Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone hits double century against Warwickshire

• England prospect scores unbeaten 215 to build massive lead
• Essex bowlers bring leaders back into the game against Somerset

The sense that Liam Livingstone is a rare talent who will end up playing all three formats for England was emphatically strengthened by his brilliant maiden double-century for Lancashire against Warwickshire at Old Trafford.

Livingstone’s unbeaten 215 (from 318 balls with 25 fours and three sixes, one of which – a pull off Olly Stone – brought up his century) leaves Lancashire 284 runs ahead with four first-innings wickets in hand at the game’s halfway stage. A golden opportunity awaits to close the gap on the Division One leaders Essex before their visit to Old Trafford next week. Lancashire will go into that game second, and look the team best placed to haul Essex down.

Livingstone was joined in stands of 85 with the nightwatchman Stephen Parry (43), 211 with Shiv Chanderpaul (95) and 82 with Jos Buttler (49, his highest score of the summer) as Warwickshire were ground down. England view the 24-year-old as a Test prospect but do not see him as a No3 – his position for this innings – and have even requested to Lancashire that he bat at four or five.

Essex had a much stronger day against Somerset before bad weather intervened – as the forecast suggests it will once more on the third day at Chelmsford.

The leaders have the top two wicket‑takers in the division and it was them, Jamie Porter – who took five for 40 – and Simon Harmer, who cleaned up the tail to hit 50 wickets for the season, who ensured they conceded a first‑innings deficit of five, despite scoring just 159 themselves. Mohammad Amir, who will be replaced by Neil Wagner for the final three games of the season, got the ball rolling with two wickets in the day’s opening over.

Despite falling to eight for two, Nick Browne’s gritty unbeaten 66 meant Essex were three down with a lead of 112 at stumps.

Surrey and Middlesex are more worried about relegation than titles, and their tussle at The Oval descended into an arm-wrestle, despite being briefly brightened by sprightly seventies from Jason Roy and Ben Foakes. However their dismissals, coming as they did at vital times – Roy just before tea, Foakes just before the new ball – prevented Surrey from posting the handsome lead their stand of 125 appeared to promise. The last six wickets fell for 49, and the eventual lead was just 33, which by stumps had been reduced to 18 by Middlesex’s openers.

Roy came to the crease at the end of a grind of a morning session. The nightwatchman Stuart Meaker and Scott Borthwick had battled hard, before Steven Finn dismissed the pair either side of lunch. Roy settled before plonking Ollie Rayner into the Pavilion with consecutive balls, then getting after Finn’s short stuff. Eventually, though, he tried a shot too many and found mid-off off Adam Voges’s part‑time left-arm spin. The rest of Surrey’s batting duly followed, with the job finished by the new ball, Tim Murtagh and Toby Roland-Jones, who took four for 66.

Two old stagers helped Durham dominate Derbyshire. Paul Collingwood made 177 in Durham’s 480 for nine declared, before Graham Onions, on his return from injury, took four for 44, including his 600th first-class wicket, to bowl Derbyshire out for 164. Onions is out of contract at season’s end and wants to play all formats, but Durham have only offered him a deal for Championship cricket. Other counties have expressed an interest in signing him.

A staggering 79-ball 107 (with 14 fours and four sixes) from Riki Wessels helped Nottinghamshire hammer home their advantage against Northamptonshire. Wessels warmed up for Finals Day by scoring his second 50 in 21 balls as Notts racked up 317 for eight in their second innings. They lead by 389 runs, and Samit Patel earlier made 64 from 59 balls.

R Ashwin took three for 94 on his Worcestershire debut against Gloucestershire, as they were bowled out for 258. The Worcestershire openers reached stumps on 10 without loss, a lead of 115. At Colwyn Bay, Glamorgan are 126 for six in their second innings, leading Sussex by 152. Ben Brown was last man out for 77 as Sussex posted 268 in their first innings.

At Canterbury, 97 from Sam Northeast helped Kent fight back after Leicestershire posted 350. Leicestershire’s last wicket stand of 122 between Lewis Hill (85*) and Callum Parkinson (75) was eventually ended by Darren Stevens – who else? – who finished with eight for 75. Kent have one second innings wicket in hand, and are 37 behind.

Contributor

Will Macpherson at The Oval

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