5 weeks of Thursday starts for the County Championship so far and the coverage has been top drawer, I can almost smell live cricket though with May 17th nearly here, hopefully all of the matches starting on May 20th will have some form of crowd. This weekends’ game were badly affected by the weather with all but 1 losing the whole day on Saturday. In the case of my team, Essex it was just delaying the inevitable (and not in a good way for those of an Essex pesuasion)

Middlesex v Gloucestershire – Lord’s, London. Chris Dent won the toss for Gloucestershire and he put Middlesex in to bat. Gloucestershire won by 7 wickets.

Middlesex 210 All Out & 152 All Out, Gloucestershire 273 All Out & 93 for 3.

Middlesex were bowled out in 80.5 overs in their first innings, with David Payne taking 5 for 31 in his 18.5 overs, on a scorecard where 10 of the 11 batsmen scored 20 or less (only 1 actually scored 20) Robbie White, batting at 5 scored 76 from 149 balls , batting for nearly 3.5 hours. A keeper without the gloves going well this season, he’s scored 343 runs at an average of 42.87.

Gloucestershire’s innings didn’t last a lot longer, 87.3 overs, and James Bracey played a very similar innings to White, he scored 75 from 143 balls in a minute less than the Middlesex batsman. He was better supported however with Ian Cockbain scoring 51 from 79 balls and Ryam Higgins 49 from 43, Kraigg Brathwaite had scored a patient 33 from 121 balls. That all added up to a first innings lead of 63 for the visitors. Bracey must be of interest to the ECB powers that be, he’s scored 478 runs so far this season at an average of 53.11.

Payne bettered his first innings bowling performance to take 6 wickets for 56 in 17 overs as Middlesex were despatched in 51.1 overs. Nick Gubbins scored 52 from 100 balls and White added 40 to his tally. Middlesex were bowled out for 152.

Gloucestershire scored the required runs in 26.s overs, and the only match that saw play on Day 3 was over in those 3 days. Gloucestershire won by 7 wickets.

Nottinghamshire v Essex – Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Steven Mullaney won the toss and put Essex in to bat. Nottinghamshire won by an innings and 30 runs

Essex 99 All Out & 194 All Out, Nottinghamshire 323 All Out.

Essex lasted just 41 overs in their first innings as Luke Fletcher took 6 for 24 in his 16 overs. Remarkably in a feeble total of 99 Nick Browne scored 53 from 112 as every other Essex batsman failed. Dan Lawrence had the next highest score with 14. There were then 9 single figure scores, including 4 Ducks.

Alongside making the right decision at the toss Mullaney then scored 117 from 160 balls, he batted for nearly 4 hours sharing a 5th wicket partnership of 123 with Lyndon James, who scored 51 from 94 balls. Haseeb Hameed took his tally for the 5 matches so far to 450, with 49 at an average of 56.25, he certainly seems to have found his mojo!

Nick Browne again top scored in Essex’s second innings, scoring 64 from 197 balls in just over 4 hours. Alastair Cook contributed 35 and Paul Walter 30, but Essex were bowled out in 85.2 overs with Notts first innings top scorer being the top wicket taker, he took 4 for 51 in 20 overs, with a couple of dropped catches denying him his maiden 5fer. Nottinghamshire won by an innings and 30 runs

Warwickshire v Worcestershire – Edgbaston, Birmingham. Joe Leach won the toss for Worcestershire and put Warwickshire in to bat. Match Drawn.

Warwickshire 343 All Out & 70 for 3. Worcestershire 364 for 8 dec.

What a difference a couple of centuries make, an innings of 117.2 overs for Warwickshire as opener Rob Yates batted for just over 5 hours, he faced 229 balls and scored 104. He shared a 6th wicket partnership of 70 with keeper Michael Burgess who scored 101 from 173 balls. The wickets were share between 5 bolwers.

In reply Worcestershire batted for 113 overs, with 3 decent innings; Jake Libby opening scored 74 from 124 balls adding to his personal tally, he’s now scored 485 runs at an average of 97! Jack Haynes top scored with 87 from 211 balls and Ed Barnard batting at 8 was not out 76 from 101 balls. 6 bowlers shared the 8 wickets.

The weather had taken too much out of the game and Warwickshire batted for just 25 overs before the game finished as a Draw.

Hampshire v Somerset – The Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Tom Abell won the toss for Somerset and put Hampshire in to bat. Somerset won by 10 wickets.

Hampshire 79 All Out & 258 All Out, Somerset 336 All Out & 2 for no wicket.

Hampshire playing on their own ground lasted for just 40.3 overs in their first innings, Joe Weatherley top scored with 20, 7 made single figures. Lewis Gregory took 4 for 26 as Hampshire ‘surpassed’ my Essex with just 79 runs.

Somerset fell to 11 for 2, then 36 for 3 before Tom Abell dug in with 64 from 153 balls, he batted for over 4 hours. The batsmen 5-8 added 118 runs then Craig Overton batting at 9 scored 5 less than the whole Hampshire team, he scored 74 from 93 balls. A fairly quick fire 336 in 99 overs. Keith Barker took 4 for 67.

Hampshire had a better second innings, but falling for 79 is always going to be a very hard position to get anything out of the game from. Batting at 10 Keith Barker top scored with 52 from 95 balls. There were two 5fers for Somerset, Craig Overton took 5 for 66 in 40 overs and Josh Davey 5 for 30 in his 24 overs.

Hampshire had just crept past Somerset’s first innings score and the win was achieved on the first ball of Somerset’s second innings. A win for Somerset by 10 wickets

Leicestershire v Surrey – Uptonstreet County Ground, Leicester. Colin Ackerman won the toss for Leicestershire and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Leicestershire 496 All Out, Surrey 324 All Out.

Leicestershire’s innings was a bit wow for both batting and bowling reasons, in an innings that lasted 141.2 overs there were 3 centuries, so to them first. Opener Sam Evans batted for just over 5 hours, he scored 112from the 221 balls he faced . Marcus Harris batting at 3 next; the pair shared a second wicket partnership of 195. Harris made 101 from 191 balls. As if that wasn’t enough for Surrey to contend with Keeper Harry Swindells batting at 6 made the third century of the innings, his 103 came from 152 balls and he too shared a big partnership of 131 with Ben Mike who scored 74 from 104 balls. All of that added up to 496. The bowling bright light came by way of Amar Virdi, he took 6 wickets, albeit expensively, for 171 runs in 44.2 overs.

Surrey responded with a century of their own, with Mark Stoneman opening batted for just under 5.5 hours, he faced 247 balls and scored 119 runs. He and Rory Burns put on 164 for the first wicket as Burns made 75 from 139 balls. Chris Wright took 5 for 60 in his 24 over. An innings apiece was all there was time for and the Match was Drawn.

Lancashire v Glamorgan – Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. Chris Cooke won the toss for Glamorgan and elected to bat. Match Drawn

Glamorgan 344 all Out, Lancashire 301 for 9 dec.

David Lloyd top scored for Glamorgan, scoring 78 from the 129 balls he faced, batting for just under 3 hours. Callum Taylor batting at 7 scored 58 from 141 balls and Dan Douthwaite at 8 scored 61 from 104 balls. Lancashire used 7 bowlers and 5 of them took wickets, Jimmy Anderson took 3 for 40 and Saqib Mahmood 3 for 66. Glamorgan batted for 109.5 overs for their 344.

Keaton Jennings opening for Lancashire top scored with 64 from 174 balls, he batted for just under 4 hours, Josh Bohannon batting at 4 scored 53 from 108 balls. Some speedy runs from the middle order helped Lancashire to theor 301 for 9 in 94.3 overs. In common with the home team Glamorgan used 7 bowlers, 6 of them took wickets. Another match with just an innings each, another Match Drawn.

Northamptonshire v Sussex – The County Ground, Northampton. Adam Rossington won the toss for Northamptonshire and put Sussex in to bat. Northamptonshire won by an innings and 120 runs.

Sussex 106 All Out & 215 All Out, Northamptonshire 441 for 9 dec

Sussex fell to 25 for 7 before Ollie Robinson managed to stay at the crease for just over 2 hours, he scored nearly half of the runs in the innings with 49 from 92 balls. Northamptonshire had two 5fers, Ben Sanderson took 5 for 28 in his 15.2 overs and Gareth Berg 5 for 18 in his 13.

Northamptonshire lost their openers for just 8 runs, but 66 from 86 balls for Rob Keogh followed by a century for Saif Zaib put them in the driving seat. He scored 135 from 202 balls batting for nearly 4.5 hours. That took him to 264 runs for the season at an average of 44. The 22 year old is having a good season so far. Keeper Adam Rossington batting at 7 scored 87 from 149 balls. Tom Taylor contributed 44 and Gareth Berg 38

Sussex lasted for 5=63.2 overs in their second innings, Stiaan van Zyl batting at 3 scored 72 from 123 balls, batting for nearly 3 hours. Keeper Ben Brown contributed 39 form 101 balls but Northamptonshire had scored more than enough in their first innings to secure the win. Ben Sanderson took 5 for 71 in his 22 overs. A win for Northamptonshire by an innings and 120 runs.

Yorkshire v Kent – Emirald Headingley, Leeds. Steven Patterson won the toss for Yorkshire and put Kent in to bat. Match Drawn.

Kent 305 All Out, Yorkshire 321 All Out.

There was good news for England in Kent’s innings as Zak Crawley batting for just under 4 hours scored 90 from the 171 balls he faced. Jack Leaning contributed 47 and Marcus O’Riordan 40 to help Kent to 305. Yorkshire used 7 bowlers and 6 of them took wickets.

Gary Ballance is well back in the Yorkshire fold and he top scored with 96 from 201, missing his century after he was run out. Joe Root hasn’t had the best of County starts he scored 41 from 69 balls, and keeper Jonathan Tattersall made 59 from 86 balls. Another 7 bowlers used Nathan Gilchrist had the best figures of 4 for 74. This was another Match Drawn.

Team Played Won LostDrawn Points
Derbyshire 401340
Group 1
Team Played Won Lost Drawn Points
Leicestershire 503240
Group 2
Team Played Won Lost Drawn Points
Kent 503238
Group 3

The tables show 2 run away teams in 2 of the groups, the weather and the fact that there have been so many draws in what I’m calling Group 1 is keeping things a bit closer. There have been some outstanding individual performances again in week 5, with several players giving Chris Silverwood food for thought.

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