I found myself sat in the pavilion at The Oval for the first 2 days of the match between Surrey and Essex, so, that means it’s going to be photos from that match for you to digest. I took over 4000 over those 2 days with probably over 1500 of one Sir Alastair Cook, due to the fact that he batted for the whole of day one and some of day two, too!

A cricket Wagtail, I’m sure every ground has them!

With one week to go of this season, one that started on 8th April when we were all in Lockdown. Being back in the grounds has been just wonderful, and has confirmed for me and I’m sure many others just how much County Cricket brings to my life. You just know, weather allowing you’ll have Essex photos next week too! We don’t know what the format’s going to look like next year, but whatever form it’s in, I’m going to be there, home and away! A look now at who’s performed well in this round. 2 matches finished on day 3, so I’ll start there,

Hampshire v Nottinghamshire – The Ageas Bowl, Southampton. James Vince won the toss for Hampshire and elected to bat. Hampshire won by 122 runs.

Hampshire 226 All Out & 178 All out, Nottinghamshire 155 All Out & 127 All Out

A quick glimpse across the scorecards, alongside the scores for both teams tells me I’m not going to be mentioning many batters, Nick Gubbins scored 54 in Hampshire’s first innings he batted for nearly 3 hours and faced 116 balls. The wickets were shared between 5 bowlers in an innings that lasted 82.2 overs. Two batters exceeded the 50 mark for Notts, with opener Ben Slater scoring 55 from 103 balls. the next 5 batters scored only 17 runs between them, with Liam Patterson-White scoring 53 from 99 balls. The bowling was a different gravy in this innings of 52.1 overs. Keith Barker too 7 for 46 in his 20 overs! That didn’t leave many for the others! Just the one 50 plus again in Hampshire’s inings, James Vince batting for just over 2 hours scored 52 from 104 balls. Patterson-White gets a bowling mention too, with 5 for 41 in 15.4 overs, an innings of 65.4 overs. Nottinghamshire needed 250 to win this match and stay top of Division 1, they were bowled out for just 127 in 54.3 overs, no wickets for Barker this time, but Liam Dawson took 5 for 45 in 17.3 overs to send Hampshire to the top instead. A win for Hampshire.

Somerset v Lancashire – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton. Tom Abell won the toss and put Lancashire in to bat. A win for Lancashire by 10 wickets.

Lancashire 373 All Out & 32 for no wicket, Somerset 90 All Out & 314 All Out

This seems to be one of those different teams batting on different wickets games, Luke Wells, batting at 3 scored 103 from 113 balls, he batted for nearly 2.5 hours, He and Josh Bohannon put on 155 for the third wicket, Bohannon scored 50 from 118 balls. Steven Croft, batting at 7 made 71 from 136 balls, sharing a partnership of 95 with Tom Bailey who scored 63 from 131 balls. The innings lasted for 99.3 overs and the pick of the bowlers was Jack Brooks with 4 for 77 from his 22 overs. Somerset’s first innings was somewhat different! Azhar Ali batted for over 2.5 hours toiling to 39 from 105 balls, there was only one other who made double figures. The 90 runs were scored in 38.2 overs and Jack Blatherwick had the best figures of 4 for 28 in his 10 overs, a memorable spell for the 23 year old. Naturally Somerset followed on, and had a much better time of things. Tom Lammonby opening scored 100 from 103 balls, a maiden red ball county cricket for the 21 year old. Lammonby and Azhar put on 125 for the 2nd wicket. Azhar reached his 50 in this innings, from 86 balls. They were the only batters who reached the 50 mark, but there were 5 scores of 20 and over, including extras. 5 bowlers took the wickets in 72.1 overs. Lancashire scored the 32 runs required for the win in 6 overs. A win for Lancashire.

Derbyshire v Kent – The Incora County Ground, Derby. Billy Godleman won the toss and put Kent in to bat. Kent won by 130 runs.

Kent 285 All Out & 211 for 2 Derbyshire 156 All Out & 210 All Out

There was no play on Day 3 due to rain.

Zac Crawley, opening, scored 53 form 101 balls, batting for just over 2 hours, he shared a 2nd wicket partnership with Daniel Bell-Drummobd of 113. Bell-Drummomnd scored 69 from 95 balls. Jack Leaning in at 4 was the top scorer with 82 from 167 balls, batting for nearly 4 hours. The innings lasted for 91.5 overs and Ben Aitchison had the best figures of 4 for 83 from 20.5 overs. In reply Derbyshire were bowled out in 43.3 overs, with Leaning taking 4 catches to add to hos 82 runs. Grant Stewart took 5 for 23 in his 13 overs. With a day lost to rain Sam Billings needed to make a key declaration to help push his team to the win; they batted for 50 overs making 211 in that time. Zak Crawley and Jordan Cox had an opening stand of 114, with Crawley making 68 from 90 balls and Cox going on to make 81 from 138 balls, Daniel Bell-Drummond was 51* from 67 balls. Derbyshire were bowled out in 58.5 overs with Anuj Dal in at 8 providing some resistance with 58 from 98 balls. Nathan Gilchrist had the best bowling figures of 4 for 30 from his 10.5 overs. A win for Kent.

Glamorgan v Gloucestershire – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. Chris Dent won the toss for Gloucestershire and put Glamorgan in to bat. Gloucestershire won by 10 wickets.

Glamorgan 309 All Out & 124 All Out, Gloucestershire 419 All Out & 15 for no wicket

Hamish Rutherford and David Lloyd put in 136 for the first wicket, Lloyd made 73 from 122 balls and Rutherford 62 from 130. Edward Byrom in at 3 scored 78 from 210 balls, batting for just over 4.5 hours. Gloucestershire used 7 bowlers and 4 of them shared the wickets. In reply Gloucestershire batted for 140.4 overs, with Chris Dent scoring 75 from 153 balls, he batted for nearly 4 hours. Graeme van Buuren made 65 from 119 balls and Tom Price in at 9 scored 71 from 165 balls, he batted for just over 3.5 hours. Ben Wells scored 40 and Ben Charlesworth 44. David Payne in at 10 scored 34. The innings lasted 140.4 overs, with all 6 of the bowlers taking at least 1 wicket. In Glamorgan’s second innings, which only lasted for 42 overs, no batter scored more than 19 runs. Zafar Gohar took 6 for 43. He bowled really well against Essex, it’s good to see in in the wickets. It took Gloucs just 9 balls to get the game won. A win for Gloucesterhire.

Leicestershire v Sussex – Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester. Tom Haines won the toss for Sussex and elected to bat. Leicestershire won by an innings and 5 runs.

Sussex 359 for 9 & 128 for 9 Leicestershire 492 for 4 dec

There was no play on Day 3 due to rain.

A first wicket stand of 106 set Sussex up well, Tom Haines scored 71 from 113 and Ali Orr 40. Ben Brown in at 3 scored 133 from 234 balls, batting for 5.5 hours. He shared a 3rd wicket partnership of 121 with Oli Carter who contributed 40. Chris Wright took 6 for 94 from 29 overs in an innings that lasted 107.4 overs. As I write this on Tuesday evening (Day 3) Leicestershire finished fay 2 on 291 for 2, no different wicket going on here! Hassan Azad opening scored 122 from 229 balls, after seeing his opening partner out for a first ball Duck. Lewis Hill was on 109* from 133 balls. coming back to this at the end of day 4 and Leicestershire fell just short of the 500, Hill finished on 145 from 167 balls. Louis Kimber was 59* from 52 balls and Harry Swindells 69 from 64. Leicestershire bowled Sussex out in 45.2 overs, minus Fynn Hudson-Prentice who was injured. Ben Mike took 4 for 34 in 14 overs and Callum Parkinson 4 for 18 in 14.2 overs. A win for Leicestershire.

Middlesex v Worcestershire – Lord’s London. Joe Leach won the toss for Worcestershire and put Middlesex in to bat. Middlesex won by 101 runs.

Middlesex 144 All Out & 247 All Out , Worcestershire 171 All Out & 119 All Out.

There was no play on Day 3 due to rain.

The decision to bowl was clearly a good one, Max Holden batting at 5 top scored for Middlesex with 52 from 94 balls as they were bowled out in 51 overs. Ed Barnard had the best figures of 4 for 43 from 15 overs. The problem for Worcestershire was that they suffered pretty much the same fate, being bowled out in just 43.4 overs. Josh Barker in at 10, top scored with 61 from 51 balls to give his team a first innings lead. Tim Murtagh, so often a star on his own ground, took 5 for 64 in 17 overs. Middlesex fared better in their second innings, with 4 batters making 45 and over, only John Simpson exceeded 50, he scored 59 from 144 balls. Charlie Morris took 6 for 52 in 22.4 overs. Worcestershire, didn’t fare better in their second innings; they were bowled out in 35.3 overs Ethan Bamber had the best figures of 4 for 28 from his 11.3 overs. A win for Middlesex.

Northamptonshire v Durham – The County Ground, Northampton. Adam Rossington won the toss and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Northamptonshire 183 All Out & 231 for 9, Durham 400 All Out.

There was no play on Day 3 due to rain.

The stand out innings in what was a short one, 55.3 overs, was Luke Proctor who scored 76 from 136 balls, he batted for just under 3.5 hours and his was teh 7th wicket to fall. Matthew Potts had the best figures of 4 for 42 from 12 overs. Durham had a very different innings in spite of falling to 49 for 4. Scott Borthwick scored 73 from 153 balls Liam Trevaskis in at 9 scored 77 from 100 balls and Matthew Potts in at 10 made 81 from 127 balls. A handy 42 for Graham Clark and 48 for Paul Coughlin helped Durham reach the 400 in 130 overs. Ben Sanderson took 4 for 41 in his 24 overs. James Sales, batting at 8 top scored iin Northants second innings, he faced 120 balls and batted for over 2 hours to help frustrate Durham. Matthew Potts took 4 for 68 in 20 overs. Match Drawn.

Surrey v Essex – The Oval, London. Tom Westley won the toss for Essex and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Essex 439 All Out , Surrey 161 All Out & 113 for 2.

There was no play on Day 3 due to rain.

I was at The Oval for Sir Alastair Cook’s last innings for England in 2018, he scored 147 in that test, in this match he batted all day on day 1 and then a bit longer on day 2. Nick Browne was out for just 13, but Cook was then kept company by Westley who scofed 47 from 126 balls and the returning Dan Lawrence who scored 78 from 130 balls. Cook was finally despatched for 165 on day 2. He’d faced 330 balls and batted for 7.5 hours. As with that England innings, it was a delight to witness and every single person in the crowd appreciated his efforts, whether an Essex or Surrey fan/member. Jamie Porter had come in as Nightwatchman and added 30 from 57, his batting seems to have gone up a notch this year. Paul Walter scored 33 and Adam Wheater 39. Hashim Amla used 8 bowlers, with only himself, Ollie Pope and on loan keeper Jonny Tattertsall not doing so. It was good to see Reece Topley bowling 24 overs, he took 2 wickets. All of the front line bowlers bowled well, but they met a masterful Alastair Cook. This was another case of two teams seeming to bat on different wickets, Surrey fell to 98 for 7, but, Hashim Amla was at the crease he faced an invaluable 209 balls, batting for nearly 5.5 hours, he was out for 84 and was the 9th wicket to fall. Essex needed to take 13 wickets on Day 4, but only took 5 as Surrey batted to save the draw. Match Drawn.

Yorkshire v Warwickshire – Emerald Headingley, Leeds. Steven Patterson won the toss for Yorkshire and put Warwickshire in to bat. Warwickshire won by 106 runs.

Warwickshire 155 All Out & 176 All Out, Yorkshire 108 All Out & 117 All Out

There was no play on Day 3 due to rain.

In the middle of a low scoring innings Michael Burgess scored 66 from 90 balls, batting for just over 2 hours. Ben Coad and Steven Patterson both took 4 wickets to bowl Warwickshire out in 42.4 overs. Yorkshire’s innings lasted a ball longer, but produced fewer runs, Gary Ballance did his best to get the runs count up, he scored 58 from 106 batting for nearly 3 hours. Liam Norwell had the best figures of 4 for 27 from 14 overs. Warwickshire lasted 61.4 overs in their second innings, no batter reached the 50 mark. Jordan Thompson took 5 for 52 in 15.4 overs. Yorkshire lasted just 49.3 overs in their bod to win the game, with Ballance again top scoring, but with just 21. The wickets were shared between the 4 bowlers. A win for Warwickshire.

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