Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan and Kent all enjoyed good days as the 15th round of the LV= County Championship continued around the country today.
Bottom side Derbyshire had the better of the second day against title contenders Middlesex. They first prolonged their first innings to 385 before reducing Middlesex to 197 for six by stumps. Wayne Madsen ended the home side’s innings with 138, while Tim Groenewald hit 49 from only 48 balls from number ten. Matt Higginbottom then struck thrice in the visitors’ reply, with Adam Voges’ 69 the top score as they lost regular wickets.
A mammoth unbroken fourth-wicket stand between two Warwickshire young guns gave the defending champions hope on what looked like being a disappointing day two against Somerset. The Bears slumped to 38 for three in the morning as George Dockrell and Peter Trego shared the wickets, but Ateeq Javid and Laurie Evans put on 245 to take them to stumps on 283 for three - a deficit of just 57 runs. It was Evans’ third first-class ton and the first of Javid’s increasingly promising career.
Adam Lyth fell narrowly short of three figures as Division One leaders Yorkshire reached stumps on day one against Nottinghamshire on 327 for eight. Lyth made 95 and helped Yorkshire weather the storm from Luke Fletcher (5-66) and Harry Gurney (3-60) who took all of the eight wickets to fall between them. Lyth found good support from Adil Rashid and the pair put on 65 for the fifth-wicket with Rashid eventually going on to make 78. Liam Plunkett then chipped in with a useful 41.
Division Two promotion hopefuls Northamptonshire are in complete control at the halfway point of their match against Essex. Andrew Hall and Steven Crook both made 63 as the visitors were finally dismissed for 531 at Colchester. Crook and Hall added 101 for the seventh-wicket after Rob Keogh had departed for 38. Essex then slipped to 187 for five by the close as Trent Copeland and Crook each picked up a brace of wickets. It could have been worse for the hosts but for a late unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 84 between Ryan ten Doeschate (47 not out) and James Foster (39 not out).
Michael Hogan took five for 43 as Leicestershire were bowled out for 203 by Glamorgan on the opening day at Swansea. Opener Greg Smith top-scored with 40 and helped the Foxes reach 100 for two at one stage. However, Dean Cosker and Andrew Salter supported Hogan well with two wickets each and they lost their last eight wickets for 103 runs. Ollie Freckingham and Alex Wyatt, though, gave Leicestershire hope by combining to reduce Glamorgan to 36 for three at the close in their reply.
A century from Ben Harmison and an unbeaten 98 from Darren Stevens helped Kent enjoy the better of the first day against Gloucestershire. Following a poor start that saw them slip to 20 for two and 46 for three, Harmison and Rob Key began the home side’s recovery with a stand worth 67. Key was caught behind off Benny Howell for 53 to make it 113 for four, but Stevens and Harmison went on to add a further 133. The latter finally fell but not before completing the fifth century of his first-class career. Kent ended on 334 for six.
day three, LV=CCD1, Derbyshire v Middlesex at Derby
day one, LV=CCD1, Durham v Surrey at Chester-le-Street
Both sides need wins but for totally different reasons. Durham have an outside chance at winning the title but will have to do so without a clutch of players. Graham Onions (broken finger) and Calum Thorp (hamstring) are both injured, while Ben Stokes is on England Lions duty. Ryan Buckley is also not included. Into the 12-man squad come Jamie Harrison, Usman Arshad and Gareth Breese.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Will Smith, Paul Collingwood (captain), Michael Richardson, Phil Mustard, Mark Wood, Gareth Breese, Jamie Harrison, Chris Rushworth, Usman Arshad.
Surrey, meanwhile, are firmly ensconced in the relegation battle, but are boosted by the arrival of new overseas player Hashim Amla. Also included in the Championship squad for the first time is Tom Curran.
Surrey squad: Hashim Amla, Arun Harinath, Rory Burns, Vikram Solanki, Gary Wilson, Zander de Bruyn, Steven Davies, Gareth Batty (captain), Jon Lewis, Tim Linley, Jade Dernbach, Zafar Ansari, Tom Curran.
day two, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge
day three, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Somerset at Edgbaston
day three, LV=CCD2, Essex v Northamptonshire at Colchester
day two, LV=CCD1, Glamorgan v Leicestershire at Swansea
day two, LV=CCD2, Kent v Gloucestershire at Canterbury
day one, LV=CCD2, Worcestershire v Lancashire at New Road
The home side host leaders Lancashire but simply must win if they are to keep any vague hopes of challenging for promotion alive. The visitors will pick from a 13-man squad that includes Arron Lilley as the lead spinner owing to the absences of Simon Kerrigan and the injured Stephen Parry. Steven Croft is not included.
Lancashire squad: Luis Reece, Paul Horton, Ashwell Prince, Simon Katich, Andrea Agathangelou, Tom Smith, Gareth Cross, Wayne White, Glen Chapple (captain), Kyle Hogg, Arron Lilley, Oliver Newby, Luke Procter.
Weather Forecast: It will be another mostly dry day tomorrow with any showers this time confined largely to the east where it will be mostly overcast. The west will see the best of the sunshine with temperatures there peaking at around 23 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Warwickshire have reportedly made 28-day approaches for out-of-contract Somerset duo Jos Buttler and Nick Compton. The club, however, are confident that they are close to agreeing new terms with Compton according to ESPNcricinfo.
Geoff Cook has will return to Durham first-team coaching duties tomorrow for the first time since suffering a heart-attack earlier this year. Cook will work alongside interim coach Jon Lewis.
Former Glamorgan coach Matthew Maynard has ruled himself out of returning as head coach following Matthew Mott’s departure at the end of the season in an interview with Wales Online. Meanwhile, the club are in discussion about a contract extension with fast-bowler Michael Hogan beyond the end of the 2014 season.
Brad Taylor, the 16 year-old who became the youngest Hampshire cricketer to play a first-team match since 1867 by taking on Lancashire yesterday, has said that he almost crumbled under the pressure. He told BBC Radio Solent, “While fielding I didn’t want the ball to come to me I was that nervous. It shouldn’t be like that.” Taylor actually enjoyed a good debut, taking two wickets on a flat pitch.
Lancashire have confirmed the signing of recently-retired Zimbabwe fast-bowler Kyle Jarvis on a three-year contract as a Kolpak player.
Yorkshire have said that Azeem Rafiq and Joe Sayers will each be out for about a week after picking up injuries. Sayers has pain in his Achilles tendons, while Rafiq has split the webbing on his right hand.
The PCA are to conduct ‘hair-testing’ on all county cricketers over the next month as they aim to help those players struggling with recreational drug use. Any player who tests positive will receive help from the ECB’s Chief Medical Officer Nick Peirce and will be dealt with confidentially. The move follows the death of Tom Maynard last year, which was attributed partly to recreational drug use.
© Cricket World 2013