Glamorgan’s Record Breaking Resistance Act

A look at a resistance act by Glamorgan that has rewritten the first class record books and a substantial photo gallery.

As the 2023 County Championship heads towards a break for the Vitality Blast (which kicked off yesterday, overlapping with this round of matches), the match between Sussex and Glamorgan is heading towards a draw, but today’s action has seen several Glamorgan records go and one all time first class record. The Glamorgan innings is still ongoing at the moment.


Kiran Carlson was sixth out, having reached a career best 192, and when Chris Cooke also fell in the morning session it looked like Sussex would have a gettable target. However, Michael Neser and Timm van der Gugten saw Glamorgan through to lunch with no further loss.


It has been since lunch that the assault on the record books has been happening, spearheaded by Neser, supported first by Van der Gugten, then by James Harris and now by number 11 Jamie McIlroy. As I write this Neser has completed his maiden Glamorgan century and brought Glamorgan’s score past 700. The first class record came when Glamorgan reached 675, 552 more than the first innings score, relegating Barbados (175 and 726-7), Middlesex (83 and 634) and Pakistan (106 and 657-8) to joint second in this category with a 551 differential, though Pakistan still hold the test record, theirs having happened against West Indies. Glamorgan have beaten their previous record against Sussex, though their overall record, against Leicestershire last season is probably out of their reach at 795. There are some mitigating factors for Sussex – Ollie Robinson has an ankle problem and has not been on the field during this innings, and regular skipper Pujara has a stiff neck and is likewise off the field, Tom Alsop leading the side in his absence. Nonetheless, Glamorgan’s response to facing a deficit of 358 on first innings has been utterly extraordinary. Sussex will be recording a fifth successive draw after coach Farbrace had said they would always go for a win.


My usual sign off…

Surrey and Somerset Record big Wins

A look at the victories recorded by Surrey and Somerset today and a splendid photo gallery.

The county championship is heading towards its break for the Vitality Blast, and all though today is only day three of four a lot of matches have reached their conclusions. This post looks at two that I followed on the radio.


Kent went into day three at The Oval trailing by three runs with six second innings wickets standing. Both overnight batters fell quickly, both to Tom Lawes who claimed his third and fourth wickets of the innings. Kent were still in arrears at that point. Lawes completed a maiden first class five-wicket haul with the seventh wicket of the innings. Sean Abbott claimed the eighth wicket of the innings, and Jordan Clark snapped up the last two. Kent had mustered a paltry 141, leaving Surrey needing 58 to win. Burns and Sibley saw Surrey home by ten wickets, just before the scheduled lunch interval. Surrey look wellnigh unstoppable – they were not by any means at their best this match and they still won it by 10 wickets.


Somerset came to Lord’s having not won any of their last six matches. Midway through day three of their encounter with Middlesex they had ended that unhappy sequence in some style, routing their opponents by an innings and 13 runs. Craig Overton claimed five second innings wickets, while the rout was completed by Jack Leach. Middlesex now look absolute certainties to be relegated back to division two. I am now following the action between Sussex and Glamorgan. Sussex had an enormous first innings lead (over 350), but Glamorgan are back in credit with only three wickets down, Labuschagne and Carlson in a partnership that is closing on the 3o0 mark. Carlson has had a curious season – this is his third century of it and all of his other innings have been under 20.


I have a splendid gallery for you…

A First Innings Lead In Unorthodox Fashion

A look at the events in Surrey v Kent, particularly the transformation wrought by the Surrey lower order, plus a huge photo gallery.

In this last round of championship fixtures before a break for the Vitality Blast T20 tournament Surrey are playing neighbours Kent, and day two is entering its closing stages. Surrey are about where they would want to be, but not in the way they would have expected.


Kent had been restricted to 278 in the first innings, and when Surrey reached the 100 with only one wicket gone things seemed to be going well for them, but then Kent had their best period of the game, and by the time Surrey reached 200 they were six wickets down. With a seventh wicket falling not very long after the 200 was reached Kent may have expected a significant advantage, especially with number eight Sean Abbott being Surrey’s senior remaining batter. However, Surrey moved close to parity in a stand between Abbott and Tom Lawes, and then surged clear as Abbott and Gus Atkinson cut loose. Abbott was ninth out for 78, and then with last man Daniel Worrall at the other end, Atkinson blasted three sixes in the space of a single over to complete a 42 ball half century. Surrey had tallied 362 for a first innings lead of 84. Kent are currently 20-0 in their second innings, but Crawley has already enjoyed one moment of good fortune – a massive lash out drive at the second ball of the innings met fresh air – had there been a fraction of contact then, as has happened so often in Crawley’s career the slips would have been in business. The other opener, Ben Compton, has just gone as I type this, caught by Pope after Will Jacks missed it but fortunately sent it upwards, enabling Pope to atone for the mistake. Surrey thus lead by 64 with Kent having nine second innings wickets standing.


My usual sign off…

What Makes A Great County Championship Batter?

This post, the first of two related posts I shall be producing today, was prompted by a piece I saw via social media about just who was the greatest of all county championship batters. I was not satisfied with the methodology used in that piece, so decided to do my own version.


The first requirement is obviously to have a great record over a long period of time. Secondly, the County Championship was only put on an official footing in 1890, so we are looking at careers after that year only. Thirdly, cricket is a team game, so runs that contribute to championships count for more than other runs.


Although he had an outstanding season in 1895 and a very good one in 1896 WG Grace’s greatest days were done by the time there was actually a county championship, so he is not eligible.

Geoffrey Boycott twice averaged over 100 for an English season, but both these tall scoring years have a massive asterisk against them – on each Yorkshire fared worse in those seasons than they had done the year before when Boycott was less prolific – a nine place drop from 4th to 13th in the first of them, and a smaller drop from 4th to 7th in the second.

Jack Hobbs had an outstanding record, but Surrey didn’t win many championships during his playing career.

Walter Hammond never won a county championship for all his great record with the bat, and his poor captaincy was partly to blame for that.

Phil Mead of Hampshire likewise never helped his side to win a championship, though he holds the records for most runs and most centuries for a single first class team.


Herbert Sutcliffe had his entry into first class cricket delayed by one world war and his first class career terminated by the outbreak of the other. In the 20 years he did play he was a consistent, huge run scorer, more often than not top of the Yorkshire batting averages, although as I have pointed out elsewhere his test record was better than his overall first class record, and his Ashes record was better still. In keeping with this ‘big occasion’ temperament, nine of his championship centuries came at the expense of bitter rivals Lancashire. Also, if we turn to the element of contributing to championship success, Yorkshire were champions in 1919, won four successive titles in the 1920s, and won the championship a further seven times in the course of the 1930s, giving Sutcliffe a playing role in the winning of 12 county championships. I end this section with one example of Sutcliffe scoring runs that altered the outcome of the match. The match in question was against Kent, whose bowling was dominated at that time by leg spinner Tich Freeman. In the final innings of a low scoring affair Yorkshire needed 192 on a pitch that had not previously allowed a total that high. Yorkshire won by two wickets, and 110 of those 192 came from the bat of Herbert Sutcliffe, with the only other innings of significance coming from skipper Sellers (34 not out at the death).


Leonard Hutton, who shared some of Sutcliffe’s triumphs in the 1930s and was the best English batter of the immediate post-war era was probably the closest rival to Sutcliffe, though Peter May scores well when it comes to helping his side win titles. Most overseas players would not qualify due to not playing enough, although three who did were Roy Marshall and Barry Richards (both Hampshire) and Mike Hussey (several counties in the recent past). Most of the best present-day English batters would be unlikely to qualify because international commitments restrict them to only a few championship appearances in any given season.


Even with two blog posts to cater for I have a big photo gallery (please note I will out for most of tomorrow, on a West Norfolk Autism Group outing to Pensthorpe, where I expect to get some particularly impressive photos).

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…

The County Championship 2023 Round Tw0

A look back at the second round of fixtures in the 2023 County Championship and a photo gallery.

Just a few minutes before seven o’clock yesterday evening Leicestershire and Derbyshire shook hands on a draw and the second round of 2023 County Championship fixtures was at an end. I look back at a round that featured several fine matches.


The county of my birth, Gloucestershire, had their match rained out without a ball being bowled, so after Thursday, a work day and hence one on which I cannot follow cricket my focus was on the first class county in which I have lived the longest, Surrey. For three innings this had all the makings of a magnificent contest, with only 16 runs between the lowest and highest team totals in those innings – Hampshire 254 and 258, Surrey 270. When Surrey started batting a second time just before lunch on day four with 243 to chase a great finish was in prospect. It was a splendid fourth innings, but it was never a contest – Surrey were in charge almost from the start, with openers Burns and Sibley achieving the first task when they reached the lunch interval still together. Burns’ dismissal fairly early in the afternoon session brought Ollie Pope to the crease, and the Hampshire bowlers neither had, nor looked like having any further success, as Pope batted brilliantly and Sibley looked utterly secure in the supporting role. Pope completed the century he had missed out on in the first innings, the only individual three figure score of the match. Shortly after that he took his match aggregate to 200, and then, facing the start of a new over with just eight more needed and his own score 110* he finished the match in the grandest of styles, hitting successive sixes to give Surrey a nine wicket win…


Warwickshire were in charge for most of such play as the elements permitted in their match against Kent, but were thwarted by a rearguard action involving Joey Evison and Conor McKerr, which almost secured Kent a draw. McKerr was ninth out having completed a ‘Den-tury’ (100 balls survived, named after another player with Kent connections whose surname begins with “Den” and who was notable for doing precisely this during his spell as an England player) from number 10, and young Joey Evison was last to go, having come in at number eight and missed a century by one run. Worcestershire were attempting to hold out for a draw against Durham, and it looked like fading light might help to save them but Aussie left arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann ensured that justice was done when he bowled Dillon Pennington to end the match. As that was his fifth scalp of the innings he may just also have earned himself a place in the upcoming Ashes. That left Leicestershire and Derbyshire the only sides still in action, with their game long since reduced a scrap for bonus points. In the closing stages Derbyshire passed 250 and Leicestershire took their wickets tally to seven. All of this consigned Yorkshire to bottom of the second division after two rounds of fixtures.


With the weather properly spring like I have a fine photo gallery for you…

The County Championship: Cricket’s Great Survivor

A look t the many challenges and changes the County Championship has faced and survived in its long history. Also a large photo gallery.

Today would be the second day of the second round of county championship matches of the 2023 season, except that there is so much rain around the country that no matches are currently playing as I type this, hence I am listening to commentary on today’s IPL game. In this post I look back at the many challenges that the county championship has overcome.


Although matches between teams bearing the names of counties have been happening for over three centuries (teams dubbed ‘Kent’ and ‘Surrey’ did battle in 1708), it wasn’t until the mid 1860s that anyone had the idea of ranking county sides, and not until 1891 that a properly organized county championship took place (so many sometimes conflicting authorities assessed counties between 1864 and 1890 that there are no fewer than seven different listings of ‘Champion Counties’ from that period. In 1845 The All England XI played it’s first match, and was to continue to exist as a travelling XI playhing matches against the odds (opposition sides of more than 11 players – 15, 18 and 22 were common numbers) for some 30 years. A split led to the formation of the United All England XI, and subsequent to that the United North of England and United South of England XIs were established. At one point it seemed that English cricket might suffer a rugby type split, with the professionals playing games against the odds in their travelling XIs and the amateurs playing 11 v 11 matches, but such was averted – the key figure of WG Grace threw his lot in the with the MCC, though he also continued to turn out for the United South of England XI – his price for supporting the establishment and thereby ensuring that English cricket would continue to be run from Lord’s and would not split was that he be allowed to make a mockery of the principles of amateurism. In the end the travelling XIs withered on the vine, and by the early 1880s the last of them had ceased to exist. Matches against odds lasted longer – England tours of Australia featured such matches for many years to come.


From 1891-1962, although the there were many changes in how the championship was calculated and who played in it (just eight counties played the first few, six more were promoted to first class status in 1895, Worcestershire in 1899, Northamptonshire in 1905 and Glamorgan in 1921), the championship stood alone. Between the 1962 and 1963 seasons two major decisions were made: the distinction between amateur and professional was abolished (there were precious few amateurs left, and even fewer whose amateur credentials would have stood up to any sort of scrutiny) and henceforth all first class cricketers would be professionals, and the first professional limited overs competition, the Gillette Cup was launched, starting in 1963. In 1969 the John Player League, matches of 40 overs per side, to be played on Sundays (the shorter allocation of overs meant the games could start in the afternoon) was introduced, and the county championship programme was reduced to 20 matches per season (28 had been standard). It was increased back to 22 and then 24. Then, four day championship cricket was introduced, Durham were given first class status, and a for a few years 17 four day matches (each of the 18 counties playing the other 17 once) became the standard. England continued to struggle, and after much controversy and debate, two more big changes happened in the year 2000, in the wake of England sinking to the bottom of the world test rankings: The County Championship was split into two divisions with promotion and relegation, and ECB central contracts were introduced, giving England control over the top players. England’s fortunes rose rapidly. Overall, although Duncan Fletcher’s policy of effectively using a central contract to bar holders of such from playing county cricket took things too far both these moves have been successful.


In 2003 the ECB introduced yet another competition, with innings of just 20 overs per side. Players took a while to get to grips with the approach required by this format, but it proved extremely popular.

15 years later, the ECB decided that yet another competition was needed, and opted for a quirky new format of innings comprising 100 balls each bowled in sets of five, with players allowed to bowl two sets back to back, but no more. This competition was called The Hundred, and one of its effects was to push the County Championship, now a mere 14 matches per season, further towards the margins of the season as it now ‘owns’ August, with a One Day Cup of much reduced stature taking place alongside it. The Hundred has brought much greater prominence to women’s cricket, but I do regret the ever increasing concentration of County Championship matches at the beginning and end of each season, with few games happening in high summer. However I have no worries about the future of the County Championship – it was born facing challenges, and has faced challenges at many points of its life so far, and it is still here.


I have a bumper gallery for you today:

The 2023 County Championship

From Thursday to Sunday the first round of fixtures in the 2023 County Championship took place. My main focus was on Lancashire v Surrey, but I caught snatches of two other games as well.


Thursday was a work day, so I missed the first day’s action, in which Lancashire won the toss and put Surrey in. Surrey were well past 300 by the close and had wickets in hand. On the second morning Cameron Steel played magnificently to record his first championship century for Surrey, eventually boosting their total to 442. Lancashire started well enough in reply, and got into the 180s with their fifth wicket pair in residence. Then came a collapse caused by bad batting, on a pitch that never had the slightest hint of menace, which saw them 197-8. Will Williams then came to the crease, and proceeded to produce an effort that should have had some of his team mates feeling decidedly embarrassed, as he helped the ninth wicket to add 81 largely untroubled runs. The tenth wicket stand took the score up to 291, 151 adrift, but to nobody’s great surprise Surrey opted not to enforce the follow on. The feature of their second innings, in which they boosted their lead to 402 before declaring on the third evening, was a magnificent century by Ben Foakes, scored at more than a run a ball, an innings that probably killed off any notion of Jonny Bairstow being given the gloves in the test side. Matt Parkinson claimed five wickets. Lancashire never had any thoughts of anything other than a draw, but Surrey were mostly serious in their attempts to get through Lancashire’s defences. There was a period of frivolity just before the second new ball was due, with Lancashire still only two wickets down. Skipper Rory Burns bowled some off spin, and Ollie Pope bowled his first ever over in first class cricket, purveying a version of leg spin. Then for a brief period serious cricket returned as the Surrey new ball bowlers tried to make inroads into the Lancashire innings, but they did not do enough to endanger the red rose, and the return to the bowling crease of Burns was the signal for hands to be shaken on a draw.


A significant first innings deficit and a poor batting effort in the second put Somerset in grave danger of defeat at the hands of Warwickshire, but Tom Lammonby and Craig Overton held out together for long enough to see off the danger. The last cricket of Sunday evening featured…


Headingley is to put kindly not generally a happy hunting ground for Leicestershire – they came into this match having not won a first class match at the ground since 1910, and few would have bet on that stat changing when they entered the fourth innings needing 389 from 87 overs to win. Gradually however they whittled away at the deficit, though they were always a fraction behind the clock – 44 needed off six overs, 23 needed of three. The seamer Ben Coad then very atypically had a nightmare over, and suddenly Leicestershire, with three wickets still standing, needed just five off the last two overs. A four early in the penultimate over brought the scores level, and then another off the fifth ball took Leicestershire over the line.


Not many photos today due to poor weather – though it has improved dramatically while I have been typing this…

The County Championship 2022 So Far

A look back at the most recent round of county championship fixtures.

Another round of County Championship fixtures reached its conclusion yesterday, and this post looks at some of these matches.


Newly appointed England test skipper Ben Stokes was playing his first match since that announcement, turning out for Durham against Worcestershire. By the time Stokes got to the crease in the Durham 1st innings the score was 360-4 and Worcestershire had already bowled about 100 overs. Stokes proceeded to blast 161 off 88 balls including taking 34 (6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4) off a single over from Josh Baker. This prompted a player turned pundit known in certain circles as FIGJAM (an acronym for F*** I’m Good – Just Ask Me) to jump on his hobby horse calling for the franchising of county cricket. He was roundly taken to task for this, and subsequent developments confirmed that his slating of the Worcestershire bowlers was misguided to put it kindly – Durham declined to enforce the follow on, declared their second innings at 170-1, and Worcestershire saved the match quite comfortably, 21 year old Jack Haynes batting through the final day for a maiden first class century (120*). Stokes bowled 30 overs across the two Worcestershire innings without taking a wicket.


I followed parts of four of the matches via the live commentaries available on the bbc website (open a browser, enter in the address bar, then click the button for live commentaries and select your match). Initially I opted for Surrey v Northants, which ended just over a day early, following a clinical performance by Surrey. Surrey racked up 401 in their only innings, Burns scoring a century and Sam Curran, Jordan Clark and Gus Atkinson all scoring useful runs as well. It was only a good innings by Luke Procter (83*) that enabled Northamptonshire to score 194 in their first innings, and Surrey rightly enforced the follow on. The second Northamptonshire innings improved slightly on the first, but Surrey won by an innings and six runs.

My next port of call was Hampshire v Gloucestershire, where Hampshire won in spite of some curious captaincy by James Vince. Having scored 342 in their first innings Hampshire bowled Gloucestershire out 179, an advantage of 163, which in a four day match is sufficient to be able to enforce the follow on. However, even though this opportunity was combined with a further opportunity to bowl an awkward mini-session at the Gloucestershire second innings and then return refreshed after a night’s rest, Vince took the coward’s option of batting again. He then selfishly tried to protect himself from batting that evening by sending in two nightwatchers, the first of them with nine overs still to be bowled. He still had to go in before the close of play anyway. Hampshire eventually achieved a lead of 367 and Gloucestershire set off in pursuit. There were times when it looked like Vince’s bizarre captaincy was going to be punished, but in the end Gloucestershire came up almost 100 short and Vince got away with it.

Then I switched over to Lancashire v Warwickshire, where three wickets for Matt Parkinson had opened up an outside possibility of a win for the home side. In the event Briggs (28*) and Benjamin (22*) did enough for hands to be shaken an hour before the scheduled close. In view of the tall scoring that has generally been the norm so far this championship season Parkinson’s cumulative bowling figures for the season of 17-397 at 23.36 a piece (very close to his overall career record of 119 at 23.35) are excellent, and to me constitute an ironclad claim to a test spot.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been scoring huge runs for Sussex this season, and their match against Middlesex was no exception. Sussex set Middlesex a tough target of 370 in 77 overs, and Middlesex to their credit went for it, Sam Robson leading the way with 149. By the time I joined the coverage Max Holden and Martin Andersson were together with Middlesex just under 100 away from the target and ahead of the run rate. They stayed together to see the chase through and Middlesex got home with seven wickets and three overs to spare – a tremendous final day run chase by them. Incidentally as a further illustration of how good Parkinson has been this season, Sussex had a former England leg spinner in their bowling attack, Mason Crane, and on a fourth day pitch all he could produce was 16-0-81-0, whereas Parkinson’s figures at Old Trafford were 3-64 from 34 overs.

These matches all had great moments, and all showed in their different ways a county game that contrary to the rantings of certain former international players is in fine health.


My usual sign off…

County Championship Round Four In Full Swing

A look at the action on day 1 of the fourth round of County Championship fixtures, a mathematical teaser and some photographs.

I was just a little late tuning into coverage from round four of the County Championship, but the big events all happened once I was set and ready.


First some team news: Sussex have rested Oliver Edward Robinson, the England prospect. They have made up for his absence by gambling on a line up containing five front line bowlers. George Garton, the left arm pacer is due to bat at no7, with Stuart Meaker 8, Jack Carson 9 and two youngsters, Henry Crocombe and Jamie Arkins rounding out the order. This means that top order runs are a necessity. Lancashire meanwhile have included Saqib Mahmood, a young fast bowler who has played limited overs cricket for England but has not yet been part of the England red ball set up. Liam Livingstone is officially down to bat no7 for them, with Danny Lamb 8, Tom Bailey 9 and Mahmood getting the promotion to no10 ahead of Parkinson. The ground at Brighton slopes quite drastically – the drop from end to end is a total of 20 feet (for comparison, the lateral drop at Lord’s, home to the most famous slope in cricket, is eight feet eight inches).

Sussex batted first, and after the early loss of Aaron Thomason to Tom Bailey, Tom Haines and Stiaan Van Zyl both made 50s, before Haines was out, edging Mahmood to keeper Dane Vilas. Van Zyl reached 79 before Livingstone induced him to hit a catch to backward point (Luke Wells, once of Sussex). Tom Clark and Ben Brown are batting decently together, Clark on 24 and Brown on 13, with the score 182-3. There is one remaining front line batter, Delray Rawlins, before Lancashire are through to the bowlers.


There has been some dramatic action elsewhere, as you will see:

Nottinghamshire v Derbyshire – Nottinghamshire have reached 197-4. Ben Slater has 101 not out, while for Derbyshire Fynn Hudson-Prentice has 2-29. Joe Clarke scored 66 for Nottinghamshire.

Essex v Worcestershire – Essex are 132-1, with Sir Alastair Cook 82 not out. Alzarri Joseph has the only wicket, Nick Browne for 26.

Durham v Warwickshire – Warwickshire, sent in to bat, are 76-8. This is actually something of a recovery – at one point they were 30-7. Ben Raine has 5-9 and England fast bowler Mark Wood 3-28. Liam Norwell and Craig Miles have 24 and 20 respectively.

Gloucestershire v Leicestershire – Gloucestershire won the toss and chose to field. Leicestershire are 131-3, Sam Evans 57 not out. Aussie right arm fast medium bowler Daniel Worrall has all three wickets – 3-31 off 16 overs at present. Marcus Harris, another Aussie, scored 62 for Leicestershire.

Somerset v Middlesex – Somerset won the toss and chose to field. Middlesex are 184-4. Gregory has 2-50, Overton 1-39 and there has been a run out. Gubbins with 75 and Holden 49 have been the big scorers for Middlesex.

Glamorgan v Kent – Glamorgan won the toss and chose to field, and have just bowled Kent out for 138. David Lloyd took 4-11 and Timm van der Gugten 4-41. Zak Crawley made 33, Daniel Bell-Drummond 31 and Jordan Cox 30.

Surrey v Hampshire – Surrey won the toss and chose to field. Hampshire were all out for 92, with at one point 44-2 becoming 44-6! Lewis McManus top scored with 31 not out, and Ian Holland with 22 was the only other double figure scorer. Jordan Clark took 6-21, Rikki Clarke 2-22 and Kemar Roach 2-40. Surrey in response are 70-1, Rory Burns 43 not out, Hashim Amla 17 not out. Kyle Abbott has the only wicket, Stoneman caught by McManus for 7.

Yorkshire v Northamptonshire – Northamptonshire won the toss and chose to field. Yorkshire are 97-5, Tom Kohler-Cadmore the only significant scorer with 42. Gareth Berg has 2-5, and Wayne Parnell 2-28. Jonathan Tattersall and Dominic Bess are together at the moment.

In the game I am listening to Sussex have just lost a fourth wicket as tea approaches. They are 198-4, with Bailey having pinned Tom Clark LBW for 30. Brown is on 20, and the new batter Delray Rawlins has just got off the mark with a single.


I have an enjoyable little problem from which is not as difficult as the three flame rating suggests, although harder than their setting because I have removed the multi-choice element from it:


My usual sign off..