Warwickshire recorded the first win of what they hope will be a successful title defence, while Glamorgan made history in Cardiff as the second round of matches in the LV= County Championship drew to a close in the English spring sunshine.
Durham didn’t make Warwickshire work hard for their win on the final day at Edgbaston. Resuming on 11 for one after being set an unlikely 413 for victory, they were bowled out for just 94 by what must rank as the best bowling attack in county cricket. Chris Wright was the man who did the bulk of the damage on this occasion, but it is so often any of Chris Woakes, Jeetan Patel or Keith Barker, all of whom joined in the wicket-taking melee. Wright quickly had Durham’s top four all back in the pavilion with only 23 on the board and then returned to have Scott Borthwick and Callum Thorp caught behind to end with figures of six for 31 from 16 overs. Phil Mustard top-scored for Durham with a dogged 28 off 119 balls.
For a while, Surrey might have fancied their chances of pinching a win on the final day at The Oval. Stuart Meaker struck twice and Gareth Batty and Zander de Bruyn once each to reduce Somerset to 82 for four in their second innings - a lead of only 100 runs. However, Alviro Petersen and Jos Buttler added 109 for the fifth-wicket and by the time Petersen fell nine short of twin centuries on Somerset debut, the game was as good as over. It meandered on to allow Buttler to reach three figures but he disappointed, giving Gary Keedy his first wicket in Surrey Championship colours when on 94.
In Division Two, a promising final day in Cardiff turned into a damp squib, only this time it wasn’t the Welsh weather to blame. Worcestershire collapsed in their second innings from 195 for five to be all out for just 207 and so set Glamorgan just 36 to win. Ben Wright and Will Bragg duly knocked off the runs as history was made. It is the first time in 42 years that Glamorgan have beaten Worcestershire in a County Championship match in Cardiff. Jim Allenby completed a satisfying match all-round by dismissing three of the Pears batsmen to fall today, while Michael Hogan had key man Thilan Samaraweera caught and bowled for 79 to start the collapse of five for 12.
The match at Grace Road between Kent and Leicestershire petered out, as expected, into a tame draw. Leicestershire’s first innings was finally brought to a close at 495, giving them a lead of 89 runs. They knew that early wickets were vital if they were going to force a positive result, but Sam Northeast and Rob Key ensured against that and added 74 for the first-wicket. Northeast was caught behind off century-maker Shiv Thakor for 32, but Key and Brendan Nash took Kent to safety. Nash made 63 of a second-wicket partnership of 124, with the game called off not long after his departure and straight after Rob Key had completed his century.
Upcoming county fixtures: (all matches start on 24th April)
LV=CCD1, Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire at Derby
LV=CCD1, Durham v Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street
LV=CCD1, Surrey v Sussex at The Oval
LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire at Bristol
LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Worcestershire at Southampton
LV=CCD2, Lancashire v Kent at Old Trafford
MCCU match, Cambridge MCCU v Middlesex at Fenner’s
MCCU match, Leicestershire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Grace Road
© Cricket World 2013
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