LV= INSURANCE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 5 DAY 1: All the Match Scores, Reports and Scorecards May 6th 2021
LV= INSURANCE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 5 DAY 1: All the Match Scores, Reports and Scorecards May 6th 2021
Middlesex vs Gloucestershire, Group 2, County Championship
Middlesex 210/10 (80.5 ov)
Gloucestershire *19/1 (7 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Gloucs trail by 191 runs
Robbie White registered his fourth consecutive half-century to hold Middlesex’s innings together as they clambered to 210 all out in their LV= County Championship clash against Gloucestershire at Lord’s.
White was the only batsman to look comfortable against Gloucestershire’s seam attack, but he was denied another tilt at a maiden first-class hundred after being left high and dry with an unbeaten 76.
David Payne finished with five for 31, his best figures of the season, while Ryan Higgins and Matt Taylor picked up two wickets apiece.
In reply, Gloucestershire lost captain Chris Dent, run out attempting a rash single to midwicket, but Kraigg Brathwaite and nightwatchman Taylor saw them to 19 for one at stumps.
With heavy cloud cover in the morning, it was little surprise that Dent opted to insert the home side and unleash his quartet of seamers after winning the toss.
Sam Robson and Max Holden grafted through an attritional 40 minutes before rain held up play and, when the action resumed, it took Higgins just two balls to make the breakthrough, trapping Robson leg before.
Holden was unlucky to be given out lbw shortly before lunch, offering no shot to a Taylor delivery that appeared to be sailing over the stumps.
Peter Handscomb’s struggle for runs continued, the Middlesex skipper losing his off peg for 11 after an ill-judged leave to Payne.
The left-armer also picked up the wicket of Nick Gubbins, who was bogged down in making 18 before his outside edge flew to second slip, where George Hankins juggled but held on.
However, White timed his shots sweetly, cutting and driving with increased confidence as the overhead conditions improved and building a partnership of 39 with John Simpson.
That stand ended when Simpson, who had just driven spinner Tom Smith back down the ground for four, was pinned in front of his stumps as the next one kept low.
White added another 42 with Martin Andersson, who was lbw for 20 when Taylor returned from the Nursery End and then advanced into familiar territory, passing 50 by drilling Daniel Worrall to the cover boundary.
Payne’s inswinger castled James Harris – recalled following another injury setback for Toby Roland-Jones, who was due to undergo a knee operation – and he finished off the innings by dismissing Thilan Walallawita and Tim Murtagh in the space of three balls.
Middlesex batsman Robbie White, who top-scored with 76 not out, said:
“It was pretty tough work throughout, you never really felt fully in. I was just trying to soak up a lot of the pressure, grind out a score and get us up to a total that would hopefully be competitive.
“It’s been really nice to be playing consistently, I’m feeling confident and it’s nice to get a few scores. As a batting group we’ve been short of where we want to be so I’m just trying to battle through with the guys around me.
“We felt 200 was probably about par on that. We know we’ve got to bowl well – even though there is assistance there it’s not just going to happen and hopefully we can bowl them out for under our score and get a lead going into that third innings.
(On news of knee surgery for team-mate Toby Roland-Jones)
“It’s just gutting – the whole squad’s devastated for him. He’s such a big person both on and off the field for us and he’s a massive loss. He started the season in great form and he’ll be really missed. We’re hoping he’ll be back fighting fit as soon as he can.”
Gloucestershire seamer David Payne, who took 5-31, said:
“I’m grateful to get my place back in the side. We’ve just tried to bowl a little bit fuller and challenge the pad and the stumps a bit more.
“If you’re going to be hyper-critical, we could have been fuller at times but on the whole we’re pretty pleased with how we bowled. It’s a pitch that’s doing a little bit, so we’re going to have bat well and gut it out.
“The message is repeated every week from the coach and the captain – keep doing the same things. We’re chuffed with where were at but it means nothing if we lose the next five games, so we’ve got to keep doing it and get the results.”
Leicestershire vs Surrey, Group 2, County Championship
Leicestershire *306/6 (93 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Leics won the toss and elected to bat
Contrasting centuries from Sam Evans, his third in as many matches, and overseas player Marcus Harris saw Leicestershire build the foundations for a big first innings score before Surrey fought back on an absorbing first day of the LV County Championship match at the UptonSteel County Ground.
Evans, 23, backed up three figure scores against Surrey at The Oval and Gloucestershire at Bristol by reaching three figures for the first time on his home ground as he and Harris compiled a stand of 195 for the second wicket.
Harris, coming in early after Hassan Azad was caught behind off Reece Topley for just 5, played a series of glorious shots, particularly through the offside, hitting 15 boundaries in going to his hundred.
Evans also hit 15 fours in going to his century, but both were dismissed by Amar Verdi – Evans’s dismissal, caught off the inside edge at short leg, was the 23-year-old off-spinner’s 100th first-class victim - as the visitors picked up five wickets in the final session to leave the match nicely balanced before a shower saw play end three overs early.
Azad’s dismissal set the scene for an impressive partnership from Evans and Harris, and while the former may have been less assertive in terms of taking the attack to the Surrey bowlers, his application and ability to work the occasional loose ball to the boundary ensured his contribution was no less valuable.
Having taken 17 balls to get off the mark, however, Harris unfurled some sumptuous shots, looking every inch the Australia international, and it was a surprise when shortly after reaching his hundred, he was leg before to a delivery from Verdi that went on with the arm.
Verdi then brought up a century of his own by dismissing Evans before Leicestershire skipper Colin Ackermann, who had looked in really good form, went leg before to a Topley delivery that stayed very low.
The in-form Lewis Hill was caught down the leg-side, and Verdi returned to bowl night-watchman Ed Barnes to ensure the day finished with fortunes even.
Leicestershire batsman Sam Evans: "I'm obviously pretty happy with how things are going, but just taking it as it comes. Surrey have seen a lot of me now, so they bowled accordingly, but every pitch is different and it played pretty well.
"As the day went on it started to turn a bit though, and if the ball hit a crack it stayed low, as we saw with Ackers' dismissal, so every run might be important.
"I think it was a balanced day on the whole - it's always hard to judge a p[itch until both sides have batted."
Surrey all-rounder Rikki Clarke: "We realised the wicket was quite flat early on, so it was a case of putting the ball in the right areas and trying to put them under pressure.
“Harris and Evans batted well, but we broke the partnership and managed to pick up a couple more wickets on the back of doing that. Amar Verdi bowled really well, and for someone so young to get 100 wickets so quickly is a testament to how hard he works as well as how skilled he is.
"It’s probably even stevens, so if we can pick up their remaining wickets early tomorrow we’ll be happy."
Hampshire vs Somerset, Group 2, County Championship
Hampshire 79/10 (40.3 ov)
Somerset *142/5 (53 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Somerset lead by 63 runs
A fighting half-century from skipper Tom Abell helped Somerset build a 63-run lead over Hampshire on an eventful opening day at the Ageas Bowl that saw 15 wickets fall.
Abell was unbeaten on 52 - guiding his side to 142-5 - after Hampshire were earlier bowled out for just 79 after being put into bat on a spicy pitch in chilly and cloudy conditions.
Lewis Gregory was the pick of the Somerset attack, taking 4-26, as the hosts were dismissed inside 41 overs less than an hour after lunch.
It was the first time since 1969 Hampshire had posted back-to-back sub-100 first innings totals following last week's 92 all out against Surrey at The Oval.
The home side started the day in third place in Group Two - one spot behind Somerset - and did well to only lose the in-form Ian Holland inside the opening hour.
Holland departed for four when Gregory found the outside edge of the Australian's bat and Craig Overton took the catch at slip.
But the second hour of the day proved to be a disaster for Hampshire as five wickets fell for 16 runs inside 11 overs with Tom Alsop, Sam Northeast, James Vince and Liam Dawson all posting single-figure scores.
Opener Joe Weatherley top-scored for his side with a scratchy 20 but was guilty of running out Northeast for just four after he took a risky single and George Bartlett hit the stumps with a direct hit from cover.
Gregory mopped up the tail 50 minutes after the lunch having received excellent support from the admirable Overton and Josh Davey who each picked up two wickets.
The overhead conditions continued to favour the seamers in the afternoon session and Somerset fell to 11-2 inside four overs when new-ball pairing Keith Barker and Mohammad Abass dismissed Tom Lammonby and Eddie Byron cheaply.
Kyle Abbott then trapped James Hildreth lbw for 14 before Abell and Bartlett posted the first 50 partnership of the match following a short rain delay.
The 54-run stand was broken by Abbott who tempted Bartlett, who had played well for his 27, into playing at a rising delivery and Dawson snared a high catch at second slip.
But Abell and Lewis Goldsworthy held firm against some top-class bowling until the penultimate over of the day when Holland beat the defences of Goldsworthy with a full-length ball that clattered into the stumps.
But Holland then went from hero to villain when he grassed a regulation catch off nightwatchman Jack Leach who'd edged Barker to third slip.
Hampshire bowler Kyle Abbott: "We seem to have a habit over the last few games of making day one interesting.
"It was tough conditions on an interesting wicket and we are a little bit behind the game here. We probably could have bowled a bit better in the evening session and we have a lot of hard work to do tomorrow morning to get back to where we want to be."
Somerset coach Jason Kerr: "There was plenty in the surface and we recognised that you have to exploit that and bowl in the right areas.
"We did that, I thought we were incredibly patient and we got our rewards and that was very pleasing."
Nottinghamshire vs Essex, Group 1, County Championship
Nottinghamshire *188/4 (51 ov)
Essex 99/10 (41 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Notts lead by 89 runs
Nottinghamshire pace bowler Luke Fletcher took a career-best six for 24 as title-holders Essex were bowled out for 99 on the opening day of their LV=Insurance County Championship match at Trent Bridge.
Fletcher, who bagged five for 28 against Derbyshire last week, took his wickets in two spells, the second bringing him five for 11 in seven overs, including a triple-wicket maiden.
It saw Essex lose their last six wickets for 19 in a dizzy hour after lunch, rewarding Nottinghamshire’s decision to bowl first on a green pitch.
Nottinghamshire lost their first four wickets for 84, the Zimbabwe-born Dutch seamer Shane Snater taking three wickets in only his second Championship match, but Lyndon James and Steven Mullaney (63) have seized the initiative in a so-far unbroken partnership of 104 for a lead of 89 by the close.
Nick Browne’s 53 was the only worthwhile resistance from the Bob Willis Trophy champions after opening partner Alastair Cook was dismissed for three by former England teammate Stuart Broad.
Browne picked up four boundaries in the first three overs but after Cook tentatively edged behind, Fletcher removed Tom Westley’s off stump with the best ball of the morning and Dan Lawrence, dropped at third slip on nought, played across the line to James to be leg before for 14.
Broad’s second spell accounted for Paul Walter but Browne was still there on 39 from 71 for four at lunch.
The excellent Fletcher soon inflicted further pain as Essex slipped to 86 for six, Ryan ten Doeschate playing round a full delivery before Adam Wheater was strangled down the leg side.
Browne hit nine fours in his half century but was well caught at backward point when tempted by some width from Fletcher, who then had Snater caught behind and Peter Siddle leg before to consecutive balls of the same over before Jamie Porter survived his hat-trick attempt.
James (2-3) wrapped things up by trapping Simon Harmer in front in the next over.
After Nottinghamshire lost Ben Slater, who flicked Snater tamely to square leg and Ben Duckett, edging behind off Porter, in consecutive overs, Joe Clarke and Haseeb Hameed added 43 before Snater removed both, Clarke caught behind, Hameed at second slip with attacking shots outside off stump, the latter missing out by one on a fifth half-century in six innings.
But as the ball lost its hardness, James and Mullaney took control, the latter completing an impressive fifty from 57 balls with his 10th boundary.
After his career-best 6-24, Nottinghamshire’s Luke Fletcher said: “I took a lot of confidence from the way I bowled at Derby. I’ve been in decent rhythm all season and I want to hold on to that for as long as possible, but as a unit we bowled well and backed up our performance in the win at Derby.
“The ball that got Tom Westley was one of those dream deliveries you hope you can bowl all the time.”
“I think we have been good all season and we are now starting to get some rewards for our hard work. If we can get some runs on the board tomorrow we will be in a good position to put them under pressure in the game.”
Essex’s Nick Browne said: “I played quite nicely but probably should have gone on to get a few more. It was disappointing to be bowled out for under hundred but it was roll of the dice cricket and a lot of it came down to the toss, because it was a green wicket.
“Luke Fletcher is a very good bowler and he is brilliant in those sort of conditions. But having said that we should have got nearer to 200.
“Shane bowled very well for us. He has done well for the second team and he had to bowl on a real flat one at Worcester last week it was nice for him to play on one that did a bit for him. He was unlucky not to get a few more.”
Northamptonshire vs Sussex, Group 3, County Championship
Northamptonshire *214/5 (51 ov)
Sussex 106/10 (42.2 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Northants lead by 108 runs
Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg sliced Sussex apart before Rob Keogh and Saif Zaib garnered half-centuries as Northamptonshire enjoyed a dominant day in the LV= Insurance County Championship.
Veteran fast bowlers Sanderson, 32, and Berg, 40, both returned five-wicket hauls, five for 28 and five for 18 respectively, as Sussex were skittled for 106.
The visitors’ pain could have been worse having been 25 for seven had it not been for England Test hopeful Ollie Robinson’s unbeaten 49.
Robinson then claimed four for 31 but Northants romped to 214 for five thanks to Keogh’s 66 and Zaib’s 66 not out, to lead by 108 at the end of day one at Wantage Road.
Play was delayed by half an hour due to rain, but Northants made up for lost time having stuck Sussex in to bat.
Tom Haines prodded to first slip for a golden duck, with the fourth ball of the innings. He was quickly followed by Aaron Thomason and the bowled Stiaan van Zyl.
Berg produced an almost unplayable ball angled across debutant Travis Head to nick behind before Ben Brown was lbw three balls later.
Tom Clark was pinned by Sanderson while Delray Rawlins’ attempt to slog Sussex out of trouble ended with a wild swing landing in first slip’s lap and a duck.
While the pitch offered significant nip for the quick bowlers, largely the quality of bowling from the experienced pair rather than reckless batting could be accounted for the slump – although none of the top seven reaching double figures.
Robinson, who was dropped thrice, and Stuart Meaker provided a rear-guard 56-run stand for the eighth wicket.
But Berg returned after lunch to find Meaker tamely edging behind before completing the sixth five-for of his first-class career when he castled Jack Carson.
Sanderson collected his five-for when Joe Sarro poked to Berg at fourth slip to end Sussex’s innings.
Northants’ reply started slowly as Ben Curran was leg before to Robinson second ball and 19-year-old Sarro had Ricardo Vasconcelos lbw with the fifth delivery of his first-class career.
But Charlie Thurston showed a carefree blueprint with his 24 from 25 balls, before edging to first slip, which pointed Keogh in the direction of his 22nd career half-century.
He reached the milestone in 64-balls with three successive boundaries off spinner Carson.
Luke Procter was bowled by Robinson, but Keogh and Saif Zaib teamed up for an 88-run stand to steam into a first-innings lead – with the run-rate never dipping below four an over.
Keogh departed caught at second slip after some confused umpiring but Zaib, who reached an 83-ball fifty, and Adam Rossington added a further 66 before close.
Northants fast bowler Ben Sanderson, who took five for 28:
“It was the perfect day, and we could have still been a few more runs ahead if we had caught all our catches.
“That partnership between Rob and Saif has really set things up for us and put us in a strong position ahead of tomorrow.
“It was seaming about this morning but as the day went on it seemed to get better with the older ball and a bit of sun and wind.
“It has been frustrating so far this season beating the edge a lot but it all happens quickly when it starts. Same with Bergy, who has bowled really well all season, so for him to get his just deserves with a five-for is just brilliant.
“It wasn’t feeling right in my action in the first couple of games but I worked on my action with Chris Liddle and that has kickstarted me to find my rhythm. Now I can bowl more overs and effectively. To find that click and rhythm will allow me to kick on.”
Lancashire vs Glamorgan, Group 3, County Championship
Glamorgan *117/3 (39 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Glamorgan won the toss and elected to bat.
England legend James Anderson struck an early blow ahead of this winter's Ashes series on a rain affected first day of Lancashire's LV=Insurance County Championship clash with Glamorgan.
The 38-year-old, who returned to the Lancashire line up for the first time since July 2019, was soon into his stride with an accurate first spell before he claimed the prize wicket of Australian Test star Marnus Labuschagne after lunch.
Poor weather blighted the rest of the day's play with David Lloyd compiling a battling half-century in between the showers as the Welsh outfit recovered from the early loss of opener Joe Cooke to close on 117 for three off the 39 overs possible.
All eyes were on Anderson as he took the new ball and England's record Test wicket taker quickly fell back into his groove with a number of typically unplayable deliveries.
But it was the bowler who many are tipping as Anderson's long-term replacement who made the breakthrough as Saqib Mahmood bowled the ball of the session to rearrange Cooke's stumps for 15.
Anderson's first spell of six overs went for a measly 13 runs and the attritional cricket continued with Labuschagne's introduction as the Australian took 24 deliveries to get off the mark before Glamorgan reached 65 for one at lunch.
Anderson returned after the interval, but his highly-anticipated duel with Labuschagne lasted just five balls with the number three-rated Test batsman in the world departing after a snorter from the Lancastrian which he could only edge behind to wicketkeeper Dane Vilas for 12.
Rain had threatened throughout the day and the players were soon scurrying off with a restart not possible until 3.45pm with the steadfast Lloyd joined by Billy Root as the pair looked to rebuild the innings.
The showers returned 15 minutes later with Glamorgan on 111 for two off 34.5 overs leaving Lloyd unbeaten on an excellent 72 and Root 11 not out when play finally resumed under leaden skies at 5.30pm.
Lloyd had added six more runs to his score when he was caught by a diving Vilas behind square after mistiming a pull shot off Luke Wood with the umpires abandoning play just three balls later for bad light.
Luke Wood, Lancashire bowler: "When it's windy and raining it's always a bit depressing and it's frustrating when you're coming off and on but it is what it is and having them three down isn't too bad.
"I've never played with Jimmy (Anderson) before and watching him go about his work and chatting to him at mid on was great. You never stop learning especially from someone with that calibre. You see what he's done in the game and for how long. You just have to watch him bowl and you can see that quality - he's always beating the bat and it's a pleasure to watch and it makes you think: 'I've got to be on it here'.
"It probably ups your quality and it is great to have him here. It's what you play the game for."
David Lloyd, Glamorgan opener: "It was tricky conditions and when we won the toss I didn't think it would be that bad. It was pleasing to get a start and I was disappointed to get out at the end but it wasn't a bad day all round for us.
"Jimmy (Anderson) is the best in the world and it was a great experience for me to face him for the first time. You watch him all the time on TV and it was quite surreal facing him after seeing him take all those wickets. I enjoyed the challenge. He bowls a tricky length and gets quite a lot of bounce. He's taller than you think but it was a really good experience."
LV= INSURANCE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP - Match Scorecards
Warwickshire vs Worcestershire, Group 1, County Championship
Warwickshire *271/7 (96 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Worcs won the toss and elected to bowl
Rob Yates' second century in successive innings at Edgbaston lifted Warwickshire to 271 for seven against Worcestershire on the opening day of the LV=Insurance County Championship derby at Edgbaston.
The 21-year-old Bears academy product followed up his match-winning unbeaten 120 against Essex with a resolute 104 (229 balls, 14 fours).
His calm, compact batting held together an innings which was wobbling at 154 for four before he received support from Michael Burgess who ended the day still unbeaten on 65 (124 balls, eight fours).
Worcestershire's bowlers maintained good pressure all day, led by two players - Joe Leach (19-4-51-2) and Brett D'Oliveira (22-3-31-2) - who made their first-class debuts in this fixture at Edgbaston nine years ago.
With paceman Josh Tongue playing his first game of the season following shoulder surgery, the visitors chose to bowl. They soon removed Will Rhodes, who nicked an away-cutter from Leach, before Yates and Pieter Malan added 77 in 23 overs.
Malan, making his debut, opened his Bears account with a pulled four off Tongue and looked in good nick, especially considering he came out of quarantine only five days ago, to help Yates take the score to 95 for one at lunch.
Malan (32, 74 balls, three fours) perished in infuriating fashion to the fifth ball of the afternoon session when he offered no shot to a ball from Ed Barnard which hit off stump. If the South African was annoyed with himself on departure, no less so was Sam Hain who grafted 49 minutes for eight but then missed a sweep at D'Oliveira and was bowled behind his legs.
Yates reached 50 in 87 balls but lost another partner when Matt Lamb (11, 33 balls) edged the impressive Leach to the keeper. That left the Bears 154 for four but Burgess batted positively as Yates advanced to his third first class century which arrived, from 200 balls, shortly after tea.
Yates fell when an attempt to cut D'Oliveira supplied Cox with his third catch. At 224 for five and, again, the day was evenly-poised. Tim Bresnan dug in alongside Burgess who posted his first half-century of the season (99 balls) when he smote Leach to the cover boundary, his sixth four.
The pair added 38 in 14 overs before Bresnan edged Barnard to Cox. After Tongue bowled Olly Stone in the closing overs, a day which was always finely balanced ended perfectly finely balanced.
Warwickshire batsman Rob Yates, who scored 104, said: "I love batting at Edgbaston, it's my home ground and it's always nice to be out in the middle here. It's just a great ground to play cricket at.
"It was a good day and we are in a decent position. Michael Burgess batted really well and if we can just get through that first half an hour tomorrow unscathed, another batting point is not too far away, then hopefully we can take it in stages from there."
Worcestershire captain Joe Leach, who took two wickets, said: "If we are honest, we were poor in the first session. There was a little bit of help in the wicket but we just didn’t capitalise on it.
"We’ve probably got our rewards in the last half-hour for some good bowling since lunch. Brett (D’Oliveira’s) performance was again outstanding on a wicket that hasn’t helped him. To bowl 20 odd overs at under two an over and to pick up a couple of wickets is gold dust for us when, as a seam-bowling group, we probably haven’t been at our best.”
Yorkshire vs Kent, Group 3, County Championship
Kent *224/7 (89.1 ov)
Stumps - Day 1 - Yorkshire won the toss and elected to bowl
England’s Zak Crawley showed flashes of elegance during a battling 90 as Kent enjoyed an encouraging opening day against unbeaten Yorkshire in the LV= Insurance County Championship at Emerald Headingley.
Crawley came to the crease after six balls following the early departure of captain Daniel Bell-Drummond.
He faced challenging conditions and a miserly White Rose attack led by Ben Coad, Jordan Thompson, Dom Bess and skipper Steve Patterson, who won the toss.
His 171-ball innings underpinned their 224 for seven from 89.1 overs at close. Patterson was the pick of the home attack with two for 33 from 17 overs alongside three wickets for Coad before rain ended play early.
Former Yorkshire Championship winner Jack Leaning also contributed 47 for Kent.
Bell-Drummond edged the opening over’s final ball from Coad - back in Yorkshire’s team after missing three games with a pectoral injury - to Harry Brook low down at third slip, leaving Kent at four for one.
At that stage, memories of last week’s defeat in two days against Glamorgan were rekindled for the winless Canterbury side.
However, they fought hard thanks to Crawley’s third fifty in 2021 for county and country and Leaning’s first score above 12 since the opening innings of the season, including a pair against Yorkshire in last month’s home defeat.
The pair shared 79 inside 32 overs either side of lunch for the fourth wicket.
Kent fell to 65 for three shortly before lunch, with Patterson and Thompson getting Jordan Cox and Joe Denly caught at second slip.
Crawley played one particularly memorable on-drive for four off Coad and was strong on both sides of the wicket.
He also had to navigate the threat of Test team-mate Bess, whose off-spin was introduced 40 minutes before lunch.
Leaning took 29 balls to score his first run before Crawley reached 50 off 112 balls. But his departure was soft after all the hard work.
He miscued a drive at Patterson to Joe Root at cover, leaving Kent at 144 for four late in the afternoon.
Leaning’s was also soft. He was caught at slip aiming a drive at Brook’s medium pace two overs before the new ball, leaving Kent at 206 for five and ending a partnership of 62 with Ollie Robinson.
The industrious wicketkeeper made 38, including a straight six off Bess, but fell as one of two late wickets for Coad. Darren Stevens also departed.
Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson said:
“With the amount of bounce, carry and excessive seam movement last week, we felt bowling would be the right choice. As it turned out, the pitch was very different. It was a lot slower and lower.
“It was hard work. We started well, kept it dry for a long period of time - going at two an over. At 60 for three, we felt if we could get them 90 for five we’d be on top. But, in fairness, Crawley and Jack Leaning played nicely.
“I said last week I thought 260 on that pitch would be par. And this is better. I’d say more 280 is par score on there.”
Kent batsman Zak Crawley said:
“It’s a shame to lose a few wickets late in the day, but it wasn’t easy to bat on in certain periods. At other times it felt quite flat. There’s enough it in for our bowlers for that to be a decent score so far.
“I’ve felt in decent touch the last few weeks, but the runs haven’t quite been there. So it was nice to spend some time in the middle.
“I have high standards for myself, and I’ve definitely been below those so far this year. I feel like I played well, but I was angry when I got out. I didn’t even want a hundred, I wanted a lot more than that.”
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