County Cricket Round-Up - 25th April
Title challengers Warwickshire were put to the sword at Taunton, while there were runs elsewhere for James Taylor, Luke Wells and Moeen Ali. Durham edged ahead of what could prove a clash between the relegation candidates come September at Chester-le-Street, while Northamptonshire continued their strong run with another tail-end wag at Bristol.
Nottinghamshire responded strongly to Derbyshire’s 256 and closed on 325 for five at the County Ground. Openers Ed Cowan and Alex Hales took their stand to 95 as both passed 50. Michael Lumb made 44 and Samit Patel 48, but it was James Taylor who anchored the innings during the second half of the day. He ended on 67 off 183 balls, having shared 89 with Patel for the fourth-wicket.
Sussex had the better of the second day at The Oval. Chris Jordan took the last three Surrey first innings to fall for the addition of only 50 runs in the morning to end with figures of five for 92 against his former county. Luke Wells then completed a sixth first-class century as Sussex ended on 204 for two. Chris Nash (12) and Michael Yardy (23) supported Wells early on, with the latter adding 78 with him for the second-wicket. However, it was his unbroken third-wicket partnership with skipper Ed Joyce that took the game away from the home side. The pair put on 104, with Joyce ending on 51 and Wells on 108.
Durham edged ahead at Chester-le-Street. Graham Onions ended with five for 63 as Yorkshire were all out for 177 to give the hosts a handy 60-run lead. Joe Root top-scored with 49, while there were contributions of 25 from Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett. Besides Onions, Ben Stokes again chipped in with the ball, taking three for 26 off less than 10 overs.
Excellence from Warwickshire’s opening bowlers couldn’t prevent Somerset from ending day one at Taunton with the upper hand. Chris Wright and Chris Woakes each struck twice and were comfortably the best of the Bears attack. Somerset, though, began well by winning the toss and openers Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton adding 103 in good time. Two more wickets followed their departures to make it 143 for four, but Alviro Petersen and Jos Buttler added a mammoth 193 for the fifth-wicket. Petersen took his average for Somerset to over 130 in making 136, while Buttler ended on 90 not out.
In Division Two, Northamptonshire rammed home their advantage in Bristol. Contributions from most of their batsmen allowed them to post 404 and earn a 212-run first innings lead. Alex Wakely top-scored with 88, but it was again the lower-order that established the likely match-winning advantage. Three strikes from Will Gidman (four for 109) reduced the visitors to 283 for eight and it looked as though Gloucestershire might limit the lead to manageable proportions. However, the last two wickets added 121 runs. James Middlebrook (62) and Steven Crook (53) added 75 for the ninth-wicket, with Crook then sharing a further 46 with Trent Copeland (27). Gloucestershire lost Michael Klinger early in their second innings and reached stumps still 178 runs adrift on 34 for one.
James Tomlinson and David Balcombe each ended with a brace of wickets as Worcestershire wobbled to 159 for five in reply to Hampshire’s 500 for nine declared. Moeen Ali was responsible for over a third of the visitors’ runs with 55, but he was fifth man out late on to leave them trailing by 341 runs. Jimmy Adams had earlier ended not out on 219 as Hampshire completed their full haul of batting bonus points in the morning. He added 96 with Chris Wood (41) for the seventh-wicket and 45 with Danny Briggs (25) for the ninth-wicket.
Lancashire faced 34 overs in their first innings and crawled to 43 for two on a slow-moving and shortened second day against Kent. Paul Horton made 15 off 92 balls, while Karl Brown ended unbeaten on 11 off 63. James Anderson had earlier helped himself to a couple of wickets and wrapped up Kent’s first innings at 244 to end with four for 57.
Left-arm seamer Gurjit Sandhu took four for 49 as Cambridge MCCU were bowled out for 157 by Middlesex. Wicket-keeper Dean Bell top-scored for the students with 47 and shared 58 for the fifth-wicket with Tom Elliott (26). There were two wickets apiece for James Harris and Ollie Rayner. Middlesex had earlier declared on their overnight 438 for four and then reached stumps second time around on 132 for three to lead by 413 runs. Adam Rossington followed up his lightning-quick first day century by closing day two on 57 not out after Middlesex had found themselves 38 for three following a James Cowan double-strike.
Leicestershire were again made to work hard by Leeds/Bradford MCCU and closed on 10 for none after being set 238 for victory. They had earlier been unable to prolong their first innings past 181 as James Lee ended with five for 43. Lancashire and Unicorns all-rounder Luis Reece then hit the maiden century of his career and led the students to 253 in their second innings. Only three other batsmen passed 50 as the Leicestershire spin pair of Jigar Naik and Claude Henderson ended with combined figures of eight for 110. All eyes will be on Leeds/Bradford spinner Alexander MacQueen tomorrow.
day three, LV=CCD1, Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire at Derby
day three, LV=CCD1, Durham v Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street
day two, LV=CCD1, Somerset v Warwickshire at Taunton
day three, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Sussex at The Oval
day three, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire at Bristol
day three, LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Worcestershire at Southampton
day three, LV=CCD2, Lancashire v Kent at Old Trafford
day three, MCCU match, Cambridge MCCU v Middlesex at Fenner’s
day three, MCCU match, Leicestershire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Grace Road
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will be noticeably cooler with highs of between nine and 14 degrees Celsius. However, it should remain mostly dry, with only occasional showers mostly in the east.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Kent CCC are likely to sign an agreement with a sponsor which will see their St Lawrence ground renamed. Chief executive Jamie Clifford said, “It is the club’s intention to enter into an arrangement for the naming right for the ground. It’s important to say, it’s a brand with which the club feel particularly comfortable and it’s a long-term arrangement, so we’ll not be changing the name of the ground every five minutes. Also within the ground name, St Lawrence will still feature."
Warwickshire CCC have signed their third new sponsor of the year. The name of locally-based Scrivens opticians will appear on the club’s Championship shirts.
Leicestershire CCC have appointed three new non-executive advisers to their board. Three businessmen - Mike Kapur, John Day and Andrew Boyce - will “assist the board with its strategic aims during a very important phase of the club’s development” according to chief executive Mike Siddall.
Northamptonshire are considering bringing in Mitchell Johnson as their second overseas player for the Friends Life t20 according to chief executive David Smith. Johnson was not selected in Australia’s Ashes squad and is apparently keen on securing a Twenty20 county contract.
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