to Bopara for 68 and Graham Napier trapped Wayne Madsen (2) leg before, Essex believed again. But Chesney Hughes (66 not out) and Neil Broom (2 not out) batted out the remaining time before Ryan ten Doeschate called it a day and settled for a draw. Essex remain top of the Division Two table 18-points clear of their local rivals Kent.
Gloucestershire produced a classy bowling display to defeat struggling Glamorgan by 125-runs. Glamorgan chasing 268 to win got off to a flying start with Jacques Rudolph (36) and Mark Wallace (50) guided the visitors to 87 without loss. Debutant Graham van Buuren took three quick wickets to turn the game on its head. He removed Wallace, Rudolph and Will Bragg to leave the Welsh county on 97/3 and they never recovered from that point. Craig Miles joined the party to strike three times as the Glamorgan collapse continued with Andrew Salter (3), Chris Cooke (4) and Aneurin Donald (4) all fell within six overs of each other as the wickets continued to tumble in Bristol. By now the hosts had their tails up, and spinner Jack Taylor finished the job off taking four successive wickets to ensure Gloucestershire would taste victory for the first time this season. Taylor removed Harry Podmore (1), Timm van der Gugten (0) and Graham Wagg (15) before dismissing David Lloyd for 20 to seal victory to finish with figures of 4-16.
Northampton and Kent were forced to settle for a draw as rain and poor light ruined the final day at Wantage Road. Daniel Bell-Drummond made his fourth half-century of the season when play did start before Joe Denly fell to the spin of Rob Keogh. But with only 11-overs possible, both teams had to settle for a share of the spoils to leave Kent in second behind Essex.
Elsewhere, Sussex produced a dogged batting display to frustrate Worcestershire at New Road. With poor weather forecasted the visitors batted in determined fashion, but the weather remained dry to keep the hosts hopes alive. But half-centuries from Harry Finch, Ross Taylor and Matt Machan ensured that both sides were forced to settle for yet another draw. They began the day requiring a further 78 to avoid an innings defeat, but they rarely looked in trouble in the morning session with just Lewis Hatchett (the nightwatchman) falling to Joe Leach as the visitors eased past the deficit. Matt Henry caused problems for the visitors as he looked to turn the screw for his new county. It was the day of the Kiwi for both sides as Henry took 4-122 and Ross Taylor struck his second half-century of the season for the visitors, but neither side could force a result with both sides yet to secure victory this season after being relegated last season to Division Two.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
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