A stupidly busy Thursday, with a play in London and a show in Southend means I’m coming to this at the end of Day 2 – Friday was a busy one too! Most games were rain affected on Day 1 and indeed some on Day 2 as well. THE performer of the round did his thing on Day 1 however! Tom Price of Gloucestershire not only scored a Century he also took a hat-trick – and that too was noteworthy as only the 6th hat-cricket go wicket-keeper catches. James Bracey was said keeper as the wickets of Azhar Ali, Jack Haynes and Brett D’Oliveira fell to 23 year old Tom Price – a day he will not forget! On to the rest of the CC story in Week 3.

Finishing up on Day 4 and only 2 games resulted in wins, the weather wrecked the chances of any other positive results. How key could that be for the 2 teams who for some reason didn’t play this week? Warwickshire and Surrey who play each other from April 27th.

Division 1

Kent v Essex – The Spitfire Ground Canterbury. Tom Westley won the toss and elected to bat. Match Drawn.

Essex – 451 for 5 dec, Kent 342 for 7

There has been a good deal of concern around the batting performances from Essex in the first 2 rounds. only 1 player, Matt Critchley with 73.66 had an average over 50. Dan Lawrence who got a first game century at Lord’s was just under with 49. As a team in 2022 Essex had the lowest number of batting points with 24, exactly half of Surrey’s 48! Alastair Cook made a very un Alastair Cook type start to this match scoring 39 from 30 balls, 36 of those runs were Fours. He fell to Wes Agar with Sam Billing taking the catch. Essex were 43 for 1 after 9 overs. Only 42 overs were bowled on Day 1 and Nick Browne with 54 and Tom Westley with 71 took Essex to 164 for 1. Day 2 saw just 32 overs bowled, it also saw both Browne and Westley reach their Centuries. Browne finished the day on 105 from 239 balls and Westley 138 from 177 balls, a real boost for both batters. Essex batted on for a further 23 overs to reach the maximum batting points total. Browne was out for 159 from 299 balls and Westley 148 from 185. Very welcome innings for both players. Keeper Michael Pepper, in for the injured Adam Rossington, made the most of his chance., scoring 52* from 52 balls, building on his white ball form in 2022. Westley declared with Essex on 451 for 5, impressive, especially considering the stop/start nature of the innings.

Sir Alastair – just because

Zak Crawley who did have a decent score in round 1 has been much discussed amongst cricket fans considering the England side for the Ashes, he scored a very welcome 170 from 183 balls sharing 162 with fellow opener Ben Compton for the first wicket. Compton scored 46 of those runs. That Crawley innings helped Kent to 342 for 7 in just 78 overs. Simon Harmer toiled for 31 overs, conceding 141 runs, but taking 4 wickets. That was that for Kent as rain had the final say and the match was drawn.

Middlesex v Nottinghamshire – Lord’s, London. Toby Roland-Jones won the toss for Middlesex and put Notts in to bat. Middlesex won by 4 wickets.

Notts – 364 All Out & 158 for 6 dec , Middlesex 274 All Out & 249 for 6

Middlesex bowled 69 overs on Day 1 as the weather intervened. Hasseb Hameed and Ben Duckett put on 117 for the first wicket. Hameed was out for 55, Duckett finished the day 0n 119, he shared a 5th wicket partnership of 73 with Lyndon James who was out for 41. Day 2 saw just over 60 overs bowled, Notts captain scored 46 while Duckett went on to score 177 from 258 balls. The England selectors will be happy with that! Notts were all out for 364 in 99.3 overs. Ethan Bamber was the best of there bowlers with 4 for 80 from his 26 overs.

Middlesex have had big batting problems so far this season, but opener Mark Stoneman finished the day on 60*. Middlesex did lose the wickets of Sam Robson and Pieter Malan and finished the day on 111 for 2 having faced 30.1 overs. For the third game in a row Ryan Higgins helped Middlesex out with the bat, scoring 53 from 82 balls. Stuart Broad took 4 for 68 in his 22 overs. Middlesex went on to score 274.

Captains are going to have to be brave in their declarations this year and Notts captain Steven Mullaney went for it after 50.5 overs, Keeper Joe Clarke scored 52 from 94 balls and the declaration came with Notts on 158 for 6. A lead of 248 probably felt safe with the way Middlesex have started the season.

Middlesex however had other plans! and with the help of Max Holden who scored 53 from 57 balls they reached 249 for 6 in 39 overs to secure a confidence boosting win.

Northamptonshire v Hampshire – The County Ground, Northampton. Luke Proctor won the toss for Northants and put Hants in to bat. Hampshire won by an innings and 270 runs.

Hampshire – 482 for 8 dec, Northants 149 All Out & 63 All Out.

Northampton saw better cricket weather on Day 1 allowing 84.4 overs to be bowled. Opener Fletcha Middleton was out for a 3 ball Duck and Hants were 2 for 1, his fellow opener Felix Organ was out for 38. Nick Gubbins with 125* and James Vince with 102* took Hants to 269 for 2 at the end of play. Gubbins didn’t add to his score, he was out in the first vover of the day, so finished on 125 from 249 balls. Vince batted on and started a 6th wicket partnership of 125 with Keeper Ben Brown who scored 55 from 90 balls.Vince was out for 186 from 279 balls. Vince declared with 129.5 overs bowled and Hants on 428 for 8.

Hants made hay with the 36 overs they had available to them, they tool 5 Northants wickets for 95 runs. The home team have a huge uphill battle ahead! Northants lasted another 13.3 overs and were bowled out for 149. James Fuller took 6 fro 37 in his 11.3 overs.

The second Northants innings was over in a flash, just 22.3 overs, just 135 balls. In an innings of just 63 runs there clearly isn’t a batter to mention, Mohammad Abbas took 4 for 31 and Fuller added another 3 to his tally for just 9 runs.

Somerset v Lancashire – The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton. Keaton Jennings won the toss for Lancs and put Somerset in to bat. Match Drawn.

Somerset 441 All Out & 256 for 6, Lancashire 554 all Out

Taunton saw 81.3 overs of cricket on Day 1and another Century. Somerset lost early wickets and were 24 for 3. That moved to 80 for 4 before Tom Abell and Keeper James Rew stuck in and put on 176, Abell finished the day on 124* and Rew 73*. New went on to score 117 from 253 balls and Abell 151 from 285 balls. Somerset were bowled out in 122.4 overs for 441. One James Anderson took 5 for 76 in his 28 overs.

Day 2 must have been a full day, Lancashire bowled 59 overs and Lancashire had a great start, making 154 for the first wicket. Luke Wells was out fro 82 from 109 balls, Keaton Jennings went on to score 124* from 174 balls and shared 148 runs with Josh Bohannon who finished on 73 from 80 balls. Lancs finished the day on 302 for 1. Sadly Jennings was forced to retire with an injury, but not before he’d reached 189 having faced a further 73 balls, a total of 247 balls. Bohannon was out for 85 and Extras were the 4th highest score – with 54, that included 18 No Balls! Lancashire made their 554 in 111.1 overs.

At the end of Day 2 Somerset were 41 for no wicket in the 11 overs they faced. Somerset batted on for a further 75 overs. Kasey Aldridge batting at 8 top scoring with 58 from 108 balls. They made 256 for 6 and were rewarded with a draw.

Division 2.

Glamorgan v Durham – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. David Lloyd won the toss for Glamorgan and put Durham in to bat. Match Drawn.

Durham – 471 for 9 dec, Glamorgan 305 All Out & 104 for 6

Day 1 saw a full days play, but no play on Day 2. Durham had 4 innings in excess of 50, opener Michael Jones scored 69 from 136 balls, Scott Borthwick 59 from 115 balls and Keeper Ollie Robinson made 73 from 88 balls. They finished the day on 382 for 6. Durham pressed on well on Day 3, Liam Travaskis scored 79 from 121 balls and Brydon Carse 91 from 110 balls. Notably Marnus Labuschagne took 4 for 81 from 17.3 overs. Another declaration from Scott Borthwick, Durham scored 471 for 9 from 112.3 overs.

Glamorgan faced 40.2 overs on Day 3 and fell to 153 for 5, Kiran Carlson finished the day on 46* from 67 balls. Ben Raine took 3 of the Day 3 wickets for 38 in his 14 overs. Carlson batted on and finished on 119 from 166 balls, Time van Der Gugten scored 54 from 101 balls. Glamorgan scored 305 from 79.4 overs.

Put in to bat again Glamorgan held on for the 23 overs they needed to secure the draw and finished date day on 104 for 6.

Sussex v Yorkshire – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove. Cheteshwar Pujara won the toss for Sussex and elected to bat. Match Drawn

Sussex – 361 All Out 7 137 All Out, Yorkshire 298 All Out & 138 for 3

There were 161.3 overs bowled across the first 2 days, this seems to be a good round for Tom’s! Tom Alsop in at 3 scored 95 from 152 balls. He shared a 94 run 5th wicket partnership with Keeper Oli Carter (it’s also a good round for Keeperds!). Carter made 64 from 136 balls. Sussex were bowled out for 362 in 103.3 overs. Ben Coad took 5 for 54 in his 21.3 overs.

Yorkshire finished Day 3 on 216 for 7 in 58 overs, Finlay Bean top scored with 49. Bean’s 49 from 132 was the top score in Yorkshire’s innings as they were bowled out in 74 overs. Jack Carson took 5 for 79 in his 21 overs.

Sussex were bowled out in just 43.1 overs, with the 5 bowlers used sharing the wickets,Dom Bess took 3 for 36 in his 16.1 overs.

The Yorkshire bowlers put their team in a great position to get their first win. Adam Lyth finished the day on 69* and Yorkshire needing just 63 runs on Day 4 to get that win. However the rain again decided on a draw; and Yorkshire sit 7th in Division 2.

Worcestershire v Gloucestershire – New Road, Worcester. Graeme van Buuren won the toss for Gloucs and elected to bat.

Gloucestershire 231 All Out & 226 for 4, Worcestershire 157 All Out & 51 for 4.

This is the TOM PRICE match! He came in at 9 when his team were on 80 for 8, he scored 109 from 98 balls, with a little support from the tai lenders he helped get his team to 231 oin 54.4 overs. Joe Leach was the best off the bowlers with 4 for 49 from 16 overs.

Worcs would have been reasonably happy with their bowling efforts in spite of `Tom Price. It’s fair to judge that Gloucs will have been happier with theirs! Worcs went from 58 for 1 to 59 for 4! Tom Price and James Tracey combined to give Price the perfect day. The hat-trick was in the 19th over and Price took his 4th wicket in the 27th. Ajeet Singh-Dale chipped in with 3 wickets having started the ball rolling and Worcs finished the day on 118 for 7 after facing 41 overs. There was no play on Day 2. Singh-Dale carried on where he’d left off on Day 2, he ended with 6 for 412 from his 17.1 overs as Worcs were bowled out for 157 in a total of 55.1 overs.

Gloucs reached 172 for 3 in the 52 overs they faced, James Bracey scored 51 from 78 balls. Gloucs captain Graeme van Buuren took the declaration route with a lead of 300 with his team on 226 for 4.

Worcestershire had only 14 overs to face and lost 4 wickets for 51 runs, saving the draw.

Century Makers and 5 Wicket Takers.

  • Nick Gubbins – Hants – 125 from
  • James Vince – Hants – 186 from
  • Nick Browne – Essex – 159 from
  • Tom Westley – Essex – 148 from
  • Zak Crawly – Kent – 170 from
  • Ben Duckett – Notts 177 from
  • Tom Abell – Somerset – 151 from
  • James Rew – Somerset – 117 from
  • Keaton Jennings – Lancs – 189 from
  • Kiran Carlson – Glamorgan – 119 from
  • Tom Price – Gloucs – 109 from
  • James Fuller – Hants – 6 for 37 from 11.3 overs
  • James Anderson – Lancs – 5 for 76 from 28 overs
  • Ben Coad – Yorkshire – 5 for 54 from 21.3 overs
  • Jack Carson – Sussex – 5 for 79 from 21 overs
  • Ajeet Singh-Dale – Gloucs – 6 for 42 from 17.1 overs

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