County cricket: rain and bad light tell the story of the day – as it happened

Last modified: 03: 56 PM GMT+0

There was frustration up and down the country as the weather cost plenty of time

Rain, bad light and more rain decimated the second day of the Bob Willis Trophy’s third round. In the three mini sessions possible at Edgbaston, Somerset darted into a promising position – a lead of 93 over Warwickshire – with big hitters to come. An unbeaten 56 from Steven Davies was boosted by cameos from Craig Overton and Lewis Gregory, as Oliver Hannon-Dalby picked up his third wicket. Somerset’s fast bowling artillery must battle the chequered forecast, as well as Warwickshire, over the next two days.

The lush trees of Arundel Castle became umbrellas as only 16 overs were possible. Surrey’s faltering start with the bat continued after they finished the day 130 for eight. Hampshire’s man from Wisconsin, Ian Holland, collected his first six-fer after removing Gus Atkinson and Laurie Evans. Evans, a graduate of the Surrey academy in 2007, was released by them in 2010. Since then he has played for Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Sussex, Rajshahi Kings and Multan Sultans before returning to Surrey this summer on loan. On Sunday he made his first fifty in a brown cap for 10 years. Many roads lead to Rome.

A rapier 88 from Riki Wessels took Worcestershire to a respectable first-innings 219, despite a pre-lunch collapse of five for seven. Northamptonshire were 90 for four when the rain fell.

At the first day of cricket at Sophia Gardens for 11 months, Glamorgan tortoise-crawled at 1.66 runs an over to 80 for five. Gloucestershire’s Josh Shaw dismissed both openers.

Kent’s Darren Stevens grabbed his 800th wicket at Canterbury, a poke by Steve Eskinazi caught behind, his swansong rolling ever further into the distance. A miracle of mopping by the groundstaff allowed an evening session, where Fredrick Klaassen took a wicket in the last over of the day, finishing with three for 19 as Middlesex closed on 123 for six.

Essex took four morning wickets in the only session possible at Hove. Sussex’s batsmen struggled against Simon Harmer – the first time most had faced him in first-class cricket. He spun 16 overs unchanged, clocking up nine maidens and picking up two wickets before rain ruined the remains of the day.

In the North group, there were occasional breaks in the weather. One over was possible at Headingley for the top-of-the-table clash between Derbyshire and Yorkshire, enough time for Dawid Malan to pull and cut Michael Cohen for two fours and pass 150.

Despite five pitch inspections, no play was possible at Trent Bridge where Nottinghamshire’s batsmen were desperate to make the most of their great opening day against Lancashire.

At Grace Road, Durham added 51 runs and lost three wickets against Leicestershire under brooding skies.

Fifty for Steven Davies brings up the Somerset 200 and a batting point! Only their third of the tournament. A lead of 82 over Warwicks which I suspect is almost enough already. This is the only game in play at the moment.

No play anywhere at the moment, while I look out of the window in Manchester and see perfectly pleasant and inoffensive fluffy clouds. Bastardweathergods.

There is play at Grace Road. Everyone else is either drinking tea or watching the rain. But that doesn’t deter young Abjijato Sensarma, one of Guardian cricket’s youngest, though most prolific, correspondents.

“I always knew MS Dhoni existed, in the same way you are told gods and taxes exist – facts of life you do not remember being told about for the first time. I was only eight years old when he won the World Cup in 2011. I saw the final with my mother, but unlike most of the country, I remember only the shot and not the gravity of the situation he played it in. Yet, I will always associate him with the nonchalance of the moment when he executed the defining moment of cricket for an entire generation of fans. So long, MS, never forget to rage against the dying of the light.”

Teatime scores


Hove: Sussex 155-6 v Essex Rain stopped play.

Canterbury: Middlesex 94-4 v Kent. Rain stopped play

Arundel: Surrey 130-8 (Holland 6-39) v Hampshire. Play abandoned for the day.


Headingley: Yorks 288-4 v Derbyshire.

Trent Bridge: Notts 268-2 v Lancs. No play yet today. Inspection at 4pm.

Grace Road: Durham 224-3 v Leics. Bad light stopped play


Edgbaston: Warwickshire 121 v Somerset 181-5

County Ground: Worcestershire 219 (Wessels 88; Buzarabani 4-29) v Northamptonshire 90-4

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 80-5 v Gloucestershire.

My feed from Northants mysteriously changed into a gardening programme discussing crab apples and crab apple jelly. My mum used to make it, but proclaimed it “a faff,” so I’ve not bothered. Is that an error? It is tea around some of the grounds - scores to follow.

Paul Billington ends my inbox famine. Thank you Paul! He writes:

“I think I could be on board with a regional format similar to the Bob, as long as there was scope for playing at least some teams from out of the team’s division, similarly to the Pro 14/Pro however many it is now in Rugby Union, and most elite sport in the USA. There does need to be more scope for teams to reach a knockout stage though: I realise this season was curtailed for unique reasons, but also under this format one county’s Bob season could be (and is!) essentially over after only two matches. Quarter finals, perhaps? Might get too many people twitching though, and there’s always the problem of weather / draws. Hmm.”

I like two divisions, but can see things might have to change for financial reasons. (If it is cheaper to run things regionally?). I guess a problem with quarter and then semi finals is that you get lots of teams twiddling their thumbs while the knock-out stages play out over four/eight days. It adds a level of uncertainty to the season, which already has knock out competitions but, if the Bob were to be introduced, no league.

Play abandoned for the day at Arundel

Surrey 130-8.

Ed Barnard swinging the ball in and Levi is caught at slip for 11. Northants continue to fumble their afternoon’s batting.

They’re back on at Edgbaston, where Somerset lose Tom Abell for 41. A 13 run lead, five wickets down, - the Overtons still to swing the bat.

Wickets falling regularly at the two games still in play, at Sophia Gardens and the County Ground. David Payne has Chris Cooke lbw for 4, Glamorgan 60-4, and Northants 44-3, Curran and Wakely back in the pavilion.

Thinking about a possible regional format for next season. I wonder if there would be any kind of seeding to reward those, like Gloucs, Northants and Lancs, who won promotion to Division One last year? Incidentally, amazing how well Derbyshire are doing in the Bob - they finished 15th last year.

I’ve been reading Keeping up by Tom Huelin and Michael Bates. It is interesting on the role of the specialist wicketkeeper and how difficult the role is to value in terms of the kind of Moneyball stats that T20 teams love. I don’t have memories of him at all - young children were demanding my time and I wasn’t paying attention to county cricket. Does anyone remember him? Seems like Hampshire had a stash of brilliant young players but lost confidence in them.

Rain, rain everywhere except Grace Road, Sophia Gardens and Northamptonshire. The golden triangle? Anyway, another wicket at Glamorgan - Carlson for eight. Ah, they’re off again at Grace Road, Durham 224-4, and Curran and Wakely still holding on for Northants.

It is chucking it down at the Test. Looks suspiciously like stumps already at the Rose Bowl. Do send me your post-lunch notions either @tjaldred or We have plenty of time..


Worcestershire’s bowling attack have dented Northant’s hopes for a good start. Vasconcelos caught off that man Joe Leach. 15-1. And Durham have resumed at Grace Road where Lees fell to Tommy Taylor for 64. 216-4.

If Worcestershire can lose 5 for 7 before lunch, can Glamorgan can lose 2 for 3 after lunch?

Yes. Currently 33 for 2. Both to Gloucestershire’s Josh Shaw.

One wicket for Bresnan and a third for Hannon-Dalby as Somerset lose a couple of early afternoon wickets. If playing staff are to be culled, that gives meaning to even the most dead Bob match. How hard for the players - two matches left to try and stake a claim for a contract next year. Willing runs for Hildreth in the next game, out here for 1, he had a pretty miserable 2019 too. As did most of the Somerset batsmen to be fair.

All but three games underway now - rain delays still at Arundel, Hove, Trent Bridge and Headingley

Lunchtime scores


Hove: Sussex 155-6 v Essex

Canterbury: Middlesex 91-4 v Kent

Arundel: Surrey 130-8 (Holland 6-39) v Hampshire


Headingley: Yorks 280-4 v Derbyshire. No play this morning.

Trent Bridge: Notts 268-2 v Lancs. No play this moring.

Early lunch taken. Play just started. Grace Road: Durham 177-3 v Leics.


Edgbaston: Warwickshire 121 v Somerset 80-2

County Ground: Worcestershire 219 (Wessels 88; Buzarabani 4-29) v Northamptonshire 5-0

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 27-0 v Gloucestershire.

My BBC scorecard keeps putting the Glamorgan innings back to 0-0. What is the meaning of this? Lunch scores to follow.

Make that Worcestershire 219 all out - losing five for seven shows impressive dedication.

What’s going on at the County Ground? Worcestershire collapse from 212-5 to 219-9. Four wickets from Blessing Muzarabani and a couple to Saif Zaib.

Heaven sent (via Northants): Blessing Muzarabani Photograph: Andy Kearns/Getty Images

Darren Stevens, how much do we love thee?

This really is a serious achievement.

— Elizabeth Ammon (@legsidelizzy) August 16, 2020

Possible changes to domestic cricket.

More on that Tim Wigmore piece from the Telegraph now I’ve read it properly:

Counties, braced for a 20% reduction in funding from the ECB, are privately discussing possible changes including:

Adopting a regional model of first-class cricket similar to the Bob Willis Trophy.

A 32 team domestic 50-overs competition including national (minor) counties - a kind of cricket FA Cup.

A reduction in the number of professional cricketers, and a move away from 12-month contracts.

The possibility of some of the 18 counties moving to just playing white ball cricket.


The Hundred, though not immune from the financial cuts, is seen as important in reducing the ECB’s reliance on the money generated from international cricket.

No news on the women’s game.


Remember 2011? Things seemed rosier then.

🤞 for an improvement in conditions soon!

While we're waiting at Trent Bridge, we're replaying the 2011 Winners DVD on the live stream 🍿⬇

— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) August 16, 2020

Slow going at Canterbury where Darren Stevens is warming up “forcefully.” You’ve been warned. Middlesex 65-3.

Wessels (73) and Cox (38) have put on 112 at The County Ground where Worcs sit pretty now, 196 for 5.

Glamorgan have picked up their bats at Sophia Gardens and are 9 without loss. But the rain has started falling at Arundel where Surrey have lost 3 for ten this morning. Another for Ian Holland (who someone has pointed out I called Ian Abbot in yesterday’s round up - arghghg). One in, one out, it seems today.

A fifth wicket for that man from Wisconsin, Ian Holland! And a first first-class wicket for Tom Scriven. Surrey are, most unexpectedly, 130 for 7.

An email meant for the OBO has fallen into the hands of BWLive!

Hi Tanya from sunny Piedmont.Rob’s e mail isn’t working but maybe you can answer....... if the 2 teams felt so inclined would England and Pakistan be allowed to forfeit an Innings?

In theory, I think so. This is what the MCC says:

15.1 Time of declaration

The captain of the side batting may declare an innings closed, when the ball is dead, at any time during the innings. A declared innings shall be considered to be a completed innings.

15.2 Forfeiture of an innings

A captain may forfeit either of his/her side’s innings at any time before the commencement of that innings. A forfeited innings shall be considered to be a completed innings.

15.3 Notification

A captain shall notify the opposing captain and the umpires of any decision to declare or to forfeit an innings. Once notified, the decision cannot be changed.

© Marylebone Cricket Club 2017

Follow every ball of the OBO here, where England are 0 for 1.

Look how beautiful it is at Arundel - all those trees! Nice shot too. Did a bit of digging about Laurie Evans - a graduate of the Surrey academy in 2007, released by them in 2010. Since then he has played for Warwicks, Northants and Sussex, and now back on loan to Surrey. Was also the leading scorer for Rajshahi Kings in the 2018-19 Bangladesh Premier League. Then named in the 55-man England training group earlier this year and, in July, the 24 man squad to train for the ODIs v Ireland. Many roads lead to Rome.

👌 A lovely shot from Laurie Evans to take us to three figures.

Surrey - 102/5

— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) August 16, 2020

A quiet start at the four games where play is underway. A third wicket for Jamie Porter ar Hove - Finch for 21. Worcestershire building a slow recovery, thanks to Riki Wessels and Ben Cox, now 118-5. So too Surrey, where Laurie Evans, completely against the run of play, is 51 not out. Middlesex have added eight runs.

Providing there is no more rain, play shout start at midday at Sophia Gardens.

Scores on the doors


Hove: Sussex 93-2 v Essex

Canterbury: Middlesex 22-1 v Kent

Arundel: Surrey 79-5 v Hampshire


Headingley: Yorks 280-4 v Derbyshire

Trent Bridge: Notts 268-2 v Lancs

Grace Road: Durham 176-3 v Leics


Edgbaston: Warwickshire 121 v Somerset 80-2

County Ground: Worcestershire 93-5 v Northamptonshire

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Gloucestershire. No play possible on Saturday.

Rain watch

The south has the better of the weather today.

Soggy at Grace Road. Inspection at Sophia Gardens. Raining at Headingley. Damp at Trent Bridge. Precipitation at Edgbaston.

Sunny in Hove. Dry at Arundel. Promising at Canterbury. Grey but fine at Northampton’s County Ground.

Just trying to get my head around the proposed changes to domestic cricket as reported in the Telegraph. Looks like the Bob might be a blueprint for future domestic first-class competition. A future that includes reduced funding for counties, fewer pro players, perhaps fewer counties. But the Hundred seen as financially vital.

Special report: county cricket faces biggest shake-up in a generation

— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) August 16, 2020

And a very moving piece by Andy Bull on the fate of some of England’s best black cricketers and the failure to embrace them.


Some Sunday morning reading. MS retires...

...and a different take on the bad light plaguing the Rose Bowl. Interesting from Zak Crawley and paints the umpires in a much better light than many of the commentators.



Hello! And welcome to day 2 of this round of matches where the biggest factor could be the weather. Today’s forecast promises cloud and heavy showery outbreaks across the country - a limp lettuce side order to your Sunday lunch.

Yesterday’s play brought hundreds to Bens Duckett and Slater, as Notts had a miraculous day with the bat against Lancashire, and Dawid Malan, who guided Yorkshire to a strong position against Derbyshire with an unbeaten 145. Somerset are busy bulldozing Warwickshire, Hampshire, unexpectedly, doing the same thanks to Surrey thanks to fifth seamer and ex-reality star Ian Holland.

Worcestershire struggled against Northants’ Nathan Buck, Sussex plodded on in the few overs available against Essex and Durham recovered from a dreadful start thanks to a third-wicket partnership of 159 between Alex Lees (62no) and David Bedingham (96).

No play at all at Sophia Gardens and less than 10 overs possible at Canterbury, where the wading birds made hay in the new watery stream running across the pitch.



Tanya Aldred

The GuardianTramp

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