Rain was the ultimate victor as most matches in the third round of the LV= County Championship ended in a draw. However, there was time for Warwickshire to hold their nerve to wrap up victory over Lancashire and for Hampshire to win a thriller at Cardiff.
Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell was left thanking the rain after his side escaped with a draw against Somerset at Trent Bridge. In a performance from his team which he branded “hopeless” after the match, Newell was happy to concede that his side had only emerged with some points from the match courtesy of the inclement Midlands weather. They had resumed on 47 without loss, but slipped to 109 for four, before James Taylor (38 not out) and Chris Read (33 not out) survived until the close.
Lancashire were condemned to their second successive defeat as Warwickshire just about held their nerves to chase down 70 in the fourth innings. Simon Kerrigan and Gary Keedy almost pulled off the unexpected for the defending champions by taking five wickets to reduce the Bears to 52 for five, but William Porterfield (22 not out) and Tim Ambrose (11 not out) saw them home.
Keith Barker and Jeetan Patel had earlier helped dismiss the home side for 148 in their second innings after they had started the day on 44 for four. Ashwell Prince was the only Lancashire batsman to prosper with 51 as Barker and Patel bowled unchanged, and with much success, for most of the innings.
Durham clung on for a draw against Middlesex at Lord’s as they closed on 82 for six. They must have fancied their chances of chasing down the 130 they needed to win at the start of the fourth innings, but Steven Finn was quite superb in taking four for 43 and decimating the middle-order. Middlesex had earlier fallen victim to the seam of Mitchell Claydon (two for 51), Ben Stokes (two for 22) and Graham Onions (four for 28) as they were bowled out for 179 in their second innings – John Simpson top-scoring with 47.
Rain prevented a tight finish at The Oval as Worcestershire closed on 94 for one in pursuit of 246 to win against Surrey. The heavens opened for the umpteenth time in the match with around a session to go leaving Michael Klinger unbeaten on 69 from 95 balls. Surrey’s lower order had earlier prolonged their second innings to 224 as Stuart Meaker (19), Jon Lewis (24 not out) and Jade Dernbach (22) all chipped in. Alan Richardson took his tenth wicket in the match for the Pears.
In Division Two, Derbyshire’s match against Leicestershire petered out into a draw at Derby, as the home side, in pursuit of 314 to win, closed on 91 without loss with Martin Guptill unbeaten on 67. Leicestershire had earlier declared their second innings on 169 for four as Matthew Boyce took his overnight 43 onto 65 before falling to David Wainwright.
Gloucestershire’s match at Canterbury was also drawn as the home side reached 94 for two after being set an improbable 363 for victory after the visitors had declared on 257 for seven. Hamish Marshall and Alex Gidman took their overnight scores to 74 and 70 respectively, while Matt Coles again impressed for Kent; ending with three for 55.
Hampshire recorded a thrilling penultimate ball two-wicket win over a despondent Glamorgan at Cardiff, as resuming on 112 for four after losing most of the day to rain, they reached their target of 204 off the fifth ball of the 46th over. Sean Ervine anchored the chase with 75, while Chris Wood (24) and Hamza Riazuddin (12 not out) held their nerve at the end. The defeat is Glamorgan’s third from three Championship matches.
Essex and Yorkshire settled for a draw on the final day at Headingley, with the visitors ending on 26 for two in pursuit of a hypothetical 262 to win as Ajmal Shahzad picked up a couple of cheap wickets. Yorkshire had earlier declared their second innings on 214 for four, with captain Andrew Gale adding much-needed impetus with a 52-ball unbeaten 48.
No play was possible on the third and final day of Durham MCCU’s match against Northamptonshire meaning that the match ended in a draw with the Steelbacks on five without loss in their second innings.
Stat of the day: Alan Richardson became the first Worcestershire bowler since Jack Flavell in 1966 to take 10 or more wickets in a first-class match against Surrey.
© Cricket World 2012