Today I watched an hour or so of cricket! Essex Second XI v Durham Second XI at the Cloud FM County Ground, goodness it was cold! But, I saw some good cricket and got my first photos of the season, I’m now looking forward to a couple of days at The Oval later in the week. I was also gifted this years’ Playfair Annual and a book I’m unfamiliar with, in spite of it being in its 40th year – The Cricketers Who’s Who 2019.

And so to the business in hand; there were 3 games in Division 2 in this first round of games. Here’s a quick summary and a look at the ‘Star Men’ (50 over over with the bat, 5 or more in an innings with the ball)

Sussex v Leicestershire

As was the way in 5 of the 6 matches in Round 1, Leicestershire, the visiting team put Sussex, the home team, in to bat. And straight away I’m into my Who’s Who book as Tom Taylor, (a player, in common with the book, I’m similarly unfamiliar with), took 6 wickets for 47 in 16 overs, that’s some bowling spell! One of the features of the WW book is (for some) a note of – Strangest Thing Seen in a Game – for Tom? Match abandoned because all the balls were lost! I presume that wasn’t a First Class match!

David Wiese top scored for Sussex with 51 from 66 balls, Sussex were bowled out for 173 in 44.2 overs. They say you can only judge a wicket once both teams have batted and Leicestershire fared slightly better. But the fact that they too only had one of my “Star Men” – Lewis Hill, who made 67 from 116 balls tells us their score wasn’t a big one. The wickets were shared by the Sussex bowlers who bowled Leicestershire out for 252, giving the visitors a lead of 79.

Sussex fared much better in their second innings, Philip Salt, opening shared a partnership of 105 with Tom Haines, reaching 80 himself, from just 67 balls, over 116 minutes. Haines made 39, Luke Wells 48, Stiaan van Zyl 41 and Harry Finch 48, that top order performance saw their team reach a much healthier 308, they batted for 84 overs, a full 40 more than their first innings. Tom Taylor took a further 4 wickets for 75 runs giving him 10 for the match.

The sum of Sussex’s innings left Leicestershire needing 230 to win the first match of the summer.

Three Leicestershire batsmen went over the 50 mark; Paul Horton made 61 from 112 balls, batting for 158 minutes. Hasan Azad made 59 after facing 173 balls, batting for 212 minutes. Mark Cosgrove helped push his team to the win with 53 runs from 86 balls in 135 minutes. Leicestershire made 232 for 3 in 73 overs, giving them the victory.

Star Men

  • David Wiese (Sussex) – 51 from 66 Balls
  • Tom Taylor (Leicestershire) – 6 for 47 and 4 for 75
  • Philip Salt (Sussex) – 80 from 67 Balls
  • Paul Horton (Leicestershire) – 26 & 61 from 112 Balls
  • Hasan Azad (Leicestershire) – 6 & 59 from 112 Balls
  • Mark Cosgrove (Leicestershire) – 53 from 86 Balls

Northamptonshire v Middlesex

Another visiting team took the bowling option and another home team (in common with Hampshire) fared well with ‘Star Men’ dotted through their batting line up. Northamptonshire batted for 132 overs and made 445. Alex Wakely (Captain) batted for 207 minutes, making 76 from the 140 balls he faced. A WW Surprising Fact about Alex – He plays the piano! Something I want to learn to do, I have more chance of that than learning to bat! Adam Rossington batting at 6 scored 67 from 81 balls before being bowled by Toby Roland-Jones (great to see his name on the scorecard!). Coming in at 8 Luke Proctor top scored for Norrhants making 81 from 139 balls, he batted for 192 minutes.

One Middlesex bowler, Tim Murtagh had a good innings, he took 6 for 80 in 32 overs.

Middlesex failed to avoid the follow on, James Harris, batting at 8 top scored with 61 from 105 balls, he batted for 151 minutes; over twice as long as any of his colleagues. Nathan Buck – who has a very different WW Surprising Fact – 7 A*’s and 3 A’s in his GCSE’S – clever lad! Is one of the Star Men in this match, he took 5 for 54 in 16.4 overs. Middlesex were bowled out for 271.

Dawid Malan a few season ago watching 6’s soar above his head at Essex

Dawid Malan starred in Middlesex’s second innings, making the second highest First Class score of this round, behind Sam Northeast, he scored 160* from 281 balls, batting for 160 minutes. While I don’t know exactly what went on during this match I imagine some kind of agreement must have been made between the 2 captains, Malan and Wakely as Middlesex declared on 317 for 4. Rumour has it that Middlesex needed to get their run rate up, a whole 6.5 overs were bowled by them, with Eoin Morgan bowling 3 of them, having only bowled 102 balls in First Class cricket in his career. This strangeness led to an inevitable draw as Northants finished on 10 for no wicket.

Star Men

  • Alex Wakely (Northants) – 76 from 140 Balls
  • Adam Rossington (Northants) – 67 from 81 Balls
  • Luke Proctor (Northants) – 81 from 139 Balls
  • Nathan Buck (Northants) – 5 for 54
  • Tim Murtagh (Middlesex) – 6 for 80 (didn’t bowl in the 2nd innings)
  • Dawid Malan (Middlesex) – 19 & 160 from 281 Balls

Derbyshire v Durham

The 6th match and the only one where a Toss actually took place! Ironically Derbyshire won that toss and elected to bat, on the face of it that didn’t go too well. They were bowled out for 197 in 72 overs, with Harvey Hosein saving their total blushes with 78 from 172 balls, he batted for 237 minutes, the next closest to him time wise was Alex Hughes who batted for 68 minutes. Unfortunately Hosein was run out, which is a real shame after showing such patience. His WW Surprising Fact? He played County Level Tennis when he was younger. Sportsmen are often good at more than one sport I find.

Back to the match – Durham didn’t manage to get a lead in their innings, they only batted for 67 overs, slightly fewer than Derbyshire, they made slightly fewer runs too. Luis Reece took 5 for 47 in 17.1 overs and here comes another WW Surprising Fact – he played Chess at National Level! Those watching weren’t being treated to batting masterclasses as Durham were all out for 171.

Derbyshire lost 2 early wickets but with 3 batsmen in the Star Men running they amassed 334 in their second innings, batting a whole 111.2 overs. Tom Lace batting at 4 made 61 from 127 balls in 172 minutes, Harvey Hosein was in the runs again making 62 from 121 balls in 161 minutes, Matthew Critchley batting at 7 made 51 from 66 balls. A word for Alex Hughes who faced 130 balls in 187 minutes making 39, that’s the definition of patience!

Durham required 361 for victory, they improved on their first innings but still fell short by 125 runs. Gareth Harte and Alex Lees started well with an opening stand of 83, Lees falling first having made 59 from 118 balls, Will Smith gets a mention for getting a Golden Duck, miserable in any match, let alone the first of the season! I just have to share his WW Favourite Quote or Saying – “Don’t get Bitter, Get Better” (Ottis Gibson) – how incredibly apt! Harte battled on for 258 minutes, he faced 215 balls and made 69. The next highest score was 32 and Durham were bowled out for 235 in 92 overs and the win was Derbyshire’s.

Star Men

  • Harvey Hosein (Derbyshire) – 78 from 172 Balls & 62 from 121 Balls
  • Luis Reece (Derbyshire) – 5 for 47, 1 for 21
  • Tom Lace – 8 & 61 from 127 Balls
  • Matt Critchley (Derbyshire) – 24 & 51 from 66 Balls
  • Gareth Harte (Durham) – 69 from 215 Balls
  • Alex Lees (Durham) – 59 from 118 Balls

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