Any of the three County Championship contenders will do well to emerge with a win from the current crop of matches, as Somerset and Nottinghamshire’s encounter at Taunton continued to be plagued by wet weather and Warwickshire suffered at the hands of Phil Hughes on the opening day at Edgbaston.
The former Australian opener emerged from an examination at the hands of Boyd Rankin to make an unbeaten 135 for Worcestershire. He helped haul them up to 246 in their first innings, with Vikram Solanki’s 57 the only other notable contribution as Jeetan Patel took four wickets. Alan Richardson and debutant Chris Russell then struck three times with the new ball to reduce Warwickshire to 19 for three at stumps.
Durham took control on the second day of their match against Surrey at Chester-le-Street. They earnt a 181-run first innings lead over the visitors after hauling themselves up to 310 in their first innings. Paul Collingwood and Dale Benkenstein took their fifth-wicket partnership to 132 prior to the latter’s dismissal to Jade Dernbach (three for 88) for 69. Phil Mustard then made 46 and Callum Thorp 32, with Collingwood’s innings ending at 78 also to Dernbach. Ben Stokes then took two wickets in Surrey’s second innings to help reduce them to 69 for five by the close – still a deficit of 112 runs.
After managing only 8.1 overs yesterday, Nottinghamshire and Somerset managed only a further 15.4 today at Taunton as rain again ruined much of the action. The visitors moved onto 48 for three with Alfonso Thomas taking both wickets to fall today – those of Alex Hales (12) and Michael Lumb (16).
In Division Two, the match at Bristol remained evenly poised at the end of day three as Hampshire responded to Gloucestershire’s first innings total of 271 with 276. Neil McKenzie took his overnight 52 to 94 before becoming the first of two victims for David Payne, while Ian Saxelby ended with three for 44. Gloucestershire then closed on 102 for four in their second innings to lead by 97, with David Balcombe taking three of the wickets to fall.
David Masters, Maurice Chambers and Graham Napier took three wickets each on the first day at Canterbury to help bowl Kent out for 226. The home side were reliant on an innings of 62 from Mike Powell and a late cameo of 49 from Azhar Mahmood to recover from 120 for five and gain a valuable batting bonus point. Essex, though, rammed home their advantage and survived the nine overs that they faced in their first innings prior to stumps, closing on 14 for none.
Derbyshire shocked Group C Clydesdale Bank 40 favourites Sussex at the County Ground. They bowled the visitors out for just 167 after inviting them to bat, with Wes Durston (two for 37), Tim Groenewald (three for 32) and David Wainwright (one for 26) the most impressive bowlers. In reply, Derbyshire lost Usman Khawaja to a first-ball run-out, but Dan Redfern (49) and Wayne Madsen (64 not out) added 96 for the fourth-wicket and they got home by six wickets with 14 balls to spare.
Australia A had the better of the England Lions on the second day at Old Trafford. They began well when Jon Holland dismissed Craig Kieswetter from the second over of the day, but were then held up by a crucial sixth-wicket partnership of 75 between Samit Patel and Chris Woakes. Patel made 55 but fell as one of two wickets for Jackson Bird, while Woakes was last man out for 92 having shared a ninth-wicket stand of 64 with Stuart Meaker (22). The Lions’ total of 315 represented a pretty good effort, but Australia’s openers had reduced their advantage by 127 for just the loss of Liam Davis by stumps, as Ed Cowan led the way with 77 not out and added 111 for the second-wicket with Michael Klinger (36 not out).
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Durham v Surrey at Chester-le-Street
Day Two, LV=CCD1, Warwickshire v Worcestershire at Edgbaston
Day Three, LV=CCD1, Somerset v Nottinghamshire at Taunton
Day Four, LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Hampshire at Bristol
Day Two, LV=CCD2, Kent v Essex at Canterbury
Day Three, 1st ‘Test’, England Lions v Australia A at Old Trafford
Group C, CB40, Northamptonshire v Yorkshire at Wantage Road (1540 GMT)
Niall O’Brien returns to Northamptonshire’s 12-man squad, while Luke Evans has also been named after recovering from a back injury.
Weather Forecast: It will be a warm and sunny day tomorrow, with only patchy cloud. Temperatures will peak at around 25 degrees Celsius in the south-east and 22 degrees Celsius elsewhere.
County News In Brief:
Warwickshire all-rounders Rikki Clarke and Steffan Piolet both have ongoing injury problems. Piolet injured his hamstring during last night’s win over Yorkshire, while Clarke will not be able to bowl for around a fortnight after tearing an abdominal muscle. In brighter news for the club, fast-bowler Boyd Rankin has retired from international cricket with Ireland and signed a new three-year deal with the club so should be available for more of the county season from 2013 onwards.
Leicestershire batsman Will Jefferson may be forced to retire from cricket as his degenerative hip condition is proving more serious than initially thought.
Leicestershire coach Phil Whitticase has been told to slash his playing budget by around £100,000 for next year due to the worsening financial position at the club brought about the rain-affected Friends Life t20 campaign.
Northamptonshire have appointed interim coach David Ripley on a permanent basis.
Glamorgan all-rounder James Harris has joined the growing list of players – which also includes Worcestershire batsmen Vikram Solanki and Lancashire opener Stephen Moore – that have joined Championship sponsor LV=’s charity initiative. The players will display an LV= sticker on their bats for the rest of the season and, in return, the insurance giant will donate £250 to the charity of their choice.
Derbyshire have awarded David Wainwright and Dan Redfern their county caps, as well as rewarding the former with a new four-year contract.
© Cricket World 2012
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.