County Championship Round Three

A look back at round three of the 2023 County Championship (mainly Somerset v Lancashire, plus the closing stages of Middlesex v Nottinghamshire) and a bumper photo gallery.

Just before 7PM yesterday Nottinghamshire foozled what should have been an easy run out, allowing Middlesex to complete a four wicket victory with one over scheduled to be played and another round of county championship fixtures was at an end.


Somerset had a depleted bowling attack (Overton and Davey both out injured), and the Taunton pitch was very flat. Somerset batted first, and while I was at work on Thursday they got off to a shocking start, being 80-4 at low water mark. At that point 19 year old James Rew joined skipper Tom Abell, and by the close of play the fifth wicket pair were still together, both with centuries to their name. The stand was broken early on the second day, but Abell went on to a new career best, and the tail wagged more than a bit, meaning that Somerset eventually totalled 441 in their first innings. This score was soon put in perspective by the Lancashire top order and at one point it looked like a total of 800 was on (and Lancashire, as revealed by their captain, were thinking in such terms). However, on day three Keaton Jennings was hit and hat to retire hurt on 189, and then wickets fell. Eventually Lancashire had to settle for a lead of 113 on first innings.

The Somerset second innings again began poorly, but the Rew/ Abell pairing again shared a good partnership before Abell was bowled. Rew rode his luck somewhat this time round, including benefitting from James Anderson, a man who was taking top level wickets before Rew was even born, dropping an absolute dolly catch. When Rew was sixth out Somerset were far from safe, but another youngster, Kasey Aldridge, scored his maiden first class 50, while Lewis Gregory played a very solid innings at the other end, and once the second new ball failed to work any magic for Lancashire the draw was secure. After a token over from Colin de Grandhomme Lancashire acknowledged as much and hands were shaken. By that stage only one other championship game was still active…


Nottinghamshire had had rather the better of the opening three days at the world’s most overrated cricket ground (the one in St John’s Wood in case you had any doubts), but rain struck on day four, and Nottinghamshire faced with one session in which 40 overs were scheduled decided to gamble on their advantage of 248 being enough (remember that this was not officially a limited overs game, so there were no fielding restrictions and no ultra tide wide regulations) and invited Middlesex to go for victory. Middlesex took up the gauntlet that Nottinghamshire had thrown down and went for the runs. At the point I joined the coverage they needed under 100 at just below five an over and were only two wickets down. Although they lost four further wickets in the pursuit these were all given rather than being taken and the only thing that might have baulked Middlesex in the end was fading light. Nottinghamshire exaggerated the difficulty with the light, and put Stuart Broad on in the closing stages in the hope that the umpires would decide it was too dark for the England quick to be bowling. The finale was a moment of pure craziness – Middlesex went for a run that was never on and Nottinghamshire made a mess of the attempted run out, allowing the winning run to be scored.


I have a bumper gallery for you today…

Author: Thomas

I am a founder member and currently secretary of the West Norfolk Autism Group and am autistic myself. I am a very keen photographer and almost every blog post I produce will feature some of my own photographs. I am an avidly keen cricket fan and often post about that sport.

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