The bowlers just about had the better of the opening day of the LV= County Championship season with Toby Roland-Jones and Chris Jordan recording six-wicket hauls. It was Yorkshire's and Glamorgan’s batting line-ups that suffered most as they were bowled out for 96 and 134 respectively by Sussex and Northamptonshire.
Durham were all out for 250 at stumps on day one against Somerset. A team effort from the visitors’ bowlers meant that none of their batsmen reached 50. Ben Stokes top-scored with an unusually subdued 49 off 110 balls, while Scott Borthwick continued his fine early-season batting form by making 45 as the tail wagged. Peter Trego and Steve Kirby ended with three wickets apiece, while there were two each for Alfonso Thomas and George Dockrell.
Chris Jordan took six for 48 on his Sussex Championship debut as Yorkshire were skittled for only 96 after being asked to bat at Headingley. They quickly slipped to 18 for four, before Jonny Bairstow (29) and Gary Ballance (13) provided a brief respite from the procession of Yorkshire batsmen heading towards the pavilion with a stand of 40. However, Bairstow fell as the second of two wickets to James Anyon and the rest soon followed. Steve Magoffin was the other wicket-taker with two for 18 from 13.2 overs.
Chris Nash then decided that attack was the best form of defence and blasted 80 off just 87 balls at the start of the Sussex reply. By the time he departed to Ryan Sidebottom, the visitors were already ahead. They closed shortly afterwards on 104 for three - after Nash’s 80, Michael Yardy’s 14 was the best contribution.
Reigning champions Warwickshire dismissed newly-promoted Derbyshire for 226 at Edgbaston. They then reached stumps on 14 for none in reply. It would have been worse for the visitors had Tony Palladino not hit 68 from number nine. Chris Wright and Jeetan Patel had each taken three wickets to help reduce them to 117 for seven. Palladino then shared useful stands with Chesney Hughes (20) and Mark Turner (18 not out) to ensure that Derbyshire at least gained a batting bonus point.
Toby Roland-Jones was again among the wickets, taking six for 63 as Nottinghamshire were all out for 278 against Middlesex. Ed Cowan ensured that the Notts innings started brightly with a breezy 61, but that was to be as good as it got for the home side. James Taylor did bat for more than 50 overs in compiling a determined 55, but three of their middle-order -Samit Patel, Riki Wessels and Chris Read - squandered starts and fell in the thirties. Middlesex then reached stumps in their reply on 12 without loss.
In Division Two, centuries from Dan Housego and Hamish Marshall led Gloucestershire’s unexpected domination of Essex at Chelmsford. After David Masters had taken two wickets to edge the home side ahead, Housego and Marshall added an unbroken 229 for the fourth-wicket. Housego completed his third first-class century and ended on a career-best 124, while Marshall was first to three figures and closed with 120. Gloucestershire are 300 for three.
Steven Crook and Andrew Hall shared seven wickets as Glamorgan were bundled out for a derisory 134 after being inserted in Cardiff. They lost Ben Wright in the third over for a duck, before Will Bragg (22) and Stewart Walters (23) began what could have been a recovery with a second-wicket stand of 51. However, Crook removed Bragg and would add the wickets of Marcus North (2), Mark Wallace (18) and Graham Wagg (26) before he was done. Five Glamorgan batsmen reached double figures, but none could make more than Wagg’s 26.
Northamptonshire skipper Stephen Peters then showed how it should be done. By stumps, he had raced to 60 off just 70 balls and taken his side to 108 for three. Michael Hogan did dispatch Kyle Coetzer early, while Mike Reed removed David Sales and Alex Wakely with successive deliveries with the score on 58. Throughout it all, though, Peters remained and the visitors trail by just 26 runs heading into day two.
Hampshire enjoyed things rather more on a slightly shortened opening day against Leicestershire. They did, however, suffer a disastrous start, losing both openers for ducks to Matthew Hoggard and Alex Wyatt. However, Liam Dawson (46) added 141 with overseas players George Bailey for the third-wicket. Bailey dominated the stand and had made 93 by the time he was fourth man out with the score on 150. James Vince and Sean Ervine then ensured that Leicestershire wouldn’t wrest back the advantage and had added an unbroken 136 for the fifth-wicket by the time stumps were pulled. Vince is unbeaten on 77 with Ervine on 57.
Worcestershire ground their way to 227 for six from the 96 overs that were bowled at Old Trafford. Moeen Ali hit 78 off 188 balls, but it was Neil Pinner (29 off 124 balls ), Matthew Pardoe (13 off 45) and Michael Johnson (18 off 60) who were the most watchful of the Pears batsmen. The best partnerships of the day were 57 between Ali and Thilan Samaraweera (28) for the third-wicket and 54 between Ali and Pinner for the fifth-wicket. For Lancashire, Wayne White, Luke Procter and Simon Kerrigan each took a brace of wickets.
Cardiff MCCU closed on 33 for one after Kent had declared on 333 for eight at Canterbury. Rob Key and Sam Northeast both fell early to Matthew Hobden, but Daniel Bell-Drummond brought up his maiden first-class hundred from number five. Earlier Mike Powell (62) and Brendan Nash (46) had shared a stand of 95 for the third-wicket. Bell-Drummond then also shared useful stands of 62 with Darren Stevens (36) and 77 with skipper James Tredwell (41) before ending on 102 not out. For the students, Hobden completed the second five-wicket haul of his career and finished the day with five for 89 from 22 overs.
Tomorrow’s fixtures (all matches start at 1100 BST, 1000 GMT)
day two, LV=CCD1, Durham v Somerset at Chester-le-Street
day two, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Middlesex at Trent Bridge
day two, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Derbyshire at Edgbaston
day two, LV=CCD1, Yorkshire v Sussex at Headingley
day two, LV=CCD2, Essex v Gloucestershire at Chelmsford
day two, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Northamptonshire at Cardiff
day two, LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Leicestershire at Southampton
day two, LV=CCD2, Lancashire v Worcestershire at Old Trafford
day two, MCCU match, Kent v Cardiff MCCU at Canterbury
Weather Forecast: All matches could be affected by the weather at some point tomorrow, with those in the south-east likely to see the best of any sunshine. Showers will be widespread across the rest of the country, with the west midlands, north-east and south-west expected to be hit most. It will be relatively mild, with temperatures peaking at 13 degrees Celsius in the sunshine.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Derbyshire CCC have extended their sponsorship deal with The University of Derby. As well as appearing on the front of the team’s Friends Life t20 shirts as they did in 2012, the university’s name will also grace the front of their LV= County Championship shirts. The club’s Academy will also now be known as the Cricket Derbyshire University of Derby Academy.
Five Leicestershire players have signed one-year contract extensions, meaning that they will remain with the club until the end of the 2014 season. The players are vice-captain Josh Cobb, seam-bowlers Nathan Buck and Alex Wyatt, batsman Greg Smith, and wicket-keeper Ned Eckersley.
© Cricket World 2013