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SpecSavers County Championship Live Match Updates – May 19th – May 23rd

Alex Lees Opening for Durham CCC
Alex Lees Opening for Durham CCC
©Paul France

A round up of all the action from around the SpecSavers County Championship in both Division One and Two as the matches unfold

Division One

Somerset v Warwickshire

Somerset 209 and 164

Warwickshire 135 and 189

Result - Somerset won by 49 runs

Somerset needed just over two hours of the third day to wrap up a 49-run victory over Warwickshire at Taunton and consolidate their position at the top of the Specsavers County Championship.

Sam Hain ended unbeaten on 92 and featured in a last-wicket stand of 49 with Oliver Hannon-Dalby (13) before the visitors were bowled out for 189 in their second innings, Lewis Gregory claiming four for 48

Somerset took 20 points from their third Championship victory in four games, while their opponents had to settle for three and remain anchored at the foot of the First Division table.

Warwickshire began the morning on 103 for six, needing a further 136 to win on a pitch that had assisted the seamers and, to a lesser degree the spinners, throughout the game.

The target never looked reachable as Henry Brookes was caught low down by wicketkeeper Steve Davies for two in the third over of the morning, bowled by Gregory from the River End.

Craig Overton opened from the Somerset Pavilion End. Hain, who had played impressively the previous day, picked up the first boundary of the day with a sweet cover drive.

But it was soon evident that the ball would continue to nip about off the seam. Jeetan Patel joined Hain and got off the mark with a four to third-man off Gregory.

A decent crowd took advantage of the free admission and were treated to the unbroken sunshine of the first two days. But their day looked certain to be a short one when Overton brought one back off the seam to remover Patel’s leg stump with his score on four in only the sixth over.

It was 128 for eight. Hain was dropped on 49 by Davies after getting an inside edge to a ball from Gregory and the resulting single brought up his half-century from 106 deliveries, with 8 fours.

He deserved the slice of luck, having shown the patience and technique to contribute the highest score of the match on such a testing strip.

Liam Norwell drove Overton through mid-off for a boundary. At 132 for eight, Somerset introduced the spin of Jack Leach from the River End, while seamer Tim Groenewald had replaced Overton.

Norwell cover drove Groenewald for four and then survived a tough caught and bowled chance in the same over. When the same batsman took a single to long-off off Leach the target dipped below 100.

But in Groenewald’s next over Norwell edged a back of a length ball through to Davies and departed for 13.

Hain continued unperturbed as Somerset captain Tom Abell introduced himself into the attack in place of Leach, while last man Hannon-Dalby leant equally solid support.

On 84, Hain was given another life when Groenewald misjudged a top-edged hook off Gregory at fine-leg and allowed the ball to drop over his head before bouncing over the rope.

Lunch was delayed by half an hour and it was all over when Hannon-Dalby drove at a wide ball from Gregory and Overton took a sharp catch at gully, giving Somerset the quick victory they were seeking to offer more preparation time ahead of Saturday’s Royal London One-Day Cup final against Hampshire at Lord’s.

Somerset - Marcus Trescothick, Azhar Ali, James Hildreth, Tom Abell(c), George Bartlett, Steve Davies(wk), Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Josh Davey, Jack Leach, Tim Groenewald

Warwickshire - Dominic Sibley, Will Rhodes, Rob Yates, Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Liam Banks, Tim Ambrose(wk), Henry Brookes, Jeetan Patel(c), Liam Norwell, Oliver Hannon-Dalby

Kent v Surrey

Kent 294 and 352 - 8

Surrey 439 and 280

Result - Match Drawn

Opening batsman Sean Dickson’s love for Beckenham is something of a family affair which possibly went some way to explaining his gritty batting display that helped Kent to secure a Specsavers County Championship draw with reigning champions Surrey.

The 27-year-old from Johannesburg, and fellow Proteas Heino Kuhn and Wiaan Mulder did their utmost with the bat to fend off all Surrey’s attack could hurl their way to see the hosts to their first draw of the season.

Dickson – who plays as an England qualified player under a UK  passport courtesy of his mother, Pat, who was born in the Kent metropolitan town – spent almost 10 hours at the crease during the game and followed his 128 in the first innings with an equally dogged 91 that helped Kent bat out the fourth and final day to finish on 352 for eight.

Dickson has only walked out with willow in hand at the New County Ground on six occasions, but his aggregate of 663 runs, which includes his career best 318 against Northamptonshire here in 2017, leads to his incredible Beckenham average of 110.50.

So little wonder that Surrey, shorn of the services of Sam Curran with a hamstring tweak, struggled to dismiss Dickson and his equally determined team-mates on what transpired to be a glorious day for batting.

The hosts started the day requiring an improbable 426 for victory, but night watchman Adam Riley set the Kentish tone by batting on for 35 minutes in his role as night watchman before being scuppered by a Curran yorker.

No sooner had the Surrey all-rounder hobbled out of the attack than Kent No4 Daniel Bell-Drummond appeared fortunate to survive appeals for caught behind and leg before from consecutive Rikki Clarke deliveries.

The bowler’s protestations led to a reprimand from umpires Graham Lloyd and Alex Wharf and Clarke may yet find himself in hot water with the ECB, but he had the last laugh here at least, by snaring Bell-Drummond leg before for seven.

The officials changed an out of shape ball, then umpire Wharf, who had complained of feeling unwell before the start, was replaced by Ben Debenham for the final two sessions of the game. 

Morne Morkel, Clarke and Conor McKerr combined superbly for Surrey to fully test the resolve of Dickson and his interim skipper, Heino Kuhn, but the fellow South Africans dug in to add a crucial 82 in 28 overs.

Dickson’s 178-ball stay for 91 ended in near identical fashion to his first innings, a luckless, edged leg glance to the keeper, but Ollie Robinson marched in to play a willing foil to Kuhn as Kent reached the tea break on 233 for four.       

Kuhn looked hopelessly out of sorts to begin with, particularly against the wily spin of Gareth Batty, but the former Proteas Test batsman battled to a 106-ball 50 with only three fours and settled into his work thereafter.

After tea, Surrey took the second new ball through Morkel and, only four balls later, Robinson inexplicably chipped a tame delivery to square leg to go for 34 and end a fifth-wicket stand worth 70.

Kuhn, in tandem with another countryman, Wiaan Mulder, the 21-year-old from Gauteng making his Kent debut, lasted a further six overs before fending at a Morkel lifter to be adjudged caught behind by umpire Lloyd. Kuhn, on 81 and clearly disgruntled with the decision, trudged off swishing his bat as Surrey finally saw his back after 207 minutes in the middle.

With 26 overs still to play, Mulder and left-hander Alex Blake joined forces to combat the visitors in a more counter-attacking style.

Mulder enjoyed a huge let-off with his score on 27 when he nicked to first slip Dean Elgar, only for umpire Lloyd to call a no ball allowing Kent to go into the final hour still six wickets down.

Surrey could celebrate soon after though when Blake, propping forward to the slow left-armer Elgar, offered a simple bat-pad catch to short leg.

Mulder posted a stylish first 50 in Kent colours from 71 balls with seven fours and, together with veteran Darren Stevens – whose first-class debut in April 1997 came 10 months prior to Mulder’s birth – took Kent to within 25 balls of safety when Stevens nicked a ‘snorter’ from Clarke to be caught behind for eight.

With tension at its peak, Mulder and Podmore saw out the final four overs to clinch a draw, with Kent claiming 10 points to Surrey’s 13pts.

Clarke and Morkel bowled their hearts out for three wickets apiece, but the day belonged to three, tremendously gritty Kentish South Africans.       

Kent - Sean Dickson, Zak Crawley, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn(c), Ollie Robinson(wk), Alex Blake, Wiaan Mulder, Darren Stevens, Harry Podmore, Matthew Milnes, Adam Riley

Surrey - Rory Burns(c), Mark Stoneman, Scott Borthwick, Dean Elgar, Ben Foakes(wk), Will Jacks, Sam Curran, Rikki Clarke, Morne Morkel, Gareth Batty, Conor McKerr

Hampshire v Nottinghamshire

Hampshire 310 and 367 - 5 dec

Nottinghamshire 239 and 194

Result - Hampshire won by 244 runs

Hampshire kept Somerset under pressure at the top of Division One of the Specsavers County Championship as they recorded a healthy 244 run victory over Nottinghamshire on the Isle of Wight.

Hampshire’s strong seam attack of Fidel Edwards, Keith Barker and Kyle Abbott did the brunt of the work with three wickets apiece, and ended with figures of three for 37, three for 42 and three for 46.

Hampshire have won three of their opening four Championship matches this season and took 22 points from this fixture to move to within two points of early pacesetters Somerset – who they will face in the Royal London One Day Cup final at Lord’s on Saturday.

On the other side of the coin, Nottinghamshire haven’t won a first-class match since June last year – a run of 12 winless games.

They claimed four bonus points from the match to go alongside their draw and two defeats so far in 2019.

Hampshire started the day needing eight wickets for victory in a minimum of 96 overs, having dismissed both Nottinghamshire openers in a tricky 15 over spell following their declaration the previous evening.

The sun shone again at Newclose, at it had for the majority of four glorious days on the other side of the Solent, on a wicket which had increasingly flattened.

Night-watchman Matt Carter only lasted until the fifth over of the blue skied fourth day before he was lbw to Keith Barker.

Left-armer Barker almost dismissed Joe Clarke for a duck, but Kyle Abbott spilled a chance at mid-on, before Abbott found the edge of Clarke’s bat three balls later, wicketkeeper Tom Alsop completing the catch.

Chris Nash had shown plenty of fight in the morning session to reach a third Championship half century of the season.

His most sturdy partnership was with Jake Libby, with the pair blocking out 16 overs.

But 10 minutes before lunch Libby departed when Fidel Edwards bounced him and the ball ballooned up to Oli Soames at short leg.

Wickets began to flow much more freely after the interval when Nash was leg before to Abbott for 60 to the sixth ball after lunch before Tom Moores followed in identical style soon after.

Steven Mullaney was handed a life when he edged Mason Crane to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip only for the ball to slip through his grasp.

Mullaney and Luke Fletcher held up proceedings for just over half an hour before Barker clipped the Nottinghamshire captain’s off-stump.

Stuart Broad edged Edwards to Rahane at first slip before the result was ratified at 3.10pm when Mason Crane found Jake Ball’s leading edge to Aneurin Donald at cover.

Hampshire - Joe Weatherley, Oliver Soames, Tom Alsop(wk), Sam Northeast(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ian Holland, Liam Dawson, Aneurin Donald, Keith Barker, Kyle Abbott, Fidel Edwards

Nottinghamshire - Ben Slater, Ben Duckett, Chris Nash, Joe Clarke, Steven Mullaney(c), Jake Libby, Tom Moores(wk), Luke Fletcher, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, Matthew Carter

Division Two

Northamptonshire v Sussex

Northamptonshire 368 and 288 - 6

Sussex 422 and 339 - 4 dec

Result - Match Drawn

Acting captain Adam Rossington made a battling half-century to secure Northamptonshire a draw with Sussex at Wantage Road. Set 394 in 90 overs, Northants were struggling at 162 for 5 with more than fifty overs remaining but Rossington helped share two fifty partnerships to save the game.

Rossington’s 69 from 168 balls earned Northants 11 points from a third draw of the season ahead of a week off. Sussex were denied a second victory and were forced to settle for 13 points as they head home to play Glamorgan on Monday.

But mid-afternoon, Sussex were moving swiftly towards victory as Northants lost 4 for 50 but the middle order resisted and the visitors were left wondering whether they declared too late.

After Ricardo Vasconcelos was held at third slip in the third over of the fourth innings, Josh Cobb and Ben Curran moved Northants comfortably to 112 for 1 with a stand of 99. But, as on the second afternoon, a loose shot paved the way for a collapse.

Curran wafted lazily outside off and was caught behind for 36 before Cobb shouldered arms and lost his off stump for 68 - both wickets to Hamza. Cobb’s innings was his second half-century in the game but again fell short of a match-changing contribution.

Rob Keogh was then pinned on the crease by Chris Jordan, was given out lbw, and a calamitous run out of Temba Bavuma saw Northants collapse. Bavuma, lightning between the wickets, pressed down the ground for a single that Rossington refused, and running back from half-way down, Bavuma was short when David Wiese threw down the striker’s stumps.

Rossington and Luke Procter managed to steady the situation and calmly played out 17 overs in a stand of 52. 187 were needed in 37 overs after tea - an equation that became an irrelevance when, seventh ball into the final session, Hamza moved one away to take Procter’s outside edge and the home side’s hopes were teased again.

But Hutton, who only entered the game on day three as Northants’ second concussion substitute, stubbornly knocked back 104 deliveries for an unbeaten 25 to help secure a draw with his acting captain.

It left the question of whether Sussex had given themselves enough time. After Phil Salt slammed 122 from just 104 balls on the third afternoon, the visitors looked like pushing for a declaration before the close. But a calm end to the day meant Sussex needed to come out again on the fourth morning to make their lead safe.

It took only four overs - where Ben Brown and Stiaan van Zyl added 47 - but seemed like runs that could have been made the previous evening. As it transpired, Sussex needed more time with the second new ball.

Northamptonshire - Ben Curran, Ricardo Vasconcelos, Alex Wakely(c), Temba Bavuma, Rob Keogh, Adam Rossington(wk), Luke Procter, Luke Wood, Jamie Overton, Nathan Buck, Ben Sanderson

Sussex - Philip Salt, Tom Haines, Luke Wells, Stiaan van Zyl, Harry Finch, Ben Brown(c)(wk), Chris Jordan, David Wiese, Danny Briggs, Mir Hamza, Abidine Sakande

Lancashire v Worcestershire

Lancashire 201 and 127 - 4

Worcestershire 172 and 154

Result - Lancashire won by 6 wickets

Lancashire secured a hard fought six-wicket victory over promotion rivals Worcestershire midway through the third afternoon to leapfrog them to the top of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two table.

Chasing 126 on a challenging Emirates Old Trafford surface, Lancashire slipped to 32 for four before lunch, only to recover through their South African captain Dane Vilas and fifth-wicket partner Rob Jones, who shared an unbroken 95 inside 30 overs.  

Vilas led the way with 60 not out off 89 balls, while Jones finished unbeaten on 31.

It means their 20-point win is their third on the spin to start 2019. 

It is the first time they have won their first three Championship matches in a campaign since 1995 and the days of Mike Atherton and Wasim Akram when they beat Durham and Warwickshire here and Middlesex at Lord’s.

For Worcester, who had to do without injured Wayne Parnell (hamstring) in Lancashire’s chase, this was a first defeat after two victories. But they certainly did not make it easy for their hosts.

Worcester’s second innings was wrapped up in the morning’s fourth over, for the addition of only five more runs to an overnight 149 for nine, in front of 1,500 children for Schools’ Open Day. 

Richard Gleeson had Joe Leach caught at mid-off by Jimmy Anderson following a miscue to secure his third five-wicket haul in four innings. 

Having claimed five wickets in each innings of the home victory against Northamptonshire last week, he finished with figures of five for 37 from 17.2 overs. 

While Gleeson claimed six wickets in the match, England’s Anderson picked up seven - five in the first innings and two in the second - to make it a successful return from a week out with a knee injury.

Sixteen years ago today, Anderson made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord’s.

Lancashire were then rocked early in their chase.

Captain Leach struck twice with the new ball added to a wicket apiece for Charlie Morris and Ed Barnard. 

Morris made the initial breakthrough when he had Haseeb Hameed caught at first slip by Riki Wessels with the 12th ball of the innings before Barnard trapped Jake Lehmann lbw as the score fell to 30 for two in the 10th over. 

Leach then struck twice in as many balls in the 13th over to set nerves jangling in the home dressing room. He forced Keaton Jennings (23) to play on and had Liam Livingstone caught by Wessels for a golden duck.

Vilas and Jones took the score to 59 for four at lunch before snuffing out Worcester’s chances afterwards with more calm and composed batting.

When Vilas clipped Leach through mid-wicket for four to move into the thirties, he brought up a half-century stand inside 20 overs and took the score to 82 for four with 44 more needed.

The visitors added far more to this fixture than their haul of three points suggests and will remain confident of keeping pace with Lancashire in pursuit of a top three finish for promotion. 

South African Parnell was probably the game’s standout performer with wickets and runs. 

He initially brought Worcester back into the game from 38 for seven in the first innings, scoring 63. He then took five for 47 with the ball and scored another 25 in the second innings. It is just hoped his hamstring injury is not too serious.

When Vilas reached his fifty off 73 balls, driving Barnard back down the ground for four - his seventh, Lancashire only needed 19. Jones later hit the winning runs.

Lancashire - Keaton Jennings, Haseeb Hameed, Liam Livingstone, Steven Croft, Jake Lehmann, Dane Vilas(c)(wk), Rob Jones, Tom Bailey, Richard Gleeson, James Anderson, Graham Onions

Worcestershire - Daryl Mitchell, Tom Fell, George Rhodes, Callum Ferguson, Riki Wessels, Ross Whiteley, Ben Cox(wk), Ed Barnard, Wayne Parnell, Joe Leach(c), Charlie Morris

Durham v Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire 174 & 119-4 beat Durham 158 & 132 by six wickets.

Gloucestershire have secured their first win of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two season by defeating Durham by six wickets at Emirates Riverside. 

The visitors required only 53 runs to win in the morning after the opening partnership between Chris Dent and Miles Hammond had knocked off over half of their target of 117 the previous evening. Although they lost three further wickets, Gloucestershire were able to ease their way to their maiden Championship victory of the term to move up into third in the table, eyeing a potential charge for promotion. 

Meanwhile, Durham slipped to their fourth defeat in a row in the Championship, remaining rooted to the bottom of Division Two. 

Gloucestershire began the day only one wicket down but they lost their nightwatchman Josh Shaw without adding to their overnight total as Chris Rushworth made the breakthrough. Shaw had been dropped two balls previously by Ryan Pringle at third slip, but Ned Eckersley claimed a routine catch to send him on his way.

Hammond made a solid knock of 36 to put Gloucestershire on the verge of victory. However, Matt Salisbury struck with his first ball of day three to deny the opener the chance to see his team over the line, edging behind to Eckersley. Salisbury then bowled George Hankins just before Jeff Bracey and Gareth Roderick were able to see out the comfortable win.

The visitors' clinical edge with the ball and in the field was the difference between the two sides. Gloucestershire capitalised on familiar failings in the Durham batting ranks to surge through the order twice in two days. Ryan Higgins, David Payne, Matt Taylor and Shaw were all on form, posing problems with their accuracy and the ability to find movement off the slow track. 

Graeme van Buuren played a pivotal role in Gloucestershire's victory when he ran out Cameron Bancroft on day two. The Aussie looked well set on 40 not out in his attempt to dig Durham out of trouble. However, Bancroft hesitated after his partner Liam Trevaskis called for a tight single, allowing Van Buuren to collect at cover before connecting with an accurate throw at the stumps. 

Bancroft's dismissal epitomised Durham's season in the Championship to date, failing in the decisive moments. Head coach James Franklin has made changes since replacing Jon Lewis, but he has yet to find a cure for his side's batting woes in the four-day format.  

Durham host Derbyshire and Northamptonshire in back-to-back matches at the beginning of June where they are in dire need of improvement to end their winless run in the Championship. Gloucestershire now prepare for a showdown against Lancashire at Cheltenham, beginning on Monday.

Durham - Alex Lees, Ryan Pringle, Cameron Bancroft(c), Gareth Harte, Jack Burnham, Ned Eckersley(wk), Liam Trevaskis, Ben Raine, Brydon Carse, Matthew Salisbury, Chris Rushworth

Gloucestershire - Miles Hammond, Chris Dent(c), James Bracey(wk), George Hankins, Gareth Roderick, Benny Howell, Ryan Higgins, Graeme van Buuren, Josh Shaw, David Payne, Matt Taylor

Derbyshire v Glamorgan


Derbyshire 378 and 213

Glamorgan 346 and 248 - 8

Result - Glamorgan won by 2 wickets

Derbyshire - Luis Reece, Billy Godleman(c), Wayne Madsen, Tom Lace, Alex Hughes, Harvey Hosein(wk), Matthew Critchley, Anuj Dal, Logan van Beek, Tony Palladino, Ravi Rampaul

Glamorgan - Nick Selman, Charlie Hemphrey, Marnus Labuschagne, David Lloyd(c), Billy Root, Jeremy Lawlor, Tom Cullen(wk), Dan Douthwaite, Lukas Carey, Michael Hogan, Andrew Salter

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