There was plenty of rain once again as the first round of matches in this season’s LV= County Championship completed their third days. Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Leicestershire are among the teams who will be hoping for yet more rain tomorrow as they look to stave off defeat.
Somerset closed on 96 for two in pursuit of 235 to beat Durham to set up a cracking final day at Chester-le-Street. Craig Kieswetter is unbeaten on 39, with James Hildreth on 12. Durham’s second innings had earlier limped to 116 with Alfonso Thomas picking up the last wicket to fall to end with four for 29.
Nottinghamshire closed day three in trouble against Middlesex in spite of a combative eighth-wicket stand between Andre Adams and Luke Fletcher. They reached stumps just 107 runs ahead on 182 for nine in their second innings. Neil Dexter proved their unexpected destroyer, taking a career-best five for 27 from nine overs to help reduce them to 93 for eight at one point. Fletcher and Adams then added 89 in double quick time, with the former departing for 47 and Adams ending not out on 50 off just 37 deliveries. Middlesex had earlier extended their first innings lead to 75 as John Simpson was left stranded on 97 not out.
Defeat looks almost certain for Yorkshire as they reached stumps in their second innings on 228 for eight to lead by only 32 runs over Sussex. Phil Jaques top-scored with 57, with other contributions coming from Gary Ballance (46 not out) and Ryan Sidebottom (48). Steve Magoffin and James Anyon shared seven wickets, with the former ending with four for 50 and the latter three for 59.
Edgbaston saw only 24 overs bowled on day three following yesterday’s washout, with Warwickshire moving to 90 without loss against Derbyshire. Varun Chopra ended on 48 and Ian Westwood on 31, with the home side’s arrears now standing at 136 runs.
In Division Two, Essex progressed from 30 for two to 177 for three in the 43.5 overs that were bowled by Gloucestershire. Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara were responsible for the bulk of those runs, taking their third-wicket partnership to 116. Bopara was extracted by Benny Howell for 64 late on, but Mark Pettini joined Westley, who is unbeaten on 82.
Ned Eckersley ended one short of a third first-class century as Leicestershire fought hard against Hampshire. Easily the best stand of the day was the one between Eckersley and Matthew Boyce (30) for the fifth-wicket. Other than that, the visitors’ batting was again a disappointment as James Tomlinson, Sean Ervine, Chris Wood and Danny Briggs all helped themselves to at least one wicket.
Contributions from all of Lancashire’s top-order meant that they closed strongly on 250 for three in reply to Worcestershire’s 334. Openers Paul Horton and Luke Procter (53) took their overnight stand to 97, with Horton then adding a further 70 with Karl Brown prior to being run-out by Neil Pinner for 66. Ashwell Prince and Simon Katich then proceeded to add a further 71 for the fourth-wicket before stumps were pulled. For Worcestershire, Alan Richardson was again at his workmanlike best, ending with figures of 28-13-31-1.
Glamorgan still trail by 62 runs against Northamptonshire after closing on 96 for four in their second innings. Andrew Hall took two wickets, with Steven Crook and David Willey chipping in with one apiece. Northamptonshire had earlier hauled themselves up to 292 in their first innings as James Middlebrook hit 70 and shared useful stands with Andrew Hall (32) and David Murphy (27). Graham Wagg took the last three wickets to fall to end with figures of three for 78.
The final day of the match between Cardiff MCCU and Kent went the same way as the second, with not a ball bowled due to a wet outfield.
day four, LV=CCD1, Durham v Somerset at Chester-le-Street
day four, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Middlesex at Trent Bridge
day four, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Derbyshire at Edgbaston
day four, LV=CCD1, Yorkshire v Sussex at Headingley
day four, LV=CCD2, Essex v Gloucestershire at Chelmsford
day four, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Northamptonshire at Cardiff
day four, LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Leicestershire at Southampton
day four, LV=CCD2, Lancashire v Worcestershire at Old Trafford
Weather Forecast: There will be a north/south split to the weather tomorrow as yet another band of persistent rain makes its way in from the south coast. The east midlands and north will stay mainly dry and see the best of any sunshine, with play in matches in the south and west midlands likely to be hugely rain-affected. Temperatures will again be relatively mild, with highs of between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Zimbabwe-born fast-bowling all-rounder Tom Curran has signed professional terms with Surrey. The 18 year-old will, however, not join the professional squad on a full-time basis until he has finished his schooling at nearby Wellington College in 2015. Curran is the son of the late Zimbabwe all-rounder Kevin Curran, who died last year. The whole family are now based in England.
Yorkshire CCC have announced that Nutrition X will be their new sports nutrition provider. The company will work closely with the club’s Strength and Conditioning coach Tom Summers to “ensure that the players receive the best possible nutritional support”.
© Cricket World 2013
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