There were notable performances from Vernon Philander, Mat Coles and Tymal Mills on the second day of action in the LV= County Championship, while at Grace Road the number of batsman dismissed in two days reached 31 – a turn of events which will surely interest the ECB’s ever-vigilant pitch inspectors.
After twenty wickets had fallen on the first day, only seven fell on the second as NOTTINGHAMSHIRE closed on a commanding 355 for seven in their second innings against WORCESTERSHIRE. The top three of Alex Hales, Neil Edwards and Michael Lumb had all departed just shy of half centuries to give the hosts a solid platform, but it was Riki Wessels’ 13th career century – in conjunction with Chris Read’s 68 – which put them in control as they went to stumps on 355 for seven.
SOMERSET closed just 44 runs behind MIDDLESEX on 202 for three at Taunton as Nick Compton and Craig Kieswetter both closed with undefeated fifties to their names.
Earlier, Vernon Philander had completed what he hopes will be the first of many five-wicket hauls this summer as he helped wrap up the visitors’ innings for 246. Tim Murtagh was the only Middlesex batsman to prosper, hitting a carefree 45 from 44 balls at number nine.
SURREY ended day two in the ascendancy at The Oval after taking the last five SUSSEX wickets to fall for the addition of only 91 runs this morning. Chris Jordan took two of the wickets to fall to end with three for 29, while Jade Dernbach added one to his overnight tally to end with three for 39.
In reply, the home side stuttered to 55 for four as James Anyon (four for 63) picked up a couple of early wickets, but Rory Hamilton-Brown and Tom Maynard counter-attacked during a fifth-wicket partnership of 136, with the captain’s innings of 89 coming off only 103 deliveries. They closed 318 runs ahead on 250 for eight.
In Division Two, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE ground their way to parity on the second day against DERBYSHIRE after starting the day in the troubling position of 28 for three. Alex Wakely and Niall O’Brien both hit measured innings of 62 from 214 and 175 balls respectively, before James Middlebrook chipped in with an undefeated 40 to leave the Steelbacks closing on 241 for seven with arrears of only 45 runs.
Sixteen wickets fell on the second day at Grace Road as GLAMORGAN closed on 21 for one in the fourth innings in pursuit of 236 to win. Their last five wickets had added precisely 99 runs earlier as Graham Wagg made a determined 42; Robert Croft an invaluable 20 from 22 balls and night-watchman Dean Cosker 24. Former Kent seamer Robbie Joseph ended with the impressive figures of six for 47 as Glamorgan conceded a 125-run first innings deficit.
LEICESTERSHIRE could only increase that by only 110, despite reaching 41 for two at one stage in their second innings thanks to Jacques du Toit’s 40, as all of the other batsman – bar Matthew Boyce with 11 – failed to reach double figures. Wagg and Moises Henriques ended with three wickets apiece.
KENT’s batsman continued to put YORKSHIRE’s bowlers to the sword on a slightly shortened second day at Headingley.
The day had started relatively brightly for the home side as Adil Rashid (three for 141) and Ajmal Shahzad (three for 86) chipped away at the Kent lower middle-order, before Mat Coles entered the fray at 366 for seven. The 21 year-old hit his maiden first-class century from number nine and put on 153 with Mark Davies – who hit only his second ever half-century – for the ninth wicket, with Kent eventually declaring on 537 for nine. Yorkshire then faced nine overs in their reply and reached 32 for none at stumps.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE lost 15 wickets for the combined total of 235 runs on the second day against ESSEX at Chelmsford as they slumped to 55 for five in their second innings after being asked to follow on.
The young seam pairing of Maurice Chambers and Tymal Mills had earlier combined with the experience of David Masters to dismiss the visitors for 180, with all three taking three wickets apiece, to spark a Gloucestershire collapse of eight for 91 after they had been handily placed at 66 for one courtesy of promising innings from Dan Housego (39) and Chris Dent (38). By the close, their position had worsened as Graham Napier got in on the act with three wickets of his own to leave them trailing by 129 runs with only five second-innings wickets remaining.
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