The university batsmen mostly struggled for runs on day two of their matches against the first-class counties. Oxford MCCU’s Sam Agarwal-inspired 270 was the best effort; against Warwickshire at the Parks, with their arch-rivals Cambridge MCCU struggling miserably against Essex.
Essex dismissed them for just 99 in the morning and then racked up 335 for three in the afternoon. At stumps, their lead stood at an eye-watering 564 runs. Cambridge MCCU were in danger of making less than the 99 they eventually managed as they slipped to 35 for seven at one point. However, debutant Alasdair Pollock was on hand to hit 44 not out off 35 balls from number nine. Maurice Chambers, Graham Napier and Greg Smith each picked up a brace of wickets for Essex. Essex’s openers Rob Quiney and Tom Westley then added 209 in less than 50 overs at the start of their second innings. They both fell late on having reached their centuries, with Ben Foakes and James Foster the unbeaten batsmen on 49 and 34 respectively.
Durham MCCU could muster just 176 after Durham had declared on their overnight 426 for nine. They lost both openers early to Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth and quickly found themselves 39 for four. However, 17 year-old Indian Chaitanya Bishnoi hit a determined 60 from number five to at least offer some resistance. The lower-order fell to a combination of leg-spin from Scott Borthwick, who ended with three for 50, and off-spin from Will Smith, who took his 10th and 11th first-class wickets. Durham them raced to 101 for one in the 23 overs that they faced in their second innings. Keaton Jennings ended not out on 35, with Mark Stoneman making a brisk 38 and Will Smith an unbeaten 27.
Cardiff MCCU collapsed from their overnight 33 without loss to be all out for 169 against Glamorgan. Leicester-born seam-bowler Mike Reed was their chief destroyer, ending with career-best figures of six for 34. Huw Waters struck twice, with Jim Allenby and John Glover picking up a wicket apiece. Sam Davies top-scored for Cardiff with 31 and was one of eight men to reach double figures despite the substandard total. Will Bragg then hit 63 off 75 balls in the Glamorgan second innings and added 103 with Ben Wright (37). They both fell shortly before the close to leave Glamorgan 218 runs ahead on 112 for two.
Sussex finally got underway at Hove, with their batsmen made to work hard by the Loughborough MCCU bowlers. Luke Wells, Michael Yardy and Ed Joyce all fell early to either former Northants bowler Gavin Baker or Toby Lester as they slipped to 27 for three. Chris Nash (52) and Rory Hamilton-Brown (34) then steadied the innings with a fourth-wicket partnership worth 67. It was the sixth-wicket stand between Joe Gatting and Ben Brown, though, that wrested the advantage away from the students. They took the score from 99 for five to 200 prior to Gatting’s dismissal for 61. Brown was last man out for 85 to Kent off-spinner Adam Riley, who mopped up the tail to end with four for 48. Steve Magoffin, Chris Liddle and Chris Jordan then each took a wicket in the Loughborough reply as they closed on 54 for three.
Yorkshire openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees reached stumps within spitting distance of three figures as they added an unbroken 192 in 64 overs at Headingley. Leeds/Bradford MCCU had earlier been bowled out for 118 after resuming on 40 for three. Steven Patterson, Jack Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom each picked up three wickets, while Azeem Rafiq opened his account by dismissing number eight Harry Rouse. The students had been 60 for eight at one stage, but Rouse and Jamie Lee put on the highest stand of the innings - 28 - for the ninth-wicket. Lee followed up his first day haul of seven for 45 by top-scoring from number 10 with 34.
A brilliant hundred from Sam Agarwal limited Warwickshire’s first innings lead over Oxford MCCU to just 23 at The Parks. The county champions’ second-string attack were unable to capitalise on a variety of strong positions such as five for three, 31 for four and 189 for eight. Agarwal shared useful stands with Tom Fell (16), Ben Williams (36) and Stewart Davison (13) before falling for 108 off 175 balls. Oxford weren’t done yet, however, as skipper Charles Morris (33 not out) and Charlie Ellison (36) put on 62 for the ninth-wicket. The innings was finally brought to a close by Oliver Hannon-Dalby, who finished with four wickets. Tom Milnes, Shozair Ali and Ricardo Gordon each chipped in with a brace. Warwickshire then reached stumps on 72 for two and lead by 95 runs going into the final day.
Tomorrow’s Fixtures: (play starts at 1100 BST, 1000 GMT)
day three, Cambridge MCCU v Essex at Fenner’s
day three, Durham v Durham MCCU at Chester-le-Street
day three, Glamorgan v Cardiff MCCU at Cardiff
day three, Oxford MCCU v Warwickshire at The Parks
day three, Sussex v Loughborough MCCU at Hove
day three, Yorkshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Headingley
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will start dry and bright, but the cloud will steadily increase during the afternoon, although it should remain dry. Winds will be light and temperatures will peak at between seven and 10 degrees Celsius.
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