There was high drama on the county circuit as the tenth round of matches in this season’s LV= County Championship began to draw to a close today. Essex were humbled for a record-low of 20 by Lancashire, while Yorkshire went to the top of Division One by completing victory over highly-fancied Middlesex, and Durham won a thriller against defending champions Warwickshire.
Records tumbled at the City of Chelmsford Festival as the home side were bowled out for a pitiful 20 by Lancashire to lose by an innings and 105 runs. It is the lowest score in a County Championship match since 1983, when Surrey made 14, ironically against Essex. Only Jaik Mickleburgh of the Essex batsmen reached double figures as six were dismissed LBW and skipper James Foster was run-out by man of the moment Glen Chapple. Chapple finished with figures of 7.2-4-9-5, while Kyle Hogg returned 7-3-11-4. The pitch was largely blameless as Essex’s batsmen just missed a succession of straight balls or played the occasional loose stroke. Indeed, Chapple and Hogg had both passed 50 in the morning as Lancashire took their first innings to 398.
Rain again washed out much of the action on the final day at Grace Road. Leicestershire escaped with the draw and ended on 238 for six in reply to Northamptonshire’s massive 567 for seven declared. Aussie batsman Joe Burns fell early in the day for 77, but stand-in captain Matthew Boyce (40 not out) and Michael Thornely (46) shared 77 for the fifth-wicket.
A pair of forfeitures at Southampton set up Gloucestershire’s win over promotion hopefuls Hampshire. Gloucestershire were allowed to progress to 410 for nine prior to declaring in their first innings, but Hampshire could manage only 212 in reply. They lost skipper Jimmy Adams in Will Gidman’s opening over before Liam Dawson and Michael Carberry gave them hope with a second-wicket partnership of 63. However, James Fuller (three for 54) and Gidman (four for 46) finished with seven wickets between them and helped cause a middle-order collapse of five for 25. Despite contributions from Adam Wheater (38), Sohail Tanvir (37) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (41), they ended up the vanquished side by 198 runs.
Kent closed day three at Canterbury on 254 for four in their second innings after being asked to follow-on by Glamorgan. The home side, resuming on 73 for four in their first innings, were bowled out for 135. However, they fared much better second time around and closed 11 runs ahead. Openers Sam Northeast (33) and Rob Key added 75, while Key went on to share a further 95 with Brendan Nash (50) before being trapped leg-before to Dean Cosker for 85.
In Division One, Yorkshire wrapped up victory over Middlesex to move to the top of the table. Remarkably, the 10-wicket win was their first at Lord’s since 1987. Adil Rashid continued his cricketing renaissance by taking five for 78 to go with his earlier 72 with the bat as Middlesex were all out for 219 in their second innings. Their last six wickets could add only 76 runs, leaving Yorkshire’s openers needing just five for victory.
Durham are second in the table after holding their nerve at Chester-le-Street. They reduced Warwickshire to 146 for seven in their pursuit of 257, but the visitors fought back through Ateeq Javid and Jeetan Patel. Patel hit his second fifty of the match and shared 86 with Javid for the eighth-wicket. However, Graham Onions removed both and ended with five for 83 as the defending champions fell agonisingly short and were all out for 245. Durham’s last-wicket pair of Michael Richardson (55) and Chris Rushworth (13 not out) had earlier added a crucial 42 as the hosts were all out for 198 in their second innings.
Surrey went past Sussex’s 295 on the third day at Arundel. They reached stumps on 362 for six thanks to a century from skipper Vikram Solanki. Solanki added 177 with Zander de Bruyn for the fourth-wicket before being caught off Monty Panesar (three for 104). De Bruyn, though, remained and ended on 99 not out.
Michael Lumb hit an unbeaten century as Nottinghamshire closed their third day on 204 for three in reply to Derbyshire’s 391. The visitors last-wicket pair of Mark Turner (23 not out) and Mark Footitt (24) had added 54 earlier to help them up to 391, but the day belonged to Lumb. He came to the crease with the score on 19 and scored the lion’s share of the runs in a second-wicket stand of 121 with James Taylor (40) to end on 115 not out.
Rain in Truro meant that Somerset were able to take only a point from their Yorkshire Bank 40 Group C fixture against the Unicorns. Chasing a revised target of 206 from 32 overs, they reached 22 for none after two overs when the rain arrived and the match was abandoned. The Unicorns had earlier been held to 231 for eight from 40 overs as Craig Meschede took four for 43. Tom Lancefield and former Derbyshire opener Matt Lineker (36 off 37 balls) got the Unicorns off to a good start with a stand of 76, but the remainder of the batsmen were unable to properly support Lancefield, who was fourth man out for 80 off 88 balls.
day four, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire at Trent Bridge
day four, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Surrey at Arundel
day four, LV=CCD2, Kent v Glamorgan at Canterbury
Weather Forecast: There will be yet more showers tomorrow as a band of low pressure holds sway over England and Wales. The showers will be widespread and persistent, albeit with occasional sunny intervals, with maximum temperatures subdued at between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Gloucestershire’s injury-hit seamer Ian Saxelby has been ruled out for the rest of the season after having surgery on his shoulder. It is the same shoulder that suffered recurrent dislocations during the 2010 season, causing him to miss all of it.
Lancashire opener Stephen Moore has given his backing to the idea of starting the county season abroad. The 32 year-old said in his BBC Sport column: “An image of 18 counties playing their first few games in glorious sunshine during a festival if cricket in the Emirates of Caribbean is very attractive.” County chairmen and chief executives have, however, thus far been critical of the proposal.
Lancashire have signed New Zealand left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan to partner Simon Katich to complete their line-up of overseas players for this season’s Friends Life t20.
© Cricket World 2013