Sixteen of the counties were in action today as the LV= County Championship continued after its mid-season break.
At Old Trafford, Lancashire were dismissed for just 162 in reply to Worcestershire’s first innings total of 291 as all ten wickets fell to spin on the second day. Moeen Ali, who opened the bowling last night, returned career-best figures of six for 67 with his off-spin, while Shaaiq Choudhry also put in a career-best performance, taking four for 38 with his slow left-arm spin. It would have been much worse for Lancashire had the last-wicket pair of Kyle Hogg and Simon Kerrigan not added 43, although it may yet get even worse as the spin-friendly nature of the pitch will surely have the ECB’s pitch inspectors sniffing. Worcestershire closed on nine for none in their second innings to extend their lead to 138.
There was no play on the second day at Trent Bridge as a wet outfield denied Surrey and Nottinghamshire.
At Taunton, Jim Troughton and Chris Woakes both made centuries as Warwickshire made the most of a threadbare Somerset bowling attack on day two. Varun Chopra had laid the foundations for the visitors with 93, but Alfonso Thomas bowled intelligently, taking three wickets, to peg them back to 162 for six. However, Troughton and Woakes added 204 for the seventh-wicket as the Bears batting depth got them out of trouble and they closed on 387 for seven.
Scott Borthwick hit a half-century and Callum Thorp took a brace of wickets to keep Durham in contention against Sussex at Arundel. Borthwick’s fifth first-class fifty helped the visitors progress from their overnight 92 for four to be bowled out for 231 as Australian Steve Magoffin took three wickets. In reply, Sussex lost Chris Nash in the third over to Chris Rushworth, while Thorp removed Luke Wells (41) and Joe Gatting (11) as they slipped to 59 for three. Murray Goodwin and Michael Yardy then played out the remaining overs to take them to stumps on 100 for three.
There was no play on the second day of Derbyshire’s second division match against Yorkshire at Chesterfield as the outfield proved unable to cope with heavy rain in the morning.
At Cheltenham, Gloucestershire finally got underway against Leicestershire and bowled the visitors out for just 162. Ian Saxelby removed both openers to make it 13 for three, but Ramnaresh Sarwan fought back with 50 to ensure against a complete humiliation. However, he found little support from the rest of an inexperienced middle-order as Saxelby returned and ended with six for 48. They faced 18 overs in their second innings and closed on 40 for two.
Brendan Nash and Darren Stevens put on 200 for Kent’s fifth-wicket on the opening day of their match against Glamorgan at Canterbury. James Harris took all four of the wickets to fall and had reduced them to 110 for four, but he found almost no support from the other bowlers. Nash brought up his century from 158 balls, while Stevens needed only 125 balls to reach his and had overtaken the diminutive Australian-born West Indian left-hander by the time stumps were pulled with Kent on 310 for four.
Neil McKenzie was at his dogged best on the opening day of Hampshire’s match against Essex at Chelmsford. He brought up three figures from 210 balls and ended the day on 134 not out from 270 to lead Hampshire to 303 for six. They had lost captain Jimmy Adams early to Graham Napier (two for 49), but David Masters (two for 52) and Ryan ten Doeschate (two for 48) were the only other bowlers to find success as McKenzie shared a fifth-wicket stand of 110 with Sean Ervine, who made 55.
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Lancashire v Worcestershire at Old Trafford
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Surrey at Trent Bridge
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Somerset v Warwickshire at Taunton
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Durham at Arundel
Day Three, LV=CCD2, Derbyshire v Yorkshire at Chesterfield
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Essex v Hampshire at Chelmsford
Day Three, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Leicestershire at Cheltenham
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Kent v Glamorgan at Canterbury
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will begin overcast, but the cloud should gradually clear throughout the day to give most of the country some sunshine. There will be the occasional shower for the south-east and midlands, but temperatures will peak at around 18 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
Durham and England seamer Graham Onions has picked up a hamstring injury. It is expected to keep him out of action for at least a week.
Gloucestershire have been boosted by the news that overseas player Muttiah Muralitharan will be available for their Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Sussex.
Glamorgan coach Matthew Mott is no longer in the running for the job of head coach of New Zealand.
Somerset club captain Marcus Trescothick made 42 for the second XI on his comeback from ankle surgery.
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.