Haseeb Hameed excels and County Championship begins – as it happened

Last modified: 06: 34 PM GMT+0

Haseeb Hameed boosted his chances of an England recall with an unbeaten double century for Lancashire against Loughborough University

The floodlights are on here at Trent Bridge and Root has been dropped for the second time. In between, he’s looked as calmly superb as ever. 48 not out and counting.

Tanya Aldred's report from Trent Bridge

County roundup

Haseeb Hameed gave England’s selectors a timely reminder of his talents as the 22-year-old struck an unbeaten double century on the first day of Lancashire’s match against Loughborough University.

Hameed, who made his last Test appearances against India in November 2016, has struggled to replicate that form over the past two seasons but was at the crease all day as he compiled 202 not out in Lancashire’s 379 for five.

Elsewhere, Hampshire’s Sam Northeast was unbeaten on 94 when bad light stopped play in Southampton with his side 303 for four against Essex. Aiden Markram also made 63 and Rilee Rossouw struck 76 off 66 balls, while there was no play at Taunton for Somerset against Kent.

In Division Two, Tom Taylor took six for 47 as Sussex were skittled out for just 173, with Leicestershire closing at 131 for five, while 13 wickets fell at Derbyshire v Durham, with the hosts being bowled out for 197.

Northamptonshire made a decent start against Middlesex as they ended the day on 310 for six with West Indies captain Jason Holder 36 not out at the close. Toby Roland-Jones took his first County Championship wicket for almost a year.

Updated

That’s it from me for now - thanks so much for reading and chatting below the line. It’s lovely to be back.

My is addled, it’s time for a walk. Well done all, most especially Joe Clarke and, at last, Hass. Good night!

Updated

Here is the evidence, he was hitting sixes.

A DOUBLE CENTURY BY @HaseebHameed97 off 311 balls with 30 fours and two sixes! Fantastic innings - here's the first of his sixes! @lancscricket 367-5 #LOUvLAN pic.twitter.com/5ynK7hJWLw

— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) April 5, 2019

Updated

And runs for North-East - he’ll sleep nervously tonight on 94 - and Rossouw, whose impossible to spell name stalked me last season. Glad to see Porter a least got one wicket (the start of a glut?)

Just catching up - a wicket a piece for Roland-Jones and Finn I see, after a handy 67 from Adam Rossington at The County Ground.

A fightback by Derby to be all out for 197. Hosein run out for 78 - eek. Durham in the midst of a not yet disastrous reply.

As I come back to this, I’ve just heard someone say Hass is hitting sixes? Is this true?

A super knock from young Joe Clarke here at Trent Bridge, unbelievably his 14th first-class century at the age of 22.

Updated

A second wicket for Olivier at Trent Bridge - Mullaney for 31. I’m going to be a bit distracted for a bit while I write up so please entertain yourselves for a bit. I’ll be back.

TEATIME SCORES

DIVISION ONE

Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire: Notts 210/3 (Duckett 43, Slater 76, Clarke 40 not out; Olivier 1-54)

Hampshire v Essex: Hampshire 192/3 (Vince 40, Markram 63, Northeast 49 not out, Rossouw 44 not out; Quinn 2-43)

Somerset v Kent: Rain. Start delayed.

DIVISION TWO

Derbyshire v Durham: Derby 151/6 (Hosein 61 not out; Rushworth 2-22, Raine 2-39)

Northamptonshire v Middlesex: Northants 202/4 (Wakely 76; Murtagh 4-31, Roland-Jones 0-44, Finn 0-72)

Sussex v Leicestershire: Sussex 173 all out (Wiese 51; Taylor 6-47, Wright 3-53) Leicestershire 30-2

Updated

As Joe Clarke unobtrusively nudges his way towards 50, Sam Northeast and Rille Rossouw bat Hampshire into a decent position against Essex (192 for 3). And Alex Wakely, apologies! I was distracted by Hass’s plight: he’s 74 not out against Middlesex. Harvey Hosein 57 not out for Derby, pulling them out of the hole they chose to jump into after deciding to bat.

.
Happy Hass: It’s the beard wot done it. Photograph: Alan Martin/Action Plus via Getty Images

A hundred for Hass!! Well done that man. 19 fours and a huge country- wide sigh of relief. He’s revoked battings’s article 50.

Updated

nnnnninety-fffive

A good tweet from Ali Mitchell. I made the same mistake myself when I asked the chief exec at Derby about not having any hundred games next summer - he said that they were hosting The Hundred, but women’s matches.

So much happening in the women’s game but it’s not being talked about enough. Good piece @NHoultCricket - including the reminder that the Hundred will have women’s teams too. Feel that has been lost in many articles/press releases lately. https://t.co/MCdIBubi7G

— AlisonMitchell (@AlisonMitchell) April 5, 2019

This isn’t a jinx. It’s a sign.

UPDATE @HaseebHameed97 hits his 15th boundary to go to 75*. @lancscricket are 159-2 with @Gmaxi_32 36* against @lboroMCCU #LOUvLAN pic.twitter.com/UzPS6I8hUp

— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) April 5, 2019

A sixth for Tom Taylor, who sounds like he should be wearing in his leather bowling boots alongside Brian Statham. Men of few words but a glance that said it all.

And, as night follows day, Olivier gets a wicket - Slater losing concentration and caught trying to pull a wide one, out for 76 when he was on for the first Championship century of season. Oh Ben.

Maybe its the new Dukes ball but as I start to write this (though possibly not when I finish), it’s not been a good day for the BIG NAME bowlers. No wickets for Roland-Jones, Finn, Olivier or Jamie Porter.

Better pickings for the old faithfuls, Murtagh and Rushworth, and the bright young things - Tom Taylor

Harvey Hosein and Matt Critchley are starting to put the jigsaw back together at The County Ground with an unbeaten partnership of 42. And Somerset are getting in on the cat pictures! He’s a handsome ginger. (I prefer dogs actually)

PLAY ABANDONED FOR THE DAY#SOMvKEN#WeAreSomerset pic.twitter.com/5pvRMFfOFL

— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) April 5, 2019

Hass eases through to 70 against the students.

.
Dial M: Tim Murtagh bowls Northamptonshire’s Ricardo Vasconcelos to gather his third wicket of the day Photograph: Bradley Collyer/PA

A third for Murtagh as Northants slip to 95-3. Toby Roland-Jones and Steven Finn are still wicket-less but hey, its so good to see them back on the park.

Play is officially abandoned for the day at Taunton. As Sam North-East reaches double-figures at Southampton, Sussex lose two more wickets (130-8)Leicestershire’s Tom Taylor now 5-31, Wright 3-35.

It’s all happening here at Trent Bridge. Ben Slater just reaches fifty before Nash is out lbw to Waite for 21. A slower ball, we think. So Notts 125 for two, and here is another bright young thing, Joe Clarke.

Hmmm. Galoshes and an early bedtime.

UPDATE: Here come the umpires to have a look. Just stopped raining but very very wet#SOMvKEN#WeAreSomerset pic.twitter.com/eDeFYw7fXN

— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) April 5, 2019

It’s raining - quite hard- and it feels like this is going to be a blank day..


So at the back of the media centre there was a minor literary convention. Stephen Chalke, who has published a long string of excellent books centred upon county stalwarts was here and he has two more about to be published even though he keeps threatening to retire: an autobiography, “Sense of Humour, Sense of Justice” by Fred Rumsey, the old Somerset and - briefly - England pace bowler, who was a key architect in the formation of the PCA back in 1967.

The other is Rosey, which is about Somerset’s new president, Brian Rose, who led Somerset to their first trophies forty years ago. Brian was on hand to finalise details with his Boswell, Anthony Gibson, the BBC’s commentator at Somerset. Two books that might be of interest beyond the boundaries of the county. And there is another Somerset related one on the way...
There are puddles on the outfield..but the forecast is better for tomorrow...

LUNCHTIME SCORES

DIVISION ONE

Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire: Notts 112/ 1 (Duckett 43, Slater 42 not out; Patterson 1-20)

Hampshire v Essex: Hampshire 71/2 (Vince 40; Bopara 1-4)

Somerset v Kent: Rain. Start delayed.

DIVISION TWO

Derbyshire v Durham: Derby 68/5 (Rushworth 2-13, Raine 2-14)

Northamptonshire v Middlesex: Northants 78/2 (Vasconcelos 38; Murtagh 2-19, Roland-Jones 0-22, Finn 0-24)

Sussex v Leicestershire: Sussex 107/6 (Taylor 4-21, Wright 2-22)

Updated

Ok, that’s lunch here at Trent Bridge, with Notts on top at 112 for 1 and Slater looking good on 43. Big gun Olivier has 0-33 off seven overs. Lunch scores to follow and thanks for the amazing number of comments - three hundred and eighty!!

LOOK! LOOK!

Congratulations to @HaseebHameed97 who has reached his half century! @lancscricket 91-1 #LOUvLAN pic.twitter.com/qki0O2cvxz

— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) April 5, 2019

Joe Root is sculling around at mid- on with his hands very deep in his pockets. In fact everyone has their hands very deep in their pockets. The umpires huddle during a break in play with their backs to the wind like plump little robins in January. Now Root has the ball. An over or two before lunch.

Peter Salmon has written in, with thoughts of Hass and England (now that is a jinxing knife!)

Cricket at last! Obviously its all about Haseeb, but any thoughts on the respective odds for who will be opening for England come the last test? Is Hasseb shorter odds than Sir Alastair Cook? Vince? Bairstow? And whoever the two were in the last test? Perhaps an OBO Exacta competition on the pair? I’d ask for a Trifecta including the first drop, but then we move into realms of mathematics unthinkable by the human mind.

For what its worth I’m going Cook, Hameed, Bell.

And Jack Duncton has news from the live feeds: “It’s been an absolute shambles on the comms for Sussex v Leicestershire. There was a feed of the radio in the background playing Pharrel happy, ABBA and other classic fare of regional daytime radio. It was also punctured by traffic reports and the fx Mike has been broken so you can’t hear anything from the game. I have to say the commentators have done sterling work in straightened circumstances and have just battened down the hatches to get to lunch. “

Shhhh, but Hass is getting close to fifty...

Duckett got out while I was uploading a cat picture, a top-edge to deep square leg. And a wicket for Matthew Quinn at Southampton. James Vince still there, presumably gorgeously, on 29.

Here she is

the lovely cat who sat on my knee very early this morning at the tram stop. pic.twitter.com/FbfGcJZ4vO

— tanya aldred (@tjaldred) April 5, 2019

Updated

Derbyshire’s batsmen are trying their best to keep up with Sussex. Now 38 for 4, with a couple of wickets apiece Raine and Rushworth.

By the by, when I was sitting at the tram stop at 530 this morning, a black and white cat came up and sat on my knee for 14 minutes. It was wonderfully comforting on a quiet platform.A perfect metaphor for County cricket.

I’m pretty sure Jason Holder has a full set of thermals on under there

Skipper Alex Wakely handed out Northamptonshire caps 518 and 519 to @Jaseholder98 and @lwood_95 before play this morning. pic.twitter.com/ByaGmwdIW7

— NCCC (@NorthantsCCC) April 5, 2019

WICKET | @TomTaylor43 is simply on fire! 🔥

This time he sends the stumps flying as Brown walks for a duck, and the bowler gets his fourth of the day.

SUS 36-5

🦊 #foxesfamily pic.twitter.com/NKaKzKNh4B

— Leicestershire CCC (@leicsccc) April 5, 2019

Young Tom Taylor of Leicestershire has 4-16!

.

Updated

A fifty partnership for the Bens at TB. And Sussex in BIG trouble down at Hove - 34 for 5

Ben Duckett playing sweetly here. I’m sitting next to Richard Gibson from the Daily Mail, who has his eye on Duckett. “His race is not run. He’s a fine ball-striker and his technique has got tighter. He’s got 34 off 41 today and he’s just timed it nicely into the gaps - he’s the kind of player of scores quickly without you noticing.”

Northants lose an early wicket. I’ll leave the description in the words of young Will Macpherson ex-County blog, now Evening Standard

The cricket season is officially underway: Tim Murtagh just blew a right-hander's front pad off with one that nipped back. Never change.

— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) April 5, 2019

Apologies all, I too had missed the fact that Cameron Bancroft is not in fact at Durham as he was refused permission by Western Australia and Cricket Australia to miss their end-of-season dinner.

It has clouded over at Trent Bridge, with Slater and Duckett ticking the scoreboard over to 38 for 0.

Sorry if I’m putting too many links in, but this looks worth a read at lunch

Interesting on how football's sacking culture is creeping into cricket too from @NHoultCrickethttps://t.co/CuJElH5ge1

— Tim (@timwig) April 5, 2019

At Haslegrave, where Lancashire are taking on Loughbourgh, Hasseb Hameed is walking out to bat...

Play is about to start at Southampton where Jamie Porter is salivating over the new ball. And Luke Wells has gone at Hove, Sussex now 7/2.

For those interested in watching Olivier, and later Root, the link for the Trent Bridge live stream is below. I think the link to all counties’ live streams should be on their websites.

LIVE STREAM | Play is underway at Trent Bridge with the two Bens @BennySlats & @BenDuckett1 opening the batting for Nottinghamshire #NottsvYorks

WATCH ▶️ https://t.co/P2BKywhJPJ pic.twitter.com/fdQc92Jjuf

— Nottinghamshire CCC (@TrentBridge) April 5, 2019

16mm of overnight rain means a delayed start - if we’re lucky. There’s a 1130 inspection here because of a damp outfield. Sadly the forecast suggests there’s rain about in the afternoon. The pitch has a green hue, though it is not as green as twelve months ago. But I guess Somerset will be batting first.


In which case James Hildreth could appear at number three. He has very rarely batted at three for Somerset but is keen to do so this year. He may be 34, albeit a youthful one, but he has not quite given up on becoming an international cricketer. So he’s batting at three for obvious reasons.


If it’s cloudy, grey and dry we may see Somerset’s new lights ablaze.

Super news! Vic is at Somerset, with an umbrella...

Oh Derby. Now 4/2, after the first over. A second for Rushworth, and another duck - this time for Wayne Madsen.

And two early wickets! Congratulations to Chris Rushworth and Chris Wright for the first scalps of the year. Derby now 0/1: Reece for a duck.Sussex 0/1: Phil Salt also for a duck.

A quick recap:

Hampshire v Essex: Essex to bowl, start delayed

Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire: Yorkshire bowling

Somerset v Kent: Rain

Division Two

Derbyshire v Durham: A toss! Derby to bat

Northamptonshire v Middlesex: Middlesex to bowl

Sussex v Leicestershire: Leicester bowling

Updated

They’re out at Trent Bridge with Bens being the name of the game. Ben Slater and Ben Duckett facing a first over from Ben Coad.

And those of you already wrapped in blankets, will enjoy this read from Gary Naylor

Handy today @tjaldred https://t.co/sVDXFLD0Of

— Gary Naylor (@garynaylor999) April 5, 2019

A miserable start at Taunton

UPDATE: There will be an inspection at 11:30am #WeAreSomerset #SOMvKEN pic.twitter.com/0773vhE1P9

— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) April 5, 2019

Here at Trent Bridge Zak Chappell and Matt Carter are both out with “not bad” injuries.

And Hove

🤝 No toss with @leicsccc exercising their right to bowl first... #gosbts pic.twitter.com/wmouUIZnLC

— Sussex Cricket (@SussexCCC) April 5, 2019

Here we are at Derby

TOSS: #DCCC win the toss and elect to bat first.

Play to get underway at 11am 🔴🏏#WeAreDerbyshire#DERvDUR pic.twitter.com/VHMBSngcoX

— Derbyshire CCC (@DerbyshireCCC) April 5, 2019

One Wetherspoons sad but parsimonious smashed-avocado-on-muffin and a coffee later, I can report that the sun is shining at Trent Bridge, where a ridiculous number of people are on the ground, practising, filming, pottering, carrying about mysterious looking groundsman’s paraphernalia.The pitch is peculiarly off centre and after an uncontested toss, Yorkshire will have a bowl.

And the award for most peculiar story of the season to date goes to Don Topley’s bawdy poem.

Preamble

Hello lovely Below The Liners! It’s been too long. I write this chugging past the Etihad stadium on a snug Transpennine express and lo the sky is pinking up, the rain has stopped and there is hope.

By now you’ll have read Ali Martin’s season previews and seen which team his dark magic has cursed (Somerset), done your fantasy teams (thank you Mes, please find him BTL for advice), and hopefully pencilled in a match or two for the year. A huge welcome back to old-timers, and a happy hello to anyone new – I hope you settle in just fine.

On the first day of the Championship last year - a balmy April 13 – there were six games due to start. Four were abandoned without a ball bowled, one suspended for bad light, while at Southampton James Vince made a hand-to-heart 76.

The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email.

A little bit of last-minute admin you may have missed – Lancashire have signed Nottinghamshire’s Mark Footitt on loan for a month while Northants have borrowed Luke Wood for the first two rounds of matches. Ned Eckersley heads to Durham while a young seamer at Sussex, Will Sheffield, signs his first pro contract.

Now to business. Six games are due to get underway today – there has never been an earlier start to the season. You’ll have to wait to see Champion county Surrey, who put their feet up alongside newly-promoted Warwickshire, wooden spoonists Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, and relegated Lancashire and Worcestershire. But there is plenty to keep an eye on- with a particularly tasty fixture at Trent Bridge where I hope to be by the time you read this. Remember, it’s three up, one down this summer, with a newer, more tightly stitched Dukes ball that should make wickets harder to come by. Shall we play?

Balls are polished and dried at the Morrant Sport factory in Walthamstow, London.
Balls are polished and dried at the Morrant Sport factory in Walthamstow, London. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

DIVISION ONE

Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire: Joe Root v Stuart Broad and a tantalisingly juicy fixture to start the season. Notts, who avoided relegation by a tooth comb, are not unfancied for the title this year – (if they won, it would be coach Peter Moores third Championship with three different counties) - thanks to their thorough end-of-season poaching campaign. They picked up Zak Chappell from Leicestershire, Northant’s Ben Duckett and Worcestershire’s Joe Clarke. Ali has tipped Ben Slater, who moved from Derby, as one to watch. They also boosted their squad with James Pattinson, who has flown over from Australia for seven games. Yorkshire’s Kolpak signing Duanne Olivier, who limped off in a warm-up match, has sensational Test figures and can bowl at over 90 mph – though never before in an early English April. Adil Rashid is out with a shoulder injury.

Hampshire v Essex Hampshire captain James Vince moves up to the opening spot in a fluorescent wave to the England selectors. New recruits Keith Barker (ex-Warwickshire), James Fuller (Middlesex) and young Aneurin Donald from Glamorgan wait for their chance to shine. South African batsman Aiden Markram is due to make his Hampshire debut – he is available for the first month of the season, with power to add if he is not picked for South Africa’s World Cup squad.

2018 bronze-medallists Essex are boosted by the permanent presence of Alastair Cook, who started the pre-season with a hundred. They will be without Peter Siddle, who arrives from Australia today, and Matt Coles, sidelined with an ill-timed groin strain. Expect bucketfuls of early-season wickets for Jamie Porter.

Somerset v Kent The weather forecast is dreadful, but Somerset must be favourites if they get on the field. Second last year but challenging till high summer, they won’t yet have the advantage of a square-turning Ciderabad pitch, and there is no place for Dom Bess in the squad for this match. Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali returns for the whole summer, and ex-Yorkshire seamer Jack Brooks could make his Somerset debut.

Matt Renshaw, who had such a wonderful half-season for Somerset last year returns to Taunton with his new county Kent –who needed boosting in the batting department . This is the first Championship meeting between the two sides since 2010 – when the old warhorse Marcus Trescothick and still-England-overlooked James Hildreth both made hundreds.

Jamie Porter in bowling action for during Cambridge MCCU vs Essex CCC last week.
Jamie Porter in bowling action for during Cambridge MCCU vs Essex CCC last week. Photograph: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo/Rex/Shutterstock

DIVISION TWO

Derbyshire v Durham Derby, whose lovely ground was bathed in sunshine for the pre-season opener, host Durham under the grainy captaincy of Cameron Bancroft. Dave Houghton returns to The County Ground, this time as Director of Cricket, and will be hoping that some of his young players on the fringes of the first team come good. Batsman Tom Lace was their one winter signing in tricky financial times after the bankruptcy of their main sponsor. Durham are without captain courageous Paul Collingwood, but Jack Burnham returns after a 12-month ban for drug use.

Northamptonshire v Middlesex Middlesex’s bowling has a huge boost with the return of Steven Finn, after enduring both knee injury and a benign tumour, and Toby Roland Jones after a stress fracture of the back. May the force be with them both. Dawid Malan and Nick Gubbins have points to prove to England and new Middlesex coach Stuart Law, while Max Holden, who made his maiden century last September, is knocking on the door. Jason Holder and Zimbabwean speedman Blessings Muzarabani have arrived at Wantage Road while the third of the talented Curran brothers, Ben is hoping to carve out a career for himself as a batsman.

Sussex v Leicestershire This is Jason Gillespie’s second season at charge at Sussex and his only overseas signing was Pakistani left-arm seamer Mir Hamza, who flew in on Monday. Stiaan van Zyl has a chance to play his first match since a horrible knee-injury spoilt his season last May. Chris Jordan will flounce his petticoats at the England selectors after a successful winter.

Times are tight at Leicestershire and they lost eight players over the winter. Young batsman Hasan Azad has signed a first contract and is joined by Will Davis and Chris Wright from Derby and Warwickshire and Aaron Lilley from Lancs.

Updated

Contributors

Tanya Aldred at Trent Bridge

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
County cricket: Surrey close on title as Somerset lose – as it happened
Somerset lost inside two days as the Ageas Bowl to leave Surrey on the verge of the title, while the Roses derby is in the balance at Headingley

Tanya Aldred at Lord's

11, Sep, 2018 @6:16 PM

Article image
County cricket: Notts v Yorkshire, Somerset v Kent and more – as it happened
Joe Clarke finished three short of two centuries at Trent Bridge and somerset hold a 133-run lead over Kent after day three of the County Championship

Tanya Aldred at Trent Bridge

07, Apr, 2019 @6:32 PM

Article image
County cricket: Essex gain edge over Yorkshire in battle of chasers – as it happened
Second-placed Essex had the better of the first day against third-placed Yorkshire, while leaders Somerset bounced back from a poor start against Notts

Graham Hardcastle at Chelmsford

07, Jul, 2019 @7:14 PM

Article image
County Championship roundup: Yorkshire struggle at Nottinghamshire
Joe Root left the field with a hand injury but is expected to bat in the fourth innings while Joe Clarke is closing in on his second century of the match

Tanya Aldred at Trent Bridge

07, Apr, 2019 @9:45 PM

Article image
County Cricket 2011: Preview

Make your predictions for the season after reading the Guardian's extensive previews of the counties for 2011

David Hopps, Andy Wilson, Barney Ronay, Mike Averis, Paul Rees and Steve Busfield

07, Apr, 2011 @10:39 AM

Article image
County Championship 2019: Divisions One and Two team-by-team guide
Somerset and Surrey look best equipped to battle for the title while Division Two features an intriguing race to make the top three promotion places

Ali Martin

03, Apr, 2019 @10:07 AM

Article image
County Championship roundup: Ed Smith sees Surrey’s batsmen find form
Ryan Patel, Ben Foakes and Will Jacks all passed 50 while Gary Ballance and Joe Root were in the runs again for Yorkshire

Tanya Aldred at The Oval

11, Apr, 2019 @7:32 PM

Article image
County cricket: Clark shines for Surrey against Yorkshire – as it happened
Jordan Clark took 5-77 in Surrey’s game against Yorkshire, while Lancashire ventured to a new venue

Tanya Aldred

30, Jun, 2019 @6:37 PM

Article image
County Championship 2017: Divisions One and Two team-by-team guide
Surrey’s signings make them a good bet for the title though Middlesex and Somerset should challenge again while Sussex have strengthened enough to gain promotion

Ali Martin

06, Apr, 2017 @10:14 AM

Article image
County cricket: Tom Curran shines as Surrey edge closer to title – as it happened
With his brother on form for England, Tom Curran took five for 28 and scored 43 supporting the magnificent Mark Stoneman, who hit 144 against Notts

Tanya Aldred at Southport

30, Aug, 2018 @6:28 PM