A much needed visit to Scotland to visit family means I’m watching this round from afar, and in fact on a train as I start to write. Disappointed to be missing Jimmy v Sir Alastair but hoping for an Essex win, any photos will be Essex focused without the ability to take more. The weather hasn’t been as kind for this second round and Day 1 of the match in Bristol was called off without a ball being bowled. I’ve spent a disappointed few hours at Bristol waiting for the outfield to dry, to no avail. Yorkshire fans tend to travel in numbers here’s hoping they get sone play. So, I’m starting things off just before lunch on Day 1. Having written each match up until the lunch break that wasn’t saved, so here I go again! I’m making note of how many overs were bowled on Day 1 in each match, with a test series not far away it’ll be interesting to see. I’m finishing up the weeks action on the train home, watching the BBC app with hope for my team, Essex.

Division 1

Essex v Lancashire – The County Ground, Chelmsford. Keaton Jennings won the toss for Lancs and elected to bat.Match Drawn

Lancashire – 207 All Out & 351 for 7 dec , Essex – 219 All Out & 128 for 4

Jennings may have regretted his choice as Essex and Jamie Porter in particular carried on where they’d left off at Lord’s. Porter taking the wicket of Luke Wells in his second over, Jennings lasted a little longer before falling to Sam Cook in the 8th over of the day. Adam Rossington taking both catches. Lancashire were 12 for 2. Steven Croft was the next to walk back to the pavilion as he became the first scalp for Essex’s new overseas signing, Doug Bracewell, a slip catch for Simon Harmer. Josh Bohannon who’d scored a century in Round 1 didn’t manage that in this innings he too being caught by Harmer from the bowling of Bracewell. Lancs went into lunch on 70 for 4. Essex bowled lancs out for 207 in 64.5 overs. Keeper George Bell batting at 6 was the top scorer with 60 from 109 balls. Sam Cook took 5 for 42.

There was some inevitability to the fall of Essex wickets as 40 year old James Anderson took the wickets of the Essex openers, including one Sir Alastair Cook who he trapped LBW for just 16, Nick Browne was out for a 3 ball Duck. Tom Westley wasn’t far behind and Essex were 25 for 3. This was all somewhat different to the first match at the County Ground last season when Kent and Essex scored runs galore! Essex were 98 for 3 overnight. There were 95.5 overs bowled in the day. Checking back 45 minutes into Day 2 and Essex have lost a further 3 wickets including 2 to Anderson who must surely get that Sir moniker before long! Lancashire bowled Essex out for 219 on Day 2, giving Essex a narrow lead. Matt Critchley again scoring important runs for his team with 78 from 154 balls. James Anderson took 4 for 70 in his 22 overs. The Essex innings lasted 68.2 overs.

Matt Critchley made important runs for Essex for a second week – batting here at Lord’s

Lancashire were 82 for 1 sat the end of Day 2; and a weather interrupted day saw them move on to 167 for 4 by the end of Day 3. Opener Keaton Jennings went on to make 96 from 201 balls, an interesting innings considering Zak Crawley’s performances in this second round. I mentioned in Round 1 that the draw would mean only 5 points for each team, that means captain are going to have to make some bold decisions. In this instance Kaetin Jennings didn’t;t go for a bold declaration, Lancs batted until after lunch on Day 4, making 351 for 7. Bell was in the runs again scoring 56 from 113 balls and Tom Hartley made 73 from 50 balls.

Essex have a somewhat fragile batting line up and they were highly unlikely to reach the 339 required, and realistically Jennings hadn’t left enough time in the day to take the 10 wickets they needed. Jimmy Anderson again took Alastair Cook’s wicket – an 11 ball Duck, but captain To Westley scored 43, taking 120 balls out of the equation and Matt Critchley again hung in there with 35 from 87 balls. The match played out for a draw, which will have felt like a win for the Essex members able to be there!

Northamptonshire v Middlesex – The County Ground, Northampton. Luke Proctor won the toss for Northants and put Middlesex in to bat. Northamptonshire won by 7 wickets.

Middlesex – 149 All Out & 167 All Out, Northants 198 All Out & 12-0 for 3

Middlesex found themselves on 4 for 4 in their first match back in Division 1, at Northants they were 11 for 4, with a scorecard that had 4, 3, 2, 0 as against the four Ducks last week! That 11 for 4 turned into 82 for 6 at lunch with Robbie Simpson and Ryan Higgins again bucking the trend, Simpson fell for 32 but Higgins will battle on after lunch. 3 Wickets for Ben Sanderson for just 13 runs so far. Even based on Middlesex’s first 2 games Higgins has proved to be a great signing, he went on to score 70 of Middlesex’s 149 runs. They were bowled out in 48.4 overs. 4 bowlers shared the wickets.

Northants made 111 in the 45 overs they faced on Day 1, but lost 3 wickets as they went along. A total of 93.4 overs were bowled in the day. There was no play on Day 2. Rob Keogh in at 5 scored 75 from 128 balls but those below him hardly troubled the scorer making just 22 between the 6 of them. Northants were bowled out in 74.2 overs with Toby Roland-Jones having another good innings with the ball – he took 4 for 53 in his 19.2 overs.

Toby Roland-Jones at least has had a good start to the season

Middlesex aren’t enjoying Division 1 with the bat so far this season, they were bowled out for 167 in 58.1 overs, Steve ESkinazi top scoring with 37. The 6 bowlers shared the wickets.

60 unbeaten from Sam Whiteman in at 4 saw Northants home to a win in 39.3 overs. They lost 3 wickets but the win was in the bag.

Nottinghamshire v Somerset – Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Tom Abell won the toss and put Notts in to bat. Nottinghamshire won by 165 runs.

Nottinghamshire 256 All Out & 211 All Out – , Somerset – 173 All Out & 129 All Out

Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett took Notts to 106 by lunch, with Hammed on 20 and Duckett on 68. Things went downhill for Notts after lunch as Lewis Gregory struck, 7 times! Hameed went on to score 65 from 151 balls and Duckett 75 from 91 balls. but Gregory’s 7 for 84 saw Notts bowled out for 256 in 72.5 overs.

Somerset lost both their openers within the first 10 overs and found themselves on 19 for 2, they were 28 for 2 at the end of the day. 87.5 overs were bowled in the day. There was no play on Day 2. Day 3 saw a lot of wickets as Somerset were bowled out for 173; Josh Davey in at 9 bolstered the Somerset score with 60 from 66 balls. Brett Hutton took 6 for 45 in his 13 overs.

Notts were 170 for 6 at the end of Day 3, Lewis Gregory had taken the last wicket on Day 3 and he carried on where he left of on the final day, taking 4 in total for 64. Notts were bowled out in 68.1 overs for 211.

Somerset were set a target of just over 300 to win this match, they fell well short making just 129 in 38.2 overs. Dane Paterson took 5 for

Surrey v Hampshire – The Oval, London. James Vince won the toss for Hants and elected to bat. Surrey won by 9 wickets.

Hampshire – 254 All Out & 258 All Out, Surrey – 270 All Out & 247 for 1.

A toss that James Vince may regret his Hants were 10 for 2 in the 7th over. They lost a further 3 wickets before lunch with Vince himself being the 3rd wicket. Keeper Ben Brown batting at 6 somewhat saved the Hants innings as he scored 95 from 167 balls Keith Barker in at 8 made 58 and Hants reached 254.

Surrey were 37 for no wicket at the end of Day 1, they faced 14 overs and 93.3 were bowled in the day. Play was delayed on Day 2 before Surrey moved on to 153 for 4. Ollie Pope top scored with 91 from 157 balls and Sean Abbot made 52 from 40 balls while Mohammad Abbas wasn’t making his way through the Surrey line up, he took 6 for 64 in 27.5 overs, he’s been an inspired signing for Hants! Surrey were bowled out in 85.5 overs.

Nick Gubbins top scored for Hants in their second innings making 84 from 199 balls as Daniel Worrall took 5 for 40 in his 17 overs. Hants were bowled out in 88 overs.

Surrey required 243 to win their first homer match of the season and they got the job done with time in the day remaining and for the loss of just 1 wicket. Burns was out for 35 before Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope shared a partnership of 193. Sibley scored 79* from 144 balls and Pope 122* from 102 balls. That gave Pope 213 runs for the match! Hopefully we’ll be seeing him make Ashes runs in the same way!

Ollie Pope batting against Essex last season

Warwickshire v Kent – Edgbaston, Birmingham. Sam Billings won the toss for Kent and put Warwicks in to bat. Warwickshire won by an innings and 14 runs.

Warwickshire – 453 for 4 dec , Kent – 158 All Out & 281 All Out

Some runs at last on Day1 as Warwicks Opener Rob Yates scored 128 from 217 balls as he and Sam Hain shared a 3rd wicket partnership of 166. Hain was 124* from 235 balls at the end of the day. Kent had bowled 96 overs, using 7 bowlers. Play was delayed at the start of Day 2. There was no play on Day 2. Hain went on to score 165* from 269 balls, he shared a 4th wicket partnership of 179 with Dan Mousley who made 94 from 93 balls. Will Rhodes declared with the score on 453 for 4, 107 overs had been bowled, meaning 5 batting points for Warwicks.

Kent were bowled out for 158 on Day 3 just 47.1 overs, Daniel Bell Drummond top scored with 40. The 5 bowlers shared the wickets with Pakistan bowler Hassan Ali taking 3 for 36.

Having been out for a 6 ball Duck in the first innings Zak Crawley was out twice in a day as he was given out LBW for 12, Kent finished Day 3 on 27 for 1. Ben Compton went on to score 88 from 185 balls as Kent battled to save an innings loss. Joey Evinson made 99 from 161 balls, a bowler predominantly that was some innings! But Warwicks had the bowlers to get. the job done, 4 of them shared the wickets and the match was won in 93.3 overs

Division 2

Durham v Worcestershire – Seat Unique Riverside, Chester-le-Street. Brett D’Oliveira won the toss for Worcs and put Durham in to bat. Durham won by 121 runs.

Durham – 425 for 9 dec & 254 for 4 dec , Worcs 366 for 5 dec & 192 All Out

Durham made the most of being asked to bat first, they reached 363 for 7 in the 96 overs bowled. Opener Alex Lees scored 70 from 129 balls, David Bedingham batting at 4 made 118 from 148 balls, Ben Raine was 67* at the end of the day. Durham was one of the only grounds not affected by the weather on Day 2 as Durham west on to reach 425 for 9. Raine only added another 4 runs as Scott Borthwick declared after Durham had faced 112.5 overs.

Worcestershire lost 2 wickets on Day 2 finishing that day on 96 for 2. Jack Haynes scored 134 from 2455 balls as Worcs captain D’Oliveira declared on 366.5 after 110 overs. Both captains deciding to stick with the runs they had once that bonus point level had been hit.

A second declaration in the game for Durham saw Borthwick seeking a win for his team. Borthwick finished that innings on 108* from 119 balls. He left Worcs needing 314 runs to win.

The saying catches win matched may need to be replaced with – bold declarations win matches – this season, Borthwick;s gamble paid off as Worcs were bowled out in 64.4 overs. Matthew Kuhenmann took 5 for 53 in his 23.4 overs.

Gloucestershire v Yorkshire – Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol.

The outfield was deemed unsuitable for play at the start of both Day 1 and Day 2. That will be a huge disappointment to fans of both counties especially those who travelled long distances. It’s very reminiscent of Essex’s game at Headingley in 2018 which was abandoned without a ball bowled. I have no idea if more rain fell in Bristol than elsewhere in the country, but it feels poor that an international venue can’t get a game up and going. The game was abandoned without a ball being bowled at the end of Day 2.

Leicestershire v Derbyshire – Less du Plooy won the toss for Derbyshire and put Leics in to bat. Match Drawn.

Leicestershire – 451 for 9, Derbyshire –

Play was delayed on Day 1, but 63 overs were bowled, Leics made good progress in those 63 overs making 243 for 2. Opener Sol Budinger scored 72 in 62 balls in a very BazBall way hitting 11 Fours and a Six. Lewis Hill was 75* and Colin Ackermann 79* at the end of Day 1. There was no play on Days 2 and 3. This was basically batting practice for Leics and they reached 451 for 9 dec. Lewis Hill finished the innings on 162* from 269 balls and Colin Ackermann made 114 from 176 balls, they put on 193 for the 3rd wicket. The 451 was reached in 108.3 overs giving them 5 batting points.

Derbyshire had 46 overs of batting practice and made 254 for 7, they lost both openers for 19, but Keeper Brooke Guest and Wayne Madsen put on 143 for the 3rd wicket, Madsen scored 75 from 87 balls and Guest went upon to make 92 from 99 balls, so a good exercise for them!

A photo of Sir Alastair – just because

Century Makers and 5 Wicket Takers

  • Rob Yates – Warwicks – 128 from 217 balls
  • Sam Hain – Warwicks – 165* from 269 balls
  • David Bedingham – Durham – 118 from 148 balls
  • Jack Haynes – Worcs – 134* from 255 balls
  • Scott Borthwick – Durham 108* from 119 balls
  • Colin Ackermann – Leics – 114 from 176 balls
  • Lewis Hill – Leics – 162 from 269 balls
  • Sam Cook – Essex – 5 for 42 in 17.5 overs
  • Lewis Gregory – Somerset – 7 for 84 in 18.5 overs
  • Brett Hutton – Notts – 6 for 45 in 13 overs.
  • Mohammad Abbas – Hants – 6 for 64 in 27.5 overs
  • Matthew Kuhenmann – Durham 5 for 53 in 23.4 overs

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