After the disappointment of sitting through the most glorious Spring with absolutely no cricket, Saturday 1st August saw the return of County Cricket. It had been my intention to attend all but one of Essex’s County games and that only because I was due to be watching England play Pakistan. But that wasn’t to be this summer, I was however lucky enough to be at The Oval for their trial run against Middlesex, so I’m going to litter this article with probably the only cricket photos I’ll take in 2020!

In place of the 2 division County Championship we have the Bob Willis Trophy, 3 leagues of 6 teams. Each County will play 5 four day games, the 2 group winners with the most points will contest a 5 day final.

There have been a couple of changes to help facilitate the tournament.

  • A reduction to a minimum of 90 overs in a day’s play.
  • Each county’s first innings of a match can last no longer than 120 overs.
  • The follow-on will increase from 150 to 200 runs.
  • The new ball will be available after 90 overs rather than 80 overs.
  • Points awarded for a draw will increase from five (in the County Championship) to eight to help mitigate against the impact of weather during a shortened competition.
  • All other points scoring will remain the same as in the County Championship, such as 16 points for a win with a maximum of five batting and three bowling bonus points in the first innings.
  • For the final, in the event of a draw, whichever team gains a first-innings lead will be determined the winner when both first innings are completed. In any other circumstance of a draw or tie, the trophy will be shared.

I’m going to summarise each match and highlight some star performances, with all innings over 50 and any good bowling performance given a mention; starting with the match that finished within 3 days –

Sussex v Hampshire – Sussex won the toss and elected to bat – Sussex won by 94 runs

  • Sussex 176 All Out & 221 All Out
    • Philip Salt – 69 from 83 balls in 150 minutes
    • Philip Salt – 80 from 134 balls in 221 minutes
    • George Garton – 54* from 107 balls in 153 minutes
  • Hampshire 153 All Out & 150 All Out
    • Jordan Crane took 6 wickets in the match, 3 in each innings

Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire – Derbyshire won the toss and put Notts in to bat – Derbyshire won by 3 wickets

  • Nottinghamshire 324 All Out & 279 All Out
    • Chris Nash – 59 from 86 balls in 124 minutes
    • Haseeb Hameed – 68 from 143 balls in 192 minutes
    • Haseeb Hameed – 52 from 143 balls in 244 minutes
    • Samit Patel – 63 from 70 balls in 89 minutes
    • Samit Patel – 80 from 94 balls in 147 minutes
  • Derbyshire 239 All Out & 365 for 7 (120.5 overs)
    • Leus du Ploy – 130 from 177 balls in 291 minutes
    • Billy Godleman – 86 from 137 balls in 187 minutes
    • Fynn Hudson-Prentice – 91 from 169 balls in 222 minutes

Durham v Yorkshire – Durham won the toss and elected to bat – Yorkshire won by 6 wickets

  • Durham 103 All Out & 266 All Out
    • Alex Lees – 106 from 263 balls in 388 minutes
    • David Beddingham – 77 from 146 balls in 200 minutes
  • Yorkshire 199 All Out & 172 for 4
    • Dawid Malan – 73 from 105 balls in 168 minutes
    • Harry Brook – 66 from 90 balls in 120 minutes

Lancashire v Leicestershire – Lancashire won the toss and elected to bat – Leicestershire won by 7 wickets

  • Lancashire 322 All Out & 236 All Out
    • Dane Vilas – 90 from 125 balls in 159 minutes
    • Steven Croft – 63 from 138 balls in 199 minutes
    • Alex Davies – 54 from 85 balls in 130 minutes
  • Leicestershire 409 for 8 dec (119 0vers) & 150 for 3
    • Hassan Azad – 58 from 165 balls in 224 minutes
    • Ben Slater – 172 from 338 balls in 401 minutes
    • Colin Ackerman – 73 from 41 balls in 67 minutes

Gloucestershire v Worcestershire – Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bat – Worcestershire won by 8 wickets

  • Gloucestershire 267 All Out & 270 All Out
    • Chris Dent – 92 from 184 balls in 272 minutes
    • Chris Dent – 67 from 133 balls in 187 minutes
    • Graeme van Buren – 60 from 138 balls in 154 minutes
    • George Hankins – 69 from 195 balls in 281 minutes
  • Worcestershire 428 for 5 (in 120 Overs) & 113 for 2
    • Daryl MItchell – 80 from 161 balls in 192 minutes
    • Jake Libby – 77 from 181 balls in 248 minutes
    • Jack Haynes – 51 from 115 balls in 156 minutes
    • Brett D’Oliveira – 91 from 104 balls in 143 minutes

Somerset v Glamorgan – Somerset won the toss and elected to bat – Somerset won by 289 runs

  • Somerset 296 All out & 290 for 8 dec
    • Steve Davies – 80 from 108 balls in 205 minutes
    • Jack Brooks – 72 from 58 balls in 67 minutes
    • Tom Abell – 119 from 167 balls in 263 minutes
    • Ben Green – 54 from 152 balls in 169 minutes
    • Craig Overton – 5 for 38
    • Jamie Overton – 5 for 48
  • Glamorgan 131 All Out & 166 All Out
    • Chris Cooke – 82 from 138 balls in 171 minutes

Warwickshire v Northamptonshire – Warwickshire won the toss and put Northants in to bat – Match Drawn

  • Northamptonshire 142 All Out & 507 for 6 dec (175 overs)
    • Ben Curran – 58 from 88 balls in 120 minutes
    • Charlie Thurston – 96 from 168 balls in 198 minutes
    • Adam Rossington – 135 from 399 balls in 497 minutes
    • Luke Proctor – 112 from 234 balls in 319 minutes
  • Warwickshire 369 for 8 (120 overs)
    • Rob Yates – 88 from 262 balls in 326 minutes
    • Tim Bresnan – 105 from 209 balls in 289 minutes

Essex v Kent – Kent won the toss and elected to bat – Essex won by 2 wickets

  • Kent 387 All Out (104.3 overs) & 112 All Out
    • Ollie Robinson – 78 from 124 balls in 167 minutes
    • Heino Kuhn – 140 from 248 runs in 343 minutes
  • Essex 298 All Out
    • Nick Browne – 61 from 179 balls in 226 minutes
    • Ryan ten Doeschate – 78 from 170 balls in 224 minutes
    • Alastair Cook – 66 from 116 balls in 172 minutes

Surrey v Middlesex Middlesex won the toss and elected to bat – Middlesex won by 190 runs

  • Middlesex 347 for 6 dec & 248 for 6 dec
    • Nick Gubbins – 192 from 315 balls in 435 minutes
    • Nick Gubbins – 60 from 93 balls in 121 minutes
    • John Simpson – 53 from 109 balls in 160 minutes
    • Martin Anderrson – 51 from 62 balls in 72 minutes
    • Tim Murtagh – 5 for 47
  • Surrey 282 All Out & 123 All Out
    • Scott Borthwick – 92 from 240 balls in 328 minutes
    • Jamie Smith – 80 from 166 balls in 219 minutes
    • Daniel Moriarty – 5 for 64

Some star innings amongst this first set of games, the strangest (non) result must be the draw at Edgbaston where Adam Rossington kept his team at the crease for 175 overs in their second innings!

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