A reminder of the rules of the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy before a look at the happenings in Round 2.

  • 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.

9 matches started on Saturday 8th August, a day that the first Test Match between England and Pakistan held the attention of the majority of cricket fans I should imagine! England were set a total of 277 to chase, a total that really should have been out of their reach. A partnership of 139 between Jos Buttler 75 and Chris Woakes 84* for the 6th wicket saw the home team to an unlikely victory! We look forward to the second test starting on Thursday 13th August!

Back to County Cricket; and another mish mash of first and second division counties. I’m going to start with a match that was over in 2 days, another over in 3, before going to a quite remarkable partnership for Kent at Canterbury, a record breaking partnership at that!

Northamptonshire v Somerset – Tom Abell won the toss for Somerset and elected to bat – Somerset won by 167 runs

  • Somerset – 166 All Out, 222 All Out
    • Craig Overton – 53 from 30 balls in 63 minutes
    • Jamie Overton – 68 from 43 balls in 71 minutes
  • Northants – 67 All Out & 154 All Out
    • Ben Sanderson – 5 for 28 in 15 overs & 4 for 61

The Overton brothers starred in this one; taking 9 wickets between them, Somerset will be down to one twin next Summer as Jamie makes his move to Surrey and the Big Smoke.

Durham v Lancashire – Ned Eckersley won the toss for Durham and elected to bat – Lancashire won by an innings and 18 runs

  • Durham – 180 All Out & 110 All Out
    • Alex Lees – 66 from 205 balls in 263 minutes
  • Lancashire – 308 All Out
    • Josh Bohannon – 75 from 190 balls in 208 minutes

A big win for Lancashire at Chester-le-Street

Kent v Sussex – Ben Brown won the toss for Sussex and elected to bat – Kent win by an innings and 25 t=runs

  • Sussex – 332 All Out & 173 All Out
    • Tom Clark – 65 from 104 balls in 123 minutes
    • Ben Brown – 90 from 175 balls in 281 minutes
    • Harry Finch – 66 from 98 balls in 148 minutes
  • Kent – 530 for 1! (120 overs)
    • Jordan Cox – 238 from 345 balls in 474 minutes
    • Jack Leaning – 220 from 308 balls in 373 minutes
    • Darren Stevens – 5 for 50 in 15 overs
Darren Stevens in 2019 – still taking 5fers at 44!

Cox and Leaning put on a partnership of 423 – that leapfrogs a partnership of 38, also for the 2nd wicket, between Sean Dickson and Joe Denly in 2017. Quite remarkable efforts, especially in the midst of a heatwave! Cox made his debut for Kent in 2019 and is playing in just his 5th First Class game! One to keep and eye on (he’s a keeper too!). Leaning moved to Kent this season and had a previous high score of 123 in First Class cricket and an average of 29.90.

Leicestershire v Derbyshire – Harry Swindells won the toss for Leicestershire and elected to bat – Derbyshire won by 90 runs

  • Leicestershire – 199 All Out & 220 All Out
    • Harry Dearden – 70 from 107 balls in 136 minutes
  • Derbyshire – 408 All Out & 12 for 1
    • Luis Reece – 56 from 89 balls in 110 minutes
    • Wayne Madsen – 103 from 174 balls in 257 minutes
    • Leus du Plooy – 55 from 86 balls in 112 minutes
    • Harvey Hosein – 66 from 90 balls in 134 minutes
    • Matt Critchley – 6 for 73 in 25.3 overs

It took Derbyshire just 4 overs to reach the 12 needed for the victory on Day 3.

Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire – Steven Patterson won the toss for Yorkshire and elected to bat – Yorkshire won by 90 runs

  • Yorkshire – 264 All Out & 278 All Out
    • Harry Brook – 62 from 111 balls in 171 minutes
    • Jordan Thompson – 98 from 103 balls in 120 minutes
    • Adam Lyth – 50 from 124 balls in 172 minutes
    • Jonny Bairstow – 75 from 140 balls in 171 minutes
    • Jonathan Tattersall – 53 from 180 balls in 224 minutes
  • Nottinghamshire – 355 All Out & 97 All Out
    • Steven Mullaney – 50 from 85 balls in 119 minutes
    • Tom Moores – 106 from 140 balls in 183 minutes

It’s no surprise that the highest score in Notts second innings was 19 from Ben Duckett; no star bowlers for Yorkshire as the 5 bowlers shared the wickets. With both Olivier and Thompson taking 3 apiece.

Gloucestershire v Warwickshire – Will Rhodes won the toss for Warwickshire and put Gloucs in to bat – Gloucestershire won by 78 runs

  • Gloucestershire – 210 All Out & 275 All Out
    • Ben Charlesworth – 51 from 124 balls in 162 minutes
    • Ryan Higgins – 7 for 42 in 19.1 overs
  • Warwickshire – 247 All Out & 160 All Out
    • Matthew Lamb – 65 from 137 balls in 193 minutes
    • Oliver Hannon-Dalby – 6 for 33 in 23.3 overs

Medium pacer Ryan Higgins won the day for Gloucestershire at the County Ground in Bristol.

Matthew Lamb making runs against Essex last summer

Worcestershire v Glamorgan – Joe Leach won the toss for Worcs and elected to bat – The match was a Draw

  • Worcestershire – 455 for 8 (120 Overs) & 276 for 6
    • Jake Libby – 184 from 319 balls in 429 minutes
    • Brett D’Oliveira – 174 from 262 balls in 336 minutes
    • Daryl MItchell – 94 from 163 balls in 242 minutes
  • Glamorgan – 374 All Out & 141 for 7
    • Billy Root – 118 runs from 284 balls in 369 minutes
    • Graham Wagg – 54 from 89 balls in 165 minutes
    • Chris Cooke – 74 from 133 balls in 170 minutes

Amazingly the two big centuries at New Road were totally overshadowed by the remarkable happenings at The Spitfire Ground!

Essex v Surrey – Tom Westley won the toss for Essex and elected to bat – Essex won by 169 runs.

  • Essex – 262 All Out & 261 All Out
    • Feroze Khushi – 66 from 108 balls in 146 minutes
    • Adam Wheater – 52 from 101 balls in 130 minutes
    • Simon Harmer – 6 for 67 in 31.3 overs
    • Simon Harmer – 8 for 64 in 34.1 overs
  • Surrey – 187 All Out
    • Will Jacks – 70 from 127 balls in 185 minutes

Simon Harmer truly shone on a sweltering day in Chelmsford, not only did he take 8 wickets in Surrey’s second innings, but he also took what sounded like a wonder slips catch to dismiss Jamie Smith. This one I listened to; the commentators pointed out that in the last 3 years, with this truncated season added in, Harmer and Jamie Porter have taken over 400 wickets between them, if the spin doesn’t get you, the line and length will! What a joy to be an Essex member during this spell.

Middlesex v Hampshire – Sam Northeast won the toss and put Middlesex in to bat – Hampshire won by 3 wickets

  • Middlesex – 252 All Out & 201 All Out
    • Martin Andersson – 92 from 133 balls in 2020 minutes
  • Hampshire – 196 for 9 (111 overs) (Liam Dawson wasn;t able to bat) & 161 for 7
    • Joe Weatherley – 98 from 226 balls in 310 minutes
    • Sam Northeast – 51 from 138 balls in 206 minutes
    • Joe Weatherley – 64 in 178 balls in 250 minutes

Although Hampshire won by 3 wickets Liam Dawson’s horrendous injury, a ruptured Achilles Tendon, while he was batting early in the game, meant the finish was more tense than the result suggests. Hampshire’s day was largely saved by 23 year old Joe Weatherley.

At the end of Round 2 the teams sitting at the top of their respective tables are:-

  • Somerset – 40 Points
  • Debyshire – 44 Points
  • Essex – 42 Points

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