Three more LV= County Championship matches began today with Niall O’Brien making a century, Jonathan Bairstow celebrating his England Lions call-up with 83 against Hampshire, and Kevin Pietersen returning after his hernia operation by captaining Surrey against Cambridge MCCU.
In Division One Yorkshire recovered from a shaky start against Hampshire to end on 304 for seven. At one point they were reduced to 99 for five as the Hampshire seam bowlers wreaked havoc, but half-centuries from Jonathan Bairstow (83) and Tim Bresnan (82 not out) steadied the ship. Dominic Cork, with three for 60, was the pick of the visitors’ attack.
Somerset and Nick Compton continued where they left off yesterday as they declared on 610 for six at the Riverside. Compton ended with a career-best 254 not out, with his winter spent playing cricket in Zimbabwe clearly bearing fruit, while Peter Trego bludgeoned a typically brutal 98 from only 100 balls. In reply Durham fared better than some of the more pessimistic home supporters perhaps expected, reaching 182 for four; Michael Di Venuto making 86.
Nottinghamshire were made to follow-on on a fairly blameless pitch at Hove after being bowled out for 145 in their first innings. After a partnership of 87 for the fifth wicket between the recently-Lioned Samit Patel (63) and Adam Voges (41) the vistors collapsed to the pace and hostility of Sussex quick bowler James Anyon. He followed Monty Panesar’s impressive haul of three for 11 with four wickets of his own, as well as sending Steve Mullaney to hospital for an x-ray after a particularly nasty blow. Notts fared better second time around, closing on 135 for two, with Neil Edwards also hospitalised after being hit by Amjad Khan.
Warwickshire ended a rain-shortened first day against Worcestershire on 299 for six as Rikki Clarke (56) and Mohammad Yousuf (108 not out) enjoyed a stand of 108 for the sixth wicket on a tricky Edgbaston pitch. Alan Richardson and Damien Wright had earlier shared five wickets to leave the hosts on 99 for five.
In Division Two Glamorgan batted through the day against bottom-placed Kent at Cardiff, reaching 366 for seven at stumps. Will Bragg (73) and Ben Wright (82) put on a partnership of 137 for the fourth wicket as Glamorgan took control after lunch, while Mark Wallace ensured that advantage wasn’t squandered as he ended on 65 not out. For Kent, Unicorns and former Surrey pace bowler Neil Saker was the pick of the attack finishing with four for 80.
Northamptonshire recovered from a chastening first half of the day at Bristol, during which they were reduced to 125 for five by Gloucestershire, to end on an imposing 381 for six. Andrew Hall (90) and Niall O’Brien (123 not out) shared a mammoth stand of 182 for the sixth wicket, the Irishman hitting his tenth first class hundred.
Derbyshire, resuming on 64 for two, were dismissed for 288 against Essex at Derby with the under-rated David Masters taking his fourteenth five wicket haul. The home side’s batsmen never got going with extras the principal contributor with 52. Essex had reduced the deficit to 85 at stumps, closing on 24 for none.
The FP Fenners Ground marked a return to first class action for Kevin Pietersen as he captained Surrey against Cambridge MCCU. After electing to batting first he could only make 30 in a Surrey total of 234 for nine declared as Arun Harinath (80) and Tom Jewell (61) both outshone him. Zafar Ansari, ironically a Surrey-contracted player who also happens to bowl slow left-arm spin, took five for 33 including the wicket of Pietersen to continue his dreadful run against this type of bowling. Cambridge MCCU ended the day on 151 for four.
Tomorrow sees a continuation of today’s first class action and a return to the CB40 with Netherlands hosting Middlesex in Deventer.
© Cricket World 2011