Sunday 5th May gave us 4 Royal London Cup matches, a top spot was up for grabs, the match I was at was purely for pride between Kent and Essex. It may have been May but it felt more like November for most of the day at Beckenham, 5 layers and I was still cold! On to the who’s who of the Royal London Cup today.

Sussex 219 All Out v Gloucestershire 335 for 6

Chris Dent won the toss for Gloucestershire and elected to bat. An opening stand of 110 between Dent and Miles Hammond got Gloucs off to a good start. Hammond who finished on 95 from 105 balls also shared a partnership of 51 with Gareth Roderick who made 53. While the strike rate of the top 3 was under 100 they each made runs. Benny Howell in at 5 made 41 from 37 balls and Jack Taylor batting at 6 ended not out on 69 from just 26 balls, a strike rate of 265.38.

Sussex still had their eyes on a play off place, but they struggled throughout their innings. With the biggest partnership being 65 for the 6th wicket between David Wiese and Ben Brown achieving the total needed was unlikely. Wiese top scored with 55 from 58 balls. Sussex were bowled out for 219 in 43.2 overs. A win for Gloucestershire by 116 runs.

Somerset 216 All Out v Hampshire 221 for 3

Tom Abell won the toss for Somerset and elected to bat. Somerset were looking to cement a play off place, Hampshire to cement top place.

In common with the Sussex innings Sussex struggled to build a partnership, they too had their best for the 6th wicket as George Bartlett who finished with 40 and Lewis Gregory put on 60 runs. In the scheme of a final total of 216 that was a decent partnership. Somerset were bowled out in 40.3 overs.

In reply Hampshire powered their way to a winning score, it took them just 31.3 overs to score 221. They lost 3 wickets in doing so, with Aiden Markram making 61 from 60 balls, and Sam Northeast finishing not out 51 from 46 balls. Hampshire won by 7 wickets; they’ve completed their games and will finish top of the Southern League.

Middlesex 289 for 5 v Glamorgan 285 All Out

Stevie Eskinazi won the toss for Middlesex and put Glamorgan in to bat. After falling to 12 for 1 Glamorgan put on 71 for the 2nd wicket between Jeremy Lawlor with 38 and Chris Cooke who finished on 46 from 54 balls. Nathan Sowter is a bowler whose name keeps cropping up as I’m writing about these matches. He took 4 for 58 in this innings, the best of the Middlesex bowlers as he’s been a few times. Charlie Hemphrey, batting at 6 top scored with 87 from 81 balls, he batted for 100 minutes. Glamorgan were All out for 285 in the 50th over.

At 2 for 1 Middlesex’s reply didn’t start too well, Max Holden was out for a Duck in the second over. Sam Robson his opening partner and Nick Gubbins pulled things back with a stand of 147, Robson was out in the 26th over having made 79 from 91 balls. Gubbins finished his innings on 92 from 91 balls. Stevie Eskinazi and Gubbins put on 64 for the 4th wicket. Eskinazi was not out 71 from 58 balls as Middlesex reached 289 in 47.3 overs, winning by 5 wickets.

Kent 272 for 4 v Essex 271 for 9

This match at Beckenham was purely for pride, the Battle of The Bridge as matches between these 2 teams are labelled. I crossed that bridge a little late and compounded my tardiness by going to the wrong ground.

Heino Kuhn had won the toss for Kent and put Essex in to bat. I missed Varun Chopra probably by around an hour as he was out for 2, Essex were at that point 2 for 1. Alastair Cook was batting with Tom Westley as I took my seat. Both made runs, but both realistically used too many balls for the runs they made; 53 for Cook, from 67 balls and 58 for Westley from 66 balls. Westley was trapped LBW by Daniel Bell-Drummond in the 21st over, Cook fell to a superb catch by Matt Renshaw from the bowling of Harry Podmore.

I’m going all match report here and I’ll do that in another article. So, to précis the Essex innings; they went from 125 for 3 to 254 for 9 in their 50 overs. Kent were on fire in the field, catching practice must’ve been high on the agenda!

In reply Daniel Bell Drummond and Zac Crawley had an opening partnership of 188, the pair looked in fine form and both were heading to their century until Crawley was trapped LBW by Ravi Bopara. He’d made 94, I am an Essex member and fan, but I was disappointed for Crawley, he deserved his century. The pair had taken 33.2 overs to reach 188, Kent required 84 in 100 balls. A quick fire 20 from captain Heino Kuhn alongside Bell-Drummond who finished on 120 not out from 123 balls, helped Kent to the 272 they needed to win on the 47th over. Kent won by 6 wickets and leap frogged Essex into 7th place.

  • Daniel Bell-Drummond – 120 from 123 Balls – Strike Rate 97.56
A captain’s congratulations for Daniel Bell-Drummond

Some International Cricket

Bell-Drummond was the only Star Man by my criteria today, but an amazing partnership happened at the Clontarf Cricket Club in Dublin. John Campbell and Shai Hope smashed the previous record for an opening pair. They batted together for 47.1 of the 50 overs making 365! Campbell made 170 from 137 balls and Hope 170 from 152 balls. The West Indies made 281 for 3, they bowled Ireland out for 185, winning by 196 runs.

England played Pakistan in Cardiff in the single T20 of this series. Pakistan made 173 for 6 in their 20 overs, with Babar Azam top scoring on 65 from 42 balls. England chased the total with 4 balls to spare, Joe Root made 47 in 42 balls but it was captain Eoin Morgan who really took the game away from Pakistan hitting 57 from 29 balls. England won by 7 wickets.

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