Leeds/Bradford MCCU almost pulled off a remarkable victory in their maiden first-class match at The Oval, while Middlesex, Essex and Somerset drew their matches against the universities. Meanwhile, Glamorgan wrapped up a comfortable win at The Parks as the first batch of 2012’s county matches drew to a close. Full reports below.
OXFORD MCCU began well in pursuit of an unlikely 391 to win against GLAMORGAN, with openers Sam Agarwal and Benjamin Stebbings adding 70 for the first wicket. However, it was downhill from then on as Moises Henriques (three for 34) and Dean Cosker (four for 22) took seven wickets between them and the students lost all ten wickets for just 67 to be bowled out for 137 and lose by 253 runs.
Earlier, Glamorgan had batted on from their overnight 105 for one and finally declared on 167 for two, with Nick James the man dismissed to Dan Conway for 83. Stewart Walters was unbeaten on 59, with Ben Wright on 11.
A last-wicket partnership of 27 between Derbyshire seamer Matt Higginbottom (12) and Ivan Thomas (10) almost helped LEEDS/BRADFORD MCCU to a spectacular win over SURREY on the final day at The Oval.
Home captain Rory-Hamilton-Brown had sportingly declared his side’s second innings closed on their overnight score of 134 for five to leave the students needing 315 for an unlikely victory. A third-wicket stand of 91 between Harry Bush (41) and Joe Leach gave them hope, before Yorkshire wicket-keeper Dan Hodgson top-scored with 64 to leave them handily placed on 268 for five at one stage. Unfortunately, nerves and Tim Linley got the better of them, as the dependable seamer ended with figures of five for 45 – including the final wicket to fall – to give Surrey a tense two-run win.
SOMERSET batted on to 642 for three before declaring their first innings closed at Taunton Vale as James Hildreth went on to make 268 prior to becoming Glamorgan seamer Andrew Salter’s third victim. CARDIFF MCCU ended up facing 55 overs in their second innings before stumps were pulled and they ended on 126 for five, with Max Waller taking three for 33 and George Dockrell one for 20 from 20 overs.
DURHAM MCCU made up for their woeful first innings batting performance by batting out the day to earn a draw at Merchant Taylor’s School.
MIDDLESEX skipper Neil Dexter had declared his side’s second innings on their overnight 141 for two to leave the northerners needing a theoretical 386 for victory. They justly made no attempt at the target as all the batsman passed 25, with Rishabh Shah the stand-out with an doughty unbeaten 56 from 204 balls.
ESSEX opted for batting practice in their second innings rather than trying too hard to force a result against CAMBRIDGE MCCU as they added considerably to their close of play 113 for three thanks to half-centuries from Adam Wheater (71), Tim Phillips (73 not out) and David Masters (52).
Masters and Graham Napier caused some brief excitement as Cambridge set of in pursuit of a hypothetical 622 by dismissing both openers early on; but Craig Park (71 not out from 95 balls) and Akbar Ansari (48 not out from 84) played fluently to add 110 for the third wicket before hands were shook.
On the second day at Trent Bridge, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE bowled LOUGHBORUGH MCCU out for 148, with Luke Fletcher ending with the impressive figures of four for 21 and Nitesh Patel top-scoring with 46 for the visitors.
The home side re-jigged their batting line-up in their second innings, and James Taylor made up for his earlier golden duck by closing the day on an assured 61 from 89 balls. Alex Hales (48 from 42 balls), Michael Lumb (44) and Chris Read (14 not out) all enjoyed time in the middle as Nottinghamshire closed 563 runs ahead.
Day Three, Nottinghamshire v Loughborough MCCU at Trent Bridge
County News In Brief:
GLOUCESTERSHIRE have reached an agreement with former batsman Chris Taylor after the 35 year-old had threatened to take his former employers to a tribunal over the manner of his release. Taylor is now fielding coach at Somerset, a role he has already fulfilled for the ECB.
GLAMORGAN have lost their battle to sign Mitchell Johnson for the Friends Life t20 after the left-armer signed with DURHAM. Meanwhile, SUSSEX have signed his fellow countryman Steve Magoffin for the first half of the season. More details
Chris Woakes will be out of action for up to eight weeks after suffering an ankle injury during WARWICKSHIRE’s pre-season trip to Barbados.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE have agreed a three-year deal with Red Rock Partnership, a nationwide recruitment firm. The company will appear on the club's Friends Life t20 shirts.
© Cricket World 2012