There were notable performances from Mark Stoneman, David Balcombe, Joe Sayers and Jim Allenby on the opening day of matches in round 19 of the LV= County Championship. By Daniel Grummitt.
Somerset, shorn of their talismanic captain Marcus Trescothick, endured a torrid time of it on the opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Hampshire. They were put into bat by the visiting captain Jimmy Adams and lost Arul Suppiah and Chris Jones early on, before a brief fightback from Alex Barrow (36) and James Hildreth (32). However, once Barrow fell, they suffered another clatter of wickets and slumped to 86 for seven before being hauled up to 204 by a sprightly 59 from Murali Kartik. To compound their woes, Adams and Michael Carberry then shared an unbroken stand of 123 for the second wicket when Hampshire batted to take them to stumps on 124 for one.
Durham got their Championship challenge back on track with an excellent day’s batting at Hove against Sussex. They closed on 360 for nine in their first innings after electing to bat, with Mark Stoneman hitting his third career century and Dale Benkenstein making 64. Wayne Parnell and James Anyon were the pick of the Sussex attack with three wickets each although both men conceded over 100 runs.
Yorkshire enjoyed a mixed opening day to their match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, reaching 254 for eight at stumps. They had been put into bat by Jim Troughton and progressed to 182 for one just prior to tea thanks to a second wicket stand of 134 between captain Joe Sayers (84) and the recalled Adam Lyth (74). However, Chris Metters took three wickets either side of the interval as the visitors’ middle-order subsided and they lost six wickets for 70 in the final session.
Sixteen wickets fell on the first day of Lancashire’s match against Worcestershire, with the Division One leaders reduced to 109 for eight at lunch after choosing to bat. Kyle Hogg made a 43-ball 46 from number ten to get them up to 161, but Gareth Andrew, who took three wickets in one over, and Kemar Roach were the star performers for the home side. The visitors hit back when it was their turn to bowl, however, and reduced the Pears to 119 for six at one stage prior to an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 80 between Ben Scott (45) and James Cameron (87) that took them to 209 for six at stumps.
Glamorgan put their miserable defeat to the Unicorns behind them and batted all day against Gloucestershire to reach 300 for eight by the close of play at Bristol. They lost Gareth Rees early on for a duck, but Will Bragg (60) and Nick James (40) took them to lunch without further alarm and Jim Allenby made 78 after the break as the Dragons enjoyed the better of a closely contested first day.
Essex were dismissed for 144 on the opening day of their match against Kent as the on-loan David Balcombe returned figures of six for 51 for the home side. Captain James Foster top-scored with just 38 for the visitors as they appeared to wave goodbye to any hopes of promotion that they had going into this match. Joe Denly made 55 in the Kent reply before falling to the ever reliable David Masters (three for 50), but by stumps Kent already had a 16-run lead as they closed on 160 for five.
It was the turn of Leicestershire’s batsmen to suffer on the second day at Lord’s as they were bowled out for just 193 in reply to Middlesex’s mammoth 496 for two declared. Matt Boyce was the highest scoring Foxes batsmen with a pugnacious 48, but Steven Crook and Tim Murtagh shared seven wickets to earn the home side a 303-run first innings lead. Earlier, Andrew Strauss had completed his maiden double-hundred before captain Chris Rogers declared as the visitors embarrassingly failed to pick up a bowling bonus point.
Surrey were dismissed for 269 just prior to the close on an evenly matched opening day against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. Steve Davies continued his good recent form with 81 and Zander de Bruyn added 58 as Surrey progressed to 211 for four at one stage. However, Chaminda Vaas (four for 57) and James Middlebrook (two for 27) cleaned up the tail and took their last six wickets for 58 runs. The home side faced five overs prior to stumps and closed on four without loss.
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Somerset v Hampshire at Taunton
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Durham at Hove
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Yorkshire at Edgbaston
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Worcestershire v Lancashire at New Road
Day Three, LV=CCD2, Middlesex v Leicestershire at Lord’s
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Glamorgan at Bristol
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Kent v Essex at Canterbury
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Surrey at Wantage Road
County News in Brief
Warwickshire are increasingly hopeful that Rikki Clarke will take up their offer of a two-year contract despite being offered a three-year one by Sussex.
Middlesex have confirmed that Sam Robson, who was struck above the eye while batting yesterday, has suffered no serious injury and should be fit to play in their next match.
In other injury news, Marcus Trescothick looks likely to be out for the rest of the season with tendon damage in his ankle, although Somerset are hopeful that he may be fit for their final match of the season.
Luke Wright is to undergo knee surgery in Sweden and will be out of action until the New Year.
© Cricket World 2011