Leach lays into Lancashire as Slater hits ton against Yorkshire
Lancashire are in deep trouble in Division One of the County Championship against Somerset at Taunton after again failing to fire with the bat.
The England hopeful Jack Leach took five for 28 as the visitors were skittled for 99 on the first day. Somerset did initially struggle in reply, slipping to 97 for seven at one point, but a spirited unbeaten 64 from Lewis Gregory helped them to 192. Lancashire were seven for two in their second innings, Leach again having struck twice.
Ben Slater’s 109 helped Nottinghamshire reach 332 for seven at the end of the first day against Yorkshire at Trent Bridge.
Slater put on 182 for the first wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite (71) while Ben Duckett also weighed in with 80. Matthew Waite took three for 72 as Yorkshire remained competitive. Hampshire fought back after being bowled out for 191 by the bottom side, Worcestershire, at New Road. Ed Barnard claimed six wickets for 50 as Hampshire, for whom Sam Northeast top-scored with 48, failed to make the most of winning the toss. Worcestershire struggled to build on that fine start, slipping to 68 for four in reply.
In Division Two promotion-chasing Kent also hit back after being shot out for 137 in another low-scoring encounter. Ben Sanderson, Nathan Buck and Richard Gleeson each took three wickets as Northamptonshire took charge early on at Canterbury but the tables were soon turned. Northants collapsed to 71 for eight in reply, before bad light stopped play, after six for 31 from Matt Henry. The leaders, Warwickshire, ended the first day against Durham at Edgbaston on 184 for six. Jonathan Trott was unbeaten on 67 on a day when only 68 overs were bowled. The bottom side, Glamorgan, bowled Derbyshire out for 251 at Derby thanks to three wickets apiece from Timm van der Gugten and Graham Wagg. Billy Godleman fell five short of a century. Glamorgan closed on 20 without loss. Chris Jordan was unbeaten on 52 as Sussex reached 323 for eight against Leicestershire at Hove. Tom Haines (56), Luke Wells (58) and Ben Brown (60) earlier hit half-centuries.
Gloucestershire ended the first day of their clash with Middlesex at Bristol on 208 for seven. Chris Dent led the way for the hosts with 82. Press Association
Surrey have closed the day on 255 for four against Essex at Chelmsford. The runaway leaders of Division One will be pleased with that considering how difficult batting was in the morning, with England hopeful Rory Burns the standout batsman as he battled his way to 90 from 217 balls to take his tally for the season to 1,051 Championship runs. Ollie Pope may have been retained in England’s squad for this week’s fifth Test against India at The Oval but, having been cleared to play the first two days here, he was out for just 21. Peter Siddle, the Australian who also bowled Burns, was the bowler who had Pope caught at second slip as he produced a carbon copy of the loose shot outside off stump that did for him in his last Test innings at Trent Bridge last month.
At stumps, Ben Foakes and Will Jacks had an unbroken stand of 22 and Surrey will hope the fifth-wicket pair can build on that come the morning.
Taunton has seen some action on a first day that suggests perhaps Somerset, the only side who can realistically deny Surrey a first title since 2002, were keen for a positive result against strugglers Lancashire. The hosts are likely to get one in their favour as well after dismissing Lancs for 99 and, thanks in large part to an unbeaten 64 from Lewis Gregory, establishing a 93-run first-innings lead. At one stage, they were 104 for eight in their reply but Gregory’s heroics from No 7 has tipped the contest firmly in their favour.
Yorkshire will believe they can still get something out of their game against Notts at Trent Bridge but they will need to bat well in their first innings as the hosts approached the close on 332 for seven. It was some comeback for the visitors given Notts had been 182 without loss at one stage.
Worcestershire, meanwhile, were 68 for four in reply to fellow strugglers Hampshire’s first-innings 191 before bad light brought a premature end to play at New Road.
A round up of the day’s play will follow this final live update.
On the field at Chelmsford, Surrey have lost a fourth wicket, with Ollie Pope, included in England’s squad for the fifth Test against India, falling for 21 after slashing Peter Siddle to second slip. Not a great shot from the youngster but Surrey, on 245 for four, are still in control of this contest.
A last-wicket stand between Lewis Gregory and Jack Leach that currently stands at 55 is taking Somerset towards a 100-run lead against Lancashire at Taunton. Ben Duckett made 80 on his Notts debut, Yorkshire reducing their hosts to 321 for six at Trent Bridge thanks in part to two wickets from former England bowler Tim Bresnan.
Worcestershire, meanwhile, were 68 for four in reply to fellow strugglers Hampshire’s first-innings 191 before bad light stopped play at New Road.
Just an update on the Alastair Cook contract situation. Essex have confirmed to the Guardian that he has signed a three-year deal to play on in county cricket after his international retirement at the end of the current Test series against India at The Oval.
The contract has been signed off by Essex chief executive Derek Bowden today but the club are waiting until the morning to officially announce it. It means Cook will carry on playing until he is 36 and he’s likely to explain why when he speaks to the national media at The Oval tomorrow morning. It is quite some coup for Essex to have England’s all-time leading runscorer and cricket’s all-round nice guy committing to them long-term considering he could have quit the game entirely or, in theory, moved to another county.
Essex have taken the new ball at Chelmsford, with Peter Siddle and Jamie Porter looking for the fourth Surrey wicket. The visitors, currently clear at the top of the table, are 223 for three, with Ollie Pope, playing just the first two days of this match before joining up with England for the final Test against India, on 18 and Ben Foakes, England’s reserve keeper last winter, on 11.
Somerset are nine down in the wicket-fest at Taunton and currently have a handy 52-run lead over Lancashire, who they skittled for 99 earlier in the day. Ben Duckett is 62 not out in his first match for Notts, who are 292 for four against struggling Yorkshire at Trent Bridge while Worcestershire are 48 for three having already bowled out Hampshire for 191.
Surrey have 200 on the board at Chelmsford but have lost their third wicket, Dean Elgar bowled for 75 by spinner Simon Harmer. It’s still advantage the leaders you’d think but the reigning champions are showing some fight.
That’s a characteristic Lancashire are showing plenty of too having overcome the shock of being skittled for 99 at Taunton by reducing Somerset to 119 for eight in reply. With relegation a realistic possibility for the visitors, this could be a thrilling game.
Yorkshire are also in danger of the drop but are being frustrated by a Notts side at Trent Bridge who have reached 263 for three. Meanwhile, bottom-of-the-table Worcestershire look like being involved in a close game as well after they find themselves 35 for two after bowling out fellow strugglers Hampshire for 191 at New Road.
Rory Burns will not get his century today after the Surrey captain and England hopeful played on to Peter Siddle in the first over after tea. The opener was on 90 but it’s still some statement from Burns, who now has 1,051 Championship runs this season. The leaders Surrey are now 179 for two.
In the other three games, Hampshire have been dismissed for 191 at Worcestershire, with the seamer Ed Barnard taking six for 50.
Yorkshire have finally made some headway at Trent Bridge, where Nottinghamshire go into tea on 217 for three after a 182-run first-wicket stand between Kraigg Brathwaite and Ben Slater, who made 109. Ben Duckett, playing his first match after moving from Northants, is currently 24 not out.
Meanwhile, we’ve had 15 wickets before tea at Taunton, where Somerset are 77 for five in reply to Lancashire’s 99 all out.
Surrey are in complete control of their match against Essex at Chelmsford, the leaders reaching tea on 174 for one. Rory Burns remains unbeaten on 86 from 211 balls and after overcoming a difficult start, when the ball was moving all over the place, the opener looks well set to bringing up his fourth century of the season. Having also passed 1,000 Championship runs during this innings, Burns is rightly being touted for an England call-up this winter. The fact he’s turned it on in front of the selector James Taylor certainly hasn’t harmed his claims to replace the retiring Alastair Cook when England head to Sri Lanka next month.
Okay, so I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict Somerset’s match against Lancashire will not last for all four days. We’re not even at tea on day one yet but we have had 15 [FIFTEEN] wickets so far. You may recall not too long ago the suggestion that Lancs were in deep trouble after being rolled for 99 – with Jack Leach picking up a five-fer. But the hosts’ reply hasn’t exactly gone to plan, Somerset stumbling to 62 for five after three for 21 from Graham Onions and a wicket apiece for Keshav Maharaj and Tom Bailey. There’s life in Lancashire’s survival fight just yet, it appears.
Cook set to sign new three-year deal with Essex
We are hearing here at Chelmsford that Essex are about to make a major announcement regarding Alastair Cook, who in case you’ve been living in a cave for the past 24 hours you may not know is playing his final Test match at The Oval this week. The man who holds the England record for the most Test runs, centuries and caps will bid farewell to international cricket after the conclusion of the series against India and during the announcement of his decision to retire yesterday he mentioned playing county cricket only in 2019. But it is expected to be confirmed in the next few hours that Cook has signed a new three-year deal for his county. Essex captain Ryan ten Doeschate hinted as much this morning when he said of Cook: “He’s only 33 and I think a sustained period of cricket and that enjoyment that he still gets from doing well suits him and suits us amazingly well.” I think he’s still got a lot of cricket in him. It’s great for us and obviously we’ll be delighted to have him around. He’s a great bloke.”
Things went from bad to worse for Lancashire down at Taunton, after they were dismissed for 99 after two wickets in three balls from Jamie Overton and a fifth in the innings for Jack Leach, the spinner who might as well put in his visa application for England’s winter tour to Sri Lanka right now. Lancs, though, fought back well, reducing the hosts to 19 for three after the former England seamer Graham Onions’ two wickets, including the prize scalp of Marcus Trescothick.
Hampshire are also struggling on 138 for eight after losing six post-lunch wickets against Worcestershire at New Road, including a trademark James Vince nick off.
Yorkshire, meanwhile, are running out of ideas at Trent Bridge, where Ben Slater has a century and Kraigg Brathwaite (70 not out) have led Notts to 181 without loss.
Rory Burns, the Surrey captain fresh from becoming the first batsman to 1,000 County Championship runs this summer, passed fifty when he edged Sam Cook through gully in the second over after lunch and has now moved on to 78. What chance he can make it a fourth century of the season? He’s playing beautifully at the moment and doing his chances of an England call-up this winter no harm at all. Surrey are 159 for one, with Mark Stoneman the Division One leaders’ only loss so far.
England opt against new opener in squad for fifth Test
Elsewhere, it’s not good news for Lancashire, who are 72 for five against second-placed Somerset after losing Karl Brown, Alex Davies, Stephen Croft, Liam Livingstone and Josh Bohannan in the morning session. Jack Leach, the left-arm spinner who is surely a shoe-in for England’s winter tour of Sri Lanka, has picked up a couple of wickets at ‘Cyderabad’. I wonder if Lancashire, for whom defeat would push them closer to the relegation trap door, are regretting leaving the one-time England opener Haseeb Hameed out of their squad?
Fellow strugglers Hampshire lost Joe Weatherly early on against Worcestershire at New Road and go into the interval on 81 for two after Jimmy Adams fell to Josh Tongue late in the session.
Yorkshire, occupying the second relegation place and in desperate need of a win at Trent Bridge, have toiled as Nottinghamshire openers Ben Slater and Kraigg Brathwaite took the hosts to 104 without loss at lunch.
Surrey have rebuilt nicely against Essex after losing Mark Stoneman for 12 early on in Chelmsford, Sam Cook the wicket-taker. They are 100 for one at lunch, with England hopeful Rory Burns unbeaten on 43 and Dean Elgar on 35 from 65 deliveries.
Burns also became the first batsman this summer to pass 1,000 County Championship runs when he cut Harmer for four shortly before lunch. Coming in front of England selector James Taylor the day after Alastair Cook’s retirement, it was a timely landmark for Surrey’s captain.
England selector James Taylor has just turned up at Chelmsford and he appears to be keeping a keen eye on Rory Burns, who is currently 20 not out alongside Dean Elgar.
Burns appears the frontrunner to replace Alastair Cook this winter and just a reminder England’s squad for the final Test against India at The Oval this week is announced at midday.
In the other matches in Division One, strugglers Lancashire and Hampshire have both lost an early wicket, with Karl Brown dismissed by Somerset’s Lewis Gregory in Taunton and Joe Weatherly edging Worcestershire Ed Barnard behind at New Road.
We have a wicket at Chelmsford and it’s bad news for Mark Stoneman, whose hopes of making an early statement to replace Alastair Cook in England’s Test team this winter have been scuppered by Sam Cook. Yep, there’s more than one Cook who is loved in these parts and the 21-year-old seam bowler has his 19th wicket of the season after tempting Stoneman into a drive that was snaffled by Tom Westley at third slip. Surrey are 30 for one after 10 overs.
In Division Two Kent, Sussex and Middlesex all harbour realistic hopes of promotion behind the leaders, Warwickshire. Kent have got off to a bad start, though, losing Zak Crawley and Sean Dickson as they slipped to 15 for two early on. Joe Denly, mentioned as a possible winter call-up for England, is currently rebuilding alongside Heino Kuhn.
We’ve had a quiet start at Chelmsford, where the England hopefuls Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman have guided Surrey to 21 without loss against Essex’s new-ball pair of Jamie Porter and Sam Cook. There have been a few edges but it’s so far so good for the table toppers after seven overs.
Elsewhere, Lancashire have made slow progress against Somerset, with the openers Karl Brown and Alex Davies putting on nine runs in the first seven overs.
We’re also wicketless in the other two games as Notts bat first at home to relegation-threatened Yorkshire and Hampshire do likewise against Worcestershire at New Road.
With four rounds of the County Championship to go Surrey are cantering towards a first title since 2002 but they will face a tough examination of their credentials against the current champions over the coming days in Chelmsford.
Essex, who eased their relegation fears with victory against Hampshire last week, won the toss at the County Ground and have decided to bowl first against the runaway leaders. They will look to make early inroads against Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman, two openers who will want to make a statement in the land of top-order opportunity that will be England’s post-Alastair Cook world. Surrey also welcome back Ollie Pope following his two Tests for England, with the 20-year-old batsman down to bat at No 4 today.
Surrey, who are 32 points clear of second-placed Somerset, will also be keeping a keen eye on events at Taunton, where Lancashire will be desperate to ease their own relegation fears.
Indeed, with only 11 points separating the bottom four teams, the battle to avoid the drop into Division Two could go right down to the wire. That means there is also plenty riding on Yorkshire’s trip to Trent Bridge to face Nottinghamshire while rock-bottom Worcestershire surely need a win against fellow strugglers Hampshire at New Road to stand a chance of dropping back into the second tier.
And remember, because of the fading autumnal light we’re back to the earlier start time of 10.30am until the end of the season …