A refresh of the rules for this Summer’s competition

  • 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 spent most of my weekend hoping to see some test cricket – the second test between England and Pakistan saw Pakistan win the toss and elect to bat. They were bowled out for 236 in 91.2 overs. England faced just 43.1 overs, scoring 110 for 4. That’s just 134.3 overs in 5 days. Typically the heavens decided to open in the South of the country bringing with it murky weather in Southampton. As much play was lost due to bad light as rain it seemed. Rain is a difficult one to counter, but covering more of the field could be one option to help play start more rapidly. But, bad light could be countered by playing the game with a pink ball. The whole match would need to be played with that different ball. Could it be an option when the weather is largely known? I’d say so. 2 years ago I went to every day of the India Test at the Ageas/Rose Bowl. That was a decent cost for the tickets with 5 nights in the hotel near the ground too. Had I only seen 134 overs of cricket I’d have been more than upset!

Back to the matter in hand, this weekend’s Bob Willis Trophy matches. This competition was also rain affected, resulting in 6 of the 9 games ending in a draw, bringing into play point five with 8 points for a Draw. Here’s a look at who performed well, in spite of the weather!

Lancashire v Nottinghamshire – Dane Vilas won the toss for Lancashire and put Notts in to bat – Match Drawn

  • Nottinghamshire – 472 All Out (119.5 overs)
    • Ben Slater – 142 from 298 balls in 408 minutes
    • Ben Duckett – 116 from 156 balls in 199 minutes
    • Joe Clarke – 57 from 97 balls in 166 minutes
    • Steven Mullaney – 67 from 71 balls in 126 minutes
  • Lancashire – 173 All Out & 120 for 0
    • Steven Croft – 59 from 114 balls in 158 minutes
    • Alex Davies – 69 from 112 balls in 183 minutes

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to score a century only to find there was no chance of a result for your team!

Leicestershire v Durham – Colin Ackermann won the toss and put Durham in to bat- Match Drawn

  • Durham – 291 for 8 dec – second innings forfeit
    • Alex Lees – 64 from 161 balls in 220 minutes
    • David Bedingham – 96 from 139 balls in 172 minutes
  • Leicestershire – 208 for 3 – second innings forfeit
    • Sam Evans – 85 from 175 balls in 247 minutes
    • Colin Ackermann – 61 from 103 balls in 154 minutes

Yorkshire v Derbyshire – Harvey Hosein won the toss for Derbyshire and put Yorkshire in to bat – Match Drawn

  • Yorkshire – 400 for 6 dec (101.1 overs)
    • Dawid Malan – 219 from 244 balls in 366 minutes
    • Jonathan Tattersall – 66 from 160 balls in 218 minutes
  • Derbyshire – 300 for 7 dec (107.1 0vers)
    • Billy Godleman – 54 from 131 balls in 215 minutes
    • Matthew Critchley – 63 from 159 balls in 219 minutes
    • Anuj Dal – 78* from 115 balls in 168 minutes

The stand out batting performance of Round 3 has to be Dawid Malan in just his 3rd match for his new county – 219 runs scored from 244 balls, that double century included 28 Fours and 4 Sixes.

Glamorgan v Gloucestershire – Chris Dent won the toss for Gloucs and put Glamorgan in to bat – Match Drawn

  • Glamorgan – 116 All Out & 198 for 8
    • Nick Selman – 55 from 115 balls in 165 minutes
    • Chris Cooke – 59 from 158 balls in 277 minutes
  • Gloucestershire – 181 All Out

Northamptonshire v Worcestershire – Adam Rossington won the toss or Northants and put Worcs in to bat – Worcestershire won by 78 runs

  • Worcestershire – 219 All Out & 255 for 5 dec
    • Rikki Wessels – 88 from 78 balls in 128 minutes
  • Northamptonshire – 212 All Out & 184 All Out

Warwickshire v Somerset – Will Rhodes won the toss for Warwicks and elected to bat – Match Drawn

  • Warwickshire – 121 All Out & 140 for 8
  • Somerset – 413 for 9 dec (99 overs)
    • Steve Davies – 123 from 182 balls in 279 minutes
    • Jamie Overton – 120 from 92 balls in 139 minutes

Another 2 centuries in a drawn game, Jamie Overton added a century to the 68 runs he scored in Somerset’s second innings in Round 2.

Hampshire v Surrey – Mark Stoneman won the toss for Surrey and elected to bat – Hampshire won by an innings and 52 runs

  • Surrey – 172 All Out & 74 All Out
    • Laurie Evans – 65 from 87 balls in 119 minutes
    • Ammar Virdi – 6 for 101 in 26 Overs
  • Hampshire
    • Tom Alsop – 87 from 160 balls in 26 minutes
    • Sam Northeast – 81 from 121 balls in 149 minutes
    • Ian Holland – 6 for 60 in 20 overs

Surrey welcomed Jason Roy back from the England camp and Morne Morkel was back in the fold too. Roy contributed just 18 runs across his 2 innings and Morkel returned figures of 0 for 28 in 14 overs. The county are missing their England contingent badly! This was the first match in my list to see bowlers excel.

Kent v Middlesex – Sam Billings won the toss for Kent and put Middlesex in to bat – Match Drawn

  • Middlesex – 269 All Out & 169 for 1 dec
    • Robbie White – 99 from 220 balls in 280 minutes
    • Max Holden – 72 from 81 balls in 142 minutes
    • Sam Robson – 82 from 143 balls in 162 minutes
    • Miguel Cummins – 5 for 62 in 19.1 overs
  • Kent – 191 All Out & 70 for o
    • Joe Denly – 89 from 154 balls in 215 minutes
    • Darren Stevens – 5 for 79 in 31 minutes

Another 2 great bowling contributions – that of course had to include Darren Stevens, with his second 5fer of the tournament! It’s good to see Joe Denly back and in the runs too!

Sussex v Essex – Tom Westley won the toss for Essex and put Sussex in to bat – Essex won by 3 wickets

  • Sussex – 194 All Out & 141 All Out
    • Philip Salt – 57 from 82 balls in 109 minutes
    • George Garton – 5 for 26 in 10.3 overs
  • Essex – 140 All Out & 199 for 7
    • Jamie Porter – 5 for 69 in 24 overs
    • Simon Harmer – 5 for 54 in 19 overs
    • Dan Lawrence – 60 from 77 balls in 109 minutes
Great to see Dan Lawrence in the runs

A third win from three for my team Essex and another great contribution from Simon Harmer, Jamie Porter took himself a 5fer too, as did George Garton for Sussex.I was surprised to see Dan Lawrence in the line up after a family bereavement, but it was obviously just what he needed as he top scored in the match.

With 3 of 5 games played things are tight in the Northern and Central Group and some air between the top 2 in the South Group.

  • North Group
    1. Derbyshire – 57
    2. Yorkshire – 55
    3. Lancashire – 35
    4. Leicestershire – 35
    5. Nottinghamshire – 29
    6. Durham – 16
  • Central Group
    • Worcestershire – 57
    • Somerset – 56
    • Gloucestershire – 34
    • Warwickshire – 29
    • Glamorgan – 26
    • Northamptonshire – 17
  • South Group
    • Essex – 61
    • Hampshire – 45
    • Kent – 42
    • Middlesex – 39
    • Sussex – 25
    • Surrey – 9

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