We round-up the action from another day on the county circuit, where title challengers Somerset and Warwickshire were again made to work hard; while in Division Two, promotion challengers Kent and Derbyshire played out an intriguing first day at Derby.
Lancashire ended the day with an unexpected first innings lead after bowling Somerset out for just 149 at Aigburth. Glen Chapple had removed both openers with just four runs on the board and returned to take the final wicket to end with three for 38. In between times, Simon Kerrigan took three for 47, including the key wickets of Nick Compton (22) and Craig Kieswetter (16), while Kyle Hogg and Ajmal Shahzad chipped in with two apiece. Earlier, Alfonso Thomas had ended with four for 63 to help bowl the home side out for 185.
Ed Joyce hit a century and took his side to stumps on 325 for seven on day two against Worcestershire. Alan Richardson had helped peg them back to 126 for four at one stage, but Joyce shared a crucial stand of 123 for the fifth-wicket with Luke Wright, who made 78 off 132 balls. Both fell before the close, but Sussex end the day in a strong position, already 163 runs ahead on first innings.
Ian Westwood and Jim Troughton both ended with undefeated half-centuries to help Warwickshire respond strongly to Middlesex’s first innings total of 402 at Uxbridge. They had been frustrated by the home side’s last-wicket pair of Steven Crook and Tim Murtagh, who had added 72 for the tenth wicket, and then lost two early wickets to Murtagh, before hitting back through Westwood and Troughton to close on 178 for two.
In Division Two, Glamorgan bounced back against Gloucestershire at Swansea. Beginning on 64 for six, the home side got up to 208 thanks to a last-wicket partnership of 83 between Dean Cosker (49 not out) and Huw Waters (39). They then reduced Gloucestershire to 91 for seven by the close as Jim Allenby took three wickets and Robert Croft took two.
Less than 58 overs were bowled on day two at Wantage Road, with Northamptonshire closing on 175 for three in reply to Yorkshire’s first day total of 249. Kyle Coetzer and Stephen Peters added 66 for the first wicket, before three wickets fell for 40 runs – including one to Adil Rashid, who caused more problems and bowled more accurately than he has in the recent past – but he was joined by Rob Newton and the pair had added an unbroken 69 for the fourth-wicket by the time rain forced an early close.
Essex’s young openers, Tom Westley and Jaik Mickleburgh, both reached centuries, while Mark Pettini and Ryan ten Doeschate ended with undefeated half-centuries to allow their side to declare on 434 for three against Leicestershire. David Masters then took two wickets in the visitors’ first innings as they closed in the perilous position of 32 for two.
Kent ended the opening day against Derbyshire on 238 for eight after being put in to bat by the home side’s captain Wayne Madsen. They lost a cluster of wickets in the middle of their innings – three of them to Tim Groenewald – to undo the good work of Sam Northeast, who made 52, before Matt Coles effected a partial recovery and ended unbeaten on 51.
Wickets continued to fall at Chester-le-Street, but it was Australia A who ended the second day in the ascendancy by reaching 56 without loss in their pursuit of 224 to win in the fourth innings. They had begun the day on 111 for six in their first and managed to get up to 159 thanks to an eighth-wicket stand of 41 between Mitchell Starc and Tim Paine. Durham then slipped to 38 for four in their second innings, but Ian Blackwell rescued them with a typically aggressive half-century and they were eventually bowled out for 185.
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Lancashire v Somerset at Aigburth
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Warwickshire at Uxbridge
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Worcestershire at Hove
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Derbyshire v Kent at Derby
Day Three, LV=CCD2, Essex v Leicestershire at Chelmsford
Day Three, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Gloucestershire at Swansea
Day Three, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Yorkshire at Wantage Road
Day Three, Tour Match, Durham v Australia A at Chester-le-Street
Weather Forecast: Sunshine and showers is once again the order of the day for tomorrow. The worst of the rain will be in Wales in the afternoon, while the best of the brightness will be in the east and will push temperatures up to around 22 degrees Celsius.
County News In Brief:
Worcestershire have fought off the interest of Derbyshire and have signed seamer Richard Jones on a new two-year contract.
Durham and former England seamer Liam Plunkett has been charged with a drink driving offence. He was arrested on Saturday night and will appear before magistrates later this month.
© Cricket World 2012
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