4/17/2017 0 Comments
Draws were the order of the day in Division One as Surrey and Middlesex batted all day to save their Specsavers County Championship Division One matches against Lancashire and Hampshire respectively.
At the Oval, Surrey cruised to a share of the spoils after centuries from Scott Borthwick and the brilliant Kumar Sangakkara led the ‘Rey to a comfortable draw against the Red Rose. After the early loss of Mark Stoneman (27) who was stumped by Davies off the bowling of Stephen Parry, the Sri Lankan and the former Durham all-rounder went on a rescue mission of their own to frustrate Lancashire on the final day. Sangakkara was in the majestic form playing in typically elegant style hitting the ball all around the park. He looked particularly good through the V whilst also playing some delightful cut and pull shots on his way to another first-class century in his celebrated career. He eventually became the last man to fall in the day when Simon Kerrigan bowled him for 136 (16x4 and a six) but by then the game was all but safe as Borthwick and Sangakkara had guided the hosts to 322/3. Borthwick meanwhile was the more sedate of the pair as he reached his first century in a Surrey shirt since his move down south from the northeast of England. He struck 11-fours during his mammoth 250-ball stay in the middle, he remained unbeaten as the players shook hands with the game going nowhere with Surrey on 323/3.
Hampshire were left frustrated by a dogged lower order and the brilliant Australian overseas Adam Voges as Middlesex fought for a draw at the Ageas Bowl. Despite regular wickets falling the hosts were never really in with a chance of victory whilst Voges was in the middle and he finally found support in John Simpson as the pair steadied the ship after Kyle Abbott (5-59) and Brad Wheal (3-73) had earlier given the hosts a glimmer of hope. The pair had reduced Middlesex to 138/5 and with a slender lead, the visitors knew they had to dig deep. But like true Champions the London clubs battled and made life hard for the hosts as Voges (92), Simpson (22) and Toby Roland-Jones (25) all showed great grit and determination to ensure the holders didn’t fall to an opening week defeat. They eventually closed on 278/9 declared when the teams decided to call it a day and settle for a draw.
Elsewhere, perhaps the most predictable outcome in the history of cricket took just 25 minutes to be settled. Needing just one wicket in the day with a sizable lead to their name Yorkshire wrapped up their win inside the first half-hour of play at Edgbaston. Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Jeetan Patel attempted to pull off the greatest of escapes and the pair did share 36 for the last stand but England’s Adil Rashid sealed a White Rose win with a ball that turned past the outside edge of Hannon-Dalby’s bat and clipped the off-stump to bring an end to the innings with the Bears falling 88-runs short of forcing the visitors to bat again as they fell to an innings defeat for the second game in a row.
In Division Two, Northampton produced a stunning run chase to secure victory over Derbyshire. On a bizarre final day which saw the two teams attempt to set up a clearly agreed run chase, Northampton were left 326 runs to chase down in 65 overs. All this came after Derbyshire pair Billy Godleman and Luis Reece had broken an 88-year record sharing a huge 333-run opening stand, and whilst it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given some of the buffet bowling they were served with it is still some achievement by the duo who both reached scores of 150+. Reece struck 15-fours during his 246-ball stay at the crease as he made 168, whilst his partner Godleman struck just 10 fours in his unbeaten 156. But the duos brilliance enabled the game to have an exciting finish, and when Northamptonshire lost Ben Duckett and Alex Wakely in quick succession the Derbyshire fans and players alike must have thought they were in with a genuine chance of sealing a win that looked so unlikely at the close of day three. Quick-fire runs from Rob Newton (98) and Richard Levi (99) swung the tie back in the visitors' favour. Indeed it was Levi’s rapid 99 off just 79-balls that put the visitors firmly on the front foot, he struck 10-fours and four sixes to turn the tide. Young Max Holden also contributed for the visitors striking a quick 44 before being the last to be dismissed with the score on 299/7. Rather fittingly though it was the veteran duo of Rory Kleinveldt and Steven Crook who saw the Steelbacks over the line with time ticking down the pair took just five overs to hit the final 27-run to secure a stunning final day success.
Darren Stevens once again starred for Kent as the Spitfires secured their second win of the summer. The veteran all-rounder fresh from his half-century yesterday ripped through the top order of the Sussex line-up to bag his 17th first-class five-wicket haul. Sussex were set an unlikely 446 for victory and despite making a positive start in their pursuit of a draw. They reached 56 without loss before a classic Stevens’ (5-51) masterclass turned the game on its head. He took five quick wickets to take the Sharks from 56/0 to 83/6 to put Sussex well and truly on the back foot. Ben Brown produced a similar battling display to the 90 he struck in the first innings by finishing unbeaten on 69. But Matt Coles (3-44) hurried through the tail to ensure Kent would thrash the hosts by 226-runs.
Finally, Nottinghamshire cruised to their second win of the season at Chester-Le-Street. Jake Ball (3-80), Harry Gurney (2-54) and Luke Fletcher (2-45) finished off the Durham tail midway through the morning session to fall for 250 all out with Keaton Jennings carrying his bat to finish unbeaten on 102. That left the visitors with a simple task of getting 108 in what remained of the day. They didn’t waste any time in getting to their target as Greg Smith (60*) and Jake Libby (39) scored freely to hurry the Outlaws to victory. They reached 110/1 inside 30-overs to climb to the top of the Division Two table.
Reports by David Bowden (@Bowdenwhu)
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