The penultimate round of matches in the LV= County Championship kicked off today and it was a good day for title challengers Lancashire and Warwickshire as both put in good performances with the bat. In the day’s other games, there was a century for Wes Durston and six wickets for Graham Napier. By Daniel Grummitt.
Lancashire moved to 337 for seven at the close of the opening day’s play against Hampshire at Liverpool, as Tom Smith and Glen Chapple hit half-centuries. They had been struggling at 125 for five at one stage after Sean Ervine had taken wickets from consecutive deliveries in the 37th over, but Smith and Gareth Cross (34) put on 58 for the sixth wicket, and Smith and Chapple shared 55 for the seventh wicket as Lancashire fought back strongly either side of tea. Kyle Hogg joined Chapple before the close to add an unbroken 99 for the eighth wicket as he ended on 47 and Chapple on 76.
Championship challengers Warwickshire had the better of a slightly shortened first day against defending champions Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston. They closed on 235 for three with Ian Westwood ending unbeaten on 144 and Jim Troughton on 33 in an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 121. Darren Pattinson was the pick of the visitors’ attack with tow for 57.
Sussex closed the opening day of their match against Worcestershire on 289 for eight after winning the toss and electing to bat at New Road. In a match with much riding on it – the winner will avoid relegation – the visitors lost Ed Joyce early to Alan Richardson for six and Chris Nash to Kemar Roach for 13, prior to a restorative third wicket stand of 134 between Joe Gatting (70) and Murray Goodwin (60). Both then fell in quick succession, and the home side continued to take regular wickets throughout the evening session with Ben Brown the only batsman to prosper with an unbeaten 53.
Only 41 overs were possible in Yorkshire’s must-win match against Somerset at Headingley after the morning session was lost entirely to rain. When play did eventually start, Ajmal Shahzad gave the home side something to cheer with the early wicket of Arul Suppiah, but Alex Barrow and Chris Jones (31) dug in and added a determined 72 for the second wicket. Moin Ashraf then removed Jones and James Hildreth in consecutive overs to reduce the visitors to 88 for three, but Yorkshire once again encountered resistance, this time in the form of Jos Buttler, who ended on 43 from only 37 balls and took Somerset to stumps on 140 for three.
Derbyshire’s batsmen made the most of benign batting conditions and an impotent Kent bowling attack to pile up 405 for six from only 86 overs on a slightly reduced opening day at the County Ground. Youngster Matt Lineker and Derbyshire Player of the Year Wes Durston shared a third wicket partnership of 176 to lay the foundations for the day’s excellence before Lineker fell for 71. David Balcombe then took four wickets in the space of eight overs, including that of Durston for 118, to bring the visitors back into the game. However, Ross Whiteley and Jonathan Clare ensured that the earlier brilliance didn’t go to waste with a carefree seventh wicket stand of 141 – both men bringing up half-centuries.
Promotion hopefuls Surrey endured a difficult start to their match against Essex at Chelmsford. After being put into bat, they were reduced to 94 for five before lunch, courtesy of excellent bowling from Graham Napier and Tymal Mills, before recovering to be all out for 315 just prior to the close. Chris Jordan marked his return to form with a mature 71 for the Lions and was helped by contributions from Jason Roy (43) and Gareth Batty (49). Graham Napier ensured that the recovery was only short-lived however as he ended with six for 53. Essex then closed on six without loss in reply.
No play was possible in Cardiff where Glamorgan were due to take on Division Two leaders Middlesex as rain held its position over South Wales for much of the day.
Gloucestershire ended a hard-fought opening day against budding wooden-spoonists Leicestershire on 235 for six at the County Ground. Nathan Buck (three for 61) had bowled well in the morning session to restrict the home side to 75 for four, but captain Alex Gidman hit 81 and Ian Cockbain ended unbeaten on 46 to limit Gloucestershire’s damage.
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Lancashire v Hampshire at Liverpool
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Worcestershire v Sussex at New Road
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Yorkshire v Somerset at Headingley
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Derbyshire v Kent at Derby
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Essex v Surrey at Chelmsford
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Middlesex at Cardiff
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Leicestershire at Bristol
© Cricket World 2011