This was a week when winning the toss wasn’t great, in most cases, as you’ll see below! The weather has been mixed in Essex over the last week with a smattering of rain over several days, I imagine that will have been replicated across the country. It’s hard to know the reasons behind the absolute runs fest happening in virtually every game this time round, records were broken at Beckenham and not in a good way for the home team. My Essex sit out this week, but there has been plenty of cricket. Starting on Day 2 I’ll be going alphabetical way. Coming back at the end of Day 3 and one result has ‘turned yellow’. A win for Gloucestershire for Somerset, which happens to be first on my list, ideal.\

Division 1

Gloucestershire v Somerset – Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol. Graeme van Buren won the toss for Gloucs and put Somerset in to bat. Somerset win by an innings and 246 runs

Somerset 591 for 7 dec, Gloucestershire 186 for 9 & 159 for 9.

A first wicket stand of 172 between Matt Renshaw and Tom Lammonby showed poor van Buren the error of his ways in the first 43 overs. Lammonby was the first to go after scoring 76 from 131 balls, Renshaw wan’t far behind, he scored 94 from 141 balls. 3 hoours of toil in the field didn’t get any better for Gloucs as Somerset captain Tom Lammonby shared a 4th wicket partnership of 85 with James Hildreth. Hildreth scored 53 from 98 balls. Steve Davies joined Abell and the pair put on 67 fore the 5th wicket. Abell and Lewis Gregory then made 160 for the 6th. Abell was out for 142 from 246 balls, he batted for just over 6 hours. Gregory scored 89 from a lively 89 balls. Davies had contributed a useful 37 and Craig Overton added 35. Somerset scored 591 in 147 overs. Gloucs used 8 bowlers, 5 of them shared the wickets.

That batting on a different wicket thing happened as Gloucs came out to bat, at the end of Day 2 they’d fallen to 119 for 4 in the same 43 overs Somerset had scored 172 runs for the loss of 1 wicket in. Day 2 saw Gloucs add just another 67 runs in 33.4 overs. No one scored 50 or over, James Bracey had top score with 39 from 73 balls.

Gloucs followed on and batted for just 56.1 overs: Jacob Bethell batting at 6 scored 61 from 98 balls. A name I haven’t seen before, he isn’t mentioned in my trusty Playfair. Google tells me he’s an 18 year old born in Barbados who moved to England when he was 12. A name to keep an eye on. Jack Leach took 3 for 41 in his 20.1 overs. And Somerset had a win on Day 3.

Kent v Surrey – The County Ground, Beckenham. Rory Burns won the toss and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Surrey 671 for 9 dec, Kent 230 All Out &

Cue the right decision at the toss and a record innings! No centurions in this innings believe it or not, but 7 of the 11 batters scored over 50, so a fairly long list of mentions here. Burns and Ryan Patel put on 106 for the 1st wicket, but the Surrey captain was 1 of the 3 not to pass the 50 mark. Patel was out for 76 from 104 balls and Burns fell in the next over for 30 as 106 from 1 turned into 106 for 2. I’ve been keeping an eye in the uber talented Hashim Amla and he hasn’t had the best start to the season, he made just 12 in this innings. Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes put on 178 for the 4th wicket. Pope fell just short of his century having scored 96 from 184 balls, he batted for over 3.5 hours. He now has 417 runs at an average of 69.50. Foakes batted on for another 10 overs with Jamie Overton he was out for 91 from 166 balls. That has taken him to 390 for the season so far at an average of 130! To the dismay (I should imagine) Overton and Sam Curran added 126 for the 6th wicket, Overton scored 93 from 92 balls, batting for just over 2 hours. Curran scored 78 from 95 balls. To add insult to injury the ‘bowlers’ kept on adding runs. Colin de Grandhomme score 66 from 103 balls before he was run out, Jordan Clark in at 10 scored 54 from 78 balls and Daniel Worrall at 11 added 44. Surrey batted for 173 overs for their record 671 runs.

Surrey made a good start to taking 20 wickets, with Zak Crawley being out for 17 having faced 33 balls, his runs tally tells a different story, he has just 104 runs at an average of 20.8. At the end of Day 2 Kent reached 45 for 1. Keeper Ollie Robinson stood firm on Day 3, in at 6 he scored 71 from 147 balls, batting for nearly 3 hours. But, he was just delaying the inevitable as Kent were bowled out in 82.5 overs. Will Jacks took 4 for 65 in his 30 overs.

Put back in to bat Kent lost Zak Crawley for 35 from 94 balls and Kent finished the day on 82 for 1. I woke to a grey day in Essex and I imagine that was replicated in Beckenham, Kent only added another 32 runs before the weather did its thing and stopped the game. The record Surrey scored doing them no favours at all.

Warwickshire v Northamptonshire – Edgbaston, Birmingham. Will Rhodes won the toss for Warwicks and put Northants in to bat. Match Drawn.

Northants 597 for 6 dec, Warwickshire 568 for 4

Wrong choice, right choice, wrong choice! As a captain you know you made the wrong choice when the first wicket stand is 287! Northants captain scored 156 from 197 balls, he batted for nearly 4.5 hours. His wicket was the first to fall, his opening partner Will Young scored 134 from 230 balls, the 29 year old Kiwi has 331 runs at 55.16 for the season so far. Northants hadn’t finished with the centuries, Luke Proctor in at 4 scored a round 100* from 199 balls. Josh Cobb scored 66 from 95 balls. Norrthants declared after 154.1 overs, Warwickshire had used 6 bowlers with 3 sharing 5 wickets, Cobb was run out.

In the 39 overs they bowled on Day 2 Northants took 2 of the 20 wickets they need to get the win, Warwicks finished the day on 88 for 2. Dom Sibley who’s had a good start to the season scored 52 from 170 balls. Sam Hain batting at 4 was 140* from 337 balls at the end of Day 3, batting for over 7 hours. Warwicks finished Day 3 on 394 for 4 after 136 overs. I’m going to set my stall out that I’ll be typing Match Drawn tomorrow. As expected the match was batting practice for both sides, Hain did wonders for this season average being not out 202 from 494 balls. Hain now has 450 runs at an average of 75. Will Rhodes and he put on 201 for the 4th wicket. Matthew Lamb then batted with Hain for nearly 5 hours scoring 155* from 230 balls. All well and good for personal averages, but not great for the county game, in common with the Kent/Surrey game.

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

Lancashire 566 for 9 dec, Yorkshire 379 for 8 & 169 for 6

The ‘War of The Roses’ didn’t start well with the decision at the toss for the home team in spite of the first wicket falling with just 10 runs on the board and the second with just 12. Opener Keaton Jennings and Steven Croft put on 237 for the 3rd wicket matching what was happening across the country. What must have seemed to be the right choice quickly turned around. Croft scored 104 from 231 balls, batting for just over 4.5 hours. Jennings had a lot more work to do. Dane Vilas joined Jennings and the pair put on 177 for the 4th wicket. Captain Vilas scored 82 from 126 balls in just over 3 hours. Jennings finally fell for 238 from 408 balls, he’d batted for 9 hours. Jamie Salt added a useful 37 and Luke Wood 39. Lancashire batted for 167.1 overs for their 566 runs. 7 bowlers toiled, 4 of them took wickets.

In reply Yorkshire had lost Adam Lyth and the in form Dawid Malan for 53 runs in 22 overs, it’s going to be an interesting 2 days in Leeds! To the delight of Yorkshire fans Joe Root Scored 147 from 218 balls, to the delight of whoever’s going to be picking the England team too I should imagine! The 2 Harrys, Brook and Duke chipped in 41 and 40. In the 118 over bowled so far Matt Parkinson has taken 3 for 79. Can Lancashire take another 18 wickets to get a win? Yorkshire’s first innings didn’t last long enough for them to avoid the follow on. Parkinson added another wicket and finished the innings with 4 for 90 in 38.5 overs.

One of THE in form batters of the season so far showed his character for Yorkshire on Day 4, they fell to 86 for 4 in 38.4 overs , Harry Brook batted for just under 3.5 hours, he faced 157 balls and finished the innings o82 not out. That took him to 719 runs at an average of 143.8, with 3 hundreds and 3 fifties. As I’ve written before he surely must play for England this summer. The day started early and finished late, and we had another draw. One James Anderson sent Joe Root’s stumps flying in the 2nd innings, always a good sign!

Division 2

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

Worcestershire 368 All Out & 225 for 2, Derbyshire 565 for 8

Worcestershire lost both openers for 41 before a 3rd wicket stand of 187 between Azhar Ali and Jack Haynes. What a opportunity for the 21 year old to bat with the ex captain of Pakistan. Azhar, another overseas player who hadn’t really kicked off scored 88 from 192 balls, batting for nearly 4.5 hours. Haynes was out for 133 from 207 balls, having batted for nearly 4.5 hours. Worcs were bowled out in 114.1 overs, 23 year old Sam Conners took 5 for 109 in his 31 overs.

Derbyshire’s opener Shan Masood who is most definitely on target for 1000 runs by the end of May scored 113 from 131 making that more likely, the Pakistan opener is loving county cricket! He and Brooke Guest, another English batter benefiting from time in the middle with an overseas talent, put on 158 for the 2nd wicket. Guest scored 77 from 117 balls. At the end of Day 2 Derbyshire were 274 for 4. Day 3 was a good batting day for the home team; Leus du Plooy scored 62 from 127 balls and Anuj Dal batting at 7 was their highest scorer with 114 from 177 balls. A good toss decision this one, Gloucs batted for 153 overs, Worcestershire used 7 bowlers, Josh Baker and Ed Barnard took 3 each.

At the end of Day 3 Worcs were 59 for 1, trailing by 138 runs. Jake Libby and Azhar Ali put in 164 for the 2nd wicket Azhar was out having made 60 from 152 balls. Libby went on to score 105 from 306, finishing not out as teh game rolled to a draw.

Durham v Glamorgan – The Riverside, Chester-le-Street, David Lloyd won the toss for Glamorgan and put Durham in to bat. Durham win by 58 runs

Durham 311 All Out & 244 All Out, Glamorgan 365 All Out 137 All Out

& The other front runner for 1000 by the end of May, Sean Dickson added only 5 to his personal tally as Michael Neser struck early. Alex Lees was out for 55 and Keegan Peterson put on 78 from 123 balls, he batted for over 3 hours. Who else would be the top scorer but England’s new red ball captain Ben Stokes, he score 82 runs from 110 balls, nit quite the same fireworks as his first innings back last week, but he did score 8 Fours and 2 Sixes. In spite of those 2 innings Durham were bowled out in 84.3 overs. Michael Hogan was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 67 from his 16.3 overs.

Glamorgan had a very shaky start to their innings they lost 2 wickets for 8 runs, then 4 for 63. The middle order steadied things as Sam Northeast scored 51 from 68 balls and Kiran Carlson 53 from 45, they were in some sort of hurry! A familiar name, but of a different ilk, was the top scorer, that being Billy Root, he scored 88 from 148 balls and was joined in a partnership of 113 by Michael Neser who scored 62 from 88 balls. This was a very different game to those going on in Division 1. It took 89 overs to bowl Glamorgan out, both Matthew Potts and Ben Raine took 4 wickets.

Durham batted for 86.2 overs in their second innings, keeping an eye on the form of England qualified Alex Lees scored 61 from 185 balls. That takes him to 429 in 6 innings at an average of 107.35, that is helped by a not out 182. Scott Borthwick batting at 6 top scored with 90 from 124 balls. Sean Dickson finished the match with 734 runs to his name so far. Michael Neser was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 57 from his 21.2 overs.

Batting for the win Glamorgan lost 3 wickets in the 20.5 overs bowled on Day 3, the require 126 runs to win, Durham need 7 wickets – game on! Day 3 saw Durham take those wickets, Matthew Potts took 7 for 40 in his 18.5 overs. That took him to 35 for the season so far at an average of 18.57. Glamorgan were bowled out in 53.5 overs.

Leicestershire v Sussex – Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester. Colin Ackermann won the toss for Leics and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Leicestershire 210 All Out & 333 for 9, Sussex 450- All Out

An innings with a top score of 35 was over in 83.4 overs, from the viewpoint of an Essex fan and a big fan of Aaron Beard both as a player and a person it’s good to see him playing and taking 3 wickets, 20 year old Henry Crocombe also took 3.

In reply Sussex had scored 386 for 6 by the end of Day 2, Captain Tom Haines scored 50 from 45 balls. Another 20 year old, Tom Clark scored 138 from 262 balls, batting for nearly 6 hours. He and keeper Oli Carter, also 20, put on 140 for the 4th wicket. Carter made 72 from 133 balls. Archie Lenham, Sussex’s young spinner extraordinaire scored a useful 48 from 104 balls. Leics used 6 bowlers of which 5 took wickets. The innings lasted for 126.3 overs.

At the end of Day 3 Leics are 195 for 5, Opener Hassan Azad scored 54 from 111 balls, sharing a 2nd wicket partnership of 76 with Rishi Patel, Patel scored 67 from 201 balls, Archie Lenham did his thing with the ball and took 3 for 47. Day 4 starts with Leics trailing by 45 runs. Liecs made a good fight of Day 4, saving the drawPatel added 1 to finish on 68 from 209 balls. Harry Swindells batting at 7 scored 57 from 178 balls, batting for over 4 hours. Leics batted for 136 overs, finishing on 333 for 9. Archie Lenham took a 4th wicket to finish on 4 for 84 from 29 overs.

Middlesex v Nottinghamshire – Lord’s, London. Peter Handscomb won the toss and put Notts in to bat. Match Drawn

Nottinghamshire 415 All Out & 295 for 5 dec, Middlesex 195 All Out & 133 for 3

And so one of those wrong choices appears in Division 2 alongside those in Division 1. Middlesex took an early wicket and Notts were 6 for 1, but Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett put on 99 for the 2nd wicket. Duckett contributed 43 runs and Hameed batted on, he made 112 from 217 balls, batting for over 5 hours. Captain Steven Mullaney scored 92 from 153 balls, he was at the crease for nearly 3.5 hours. Luke Fletcher batting at 11 scored 50 from 54 balls. Notts batted for 120.2 overs, the best of the bowlers was Toby Roland Jones with 4 for 64 from his 32 overs.

Middlesex were bowled out in 64.5 overs, Peter Handscomb was the top scorer with 48 from 89 balls. Stuart Broad was in action and he took 3 for 39 in his 12.5 overs, James Pattinson had the best figures of 4 for 49 from his 17 overs.

Batting for 60 overs in their 2nd innings Notts added some quick runs, not least captain Steven Mullaney who scored 100* from 58 balls! He hit 6 Fours and 8 Sixes, Luke Fletcher opened, I wonder if he’s ever done that before! He scored 51 from 71 balls. Joe Clarke in at 5 was not out 66 from 92 balls.

At the end of Day 3 Middlesex are 69 for 3, needing 447 runs to win. Sam Robson, opening is 51* from 109 balls. Robson was able to reach his century before the rain reached Lord’s he finished on 101 not out from 180 balls.

Another long list of century makers (not a one in Surrey’s record innings

  • Ricardo Vasconcelos – Northants – 156 from 197 balls
  • Will Young – Northants. – 134 from 230 balls
  • Luke Proctor – Northants. – 100 from 199 balls
  • Sam Hain – Warwicks – 202 from 494 balls
  • Matthew Lamb – Warwicks. – 155 from 230 balls
  • Keaton Jennings – Lancashire – 238 from 408 balls
  • Steven Croft – Lancashire – 104 from 231 balls
  • Joe Root – Yorkshire – 147 from 218 balls
  • Jack Haynes – Worcs. – 133 from 207 balls
  • Shan Masood – Derbyshire. – 113 from 131 balls
  • Anuj Dal – Derbyshire. – 114 from 177 balls
  • Jake Libby – Worcs – 105 from 306 balls
  • Tom Clark – Sussex – 138 from 262 balls
  • Haseeb Hameed – Notts. – 112 from 217 balls
  • Steven Mullaney – Notts. – 100 from 58 balls
  • Sam Robson – Middx. – 101 from 180 balls
  • Tom Abell – Somerset. – 142 from 246 balls

Runs galore again this week, will those making their mark receive recognition from the ‘new’ England set up? 8 matches and 6 draws, most of which were obvious quite early on, I for one am not sure that’s good for the game.

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