There were wins for Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Derbyshire and Surrey on the final day of matches in the opening round of the LV= County Championship. Meanwhile, up at Chester-le-Street, Durham MCCU collected a record of the unwanted variety against their county cousins.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE knocked over the last four WORCESTERSHIRE wickets this morning for the addition of just 41 runs as they wrapped up victory by 92 runs at Trent Bridge to get their Championship challenge off to a winning start. Andre Adams and Luke Fletcher shared the wickets to fall to end with four apiece as the Pears squandered yesterday’s third-wicket partnership of 174 between Moeen Ali and Daryl Mitchell to be all out for 299.
SUSSEX were dismissed for 255 in their second innings – adding only 15 to their overnight 240 for eight – to lose by 86 runs to SURREY at The Oval. Jon Lewis took the final two wickets to fall – including that of Luke Wells for 108 – to end with three for 40 from 17.2 overs.
SOMERSET made heavy weather of chasing down the 72 they needed for victory over MIDDLESEX, as Gareth Berg's three for 25 had them struggling at 44 for four at one stage prior to James Hildreth's unbeaten 37.
George Dockrell had starred earlier in the day, taking six for 27 to set up the home side's victory charge, and trigger a collapse of nine for 70 after Sam Robson (43) and Joe Denly (50) had looked like taking Middlesex to safety.
In Division Two, DERBYSHIRE dismissed NORTHAMPTONSHIRE for 134 in the fourth innings to secure a 202-run win at the County Ground. Rob Newton top-scored for the visitors with 58, but he was one of only three batsman to reach double figures as David Wainwright's left-arm spin decimated the Northants middle-order.
The 27 year-old from Pontefract ended with remarkable figures of six for 33 from 24 overs and did the bulk of the damage in a Steelbacks collapse of sven for 31.
Earlier, the home side had added 101 runs to their overnight score before declaring on 314 for three, with Paul Borrington falling two short of what would have been his third century.
YORKSHIRE's batsman hung on for a draw against KENT on the final day at Headingley, as they closed still adrift of the visitors' first innings total on 146 for four in their second innings after being asked to follow on. Joe Root (76) and Joe Sayers (43) put on 115 for the first wicket, before a double strike apiece from Adam Riley (two for 43) and Charlie Shreck (two for 22) gave Kent hope. However, they ultimately ran out of time as Yorkshire closed on 146 for four.
The home side were dismissed for 364 earlier in the day, in spite of Rich Pyrah attempting to bat with a broken hand, as Shreck picked up the last four wickets to fall.
DURHAM MCCU were humbled for the lowest total in first-class cricket since Surrey made just 14 in 1983 as they slumped to a 373-run defeat against Championship contenders DURHAM at the Riverside.
The home side declared their second innings on their overnight score of 193 for seven, leaving the students needing an unlikely 392 for victory. They lasted less than 17 overs as they were bowled out for 18, with Ben Stokes (four for three), Callum Thorp (three for four) and Graham Onions (two for nine) all among the wickets. Durham MCCU were not helped by Luke Blackaby being unable to bat, but the result will raise fresh questions about the first-class status of matches that involve the universities.
CAMBRIDGE MCCU did, however, fare a little better against LANCASHIRE as they closed on 143 for one in their second innings in pursuit of a hypothetical 360 to win after the county champions had declared on their overnight 134 for one. Ben Ackland and Zafar Ansari shared an opening stand of 112 to repel the threat from Lancashire as both reached fifty, before Ackland fell to Gary Keedy for 52 soon afterwards. Ansari remained unbeaten on 59 as the teams shook hands on a draw well before the scheduled close.
Michael Carberry (47), Jimmy Adams (26 not out) and Sean Ervine (27 not out) enjoyed useful batting practice before HAMPSHIRE declared on 111 for two in their second innings to set LOUGHBOROUGH MCCU 391 to win at The Rose Bowl.
The students managed only 116, with Kent wicket-keeper Sam Billings one of only two men to reach double figures in making 69. Liam Dawson (three for eight) and David Balcombe (three for 35) were the most successful of the home side's attack.
CARDIFF MCCU escaped with a draw at Edgbaston as the weather conspired against WARWICKSHIRE on the final day. They reached 91 for seven at stumps after the home side had been dismissed for 349. Rikki Clarke (66 and three for eight); Matthew Hobden (five for 62); Derbyshire batsman Hamza Siddique (37); and Chris Wright (three for 30) emerged with the most credit from the day.
© Cricket World 2012