There were centuries for Varun Chopra, Michael Lumb, Chris Rogers and Jim Allenby on a high-scoring day of matches in the LV= County Championship. Worcestershire were the only side bowled out on the opening day of round nine fixtures as Northamptonshire’s pace attack proved too hot to handle at Wantage Road.
Varun Chopra hit a sparkling unbeaten 187 as defending champions Warwickshire got their season back on track on day one at Guildford. Chopra and the returning Ian Westwood put on 153 for the first-wicket as the strong Surrey pace attack of Jon Lewis, Chris Tremlett and Stuart Meaker was unable to find a breakthrough. Westwood was eventually bowled by Gary Keedy for 71, with two more wickets following relatively quickly. However, Tim Ambrose joined Chopra, adding an unbroken 141 for the fourth-wicket and finishing on 64 not out. Jade Dernbach returned from England duty late on and will replace Jon Lewis for the rest of the match.
There was a delayed start due to rain at Scarborough, with the first session lost to the elements. Nottinghamshire then lost Alex Hales to the fifth ball of the match to Ryan Sidebottom, but Michael Lumb made up for lost time and ended on 116 not out. He added 101 with Ed Cowan (47) and an unbroken 76 with James Taylor (12 not out) as the visitors finished on 177 for two. Steven Patterson took the other wicket to fall for Yorkshire.
Chris Rogers led Middlesex to stumps on 320 for three against Sussex at Lord’s. After winning the toss, everything went wrong for Sussex as Rogers and Sam Robson added precisely 100 in good time for the first-wicket. A couple of wickets from Will Beer - a late replacement for an injured Monty Panesar - brought the visitors back into it, but Neil Dexter joined Rogers and the pair remained together until the close, adding 123. Rogers ended on 161, with Dexter on 62.
In Division Two, Glamorgan recovered from a poor start to close on 318 for five against Gloucestershire at Bristol. Craig Miles and David Payne both struck twice early and reduced them to 85 for four, but Jim Allenby and Murray Goodwin rescued the innings. The pair added 185 for the fifth-wicket, with Allenby departing an hour before stumps for 105 and Goodwin ending not out on 96. The home side handed a debut to 17 year-old off-spinner Miles Hammond, who was given permission to miss school in order to play, and delivered 20 overs at a cost of 64 runs.
Neil McKenzie marked his Hampshire return by hitting 85 not out as they reached stumps on 265 for four against Kent. Besides McKenzie, who took just 140 balls over his innings, the remainder of the Hampshire batsmen struggled for fluency against a disciplined Kent attack. Michael Carberry (33 off 88 balls), Jimmy Adams (65 off 144) and Liam Dawson (36 off 84) gave their side a good start but all scored at a strike rate of well under 50. Sean Ervine then ended on 31 not out off 106 balls. Adam Riley was the pick of the Kent bowlers, with three for 59 from 22 overs, while Darren Stevens took one for 43 from 23 overs.
Worcestershire were bowled out for 196 by an excellent Northamptonshire seam attack at Wantage Road. Only Moeen Ali showed any stomach for the fight, hitting 79, with Matthew Pardoe’s 22 the next highest score. Trent Copeland and Andrew Hall each took three wickets, while there were two for Steven Crook and one for David Willey. Alan Richardson then gave Worcestershire hope by removing Northamptonshire openers Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Spriegel in the first over. He also trapped top-scorer David Sales (40) leg-before with the final ball of the day as the home side closed on 100 for four.
Durham MCCU closed on 40 for three against Derbyshire at the County Ground. Young Derbyshire batsman Ben later hit 116 to build on an opening stand of 71 between Paul Borrington (22) and Billy Godleman (49). He shared 198 with Wes Durston for the third-wicket before both men retired shortly after reaching three figures. There was then a knock of 73 from all-rounder Alex Hughes before Derbyshire declared at 436 for seven.
Leeds/Bradford MCCU slumped to 11 for three after Lancashire had made 309 at Weetwood Playing Fields. Lancashire lost two early wickets to James Lee after opting to bat, but Karl Brown (49) and Stephen Moore (58) added 96 for the third-wicket. Wicket-keeper Alex Davies then chipped in with 69, while there were contributions of 41 from stand-in captain Stephen Parry and 40 from Kabir Ali. Lee was comfortably the pick of the students’ attack with four for 40 from 17 overs.
day two, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Sussex at Lord’s
day one, LV=CCD1, Somerset v Durham at Taunton
Durham welcome back Chris Rushworth into their 13-man squad, with off-spinner Ryan Buckley also included as a replacement for the injured Gareth Breese.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Will Smith, Paul Collingwood (captain), Ben Stokes, Phil Mustard, Mark Wood, Callum Thorp, Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth, Ryan Buckley, Michael Richardson.
day two, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Warwickshire at Guildford
day two, LV=CCD1, Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire at Scarborough
day two, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Glamorgan at Bristol
day two, LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Kent at Southampton
day two, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Worcestershire at Wantage Road
day two, MCCU match, Derbyshire v Durham MCCU at Derby (non first-class)
day two, MCCU match, Leeds/Bradford MCCU v Lancashire at Leeds (non first-class)
Weather Forecast: It will start overcast in the east, but should brighten by early afternoon, leaving largely sunny skies with only patchy cloud. Temperatures will peak at around 22 degrees Celsius.
County Cricket News In Brief:
Dale Benkenstein has been forced to put his comeback from a shoulder injury on hold. He was expected to return in tomorrow’s match against Somerset after deciding to delay surgery, but has suffered a bad reaction after playing in a second XI game on Monday. He is now hoping to fit for Durham’s first Friends Life t20 match on 28th June.
Five Yorkshire players have signed contract extensions. England wicket-keeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, England Lions batsman Gary Ballance and seam-bowler Steven Patterson have penned two-year extensions, while off-spinner Azeem Rafiq and death overs specialist Moin Ashraf have signed until the end of the 2014 season.
Hampshire have confirmed the signing of Pakistan all-rounder Sohail Tanvir for the Friends Life t20. The 28 year-old has now received his visa and has been granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Pakistan Cricket Board.