The rain played less of a role than initially feared as another round of LV= County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 matches got underway today. It nonetheless did render a result impossible at both Southend-on-Sea and The Oval, but was unable to save Leicestershire at Grace Road.
Durham scrapped their way to 228 for five on a slightly shortened opening day against Warwickshire. They lost Mark Stoneman and Gordon Muchall early on, before Will Smith and Ben Stokes dug in to add 109 for the third-wicket from almost 40 overs. They both fell in quick succession, but Dale Benkenstein made 40 and Paul Collingwood ended on 43.
Somerset recovered to 130 for four on a rain-affected opening day at Lord’s. Corey Collymore and Tim Murtagh each struck with the new ball for Middlesex to reduce the visitors to one for two, but James Hildreth and Craig Kieswetter (48 not out) added 80 for the fourth wicket prior to the former’s dismissal for 58 just before the close.
In Division Two, a Tony Palladino hat-trick blew away Leicestershire’s top-order in the fifth over of their match against Derbyshire at Grace Road. Palladino picked up the prized scalps of Michael Thornely and Ned Eckersley, who had made 406 runs between them last week against Glamorgan, before completing the job with the wicket of Ramnaresh Sarwan. Josh Cobb and Matt Boyce attempted a recovery with a fourth-wicket stand of 59, while Kadeer Ali chipped in with 48, but Tim Groenewald came to the fore, ending with five for 29, as the home side were bowled out for 177. Derbyshire then faced three overs in their first innings and survived unscathed with five runs on the board.
Lancashire recorded a 12-run win via the Duckworth Lewis method at Old Trafford as they triumphed over Worcestershire in Group A of the Clydesdale Bank 40. Opener Stephen Moore was left stranded on 60 not out from 52 balls when the second of two rain interruptions called the match off for good with the home side on 95 for one.
Vikram Solanki and Phil Hughes had earlier made centuries in the Pears innings, with Solanki reaching three figures from 96 balls and Hughes from 109 as they shared a second-wicket partnership of 208. However, Lancashire fought back towards the end, with Ajmal Shahzad taking four wickets, to restrict Worcestershire to 259 for nine.
In Group B, Scotland’s match against Surrey was abandoned after 23 overs at The Oval. Jade Dernbach had taken two early wickets for the home side to help reduce them to 46 for four, but Jean Symes (58 not out) and Preston Mommsen (30 not out) added an unbroken 78 for the fifth wicket before the rain came with Scotland on 124 for four.
In Group C, Kent could only reach nine without loss against the Unicorns before the rain came and their match was abandoned at Southend-on-Sea. James Ord top-scored with 52 for the home side, as Kent’s bowlers all enjoyed relatively good days and restricted them to 177 for eight.
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Durham v Warwickshire at Chester-le-Street
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Somerset at Lord’s
Day One, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Lancashire at Trent Bridge
Day One, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Surrey at Horsham
The home side have named a 13-man squad which includes the out-of-form Murray Goodwin, along with Luke Wells and Joe Gatting.
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Leicestershire v Derbyshire at Grace Road
Day One, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Yorkshire at Colwyn Bay
James Harris misses out for the hosts after failing a fitness test, with Will Owen and Robert Croft named in a 12-man squad.
Day One, LV=CCD2, Kent v Hampshire at Tunbridge Wells
The visitors have rested batsman James Vince, with Bilal Shafayat expected to replace him. Dimitri Mascarenhas and Danny Briggs are also named in a 13-man squad.
Day One, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Essex at Wantage Road
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow should see a bit of everything, with sunny spells and showers forecast for the whole of England and Wales. The afternoon is likely to see more of the showers and less of the sun, but temperatures should be slightly higher and reach 17 degrees Celsius.
© Cricket World 2012