With my team , Essex, playing at The Oval I managed to witness 2 full days of County Cricket. The photos in this article will be from that game; I took thousands as usual!

We had a full set of matches this week, here’s a round up of what occurred, I’m hoping to include my Star Men correctly first time this week. Any score over 50 and any bowler taking 5 or more wickets.

Warwickshire v Kent

Two of the teams promoted back to Division 1 met at Edgbaston, in Week 1 there was only one toss, things were different this time round. Kent Captain for this one, Heino Kuhn won the toss and elected to bat. That proved to be a good decision as they reached 504 for 9 before they declared, having reached the maximum 5 batting points in just over 104 overs. Zac Crawley, who was 21 in February, opened and batted for 244 minutes, he faced 244 balls and scored 108. I read the sports section of the Telegraph over lunch on Day 2 at The Oval, beyond belief they got his name wrong! The writer in that case clearly doesn’t live by Zac’s favourite quote according to The Cricketer’s Who’s Who 2019 – ‘Everyone has the will to win, the best have the will to prepare to win’

504 is a lot of runs, although this was by no means the highest score in this round of county matches! Kent had another 2 batsmen who’ll be going on my Star Man list – Heino Kuhn, batting at 5 scored 72 from 97 balls. Ollie Robinson batted for just over 5 hours, facing 228 balls, he scored 143. The wickets were shared around so no bowler of note as far as this article is concerned.

Warwickshire had a battle on their hands; Dom Sibley opened, he batted for 400 minutes, over 6.5 hours, facing 315 balls and scoring 132. His was the 8th wicket to fall and the highest stand, of 87 was for the 5th wicket as he batted with Tim Ambrose who scored 44. Warwickshire were bowled out for 346 falling just short by 8 runs of the total required to avoid the follow on.

Warwickshire fell to 121 for 7 before a stand at last, Tim Ambrose and Henry Brookes put on 144 for that 8th wicket. Ambrose made 107 after batting for over 4 hours, he faced 195 balls. Brookes batting at 9 batted for over 3 hours, facing 155 balls and making 84. A Kent bowler did shine in this innings taking 5 for 62 in 29 overs. Warwickshire were bowled out for 280 in 93.1 overs, leaving Kent with 123 required to win.

Zac Crawley made 45 of those runs and Matt Renshaw (another Australian getting some practice in English conditions) 48, Warwickshire took Crawley and his fellow openers wicket Sean Dickson; Kent won by 8 wickets and sit 3rd in the table.

Star Men

  • Zac Crawley (Kent) – 108 runs from 172 Balls and 45
  • Heino Kuhn (Kent) – 72 runs from 97 Balls
  • Ollie Robinson (Kent) – 143 from 228 Balls
  • Dom Sibley (Warwicks) – 132 from 315 Balls and 5
  • Tim Ambrose (Warwicks) – 107 from 195 Balls and 45
  • Henry Brookes (Warwicks) – 84 from 155 Balls
  • Harry Podmore (Kent) – 3 for 61 and 5 for 62

Surrey v Essex

Surrey’s season started as it finished in 2018 with a match against Essex at The Oval. Essex lost Ravi Bopara in the warm up, he was replaced by Rishi Patel, who I’d seen playing 2nd XI cricket the day before. In common with the match at Edgbaston the toss was taken, Rory Burns won the toss and elected to bat.

An iconic view!

As I’ve written in my match report for the match this is a match up that gives me mixed feelings, Essex are my team and I always want them to win, but I’m also a Surrey member and a great admirer of several of their players, individuals I want to do well.

Rory Burns opened with Mark Stoneman and they put on 75 before Burns was caught by on loan keeper Robbie White from the bowling of Jamie Porter. Stoneman followed soon after. Surrey had 3 significant innings which took them to 395. Ben Foakes scored 69 from 90 balls batting for 111 minutes, his innings was a delight to watch, he played some wonderful shots.

An overjoyed Ryan Patel reaching his maiden century

Will Jacks, who was 20 in November opened his account with a 6 and went on to score 88 from 111 balls batting for over 2 hours. But, the star of this batting show was Ryan Patel, he came in at 3 with Surrey on 82 for 2, which quickly became 86 for 3. He batted for over 6 hours, facing 278 balls. This was a truly patient and considered innings, he reached his century in the nick of time before Surrey lost all of their wickets. Peter Siddle (spot another Australian in practice) took 6 for 104 in 25 overs.

The joys of a wicket!

I must confess I was nervous after Essex’s fairly disastrous start to the season, but those worries were unfounded as they reached then exceeded the Surrey first innings total. That was largely down to the efforts of Dan Lawrence who made 93 after batting for 232 minutes, facing 164 balls. Essex were on 20 for 2 when he joined Tom Westley, the pair put on a valuable 90 with 41 for Westley. Rishi Patel made 32 before losing his wicket just before tea on Day 2 bringing captain Ryan ten Doeschate in to bat.

Ryan ten Doeschate

Ten Doeschate played a captain’s innings, scoring 130 from 166 balls in 226 minutes. Robbie White chipped in with 39 and Peter Siddle finishing not out on 41. Essex were all out for 448, reaching 4 batting points.

I wasn’t able to go to Days 3 and 4, but it would seem that Day 4 in particular was batting practice for the home team. Rory Burns made 98 after batting for other 4 hours and facing 166 balls. Ollie Pope made 69 from 80 balls and Will Jacks shone again with 54 from 91 balls. Simon Harmer took 5 for 88 from his 36 overs, adding to the 3 he took in the first innings. Surrey declared on 324 for 6.

I can’t quite believe I’m typing the next sentence; Jamie Porter and Alastair Cook opened the batting for Essex, with Porter facing an over from Rory Burns! A draw was then declared with both teams taking 5 points.

Star Men

  • Ryan Patel (Surrey) – 100 from 278 Balls
  • Ben Foakes (Surrey) – 69 from 90 Balls
  • Will Jacks (Surrey) – 88 from 111 Balls & 54 from 91 Balls
  • Peter Siddle (Essex) – 6 for 104
  • Dan Lawrence (Essex) – 93 from 164 Balls
  • Ryan ten Doeschate (Essex) – 130 from 166 Balls
  • Rory Burns (Surrey) – 98 from 166 Balls
  • Ollie Pope (Surrey) – 69 from 80 Balls
  • Simon Harmer (Essex) – 5 for 88 and 3 for 72

Nottinghamshire v Somerset

There was no toss and Trent Bridge, therefore Notts batted first. Lewis Gregory started well and carried on where he’d left off, he took 6 for 68 in 16.4 overs as Notts were bowled out for 263. There were 2 half centuries amongst that innings, with Chris Nash making 58 from 72 balls and Luke Wood 52 from 64 balls. Nottinghamshire were back in the pavilion after just 66.4 overs. Lewis Gregory excelled for a second week taking 6 for 68 in 16.4 overs.

In reply Somerset had two centurions with Tom Abell batting for just under 4 hours facing 198 balls, he made 101. And George Bartlett who made 133 after batting for over 5 hours, facing 223 balls. In good news for England fans Stuart Broad was the stand out bowler, he took 5 fo r78 in 25 .1 overs. Somerset were all out for 403.

Nottinghamshire had a poor second innings being bowled out for 126, Jack Leach took 6 for 36 in 17 overs, with 6 maidens amongst those 17. Somerset with a perfect start to the season won by an innings and 14 runs and currently sit at the top of the table with 43 points.

Star Men

  • Chris Nash (Notts) – 58 from 72 Balls
  • Luke Wood (Notts) – 52 from 64 Balls
  • Lewis Gregory (Somerset) – 6 for 68
  • Tom Abell (Somerset) – 101 from 198 Balls
  • George Bartlett (Somerset) – 133 from 223 Balls
  • Stuart Broad (Notts) – 5 for 73
  • Jack Leach (Somerset) – 6 for 36

Hampshire v Yorkshire

Hampshire had beaten my team by and innings and some in week one, but, what a difference a week makes! A toss was taken, which Yorkshire won, they elected to bat.

On the road for a second week 2 of week one’s key performers did their thing again at the Ageas Bowl. Adam Lyth opened with Harry Brook, who was out for 5, Lyth however made 67 from 92 balls, batting for just under 2 hours. the two repeat performers – Gary Ballance with 148 from 308 balls, he batted for 413 minutes, nearly 7 hours. He and Joe Root put on 182 with Root scoring 94 from 189 balls, he batted for nearly 4 hours. Jack Leaning batting at 7 made 77 from 152 balls, he was at the crease for 196 minutes. Jonatahn Tattersall made 52 from 83 balls, batting for 101 minutes. Yorkshire declared on 554 for 7.

Hampshire found themselves on 11 for 2 in reply, not the best chasing over 500. Aiden Markram made 45 batting at 3 but only 2 players got over the 50 mark. Sam Northeast made 99 from 202 balls, he batted for over 5 hours as others lost their wickets around him. He and Liam Dawson put on a stand of 109 with Dawson making 57 from 96 balls. Hampshire were all out for 302 which left them following on.

Hampshire were 59 for 8 and Yorkshire were causing to a big win, Liam Dawson and Keith Barker put a spanner in their works as they were considering an early journey home. They put on a stand of 131 as Dawson made 92 from 167 balls batting for 202 minutes. Barker made 64 from 108 balls, coming in 10 that was some going. However Hampshire were all out for 208 so it was all just a delay as Yorkshire won by an innings and 44 runs. Yorkshire sit second in the table on 32 points.

Star Men

  • Adam Lyth (Yorks) – 67 from 92 Balls
  • Gary Ballance (Yorks) – 148 from 308 Balls
  • Joe Root (Yorks) – 94 from 189 Balls
  • Jack Leaning (Yorks) – 77 from 152 Balls
  • Jonathan Tattersall (Yorks) – 52 from 83 Balls
  • Sam Northeast (Hants) – 99 from 202 Balls
  • Liam Dawson (Hants) – 57 from 96 & 92 from 167 Balls
  • Keith Barker (Hants) – 64 from 108 Balls

Things went a bit crazy in Division 2, more to come on that!


  1. Do you think groundsmen have been instructed to prepare very dry, almost white pitches rather than the early season ‘green seamers’ since there seem to be runs aplenty rather than wickets aplenty at this stage of the season? The pitches at Lords and the Oval looked identical!


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