The rain finally relented to allow for more or less a full day’s cricket as the fifth round of the LV= County Championship got underway. There were notable for performances from Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen, Yorkshire wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow, and South Africa and Essex batsman Alviro Petersen, among others on the opening day.
Wickets tumbled at Edgbaston as Warwickshire, who look more and more like County Champions in waiting with every match, knocked over Durham for 163 on the opening day. Keith Barker continued to impress and ended with five for 33, while Chris Wright took four for 41. It could have been much worse for Durham had Graham Onions not top-scored with 36 from number ten and then taken three Warwickshire wickets with the ball. He caused the Bears to slip to 14 for four, before Ian Bell (59 not out) and Darren Maddy (35) affected a partial recovery and they closed on 116 for five.
Nottinghamshire’s batting folded for 169 on the first day at Old Trafford. Glen Chapple struck early with three wickets as the top three fell for just 16 runs, before Samit Patel made a much-needed 69 to shepherd the remainder of the fragile batting line-up to a total approaching respectability. Stuart Broad marked his return to county duty with a petulant golden duck and may yet find himself in trouble with the ECB after lingering at the crease following his dismissal as one of Simon Kerrigan’s four victims.
Lancashire’s day looked like being pretty much perfect as they entered the final over on 48 without loss, but, unfortunately, for them, Andre Adams trapped Paul Horton in front for 24 from what turned out to be the last ball of the day.
In Division Two, Yorkshire put the Shahzad saga behind them with a solid afternoon’s batting against Leicestershire at a chilly Scarborough. They had started badly, losing three wickets for five runs to leave them on 33 for three, but captain Andrew Gale shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 160 with Jonny Bairstow before falling for a well-compiled 80 from 133 balls. Bairstow ploughed on regardless and ended the day unbeaten on 141 from 213 balls, and added an unbroken 112 for the sixth wicket with Anthony McGrath (49 not out) to take the home side to stumps on 329 for five.
Derbyshire’s middle-order piled on the runs against Gloucestershire’s inexperienced attack on the first day at Derby, with captain Wayne Madsen leading the way with 101. They had lost opener Paul Borrington early on for a duck as one of James Fuller’s three victims, but Madsen shared a third-wicket stand of 100 with Wes Durston (68) to help rebuild the innings. He then added a further 115 with Dan Redfern (55) before falling soon afterwards, having notched up his 11th first-class century. Ross Whiteley (40) and Jonathan Clare (31 not out) both then both chipped in with late runs as the home side continued their promising start to the 2012 season, closing on 362 for nine.
Chris Wood took four for 52 to help bowl Northamptonshire out for 218 on the first day at Wantage Road. The home side had begun brightly, reaching 95 for one at one point thanks to handy knocks from Stephen Peters (44), Rob Newton (39 and Kyle Coetzer (41), but Peters’ dismissal was the first of many in relatively quick succession as the Steelbacks lost their last seven wickets for 66 runs. Sean Ervine helped Wood in his endeavours on the way to figures of three for 32, while David Griffiths also picked up a brace of cheap wickets.
Hampshire’s top-order struggled slightly in reply as Andrew Hall took two for nine, and they closed on 42 for three from 17 overs, with Liam Dawson (14) and Simon Katich (4) unbeaten.
Essex declared on 259 for nine in their first innings on day one at Cardiff. Alviro Petersen hit 145 against his former county and added a potentially decisive 181 with Mark Pettini (56) for the fifth wicket after the visitors had slipped to 65 for four. Graham Wagg (four for 61) and Huw Waters (three for 33) then returned to polish off most of the lower order before the surprise declaration from James Foster. This left Glamorgan three overs to survive before the close, which they did, ending on one without loss.
Twenty-one wickets fell on the second day of the MCC universities match between Sussex and Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Weetwood Playing Fields. The students were bowled out for 164 in their first innings after starting the day on 111 for five as Kirk Wernars ended with four for 28. They then closed on 102 for six in their second innings – this time it was Lewis Hatchett doing the bulk of the damage with three for 16.
In between times, an inexperienced Sussex side were rolled over for just 58 as Unicorns all-rounder Luis Reece ended with the astonishing figures of seven for 21 from 10.3 overs. Hatchett top-scored from number 10 with 18, and was one of only three visiting batsmen to reach double figures. The middle-order of Ben Brown, Matt Machan, Wernars and Andrew Hodd all fell to Reece for ducks.
Scott Newman and Alex Blake both fell just short of centuries on the opening day of Kent’s match against Oxford MCCU. Two early wickets from Dan Conway had caused the visitors to slip to 41 for three, before Newman and Blake added 117 for the fourth wicket in good time. Sam Agarwal then dispatched Newman for 89 as his first of four wickets as Kent declared on 251 for eight in the 70th over.
Adam Ball picked up a brace of wickets with the new ball in the Oxford reply, but skipper Ben Williams and Charlie Walker stood firm to take the students to stumps on 50 for two.
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