An opportunity to watch county cricket at one of my favourite international grounds was too good not to take, cue 3 days at Trent Bridge! It seems crazy that it’s only Mid-May and we’re into the 6th match fro most teams, Round 7 on my watch as not all teams have played each time, it’s all very confusing! There were some absolute howlers in the first 2 days, which is when I’m starting this off this week – so, here we go! 3 of the 4 Division1 games were won on Day 3 and 1 of the 3 Division 2.

Division 1

Hampshire v Northamptonshire – The Ageas Bowl, Northampton. James Vince won the toss for Hants and elected to bat. Hampshire won by an innings and 135 runs.

Hants 367 All Out, Northants 56 All Out & 176 All Out

James Vince is having a good season with the bat and this match was no exception, he scored 95 from 180 balls, that’s taken him to 477 runs at an average of 79.5 for the season so far. Liam Dawson chipped in 63 from 107 balls as Hants moved to 367 in 110.1 overs. Jack White took 4 for 80.

And here we have a horror innings for Northants – they were skilled out for just 56 in 30.2 overs, amazingly Ricardo Vasconcelos scored 29 of those 56 runs! Keith Barker took 4 for 13 in his 12 overs! Some figures!

At the end of Day 2 Northants were 50 for 2, I’m predicting a 3 day game for this one! I’m sure no bets are being placed for any other result. This wasn’t the first game to finish, Surrey got the honours on that one. Northants found some batting nerve and their 2nd innings lasted 66.3 overs: Said Zaib top scored with 57 from 86 balls. Liam Dawson took 6 for 61 in his 18 overs.

Middlesex v Somerset – Lord’s London. Toby Roland-Jones won the toss for Middlesex and put Somerset in to bat. Somerset won by an innings and 12 runs.

Somerset 404 All Out, Middlesex 175 All Out & 216 All Out

The first century maker of the round after Somerset fell to 10 for 2, Tom Abell and George Bartlett put on 183 for the 3rd wicket. Abell made 77 from 170 balls, Bartlett went on to score 121 from 214 balls. Tom Kohler-Cadmore in at 5 scored 68 from 60 balls and Lewis Gregory contributed 42 and Matt Henry 40 as Somerset scored 404 in 111.2 overs.

Middlesex didn’t fare too well in reply, their innings lasted just 52 overs, Keeper John Simpson top scored with 57 from 116 balls as Middlesex were bowled out for just 175. The first 5 wicket taker appears here as Matt Henry took 5 from73.2 overs 45 in his 16 overs.

Middlesex finished Day 2 on 81 for 1, a much better effort. Mark Stoneman top scored with 60 from 129 balls and the lower order (7-9 anyway) frustrated Somerset for a few overs. The innings was over in 73.2 overs and Craig Overton took 5 for 46 in his 10.2 overs.

Nottinghamshire v Essex – Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Steven Mullaney won the toss for Notts and put Essex in to bat. Match Drawn.

Essex 298 All Out & 362 for 8, Notts 442 All Out & 97 for 4

Essex lost Nick Browne early, I’d travelled across from Lincoln and arrived just in time to see him leave the pitch, Essex were 16 for 1. Tom Westley joined Alastair Cook and the pair put on 135 for the 2nd wicket. I learnt today that Sir A has never scored a century at Trent Bridge and he looked to be heading that way until he nicked a ball to Calvin Harrison from the bowling of Dane Paterson – a breakthrough for Notts he’d made (a quite delightful to watch) 72 from 124 balls including 7 Fours. Westley fell not long after hitting a ball from Paterson into his stumps, he’d scored 66 from 159 balls. 151 for 2 soon tuned into 195 for 5 before Simon Harmer (46) and Adam Rossington (35) put on 75 for the 6th wicket. Taking Essex to the first batting bonus point, They fell 2 short of the second as they were bowled out in 90.2 overs. Stuart Broad was in full flow and took 3 for 53 but Brett Hutton was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 69 in his 214 overs. Broad had his standard brace/strpping on his ankle but seemed to have similar on his right calf. It seemed strange to me that Ben Ducektt had been held back from playing with the tests just weeks away, but not one of Engkland’s key bowlers. I sat by the pavilion for the final session of the day and it was plain that Alastair Cook isn’t only held in high regard by his own members, he’s clearly well liked all round.

Notts had just 4 overs to face to see the day out and they didn’t so without any drama. Day 2 started with an early wicket for Essex as Haseeb Hameed was caught A Cook, bowled S Cook for just 13, that did not spark a collapse as Ben Slater and Matt Montgomery put on 71 for the 2nd wicket. Slater scored a tidy 57 from 121 balls including 7 Fours and a big 6. Montgomery then shared 97 runs with Joe Clarke who also scored 57 from 98 balls. At the end of Day 2 Montgomery was 130* from 248 balls an impressive innings from the 23 year old South African. Notts finished the day on 326 for 5 having batted for 98.5 overs. The Essex bowlers had toiled hard, but 3 dropped catches behind the stumps didn’t help their cause. Montgomery carried on where he’d left off on Day 3 reaching 177 in 318 balls, just one short of his maximum score. His was the 9th wicket to fall as Calvin Harrison added a valuable 31 runs. Notts innings lasted 131.2 overs and they scored 442.

Day 3 was a beautiful day in Nottingham, I moved around agin to find wimp different viewpoints. Essex opener Nock Browne was out for 27, but as has been pointed out in a FB group I belong to, he faced 78 balls, helping take the edge off the ball. Alastair Cook and Tom Westley took Essex to 199 for 1 at the end of Day 3, as always it was a pleasure to watch both bat, although the Notts bowlers made it very hard work for them. Cook finished the day on 87 and Westley 70. I travelled home on Saturday evening so was in the gym on Sunday morning keeping an eye on the scores and hoping Cook go0t that elusive Trent Bridge century! Just as I was having my programme adjusted he was out, for 99!!!! Oh No! He scored 99 from 228 balls, Westley batted for another 12 overs but fell 5 short of his own century, he made 95 from 186 balls. Dan Lawrence, who will join the England squad (to carry drinks and maybe field now and then) scored 52 from 104 balls as the day was running away. Tom Westley declared with Essex on 362 for 8, they’d batted for 119.5 overs.

Notts needed 219 to win, Essex 10 wickets. Notts fell to 12 for 2, Sam Cook taking the wickets of the 2 openers. Joe Clarke in at 4 faced 74 balls, scoring 42 runs as the tie ran away. The captains shook hands on the draw at just past 6 o’clock.

Surrey v Kent – The Oval, London. Rory Burns won the toss for Surrey and out Kent in to bat. Surrey won by 10 wickets.

Kent 278 All Out & 141 All Out , Surrey 362 All Out & 58 for no wicket

Kent fell to 118 for 7 before a rearguard action saved them to a degree, Joey Evison in at 7 scored 77 from 106 balls sharing an 8th wicket partnership of 74 with Wes Agar, frustrating the Surrey bowlers. Surrey used 6 bowlers and 4 of them shared the wickets as Kent were bowled out for 278 in 72.3 overs.

Surrey also lost quick ish wickets and were 180 for 6, Opener Dom Sibley scored 60 from 172 balls, he and Ollie Pope put on 84 for the 2nd wicket then wickets tumbled until Sean Abbot came to the crease, in at 8 he top scored with 78 from 88 balls an entertaining innings I imagine, Gus Atkinson in at 10 made 55* from 44 balls helping Surrey past the Kent score with 362 in 92.3 overs. Kent’s new signing Arafat Bhutan took 4 for 654 in his 20 overs.

Kent finished Day 2 on 80 for 4, trailing by 4 runs. Zak Crawley (England watch) scored 34 from 78 balls and Tawanda Muyeye top scored with 42 from 41 balls. Other than that the batters failed across the board. Extras at 30 was the 3rd highest score as Kent were bowled out in 37.4 overs. Tom Lawes took 5 for 22 in his 9 overs.

Surrey needed just 11.3 overs to get this game won, they scored 58 without the loss of a wicket. They now sit at the top of the table with 104 points , they have 12 batting points, the highest and the joint highest bowling points with Notts of 18.

Division 2

Gloucestershire v Durham – Seat Unique Stadium, Bristol. Scott Borthwick won the toss for Durham and elected to bat. Durham won by 125 runs.

Durham 445 All Out & 272 for 4 dec, Gloucs 292 All Out & 300 All Out

Durham are most definitely in runs scoring mode this season and this match was no different. Having lost opener Michael Jones for just 13 Jack Lees (41) and Borthwick (53) put on 71 for the 2nd wicket. This week’s first Durham Century Maker came in at 6, Graham Clark scored exactly 100 from 155 balls sharing a 6th wicket partnership of 124 with Bas de Leede who scored 65 from 117 balls. Paul Coughlin in at 8 was 59* . Durham reached 445 in 104.2 overs falling just short of their 5th batting point. Gloucs used 7 bowlers and Zafar Zohar had the. best (wicket) figures of 4 for 130 in his 32 overs.

Gloucs also lost an opener early on and were 10 for 1, but Marcus Harris (52) and Ben Charlesworth who went on to make 71 from 179 balls out in 100 for the 2nd wicket. Things went downhill from there as Ajaz Patel took 5 for 93 in his 25 overs. Gloucs finished Day 2 on 255 for 9 after 72 overs. Durham got the innings finished quickly on Day 3. Patel ended with 5 for 113 in his 29 overs.

Durham must have the highest number of players with a century this season and another name for the century makers list in opener Michael Jones, who scored 121 from 148 balls. Keeper Ollie Robinson scored 67 from 36 balls to help Durham to a score his captain felt comfortable to declare on. Robinson had 465 runs for the season so far at an average of 46.5. Durham made 272 for 4 and Borthwick declared.

Marcus Harris (Australian) carried his bat in Gloucs second innings, he was 122* from 195 balls. He and James Bracey put on 92 for the 5th wicket. Ajaz Patel took his second 5 of the match; 5 for 96 in his 27.4 overs as Gloucs were bowled out for 300 in 76.4 overs. Durham had the win with 125 runs to spare.

Sussex v Glamorgan – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove. Cheteshwar Pujara win the toss for Sussex and put Glamorgan in to bat. Match Drawn.

Glamorgan 123 All Out & 737 All Out &, Sussex 481 All Out & 1 for no wicket

2 key Australians playing in this game, one, Marnus Labuschagne didn’t fare well in Glamorgan’s first innings, he was trapped LBW for just 1 as Glamorgan were bowled out in just 37.4 overs. a key English bowler Ollie Robinson took 4 for 29 in his 12 overs as they were bowled out for 123.

In reply Sussex put on 76 for the first wicket, Tom Haines scoring 58 from 981 balls. The 2nd Australian Steve Smith shared a 5th wicket partnership of 143 with James Coles, what an experience for the 19 year old! Smith scored 89 from 183 balls and Coles went on to score 138 from 223 balls. Fynn Hudson-Prentice in at 8 made 73 from 64 balls including 10 Fours and 2 Sixes! Very Baseball! Sussex made 481 in 119.5 overs. Glamorgan used 7 bowlers and 5 of them shared the wickets.

Glamorgan finished day 2 on 118 for 1. Their second innings could not have been more different!! Labuschagne (as known, Australian) scored 138 from 244 balls, had an his captain Kiran Carlson put on 288 for the fourth wicket. Again I was watching from afar expecting a declaration, but that didn’t happen. Carlson scored 192 from 278 balls. There was a 3rd century to come as Michale Neser (Australian) scored 123 from 198 balls, he came in at 8 and batted for over 4 hours. Glamorgan had reached a massive 737! A lead of 379.

Labushagne bowled one over before the match was declared a draw.

Worcestershire v Leicestershire – New Road, Worcester. Brett D’Oliveira won the toss for Worcs and put Leics in to bat. Worcs won by 3 wickets

Leics 173 All Out & 180 All Out, Worcs 83 All out & 274 for 7

Leics innings only lasted 55.5 overs, Colin Ackermann top scored with 52 from 105 balls as they were bowled out for 173. 4 of the 5 bowlers shared the wickets.

Here comes the next horror show, Worcs were bowled out for 83 in just 21.1 overs, Chris Wright took 5 for 32 in his 10 overs!

Leics captain Lewis Hill top scored in their second innings with 49 as they were bowled out in 59.1 overs. Joe Leach took 5 for 41 in his 20.1 overs.

By the end of Day 2 Worcs were 26 for 2, 22 wickets had fallen in 2 days! I found myself torn on this one. It’s been great to see Leicestershire have a better summer but I have a big soft spot for Worcs. I kept checking the score and felt that while D’Oliveira wa sin Worcs had a chance. Keeper Gareth Roderick scored 59 from 221 balls and Adam Hose 84 from 117 balls, they put on 131 4th wicket. D’Oliveira contributed a useful 41 as Worcs batted for 103.3 overs to win. Quite amazing after being bowled out for 83!

Century Makers and 5 Wicket Takers

  • George Bartlett – Somerset – 121 from 214 Balls
  • Matt Montgomery – Notts – 177 from 318 Balls
  • Graham Clark – Durham – 100 from 155 Balls
  • Michael Jones – Durham – 121 from 18 Balls
  • Marcus Harrs – Gloucs – 122* from 195 Balls
  • James Coles – Sussex – 138 from 223 Balls
  • Marnus Labuschagne – Glamorgan – 138 from 244 Balls
  • Kiran Carlson – Glamorgan – 192 from 278 Balls
  • Michael Neser – Durham – 123 from 198 Balls
  • Liam Dawson – 6 for 61 in 18 overs
  • Matt Henry – Kent – 5 for 45 in 16 overs
  • Craig Overton – 5 for 46 in 19.2 overs
  • Tom Lawes – Surrey – 5 for 22 in 9 overs
  • Chris Wright – Leics – 5 for 32 in 10 overs
  • Joe Leach – Worcs – 5 for 41 in 20.1 overs
  • Ajaz Patel – Durham – 5 for 113 in 29 overs
  • Ajaz Patel – Durham – 5 for 96 in 27.4 overs

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