There was a win for Gloucestershire over Derbyshire as the ninth round of matches in the LV= County Championship began to draw to a close today. Elsewhere Glamorgan drew against Leicestershire and Nick Compton finally passed 1000 first-class runs for the season, albeit a day late, at New Road.
Middlesex piled up 491 in their first innings against Sussex at Lord’s as five of their batsmen passed 50. Chris Rogers was first to go this morning, adding five to his overnight 93 before being trapped in front by Luke Wright, while Eoin Morgan followed 10 overs later for 71. The lower-order all made sizeable contributions, with John Simpson making 34 and Gareth Berg 45, before Ollie Rayner frustrated his old county with an innings of 69 from number eight. And Middlesex were not finished yet as Toby Roland-Jones made a vibrant 52 – his maiden first-class half-century – before he was last man out to give Chris Nash his third wicket. Sussex then faced 9.1 overs in their second innings before the close and lost Ed Joyce for eight to end on 34 for one.
Nick Compton brought up 1000 first-class runs for the season, less than 24 hours too late to achieve county cricket’s most famous milestone of doing so before the end of May, as he made 108 to take Somerset to 277 for seven by the close of the third day at New Road. The right-hander shared 75 for the third wicket with James Hildreth (52), and 167 for the fifth with Jos Buttler (85) as Worcestershire’s bowlers, Jack Shantry apart, struggled to find a way through the visitors’ middle-order.
Lancashire closed the penultimate day at Chester-le-Street on 56 for one, needing 144 more to beat Durham, after the home side had been bowled out for 267 in their second innings. Will Smith and Mark Stoneman put on 53 for the first wicket, before the former fell for 22 as the first in a mini-collapse of four for 18. Ben Stokes and Paul Collingwood then came to the home side’s rescue and put on 132 for the fifth wicket prior to the former England captain’s dismissal for 50. Stokes, though, remained and was ninth man out for 121, having brought up his sixth first-class century from 148 balls.
In Division Two, Gloucestershire achieved the expected victory over Derbyshire on the third day at Bristol as they chased down their target of 85 with seven wickets to spare, overcoming the early loss of Jonathan Batty for a duck. David Payne had earlier helped wrap up the Gloucestershire second innings for 283, and ended with figures of four for 89, with Jonathan Clare (43 not out) the only man to provide any resistance this morning.
Unicorns batsmen Michael Thornely finally provided Leicestershire with some stability at the top of their batting order as he followed up his first innings knock of 97 with an epic 131 at Cardiff. The 24 year-old brought up his century from 236 balls and shared a second-wicket stand of 245 with wicket-keeper Ned Eckersley, who made a career-best 137 not out, as Leicestershire ended on 316 for two declared to comfortably draw their match against Glamorgan. The home side tried ten bowlers in their efforts at a breakthrough, but Jim Allenby was the only one to take a wicket in the 79 overs that were bowled.
Yorkshire were finally dismissed for 416 in their first innings against Northamptonshire at Headingley. Joe Root reached three figures for only the third time in his career, before being first man out for 125, with Jonny Bairstow next to go for 68. The rest of the home side’s batsmen chipped in, with Anthony McGrath’s 47 the highest individual contribution. For Northamptonshire, who closed on 43 for one in their second innings, Lee Daggett was the most successful bowler, ending with four for 109.
Kent trounced Warwickshire in a rain-affected match in the Clydesdale Bank 40. The Group C clash at Canterbury was shortened to 26 overs aside after rain in the Bears' innings had prevented their batsmen sliding into total oblivion. Mark Davies had taken three wickets to help reduce them to nine for four, before Rikki Clarke led a partial recovery with a 56-ball 39, but James Tredwell took two wickets and they found themselves on 94 for seven when the rain came.
Sam Billings played the leading role in the Kent reply, hitting 58 not out from just 54 balls, to take the home side to their slightly adjusted Duckworth Lewis target of 96 with all ten wickets and nearly ten overs to spare.
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Durham v Lancashire at Chester-le-Street
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Surrey at Lord’s
Day Four, LV=CCD1, Worcestershire v Somerset at New Road
Day Four, LV=CCD2, Yorkshire v Northamptonshire at Headingley
Group B, CB40, Glamorgan v Surrey at Cardiff
Martin van Jaarsveld and John Glover are both in line for their first limited-overs appearances of the season and have been named in a 13-man squad. Chris Cooke, Simon Jones and Will Own are also among those included. Surrey welcome Murali Kartik into their squad as he replaces Jacques Rudolph as the Lions’ overseas player. His fellow slow left-armer Zafar Ansari is unavailable because of commitments at Cambridge University. Fast bowler Chris Tremlett is still unavailable for selection, but did make his comeback from injury for the county’s second eleven today.
Day One, Tour Match, Leicestershire v West Indians at Grace Road
The match raises the tantalising possibility of Ramnaresh Sarwan skippering Leicestershire against his countrymen, while the tourists will be giving chances to the likes of Assad Fudadin, Narsingh Deonarine, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards and Sunil Narine ahead of the third Test.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow should be mostly dry, with occasional sunny spells and highs of between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius. A band of rain will begin to make its way in from the south-west in the latter part of afternoon with the final half of Surrey’s CB40 game at Cardiff likely to be affected.
County News In Brief:
Sussex are close to confirming the identity of their second overseas player for this year’s Friends Life t20 competition. Australian fast-bowler Doug Bollinger is one of the names doing the rounds.
Warwickshire director of cricket Ashley Giles has said that the club are “making progress” in their efforts to renew the contract of in-demand all-rounder Keith Barker.
© Cricket World 2012