Round 2 saw Yorkshire and Lancashire enter the fray, I’m starting to write this on Good Friday, Day 2 of this round and a quick glance tells me I’ll be mentioning at least a couple a couple of the Lancashire batters, but not their famous bowler, Jimmy Anderson, neither he, nor Stuart Broad in Round 1 featured for their county, in spite of being controversially left at home when England travelled to the West Indies. That seems a bizarre thing to me. But as centrally contracted players the ECB has all the power over when they play.

With no game quite yet complete after 2 days (happily) I’m going alphabetically – Coming back to this on Day 4 I’m happy to see there were positive results in 5 of the 7 games this week.

Division 1

Gloucestershire v Yorkshire – Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol. Steven Patterson won the toss for Yorkshire and put Gloucs in to bat. Yorkshire won by 6 wickets.

Gloucs 227 All Out & 359 All Out , Yorkshire 376 All Out & 213 for 4

In a low scoring innings that lasted just 78.1 overs there was still a stand out batter. Opener Marcus Harris (it is good to see Australian cricketers in the CC, but I do wish the reverse happened for English players) scored 136 from 231 balls, he batted for nearly 5.5 hours and virtually for the duration of the Gloucs innings. Only 4 others batters reached double figures. Matt Fisher was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 19 from his 14.1 overs.

Adam Lyth opening for Yorkshire scored 52 from 132 balls, but it was Harry Brook in at 5 who went big, a talent with the bat no matter what colour ball is coming his way, he made 101 from 164 balls, batting for just over 4 hours. New Gloucs signing Ajeet Singh-Dale was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 72 from his 23.3 overs. Yorkshire batted for 120.3 overs.

James Bracey who’d scored 117 in Gloucs first innings of the season went further in this one, he batted for nearly 8 hours, facing 331 balls, his was the last wicket to fall and he ended on 177. Yorkshire captain Steven Patterson was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 43 in his 24.2 overs. Zafar Gohar had the next highest score with 40 and in spite of the wickets falling around Bracey, the innings lasted for 117.2 overs.

Yorkshire took just 49.1 overs to get the game won, Dawid Malan was the highest scorer with 65 from 65 balls in just 90 minutes, he wasn’t hanging around. Harry Brook added 56 to his tally for the game and finished not out, great for his averages! Singh_Dale took 2 of the 4 wickets

Kent v Lancashire – The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury. Dane Vilas won the toss for Lancs and elected to bat. Lancashire won by 10 wickets.

Lancashire 506 All Out & 36 for 0, Kent 260 All Out & 279 All Out

Steven Patterson’s decision to put Gloucs in to bat was a good one, and wow so was Vilas’s choice in Canterbury! But, Lancashire fell to 80 for 3, before a mammoth 4th wicket partnership between Steven Croft and Vilas of 215 justified his decision. Vilas was the 4th wicket, he scored 124 from 158 balls in just over 3.5 hours. Croft then put on 144 with new signing Phil Salt. Croft was out for 155 from 336 balls after 6.5 hours at the crease. Salt fell just short of a maiden century for Lancs with 97 from 117 balls, batting for just short of 3 hours. The innings lasted for 137.1 overs.

Ben Compton who scored a debut century for Kent against Essex carried his bat in Kent’s first innings. He and Zak Crawley put in 109 for the first wicket before Crawley was out for 54. Partnerships were then hard to find as Compton battled hard for his team, the innings finished in 97.3 overs, he scored 104 from 289 balls having batted for just over 6.5 hours. Matt Parkinson, a bowler mentioned in England terms had the best figures of 4 for 66 in his 31 overs.

Lancashire achieved the desired winning target in 21 minutes and just 7.1 overs.

Somerset v Essex – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton. Tom Westley won the toss for Essex and put Somerset in to bat. Essex won by 1 wicket.

Somerset 109 All Out & 154 All Out, Essex 180 All Out & 84 for 9

Another good decision at the toss saw Somerset’s woes with the bat continue., they were bowled out in just 45.4 overs with jus 109 to their name. Opener Tom Lammonby was close to carrying his bat, but only scored 48 in the 3 hours he batted. Essex had their spin king Simon Harmer back after a well deserved call up to the South Africa Test team, he took 3 wickets.

Essex had 3 centurions on a batting wicket in round 1, Sir Alastair Cook was their highest scorer with 59 from 125 balls in this innings. Essex batted for 70 overs as Craig Overton took 7 for 57 in his 25 overs. Essex took a lead of just 71 into Somerset’s second innings.

Somerset were bowled out in 60.2 overs, that means they’ve lasted just 220 overs across 2 matches, scoring just 578 across 4 innings. There was a 50 in this second innings, keeper Steve Davies scored 51 from 100 balls. The much improved Essex bowler Shane Snater took 6 for 36 from 14.2 overs. It was funny to hear the radio commentator describing his flowing locks and head band, is it just me who thinks he looks like a 70’s porn star, I suppose that wouldn’t be PC to say on the BBC?

Essex bowler Shane Snater

I was travelling in to London as Essex’s second innings was taking place, I’d checked before I set off, to see how they were getting on with the ‘simple’ task of scoring 84 runs to see they were 4 for 4!!!!! And those wickets, just kept on tumbling! I was travelling on the Jubilee line and that strangely has signal underground – and yes, they were 27 for 5, then 28 for 6. Only 3 batters got into double figures as that 4 for 4 turned in to 83 for 9. I emerged at Waterloo to find that extra run had indeed been scored and Essex had scraped a win! Craig Overton added 6 for 30 to his 7 from the first innings. He ended the game with 13 for 87, on the losing side. I did feel sorry for him, in spite of the joy of my team winning!

Surrey v Hampshire – The Oval, London. James Vince won the toss for Hampshire and put Surrey in to bat. Surrey won by an innings and 117 runs.

Surrey 467 All Out, Hampshire 223 All Out & 227 All Out

The first decision at the toss to backfire, in spite of losing Rory Burns for just 21 Surrey built a good innings, with a partnership of 80 for the second wicket, Ryan Patel scored 58 from 73 balls, and Hashim Amla went on to share a partnership of 114 with Ollie Pope, what a valuable experience for the young batter to share time with the South African legend. That must’ve been a delight to watch. Ben Foakes scored 45 keeping Pope company as he went on to score his first century of the season, he made 127 from 215 balls, batting for nearly 5 hours. Will Jacks a talented cricketer scored 72 from 86 balls in just over 2 hours. In checking out his age, 23, I’ve spotted the fact that he scored English cricket’s third fastest T20 50 in just 15 balls in 2021. I’ll be surprised if we don’t see him in an England shirt of some description before long. Keith Barker was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 80 in his 27.1 overs.

Surrey had batted for 142.1 overs, Hampshire were bowled out in 56.1 overs in their first innings, Keith Barker, batting at 8 was the top scorer with 57 from 68 balls. Up pops another Overton, Craig’s twin, Jamie took 5 for 54 in his 12.1 overs.

Hampshire’s second innings lasted a little longer, 62.5 overs, but their 2 innings fell short both overs wise and runs wise. Another high score of 57, this time it was captain James Vince who batted for 102 balls. Jordan Clark was the best of the bowlers in this innings with 4 from 55 from his 13.5 overs. A correction this morning, apologies to Joe Weatherley who top scored with 87 from 96 balls, giving Hampshire a good start to this innings.

Division 2

Derbyshire v Sussex – The Incora County Ground, Derby. Billy Godleman won the toss for Derbyshire and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Derbyshire 505 for 8 dec, Sussex 174 All Out & 513 for 3

Another good decision at the toss, in spite of losing 2 cheap wickets. Opener Shan Masood and Wayne Madsen in at 4 put on 292 for the 3rd wicket. Madsen was out for 111 from 264 balls having batted for nearly 5.5 hours. Masood went on to score the first double century of the season, he was out after batting for over 7.5 hours, facing 340 balls, he scored 239. Anuj Dal contributed 38 and Alex Thomson 52 from 49 balls. The wickets were shared between 4 bowlers.

One of the biggest county cricket stories of this season is the chance to see India man Cheteshwar Pujara and Pakistan star Mohammad Rizwan batting together for Sussex. Sadly they only spent 12 overs together, but I’m sure we’ll see longer than that throughout this season. Tom Haines top scored with 41 from 34 balls as Sussex were bowled out in 56.3 overs.

Sussex defied the Derbyshire bowlers in their second innings, And wow, with 2 double centuries! Tom Haines opening scored 243 from 491 balls, batting for nearly 11 hours. It will be no surprise to know that Pujara joined Haines in a partnership of 351 for the fourth wicket, he finished not out with 201 from 387 balls. That major partnership saved the draw for Sussex.

Durham v Leicestershire – The Riverside, Chester-le-Street. Colin Ackermann won the toss and put Durham in to bat. Match Drawn.

Durham 428 All Out & 239 for 2, Leicestershire 273 All Out & 183 for 2

Cue another decision to rue at the toss. One of my former Kent favourites Sean Dickson opening scored 120 from 216 balls batting for nearly 5 hours. David Bedingham batting at 5 went big, scoring 191 from 256 balls, he was at the crease for just over 5.5 hours. Bedingham had an average of 60.52 in 2021 with a high score of 257, he reached 1000 runs before the end of May too! There have been calls for England to look his way, but, he is South African and wants to play for his own country. I imagine they’ll be keeping an eye on the batter. Ben Raine in at 8 scored 51 from 98 balls in an innings that lasted 125 overs.

Leics opener Hassan Azad score 66 from 206 balls, following on from his century against Worcs in Week one. Captain Colin Ackermann top scored with 81 from 182 balls after batting for nearly 4 hours. Matthew Potts had a great innings with the ball, taking 6 for 58 from his 27 overs. The innings lasted for 110.5 overs.

Seeking a win Durham declared after 50 overs, an opening partnership of 152 in just 30 overs saw Sean Dickson score 84 from 97 balls and his opening partner Michael Jones 108 from 141 balls. (I’m going to have another long list of centuries to add to the 20 scored last week.

Sam Evans opening with Azad batted throughout Leics second innings, scoring 77 from 254 balls, helping ensure a draw for his team.

Nottinghamshire v Glamorgan – Trent Bridge, Nottingham. David Lloyd won the toss for Glamorgan and put Notts in to bat. Glamorgan won by 7 wickets.

Notts 302 All Out & 242 All Out, Glamorgan 379 All Out & 166 for 3

Notts lost both of their openers for 69, with Hameed being run out, but, in at 3, Ben Duckett made 122 from 207 balls, batting for nearly 5 hours. His was the only score above 50 as Notts were bowled out in 88.1 overs. Two Australians, Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser took 5 wickets between them.

Glamorgan opener David Lloyd scored 76 from 134, after his partner Andrew Salter was out for just 16 and Marnus Labuschagne just 3. He and Sam Northeast shared a partnership of 117 for the 3rd wicket. Northeast was out for 85 having faced 162 balls and been at the crease for 4.5 hours. Timm van der Gugten batting at 10 added a very useful 62 from 115 balls to add to a total of 379. The wickets were shared between 5 bowlers.

Notts found themselves on 2 for 1 (All a bit Essex) as both openers were out for a Duck. Ben Duckett stood firm and scored 95 from 178 balls, he personally had a very good game! 3 scores of 30, 30 and 37 gave the innings some respectability. Van der Gugten was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 60 from his 25 overs.

Glamorgan got the required runs in 45 overs, with Labuschagne finishing 50 bit out from 93 balls, helping his team to the win.

A much better set of results this weekend, one which was largely glorious weather wise. It was a big week of news for England cricket as Joe Root resigned as captain and ex Kent man, Rob Key was appointed Managing Director of the whole kit and caboodle. we await more news on a new coach and captain before another long summer of cricket.

How many centuries this week?

  • Ollie Pope – Surrey – 127 from 215 balls
  • Marcus Harris – Gloucs – 136 from 231 balls
  • Harry Brook – Yorkshire – 101 from 164 balls
  • James Bracey – Gloucs – 177 from 331 balls
  • Steven Croft – Lancs – 155 from 336 balls
  • Dane Vilas – Lancs. – 124 from 158 balls
  • Ben Compton – Kent – 104 from 289 balls
  • Ben Compton – Kent. – 115 from 340 balls
  • Shan Masood – Derbys – 239 from 340 balls
  • Wayne Madsen – Derbys – 111 from 264 balls
  • Tom Haines – Sussex. – 243 from 491 balls
  • Chetashwar Pujara – Sussex – 201 from 387 balls
  • Sean Dickson – Durham. – 120 from 216 balls
  • David Bedingham – Durham – 191 from 256 balls
  • Michael Jones – Durham. – 108 from 141 balls
  • Ben Duckett – Notts – 122 from 207 balls

Just the 16 this week – I have photos galore of Ben Compton from his innings against Essex, so add them to add some colour! With a random phot of Sir A – just because I can.

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