County Round-Up - 25th September 2013

Woakes drives
Chris Woakes' ever-improving batting has more or less doomed Derbyshire to relegation.
©Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic

Northamptonshire secured their promotion to the top-flight for 2014 as Essex flopped miserably at Southampton. Elsewhere, on day two of the final round of LV= County Championship matches, Derbyshire’s hopes of avoiding relegation appear to be over as they endured a torrid day against Warwickshire, and Surrey’s openers provided their supporters with cause for optimism for next season.

It was possibly the worst day of the season for Derbyshire just as they needed one of their best on day two against Warwickshire. They first allowed the Bears to pile up 391 for nine before declaring and then slumped to 44 for five in reply to all but end their hopes of avoiding the drop. Chris Woakes and Maurice Chambers both achieved career-best scores and extended their troublesome ninth-wicket stand to one of hugely worrying proportions. They had added 166 by the time Chambers was stumped off David Wainwright for 58, with Woakes then ending on 152 not out. The hosts then quickly slipped into the mire as Keith Barker struck three times prior to stumps. Shivnarine Chanderpaul was the only man to hold firm and is unbeaten on 24.

All of which means that events at Trent Bridge are likely to prove irrelevant. Somerset closed strongly on 183 for two after Nottinghamshire had had their first innings ended at 406, with Alfonso Thomas taking the last three wickets. The Cidermen did lose both openers with just 11 on the board, but Nick Compton and James Hildreth combined to add an unbroken 172 prior to stumps. Hildreth romped to 102 not out off only 107 balls, with Compton ending unbeaten with 62.

Sussex continued to cause problems for newly-crowned champions Durham at Hove. They earnt a 164-run first innings lead by compiling 328 and lead by 162 runs at the close. Ben Brown and Ashar Zaidi did the bulk of the run-scoring for the day, adding 83 for the seventh-wicket following Luke Wright’s dismissal to Chris Rushworth 13 short of his century. Zaidi was finally extracted by Ben Stokes for a fluent 45, with Brown following a little later for 64.

Surrey’s young opening pair of Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley put on 171 after their young bowling attack had bowled Yorkshire out for 434. Burns fell for 82 in the penultimate over of the day to Steven Patterson, but Sibley remains on 81 not out. Gary Ballance had earlier completed his century and helped Yorkshire post an imposing 434. Zafar Ansari ended as the pick of the Surrey attack with four for 70, while there were three wickets apiece for Matt Dunn and Tom Jewell.

In Division Two, Essex’s failure to take full bonus points against Hampshire ended their promotion hopes. In fact, it was a terrible day for the visitors at Southampton as they were bowled out for 207 and asked to follow-on by Hampshire. They closed on 44 for none in their second innings but still trail by 205 runs after Adam Wheater had completed his century as Hampshire were all out for 456 at the start of the day. It was Matt Coles, though, who put the final nail into the Essex promotion hopes. The former Kent all-rounder returned figures of six for 71 as no visiting batsmen made 50.

And thus, Northamptonshire will be in Division One next season despite not having things all their own way at New Road. They could manage just a 39-run first innings lead over Worcestershire as Alan Richardson ended with five for 70 and they were all out for 202. There were also three wickets for Moeen Ali, while Rob Keogh top-scored with 57. Worcestershire then reached stumps second time around on 155 for three as their top three all made useful contributions. Moeen Ali reached the close on 40 not out.

Lancashire closed 99 runs ahead of Kent on 75 without loss in their second innings at Canterbury. Skipper Paul Horton is unbeaten on 36, with Luis Reece on 33. Rob Key had earlier hit 134 for Kent as they got close to Lancashire’s total of 284, despite slipping to seven for three early on. Key added 158 with Ben Harmison (59) for the fourth-wicket. Kyle Jarvis took three wickets on his first-team debut, while there were also three wickets apiece for Oliver Newby and Stephen Parry.

Glamorgan and Gloucestershire are evenly matched after two days, with the former reaching stumps on 271 for nine in reply to the latter’s 275. Chris Cooke and Jim Allenby both reached 50 for the home side, with Allenby going onto make 85 before giving Matt Taylor his third wicket. Ruaidhri Smith hit 39 from number nine, while Will Gidman ended as the pick of the Gloucestershire attack with four for 64.

Tomorrow’s Fixtures:
day three, LV=CCD1, Derbyshire v Warwickshire at Derby
day three, LV=CCD1, Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Trent Bridge
day three, LV=CCD1, Surrey v Yorkshire at The Oval
day three, LV=CCD1, Sussex v Durham at Hove
day three, LV=CCD2, Glamorgan v Gloucestershire at Cardiff
day three, LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Essex at Southampton
day three, LV=CCD2, Kent v Lancashire at Canterbury
day three, LV=CCD2, Worcestershire v Northamptonshire at New Road

Weather Forecast: The east will see the best of any sunshine tomorrow with temperatures there peaking at around 18 degrees Celsius. Further west, it will be cloudier with the chance of occasional showers and temperatures of around 16 degrees Celsius.

County Cricket News In Brief:
Essex have extended the contract of all-rounder Greg Smith until the end of the 2015 season. Smith has enjoyed a good season with the bat in the Championship, averaging over 40.

Former Glamorgan seamer Adam Shantry has this evening embarked on an epic 19-hour voyage to swim the English Channel. He, former Warwickshire seamer Tom Mees and Mees’ girlfriend Emma Lawson will swim in relay for an hour at a time to raise funds for the Tom Maynard Trust. The group aim to raise £10,000 and you can donate here.

Eight Natwest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OCSAs) will be presented in front of 400 guests at Lord’s on 30th September. The OSCAs were established in 2003 to recognise the efforts of grassroots volunteers from all over the country. A full shortlist of those in with a chance of winning this year’s awards can be found on the ECB website.

© Cricket World 2013