For the most part, the counties had the better of the students on the opening day of the 2013 county season. Only at Headingley, were the professionals posed serious problems; however, even they ended on top thanks to a lower-order rally.
Ironically, it was former Yorkshire seam-bowler Jamie Lee who posed the problems, as he caused his old side to slip embarrassingly to 65 for seven after being asked to bat. Fortunately, Gary Ballance was on hand to stave off humiliation, hitting a mature century and adding 156 for the eighth-wicket with a dogged Ryan Sidebottom (40). Yorkshire were eventually all out for 244 with Lee wrapping things up to end with seven for 45 from 14.1 overs. Leeds/Bradford MCCU then closed in their reply on 40 for three as new signing Jack Brooks took a brace of wickets.
Durham piled up 426 for nine against Durham MCCU. Ben Stokes bounced back from his chastening winter by striking 111 off 140 balls, while Scott Borthwick fell - agonisingly - to the last ball of the day for 99. The students had started well after being denied first use of the Chester-le-Street pitch and reduced Durham to 40 for three. However, Stokes added useful stands with Dale Benkenstein (34), Michael Richardson (29) and Phil Mustard (60). Borthwick then took over and shared further partnerships with Mustard and Graham Onions (21 not out).
Cambridge MCCU limped to 20 for four at stumps on day one at Fenner’s. Tymal Mills took three wickets in five overs as they lost their top four following Essex’s declaration at 328 for five. Mark Pettini hit 100 not out off 142 balls in the Essex innings as they recovered well following the early loss of Rob Quiney to Matt Salisbury, who emerged as the pick of the hosts’ attack with three for 64. There were fifties also from Tom Westley (58), James Foster (54 not out) and Greg Smith (58 not out).
Cardiff MCCU closed on 33 for none after Glamorgan had declared at 275 for seven. The home side lost Gareth Rees early, but Will Bragg and Ben Wright both hit half-centuries. Rees shared 101 for the second-wicket with Stewart Walters (36), while Wright also added 101, with Jim Allenby (48) for the fifth-wicket. Jonathan Denning and David Phillips were the picks of the Cardiff attack with two wickets each.
Tom Milnes struck twice as Oxford MCCU reached stumps on two for two after Warwickshire had declared at 293 for nine. Varun Chopra departed early to Ben Kemp, but Ian Westwood (37) and William Porterfield (43) added 77 for the second-wicket. Jim Troughton then hit a determined 52 before Tim Ambrose and Milnes joined him in passing 50 by adding 112 for the fifth-wicket as the bowlers tired. South Africa-born Cornelis Bodenstein and India-born Sam Agarwal ended with three wickets apiece for Oxford.
The opening day of the match between Sussex and Loughborough MCCU was abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain and sleet at Hove.
Tomorrow’s Fixtures: (play starts at 1100 BST, 1000 GMT)
day two, Cambridge MCCU v Essex at Fenner’s
day two, Durham v Durham MCCU at Chester-le-Street
day two, Glamorgan v Cardiff MCCU at Cardiff
day two, Oxford MCCU v Warwickshire at The Parks
day two, Sussex v Loughborough MCCU at Hove
day two, Yorkshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Headingley
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will be another bright, sunny but cold day with temperatures peaking at between seven and nine degrees Celsius. The easterly wind should be a little lighter, meaning that it should at least feel warmer than today.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Essex chief executive Derek Bowden has said that the club are keen for Essex to play Twenty20 matches at the Olympic stadium in the future. It was recently announced that West Ham FC would be the main tenants from 2016 onwards but London mayor Boris Johnson has said that he would like to see sports other than football played at the site.
Sean Ervine has signed a new three-year contract with Hampshire, which will take him through until the end of the 2016 season. Zimbabwe-born Ervine flirted with a return to international cricket for the 2011 World Cup, but eventually withdrew at the eleventh hour. His loyalty has now been rewarded - 2016 will be his 12th season with Hampshire.
A team comprised of players from British universities reached the semi-final of a 20 over tournament in Sri Lanka. The Great Britain Combined University Team, captained by Cambridge MCCU’s Robert Woolley, lost today to Karachi University by 76 runs. Along the way, they defeated Sri Lanka’s University of Moratuwa once and Bangladesh’s University of Liberal Arts twice.
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