As expected, rain wreaked havoc with today’s county fixtures. From the little play that was possible between the showers, it was the bowlers who once again held the upper hand over their batting colleagues.
Peter Trego, given the new ball by Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick, helped reduce Nottinghamshire to 34 for five at Trent Bridge before a late rally, led by skipper Chris Read (52 not out), reduced the damage for the hosts.
Trego started the rot by having former county colleague Neil Edwards trapped in front for three, while Steve Kirby continued James Taylor’s barren run of form when the slight left-hander played across the line to a full-length delivery and succeeded only in giving a catch to Craig Kieswetter behind the stumps. That wicket completed a passage of play of five wickets for 20 runs, before Read dominated a sixth-wicket partnership of 65 with Steven Mullaney (10) and remained there to take the Outlaws to 93 for six at stumps.
At Lord’s, the opening day of Middlesex’s match against Durham was abandoned without a ball bowled as the showers kept arriving just as the groundsmen had finished cleaning up after the last one.
It was a similar story at The Oval, as London bore the brunt of the bad weather. Surrey and Worcestershire will return tomorrow hoping for better weather.
Defending champions Lancashire made the surprising decision to go in with two spinners at Liverpool and closed day one against Warwickshire on 125 for five. Karl Brown top-scored on a stop-start day with 46, while Darren Maddy emerged as the pick of the bowlers with two for 11.
In Division Two, things were little better as play was abandoned for the day at Headingley as early as 1330 BST with persistent rain making any play on day one of Yorkshire’s match against Essex impossible.
Less than 11 overs were possible on the first day at Derby with Alex Wyatt winning the battle against Jigar Naik to replace the injured Matthew Hoggard in Leicestershire’s starting eleven. It was Derbyshire, though, who won the toss and had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat. The Foxes reached 24 for one before the rain, which had delayed the start for several hours, brought a permanent halt to proceedings, with Matt Boyce the man to go – leg-before to Tony Palladino for one.
Gloucestershire managed as many as 54 overs against Kent at Canterbury and reached 131 for six after losing both openers early on. Benny Howell top-scored with a fluent 44 and put on 40 with Alex Gidman (13) before the first of three wickets from Matt Coles derailed their innings. Ian Cockbain and Will Gidman added 58 for the sixth wicket, but the former fell for 32 to Mark Davies to the penultimate ball of the day to hand Kent the advantage.
Glamorgan’s batting collapsed once again – this time against a David Balcombe-inspired Hampshire – as the home side reached 103 for nine before declaring at Cardiff. Will Bragg (45) was one of only two men to reach double figures as Balcombe ended with five for 33 to continue his resurgence, which began with a loan spell at Kent last summer.
Liam Dawson closed unbeaten on 18 to take Hampshire to stumps on 29 for one, with Huw Waters having Jimmy Adams caught behind to represent the Welsh side’s sole success.
Stat of the day: Of the 768 overs that were scheduled to be bowled across today’s eight matches, only 211.2 (including 2.3 for the change of innings at Cardiff) were delivered due to the weather.
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Lancashire v Warwickshire at Liverpool
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Durham at Lord’s
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Trent Bridge
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Worcestershire at The Oval
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Derbyshire v Leicestershire at Derby
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Hampshire at Cardiff
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Kent v Gloucestershire at Canterbury
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Yorkshire v Essex at Headingley
Day One, MCCU Match, Durham MCCU v Northamptonshire at Durham
Both teams are coming off the back of disastrous performances, with Northamptonshire boosted by the return of captain Andrew Hall from injury. They have rested the influential quintet of Jack Brooks, Chaminda Vaas, Niall O’Brien, David Sales and James Middlebrook, with Con de Lange, Rob Keogh, Christian Davis, Sam Sweeney, David Murphy and Rob Newton their replacements.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow promises more of the same, especially in the east, as the weather at last exposes the ECB’s folly of an early April start to the county season. Prospects for Saturday and Sunday look equally bleak at this stage with highs across the three days of between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
It is believed that the late withdrawal of Jacques Rudolph from Surrey’s Championship squad for the match against Worcestershire is linked to the death of former Worcestershire and Namibia batsman Louis Vorster. It is understood that the Rudolph family are friends of the Vorsters.
Worcestershire have confirmed that Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal will not be able to fulfil his contract as one of the county’s overseas players in the Friends Life t20 due to Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka, which was still unconfirmed when the deal was signed. The club have said that they are actively looking for a replacement.
© Cricket World 2012