The start of September brought with it – SUMMER! Hallelujah! It also brought the second round of this new phase of the County Championship, with many members struggling to understand what on earth their new tables were telling them, that is if they could find them in the first place! It’s not been easy to find an explanation online – but here we go – quoting from the ECB Site.

Division Stage

The First-Class Counties will play their final four County Championship matches after progressing to their Division.

They will not play against the other team from their initial group, but will carry through half the number of points it scored in the two matches played against that team in the group stage. This could result in half points being carried forward.

So, for example, if Essex and Warwickshire both progress from Group One to Division One and each scored a combined 21 points against each other in their two matches, both teams will carry forward 10.5 points to the Division stage.

That explains the half points we can see in the tables then! On to the action for this Round 13 – I was ecstatic to be at The County Ground in Chelmsford to watch Essex play red ball cricket for the first time since September 2019 – I could not have been happier! More of that in a separate post!

One of the matches in this round finished in 2 days! So I’ll start there and move on – I took actual photos of County Cricket so make no apologies for them coming from the one game.

Yorkshire v Somerset – North Marine Road, Scarborough, Tom Abell won the toss for Somerset and elected to bat. Yorkshire won by an innings and 33 runs.

Somerset 134 All Out & 141 All Out, Yorkshire 308 All Out.

Cricket at last for Scarborough and Yorkshire polished the game off in 2 days, highly satisfactory in many ways yet so disappointing in others! The decision to bat first proved to be something of a disaster as they were bowled out for 134 in just 42 overs, the top score being just 24. Matt Fisher took 5 for 41 in his 11 overs. In reply the wonderful Harry Brook shone, I was lucky enough to see him to score a brilliant century at Chelmsford in 2018 after he and his team had been bowled out for just 50 – Yorkshire won that game. He scored 118 from 165 balls batting for nearly 4 hours, I imagine it was an innings to delight the Yorks fans. Jordan Thompson in at 8 contributed 57 from 118 balls. Josh Davey and Marchant de Lange took 4 wickets each in the 103.3 overs Yorkshire batted. Somerset lasted 51.5 overs in their second innings with Ben Green in at 8 top scoring with 32. Matt Fisher took another 4 wickets for 23 runs in 9 overs. A win for Yorkshire.

Now on to the games finishing within 3 days –

Essex v Gloucestershire – The County Ground, Chelmsford, Tom Westley won the toss for Essex and put Gloucestershire in to bat. Essex won by an Innings and 3 runs.

Gloucestershire 76 All Out & 197 All Out, Essex 276 All Out

It was a glorious day in Chelmsford and I was back in one of my happy places, I had been there for some white ball cricket, including a Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy match, but nothing can match a county cricket match at my home ground. Gloucestershire’s first innings score tells us that no one shone, Ryan Higgins top scored with 25, battling in difficult conditions for 60 balls. Jamie Porter took 4 for 32 in 10 overs, Sam Cook 3 for 27 in his 10 overs and Simon Harmer 3 for 2 in his 3 overs. The innings lasted for just 28 overs. You can never judge a wicket until both teams have batted and Essex fell to 32 for 4 in 19.5 overs, Paul Walter came in at 5, a player who hasn’t had the best of summers, he made me eat my words as he scored 96 from 241 balls, batting for 4.5 hours. It was beyond disappointing that he missed his maiden century by just those 4 runs. He shared a 6th wicket partnership of 79 with Adam Wheater (34 from 77 balls) who’s as small as Walter’s tall! Simon Harmer contributed a useful 45 from 69 balls and remarkably the bowling duo of Cook and Porter put on 32 for the last wicket, with Porter hitting his first 6 in county cricket, a cracker it was too! Glouceatershire had a more determined second innings, with 20 year old opener Ben Charlesworth scoring 49 from 124 balls, he shared a partnership with James Bracey of 58, Bracey made 50 from 122 balls before Harmer took a great catch from the bowling of Cook. There were 2 run outs in this innings, with direct hits from Josh Rymell and Shane Snater, who says county cricket isn’t exciting! A win for Essex

Kent v Worcestershire – The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury. Zak Crawley won the toss for Kent and put Worcestershire in to bat. Kent won by an innings and 56 runs.

Worcestershire 133 All Out & 204 All Out, Kent 393 All Out.

Worcestershire found themselves on 18 for 4 then 54 for 6 before a stand formed between Ben Cox and Joe Leach of 65, Cox making the top score of 41*. Nathan Gilchrist took 5 for 38 in 11.4 overs and Matthew Milnes 4 for 35 in 12 overs. The innings was finished in just 39.4 overs. Kent had a top order horror show too, falling to 22 for 3 before Jack Leaning shared a partnership with Ollie Robinson. Robinson scored 50 from 62 balls and Leaning 97 from 259, he batted for nearly 6 hours, Darren Stevens (of course) in after Robinson 66 from 87 balls and Sam Billings (back from carrying drinks for England) scored 72 from 98 balls. The innings lasted for 114.2 overs and Kent made 393. Worcestershire’s second innings lasted 60.5 overs but they managed just 204, with Joe Leach being the top scorer with 49 from 54 balls. Gilchrist took another 3 wickets for 36 in his 13,5 overs. A win for Kent.

Some lucky members got 4 days of cricket –

Derbyshire v Leicestershire – The Incora County Ground, Derby. Callum Parkinson won the toss for Leicestershire and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Leicestershire 528 All Out, Derbyshire 340 All Out & 203 for 3.

A huge score for Leicestershire saw 5 notable innings, by my criteria. Sam Evans opening batted for over 5.5 hours scoring 88 from the 292 balls he faced. George Rhodes in at 3 scored 54 from 84 balls before Evans shared a partnership of 139 with Lewis Hill who batted for over 4 hours finishing on 113 from 174 balls. Chris Wright kept the runs coming with 87 from 167 balls he shared a 68 run stand with Harry Swindells who scored 76 from 146 balls. In an innings that lasted 169.2 overs Leicestershire scored a massive 528. Derbyshire’s innings started slowly as they fell to 56 for 5, but a partnership of 227 between Brooke Guest and Anuj Dal saw each man with a century to their name, Dal was out for 106 from 217 balls and Guest went on to finish on 116 from 275 balls. This innings that lasted 130.5 overs saw Derbyshire finish in 340. With just over 300 overs bowled in this match time ran out for anything other than a draw. Billy Godelman became the third to score a century for Derbyshire making exactly 100 Not Out from 183 balls. Derbyshire scored 203 for 3 in the 62.3 overs bowled. Match Drawn.

Durham v Glamorgan – Emirates Riverside, Durham. Scott Borthwick won the toss for Durham and put Glamorgan in to bat. Durham won by an innings and 42 runs.

Glamorgan 97 All Out & 364 All Out, Durham 503 for 8 dec.

Another horribly short first innings, with Glamorgan back in the pavilion after just 32 overs, only 3 batter reached double figures, with opener Hamish Rutherford contributing 43 of the 97 runs. Paul Coughlin was the best of the Durham bowlers with 4 for 11 from his 5 overs. In reply Durham batted for 131.1 overs to reach their 503 runs, that included 5 betters with notable innings. Openers Alex Lees and Michael Jones put on 119 for the first wicket, going past Durham’s score on their own. Lees scored 55 from 88 balls and Jones 81 from 157 balls. It took Durham over 2 hours to take their first wicket. Ned Eckersley in at 6 was the next to pass thaat 50 barrier, he faced 73 balls for his 57. Ben Raine in at 8 scored 74 from 100 balls and Liam Trevaskis in at 10 55 from 90 balls. The pair put on 98 for the 8th wicket. Glamorgan fared better in their second innings, with Rutherford reaching 71 from his 141 balls, the rest of thee top 6 only contributed 46 runs between them, those watching must’ve been predicting an early finish. But a 7th wicket partnership of 163 between Dan Douthwaite, with 96 from 185 balls and Andrew Salter with 90 from 226 balls kept the game in play. Coughlin got his 5 wickets in this second innings for 64 runs from 23 overs. A win for Durham.

Northamptonshire v Surrey – The County Ground, Northampton. Hashim Amla won the toss for Surrey and elected to bat. Northamptonshire won by 2 wickets.

Surrey 252 All Out & 238 All Out, Northamptonshire 171 All Out & 322 for 8.

Surrey found themselves on 61 for 4 before 2 home grown players, Jamie Smith (21) and Will Jacks (22) came to the crease. They put on 145 for the 5th wicket. Jacks scored 60 from 98 balls and Smit, who batted on 123 from 265, he batted for nearly 5 hours! Ryan Patel, opening had scored 35 but the remaining batters contributed just 22 runs between them. Tom Taylor took 5 for 41 in his 19 overs. The innings lasted for 90.3 overs. Northants stay was jsut 58.5 overs and no batter got past the 50 mark. Will Jacks scored 50 from 115 balls in Surrey’s second innings and Gus Atkinson with 41* and Amar Virdi with 47 put on 83 for the last wikcet, frustrating the home team. Northants had a much better second innigs with opener Emilio Gay scoring 50 from 137 balls. Ron Keogh in at 4 missed out on his century by a solitary run scoring 99 from 127 balls, he batted for nearly 3.5 hours. Luke Proctor added 57 from 168 balls as Northants worked towards the required total, they reached it with 2 wickets to spare. A win for Northamptonshire.

Nottinghamshire v Lancashire – Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Dane Vilas won the toss for Lancashire and put Nottinghamshire in to bat. Nottinghamshire won by 102 runs.

Nottinghamshire 272 All Out & 339 for 8 dec, Lancashire 168 All Out & 341 All Out.

Ben Duckett opening scored 59 from 100 balls, putting on 75 for the second wicket with a favourite of mine, Sam Northeast, at his third club for this season, Northeast made 65 from 136 balls adding 67 for the third wicket with Joe Clarke who scored 54 from 95 balls. Tom Bailey with 4 for 48 and Danny Lamb with 4 for 60 were the best of the bowlers. The innings lasted for 82.2 overs. Lancashire were bowled out in 52.3 overs with no batter reaching 50, Brett Hutton took 5 for 62 in his 19 overs. Two different batters get a mention in Notts second innings with Lyndon James (22) scoring 91 from 230 balls and Tom Moores falling just short if his century with 97 from 154 balls. A win for Nottinghamshire.

Warwickshire v Hampshire – Edgbaston, Birmingham. Will Rhodes won the toss for Warwickshire and put Hampshire in to bat. Hampshire won by 60 runs.

Hampahire 89 All Out & 322 All Out, Warwickshire 116 All Out & 235 All Out.

Without really needing to check there were no 50 plus scores in either first innings. Will Rhodes gets a bowling mention however, he took 5 for 23 in his 8 overs, Hampshire were bowled out in 28.1 overs. It took just 2 Hampshire bowlers to polish Warwickshire off in just 26 overs. Mohammad Abbas took 5 for 29 in 18 overs and Kyle Keith Barker 5 for 43 in his 16 overs. Barker gets a batting mention in Hampshire’s second innings, scoring 75 from 192 balls, 3 others, Ian Holland with 44, James Vince with 48 and Brad Wheal with 46 helped build a decent total. Liam Norwell was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 72 in 28 overs. This was a much more substantial innings that lasted 133.4 overs. Warwickshire had a good start to their second innings putting on 99 for the first wicket. Opener Rob Yates scored 77 from 229 balls batting for jsut over 5 hours. His efforts weren’t matched by his team mates and Warwickshire fell short. A win for Hampshire.

The final match started a day later than the rest, but went into the fourth day.

Sussex v Middlesex – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove. Tim Murtagh won the toss for Middlesex and elected to bat. Middlesex won by an innings and 54 runs.

Middlesex 676 for 5, Sussex 319 All Out & 303 All Out

Middlesex finished bottom of their group having won just two games, they achieved just 15 batting points across 10 games, this innings was something of a surprise! The first wicket fell with the score on 376, Mark Stoneman making his mark at his new county with 174 from 266 balls, he batted for just over 5.5 hours. His opening partner Sam Robson carried on, finishing with 254 from 356 balls, his innings lasting for over 7.5 hours. The century making wasn’t over as Robbie White in at four scored his own with 110 from 193 balls. There were a nasty 44 extras to add to Sussex’s injury. An innings that lasted 161 overs saw a mighty 676 on the board. 3 of the bowlers conceded over 100 runs, best not to mention them by name. Another innings and another century, this time from Sussex’s opening batter and captain Tom Haines scoring 156 from 255 balls, he batted for over 5.5 hours, putting on 118 for the second wicket with Be Brown who scored 80 from 104 balls. They were the only two to pass 50 however as Sussex were bowled out in 95.4 overs. Luke Hollman (20) took 5 for 65 in his 20 overs. Haines again had a captain’s knock in the second of Sussex’s innings, he scored 87 from 170 balls, Fynn Hudson-Prentice in at 7 scored 67 from 104 balls. Luke Hollman excelled again taking 5 for 90 in 28 overs. A win for Middlesex

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