In this post I look at the first morning’s action in round three of this year’s County Championship. My particular focus is on the London derby, but commentaries on all games can be accessed by visiting www.bbc.co.uk/cricket and clicking on the live county cricket button and then selecting your commentary from the available list. Youtube and the county websites are making live streams available to watch free of charge, and extra detail can be obtained from www.cricinfo.com.
MIIDDLESEX V SURREY
I missed the start of play due to being out walking, but I witnessed most of the action, including all the wickets. Middlesex won the toss and put Surrey in to bat. They have included leg spinning all rounder Luke Hollman, who I look forward to hearing in action, but it has been all seam so far. Tim Murtagh, now 39, took a couple of early wickets, and the ‘Sunbury Shotgun’ aka Toby Roland-Jones (he hails from Sunbury and is double barrelled) dislodged Pope and Foakes with good deliveries. Stoneman produced a gritty performance, batting through at one end, and Jamie Smith was also unbeaten had lunch but had played a trifle streakily, including being on the receiving end of a “wasted on thee lad” moment when a delivery from Martin Andersson beat everything on its way through to the keeper. Since lunch Surrey have moved on to 103-4, and although they were ahead of the action at lunch Middlesex’s advantage was not huge – three down would have been a minimum morning’s work after putting the opposition in, so they were only one wicket better than par.
Scores and brief mentions of noteworthy elements from elsewhere:
Sussex v Yorkshire: Yorkshire are 125-5, with keeper Jonathan Tattersall and Dom Bess, apparently reinventing himself as a genuine all rounder, batting together. Left arm pacer George Garton, who may be an outside shot for an England place, has three wickets, while Hunt and Rawlins each have one. The only Yorkshire batter to have reached 20 thus far is Adam Lyth who made 42.
Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire: Worcestershire 131-0, Libby 63, Mitchell 53 and 15 extras. No signs here of Nottinghamshire ending their long winless streak.
Warwickshire v Essex: Essex are batting first and have reached 88-3. Nick Brown on 21 and Paul Walter on 11 are the not out batters, while Sir Alastair Cook hooked a six earlier today. Former Gloucestershire medium pacer Craig Miles has two of the wickets.
Northamptonshire v Glamorgan: Glamorgan are batting first and have reached 117-4. Chris Cooke and Kiran Carlson, who is coming off the back of twin tons, are the current batters. Parnell and Berg have two wickets a piece, while David Lloyd scored 65.
Durham v Derbyshire: Durham are 94-2, Bedingham 54 not out and Lees 37 not out. Samuel Conners has both the wickets.
Kent v Lancashire: Lancashire are batting first and have reached 80-2, Luke Wells on 45 and Josh Bohannon on 14. The wickets have been claimed by Matt Milnes and Darren Stevens. It is a very long shot even with Stokes and Woakes both absent, but if selected Stevens would be England’s second oldest ever debutant after Southerton who played the inaugural test match at the age of 49.
Hampshire v Gloucestershire: The two teams with 100% records. Hampshire are 79-1, with Ian Holland, born in the USA and raised in Australia, 43 not out. Ryan Higgins has been very economical, bowling eight overs for 11, while the wicket has been claimed by Dom Goodman.
Leicestershire v Somerset: The home side, who have twice conceded scores of over 600 this season are batting and are currently 83-5. Hassan Azad scored 36, and new overseas player Marcus Harris 19. Lewis Gregory, another England possible, has two of the wickets, while Overton, de Lange and skipper Abell each have one. Azad’s 36 was enough to keep his average above 46 – his FC stats are now 2083 runs at 46.29, and in view of the lack of scoring by other contenders for an England opener’s slot he must be considered as well and truly in the frame.
While I was putting the above together Surrey have lost two further wickets, Smith and the adhesive Stoneman, one each to Murtagh and Roland-Jones, giving those worthies three scalps a piece in a score of 107-6. Jordan Clark has just gone to make it 107-7, and Murtagh has a fourth wicket. Rikki Clarke is the not out batter, and Reece Topley has just joined him.
My usual sign off…