The LV= County Championship made a return as the Friends Life t20 takes a break before its return in earnest at the weekend. There were good performances today from Mark Footitt, Michael Yardy, Varun Chopra and James Vince.
Derbyshire lost Chesney Hughes for a duck as they closed the first day of their LV= County Championship Division One match against Durham on 15 for one at Chester-le-Street. Mark Footitt had earlier led their bowling attack admirably, taking career-best figures of six for 53 as the home side stumbled from 122 for two to be all out for 253. Keaton Jennings top-scored with 93 and added 70 with Will Smith for the third-wicket. However, Smith was caught off Tim Groenewald (two for 52) for 43 and only Phil Mustard, with 52, made a meaningful contribution thereafter.
Defending champions Warwickshire enjoyed an excellent day at Uxbridge, reaching stumps on 269 for two after electing to bat against Middlesex. Their stand-in captain Varun Chopra ended on 141 not out and shared 113 with opening partner Ian Westwood (65) and a further 113 with Laurie Evans (37). Toby Roland-Jones and Neil Dexter were the Middlesex wicket takers.
Both Somerset and Sussex lost both openers early on day one at Taunton, but it is the latter who close with the upper hand, reaching stumps on 174 for two in reply to the home side’s 244. Steve Kirby and Jamie Overton removed Chris Nash and Luke Wells with only eight on the board, but Michael Yardy and Matt Machan added an unbroken 166; the latter ending not out on 58 and the former on a rapid 94 off only 79 balls. Somerset had earlier lost both Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton for ducks, but recovered thanks fifties from James Hildreth and Craig Kieswetter. There was also an innings of 33 from Alfonso Thomas at number nine and 21 from Overton and number 11. Steve Magoffin and James Anyon shared seven wickets for Sussex.
Nottinghamshire dominated day one at The Oval, closing on 50 without loss after dispensing with Surrey for 198. The home side had begun relatively well and reached 93 for two thanks to a knock of 57 from Rory Burns. However, his departure was swiftly followed by that of Ricky Ponting, playing in his final first-class match and caught off Samit Patel for 29. Steven Davies made a valiant unbeaten 65, but all of the last four batsmen registered ducks. Ajmal Shahzad ended with three for 43, while there were a brace of wickets for both Harry Gurney and Graeme White, now back with his parent county following his loan spell at Northamptonshire.
In Division Two, Hampshire ended on 274 for five after opting to bat against Glamorgan in Cardiff. Openers Jimmy Adams (47) and Michael Carberry (31) got the visitors’ innings off to a solid start with an opening stand worth 76. Liam Dawson and James Vince then added 132 for the fourth-wicket as the home side threatened to wrest back the advantage. Vince hit a fluent 80 off 131 balls, with Dawson ending not out on a more steadfast 69. Michael Hogan was the familiar pick of the Glamorgan attack with figures of two for 44 from 23 overs.
Northamptonshire coped well without the loss of their captain Alex Wakely due to a back spasm and closed the opening day against Lancashire on 275 for seven. Kyle Coetzer (38) and James Middlebrook (57) added 90 for the first-wicket, with Cameron White then ending undefeated on 61. Glen Chapple was the pick of the visitors’ attack with three for 60.
There was a fifth defeat for Kent in the Friends Life t20 as their batsmen plinked and miscued their way to 118 in pursuit of Essex's eminently gettable 180 for eight at Chelmsford's postage stamp-size ground. It was the slow death for Kent as their middle-order failed to keep up with the required rate following an opening stand of 51 in seven overs between Sam Northeast (32) and Rob Key (17). Reece Topley ended with four for 26, but it was Ravi Bopara who did the early damage, taking three for 12 before leaving the field with a slight side injury.
Essex openers Mark Pettini (33 off 17 balls) and Hamish Rutherford (27 off 14) had earlier blazed to 59 without loss in the fifth over and there were contributions from Owais Shah (39 off 32), Ravi Bopara (39 off 30) and Ryan ten Doeschate (27 off 17). However, Kent fought back late on through James Tredwell and Mitchell Claydon, who each took three wickets to give their batsmen a real chance in their run chase.
day two, LV=CCD1, Durham v Derbyshire at Chester-le-Street
day two, LV=CCD1, Middlesex v Warwickshire at Uxbridge
day two, LV=CCD1, Somerset v Sussex at Taunton
day two, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Nottinghamshire at The Oval
day two, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Hampshire at Cardiff
day two, LV=CCD2, Northamptonshire v Lancashire at Wantage Road
North Group, FLt20, Yorkshire v Leicestershire at Headingley
The home side are without their captain Andrew Gale as they look for their first win of the competition and will be skippered by Azeem Rafiq as was the case for part of last season. Gale has small crack in the bones in his left hand according to physio Scot McAllister and will also miss the game against Durham on Friday.
Yorkshire squad: Phil Jaques, Adam Lyth, Dan Hodgson, Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid, Richard Pyrah, Andrew Hodd, Liam Plunkett, Azeem Rafiq (captain), Ryan Sidebottom, Jack Brooks, Joe Sayers, Iain Wardlaw.
The Foxes have named an unchanged 14-man squad from their narrow defeat to Lancashire yesterday. Shiv Thakor, Nathan Buck and Angus Robson will be hoping to break into the eleven on this occasion.
Leicestershire squad: Josh Cobb (captain), Greg Smith, Joe Burns, Shakib Al Hasan, Matthew Boyce, Michael Thornely, Ned Eckersley, Rob Taylor, Jigar Naik, Anthony Ireland, Matthew Hoggard, Nathan Buck, Shiv Thakor, Angus Robson.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow will be almost identical to today, with temperatures still peaking at around 27 degrees Celsius. There should, however, be less cloud for the east than was the case this afternoon.
© Cricket World 2013