Tanya Aldred's county roundup
Middlesex bowled out Surrey for 154 just before tea on a perfect Lord’s day. Only Mark Stoneman with 44 touched on respectability as Tim Murtagh (4-28) and Toby Roland-Jones (3-41) skittled through Surrey’s lineup. Falling to 16 for three in reply as Reece Topley took three wickets in nine balls, Sam Robson and Robbie White carefully combed respectability to leave them 40 behind at stumps.
George Garton took three wickets in 21 balls, including Joe Root for five, as Yorkshire were scuttled out for 150 at Sussex. Yorkshire collapsed after making it to 60 without loss when Garton took the first three wickets. Ollie Robinson, wicketless in his first spell, finished with two for 17. In reply, Sussex finished at 118 for three, with Tom Haines 71 not out.
Somerset bowled Leicestershire out for 233 but were struggling themselves at 53 for three at stumps. Marcus Harris made 19 on his Championship debut as Leicestershire never really found their feet, apart from Lewis Hill who hit his fourth consecutive Championship fifty. There were three wickets for Craig Overton, two for Jack Leach andone for Tom Lammonby.
Four wickets for Warwickshire’s Olly Stone and four for Oliver Hannon-Dalby ensured Essex were bowled out for 295. There were pugnacious runs from Ryan Ten Doeschate and half-centuries from Paul Walter and Nick Browne. Jimmy Anderson, supposed to be making his first appearance for Lancashire this season, had to drop out with a tight calf. In a game of mixed fortunes in Kent, Lancashire finished 260 for seven.
Jake Libby hit 117 against Nottinghamshire. He and Daryl Mitchell put on 140 for the first wicket before Worcestershire lost seven for 76. An unbroken partnership of 89 between Ed Barnard and Alzarri Joseph strained Nottinghamshire’s self-belief.
David Bedingham led a Durham recovery against Derbyshire after wobbling into the early morning at seven for two. His 170 not out was helped by 75 from Jack Burnham.
Ian Holland and Tom Alsop both made hundreds as Hampshire put on 228 for the second wicket against Gloucestershire. Holland was pinned lbw for 114, while Alsop was unbeaten on 127.
Right, that’s it from the blog, the round-up should be here soon. Another cracking day, with the see-saw falling the unfashionable side of the pivot:-Yorkshire and Surrey bowled out for 150; Glamorgan, Worcestershire and Durham, heavy with runs. Thanks for all the messages, have a lovely evening. Good night!
“Essex bowled out for 295 in 89.5 overs and, have to say, that’s a fine performance from Warwickshire after losing the toss, despite Ryan Ten Doeschate delivering a typically pugnacious half-century at the back end.
“At tea it looked like the champions would bat into tomorrow when Nick Browne (68) and Paul Walter (66) had taken them to 186 for three. But Olly Stone changed the complexion of the day, his spiteful burst after interval removing both set men - the Walter dismissal, bounced out to third man, following two blows to the body.
Will Rhodes immediately whipped Stone out of the attack in anticipation of the second new ball and when it came around, and Ten Doeschate crunched a couple of meaty fours, the England man picked up his fourth as Adam Wheater pushed at one in the channel for a simple caught behind.
“Having earlier taken out Dan Lawrence caught at mid-wicket, Stone was suddenly eyeing a possible seventh five-wicket haul in first-class cricket. But it was the other Oliver, Hannon-Dalby, who snuffed out the Essex tail to finish with four for 73, Ten Doeschate the final wicket to fall, caught at gully.
“A nod should also go to Craig Miles, who earlier ended a sparkling 46 from Alastair Cook with a beauty caught behind and pinned Essex captain Tom Westley lbw for four.”
Just time for a swallow update, from Anthony Bradley”
“Swallows seen in God’s own county last week. Just down the road from The Marshfield home to Settle CC.”
I’d better get my head down to type up the round-up, I’ve volunteered Ali to keep spirits up BTL.
A second wicket for Jack Leach as Dieter Klein is bowled for 12, Leics 214-9; while Barnard and Joseph making whoopee at New Road, Worcs 248-7.
A hundred for Ian Holland!
What an early season he is having! Thank you to Michael Duggan for pointing this out! “I see Hampshire have passed 200-1 and Holland his century,” he writes. “When do you think a team in this position should make the change from pootling along at 2.7 an over and try and think about a big quick score that maximises their chance of winning the match?” I think all depends a little on the pitch etc, but I reckon Hampshire are confident enough in their bowling with Abbas or Abbott not to worry too much at this stage.
And with a saucy wink to the watching selectors, Tom Haines passes fifty for the third times this season. Sussex 69-1. Jones joins Vilas in the pavilion, with Lancashire slipping to 196-6.
Is this a sign that his luck is changing? Somerset’s Tom Lammonby takes a wicket as the puppy basks in the Lancashire sun on the doormat. Leicestershire a respectable 206-8.
Sam Robson (14) in the familiar position of standing at the non-striker’s end and watching carnage unfold. Still, a slight recovery by Middlesex to the sunny lowlands of 33-3.
“And another for Stone ... excellent spell after tea from the England man, following the dismissal of Nick Browne with one that reared up at Paul Walter, caught the shoulder of the bat and flew to a diving Hamuna Vihari at third man. Fine work by Vihari and so too Stone, who roughed up the set left-hander and celebrated with a guttural roar. Walter falls for a well-crafted 66 from 151 balls and Essex are now 203 for five...”
Dane Vilas and Josh Bohannon (59 not out) had just put on a hundred partnership against Kent when Vilas was lbw to Klassen. Lancs 189-5. Glamorgan scoring with a spring day’s ease - 257 for 6 - Chris Cooke, another with a hundred already in his pocket, 71 not out.
Ah! here, are the numerically ordered averages, thanks to Michael Duggan. Which answers my question of: is Jake Libby top? Answer: No. Third behind Liam Dawson and Harvey Hosein. A breakthrough at Hove where Jordan Thompso has Thomason caught for 20. Sussex 60-1.
Incidentally, my husband saw his first swallow of the season over Media City. Any other sightings?
“The wicket of Dan Lawrence was starting to feel a distant memory but Olly Stone was thrown the ball after tea and winkled out Nick Browne in his first over. Looked like a loss of concentration upon restarting, with the left-hander chasing a wide-ish ball from Stone and feathering a catch through to Michael Burgess behind the stumps. Stone deserves that after a couple of declined lbws earlier in the day. He has just followed it up with one that struck Paul Walter on the back and then another that got him in a tangle and flew past Tim Bresnan at slip. Lively stuff and Essex are 187 for four in the 65th over.”
What is this situation at Lord’s? Holden, Gubbins and Handscomb all gone to the arm of Topley in eight balls. Middlesex 17-3, trail Surrey by 137 after what now looks a not-too-shabby 154 all out.
Riverside: Durham 203-3 v Derbyshire
Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Essex 186-3
New Road: Worcestershire 210-5 v Nottinghamshire
Rose Bowl: Hampshire 168-1 v Gloucestershire
Grace Road: Leicestershire 167-6 v Somerset
Lord’s: Middlesex 8-1 v Surrey 154 all out
Canterbury: Kent v Lancashire 179-4
The County Ground: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan 226-6
Hove: Sussex 40-0 v Yorkshire 150 all out
Ah, thank you Paul Frame! Here are the averages, weirdly in alphabetical not statistical order, unless there is a button I’ve missed.
Not to be to sniffed at - a fourth successive half century for Lewis Hill, especially as he’s had little support from his teammates. Anyway, Leicester stutter onwards to tea and should be buoyed by the fact that Somerset games are always low-scoring bum-squeakers.
Just clocked that was a second century of the season for both Libby and Bedingham. Can’t find the season’s averages anywhere - has anyone else discovered them?
At Hove, it has become worth giving Joe Root an over, without luck. Sussex 38 without loss and only 112 behind.
“Essex are once again demonstrating their champion status with Nick Browne and Paul Walter having put on a resolute century stand for the fourth wicket and both reaching their half-centuries en route. They have had lives but also ridden the storm of Olly Stone after lunch and are currently chiselling away against the less physically intimidating combination of Will Rhodes and Danny Briggs. And as I type that Walter has just pulled Rhodes for a commanding four through mid-wicket. “
Hundred for Jake Libby! Hundred for David Bedingham!
As Durham and Worcestershire have good days - potential for late-afternoon hitches notwithstanding.
How lovely! A first first-class wicket and, thanks to the streams, caught on film. Congratulations Luke Hollman. Surrey 154 all out!
Durham ooze past 150, Bedingham enters the nervous nineties; Paul Walter and Nick Browne have put on nearly 100 for the fourth wicket for Essex against Warwicks; the mighty Jake Libby (92 not out) hoop-lah-ing Worcestershire towards 200 against unlucky Notts.
Yorkshire all out for 150 and zero batting points. Three for Garton, two( belatedly) for Robinson, two for Rawlins and two for Hunt. Only Adam Lyth (42) made it past 18, as a clutch of England selectors look on.
For all you Hundred fans:
“Olly Stone is mighty unlucky not to have more than the one wicket today, I reckon. He saw a very good lbw shout against Nick Browne on nought turned down first thing and this afternoon found the edge of the opener’s bat on 24, only for the ball to fall millimeters short of Tim Bresnan at first slip. It might even have been a genuine, albeit tough chance. Then, just now, Paul Walter has survived another appeal for lbw that looked very good to me. Around the wicket to the left-hander and seemingly bang in front... but no dice, and Walter survives on 30. Essex 118 for three in the 45th over.”
I’ve been quiet about Lancashire. They’ve been -would it be unfair to say - un-noteworthy?116-4. Bohannon and Vilas battling away
Interesting chat on the Surrey v Middx match about the merits of skiddy, short bowlers, like Mohammad Abbas. Is the perfect-ish height for a cricketer actually smaller than you’d think? More thimble than sunflower, with Stephen Finn types an anomaly. Thinking between Malcolm Marshall’ 5’ 11’’ and Tendulkar - 5’5’’ with Brian Lara 5’8’’ Rishab Pant 5’7’’ about perfect . Much like football where your low-centre of gravity Aguero-Maradonna-type not usually over 5’ 8’’.
Yorkshire slip from 102-5 at lunch to 139-7 an hour or so later. But, as noted BTL, David Willey batting nine is peculiar, but at the moment, comforting. Currently nine not out. Somerset rattling Leicestershire, 98-5, Lewis Hill been then an hour for 18. And Surrey, boosted by an expert ATL prediction, proving that scoring runs in the sun at Lord’s on a Thursday morning is a mug’s game, 124-8. Topley bowled Ethan Bamber for 10. Good point from BBC radio that Eskinazi, captain in Middx last game, has been dropped after scoring fifty v Somerset. Tough love.
Jordan Clark breathes zenly and whallops Murtagh straight to Gubbins for a duck: Surrey 107-7
A mushroom quiche of a delivery from Toby Roland Jones at Lord’s as Mark Stoneman, who’d worked hard all morning, caught behind for 44. Surrey 107-6
“We’ve just had our first sighting of newly-appointed England batting coach Marcus Trescothick at Edgbaston. He’s sat in the sunshine at the far end chatting to Anthony McGrath. I’m no lip-reader but they appear to be discussing the merits of the defending-champions-wear-capes thing I floated earlier.”
“Back underway in Birmbados and Nick Browne has just been handed a life on 20. Craig Miles earned the right to resume after lunch following his two-wicket burst in the morning and should really have had a third, teasing an outside edge from Browne that flew at catchable height to Sam Hain at second slip. Twice he appeared to have taken the ball but after spot of juggling the ball hit the turf in front of him, dangnammit.”
From the Yorkshire blog: Jofra Archer spotted doing shuttle runs at the side of the outfield at Hove.
Quietly impressive fight-back by Durham at Chester-le-Street after their bummer of a start. 82-2. David Bedingham, 54 not out in three-four time.
Nice lunch everyone? Good. Mid-week humous sandwich here, kibble with extras for the pup. I love this photograph from Hove, infused with essence of joie de vivre, of George Garton’s celebration after dismissing Joe Root.
“It’s been the veritable morning of two halves at sunny Edgbaston. During the first hour we watched Alastair Cook play with such freedom and flair to the point where thoughts were turning to a possible century before lunch from this promising young whippersnapper. Step forward Craig Miles, back after sitting out the win at Nottinghamshire, to get the former England captain caught behind on 46 with a lovely ball that just nipped away. Miles, full of energy and fizz, then followed this up by trapping Tom Westley lbw on the back leg for four. A tight decision on height, it must be said. Warwickshire weren’t done there either, Olly Stone’s second spell seeing Dan Lawrence chip one to mid-wicket and thus a second legside-dominant player to fall when playing a ball on their pads. At lunch the champions are 81 for three from 28 overs, with Nick Browne still there on 20 not out. The opener has struck five fours, which has got the press box wondering what is the highest first-class score to have been made up solely from boundaries...”
County Championship Table - as they stand
Warwicks - 32
Essex - 32
Derby - 26
Riverside: Durham 80-2 v Derbyshire
Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Essex 81-3
New Road: Worcestershire 122-0 v Nottinghamshire
Rose Bowl: Hampshire 64-1 v Gloucestershire
Grace Road: Leicestershire 68-4 v Somerset
Lord’s: Middlesex v Surrey 88-4
Canterbury: Kent v Lancashire 61-2
The County Ground: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan 100-3
Hove: Sussex v Yorkshire 102-5
Surrey, and now Leicestershire, four down. Unfortunately for Leicestershire, Azad is the man to go, caught behind off Tom Abell for 36. Blimey, Yorkies have lost five , as Brook goes on the the ch of lunch.
Just read that George Garton, the young and rapid left-arm quick, said to be a favourite of England bowling coach Jon Lewis , has taken 3-15 in front of Chris Silverwood and James Taylor. His three wickets: Lyth, Kohler-Cadmore and .... Joe Root lbw for 5. Nice timing, George.
Just noticed that David Lloyd has rolling-pinned ten fours in his 59 not out against Northants!
Wicket-watch - the second half of the moring, much more fruitful for bowlers.
Durham 51-2 (Lees and Bedingham rebuilding)
Essex 67-2 (Cook and Westley out, both to Miles)
Worcestershire 77-0 (Mitchell and Libby going like a train)
Hampshire 46-1 (Holland and Alsop resisting Gloucestershire)
Leicestershire 56-2 (Azad 28 not out; a couple of wickets for Gregory)
Surrey 68-3 (Underdogs on top; Stoneman 29 not out)
Lancashire 40-2 (Darren Stevens on the prowl)
Glamorgan 77-2 (David Lloyd 59 not out)
Yorkshire 75-3 (Garton 3-15)
A smashing piece here by Matt Roller on Gloucestershire’s great unsung hero Ryan Higgins.
“Someone said to me yesterday, ‘you must never regret that move’, and I don’t. I love the way it’s worked out - I love living down here in Bristol and I love it all, really. I always hated not playing at Middlesex but I look back on it now and think: was it a blessing in disguise? Would I have been ready if I’d played younger? I knew I had it in me with the bat and that I could be a decent bowler, but I definitely didn’t think things would have gone as well with both.”
While Higgins, 26, has time on his side in his ambition to play for England, his all-round dominance in the Championship invites parallels with those who have enjoyed similarly fruitful periods at county level, like Darren Stevens, Peter Trego and Will Gidman. He has a good relationship with Stevens, having met him while playing for the MCC in the Hong Kong Sixes in 2017, and admitted he is something of an inspiration.
“He always gives me advice: he’s always messaging me about different ideas I could work on and trying to help me on my way. He is the gold standard, 100%. Him and Tim Murtagh, I always watch their highlights to see anything I could be changing or working on. If they can do it, I can challenge myself to do similar things.”
“Wow, a beauty from Craig Miles to remove Alastair Cook at Edgbaston - and it needed to be, such was the form shown this morning. At one point I was wondering if we’d see a century before lunch. Coming around the wicket from the City End, Miles got one to just leave the left-hander on the backfoot and tickle the outside edge of a straight bat for the simplest of caught behinds. Miles wheels away in ecstasy, Cook trudges off four short of his half-century and Essex are 55 for one.”
I don’t want to say that my fridge is jinxed, but for the second time this morning as I opened the door, a wicket fell on the radio. This time, the hunt for a cold prince biscuit did for Ollie Pope, for 22, flashing at a ball that didn’t move , another smashing catch by Sam Robson. Roland-Jones is the bowler. Surrey currently the county most in the ditch at 51-3.
A very good morning for batting, with nearly an hour gone, the only wickets are at Chester le Street, Lord’s, Canterbury and one wicket just gone at the Rosebowl. Joe Weatherly lbw to Dominic Goodman. Hants 27-1.
***ALASTAIR COOK SIX KLAXON*** as the knight to remember hooks Olly Stone over square leg. It’s a short boundary, admittedly, but a handsome shot nonetheless. Just the 11 in his 161 Tests but I’m struggling to find his first-class record in this regard. Cook off to a lively start, 28 not out from 33 balls and Essex 37 for no loss.
The infestation of daddy long-legs has been sorted out, I fear at the expense of the daddy long-legs, at Hove, where Yorkshire are have started warmly at 38-0. Robinson has bowled six wicketless overs.
Ali spoke to Jason Gillespie about his former Yorkshire charge.
Some early Ollie Pope for your delectation.Fresh from his 245 against Leicestershire.
Tim Murtagh seemingly in the mood to run through Surrey in the way only he can. Others always bubbling with this potential? Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Chris Rushworth, Toby Roland-Jones (hopefully the 2021 version), Simon Harmer, Mohammad Abbas. Have I missed anyone?
Wickets at Lancs (9/1 - Alex Davies caught behind for 1); Durham (16-2) and Surrey (30-2). Worcestershire in particular zooming along - seven boundaries in the first half hour, Mitchell 12, Libby 20. Worcs 40-0.
“Olly Stone has devoured a hunk of raw steak for breakfast and is charging in at Edgbaston. Huge shout for lbw against Nick Browne on nought just now and must say, it looked pretty good from up here. Only question seemed to be whether there was any bat on it but leg bye given. Anyway, Alastair Cook has driven a couple of handsome fours at the other end and Essex are 10 for no loss after four overs.”
Some early wickets: under the blue skies of Lord’s Rory Burns is Murtagh’d for 8. Hashim Amla and Mark Stoneman at crease. And Durham, alas, are 8 for 2.Scott Borthwick, after last week’s century, goes for a duck and Will Young for 1. Both to Sam Conners. Durham 10-2.
And as I type, another wicket goes at Lord’s! Tim Murtagh again, Amla lbw for a duck. Surrey 22-2.
- Durham, Essex, Worcestershire, Hampshire and Leicestershire chose to bat. Middlesex, Kent, Northants and Sussex elected to bowl.
A note from my friend and wonderful cricket writer Sharda Ugra in Bangalore, who writes on the deteriorating Covid situation in India, “
“It is Indias worst public health crisis and even perhaps its biggest emergency in its 70-plus years of independence. The IPL, in what I have called its tone-deafness, will, to many people’s chagrin, I think continue. There is a curfew in Delhi* which ends on April 26th, its first IPL match is scheduled for 28th. so...”
*The Delhi lockdown has been in place since April 19, in an attempt to halt the rising cases. Delhi is the worst hit city after Mumbai. The city is already under a weekend curfew, as well as a 10pm-5am night curfew, restrictions that are in place until April 30.
Some words on England’s departing chairman of selectors Ed Smith.
I think he did a pretty good job. Jos Buttler has his detractors but he was definitely worth a punt, and performances in county cricket did matter - he selected Sibley on weight of runs and Pope on pure talent. One is a Wisden cricketer of the year for 2021 and the other is the heir to Bell and Gower. His failings were perhaps those that haunted him as a player, an inability to connect with everyone, and a certain insensitivity when dealing with players different to him, thinking especially, as Andy says, of Moeen Ali and YJB
Here are Ali’s thoughts on Chris Silverwood’s enhanced role.
Some really juicy fixtures today - my eye is caught by Warwickshire v Essex - the never-say-die Champs v last round’s Nottinghamshire heart-breakers; the two southern faded-glories Middlesex v Surrey ( expect Surrey to win by an innings...); and Sussex v Yorkshire, with both sides on the back of wins in the last round and Sussex powered by the awesomeness that is Ollie Robinson.
Riverside: Durham v Derbyshire
Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Essex
New Road: Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire
Rose Bowl: Hampshire v Gloucestershire
Grace Road: Leicestershire v Somerset
Lord’s: Middlesex v Surrey
Canterbury: Kent v Lancashire
The County Ground: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan
Hove: Sussex v Yorkshire
Oi, oi, saveloys! Morning Tanya and friends,
“It’s a gloriously sunny day here in leafy south Birmingham, where I find myself about to watch the Essex boys take on Warwickshire (well, day one before the Guardian upgrades its representative at this match). Both sides are coming off the back of memorable wins last week too. Peter Siddle is back for Essex after jetting in from Australia, so I am looking forward to watching his first woodchopping display of the season. Or, depending on the toss, another lumberjack in Olly Stone* charging in to bowl at Ziralasdair Gugg.
“No Dom Sibley for the Bears, he’s out of the next two rounds at least with the broken finger suffered during the storming of Trent Bridge, but birthday boy Jonathan Trott makes a return to Edgbaston (as the club’s new batting consultant, admittedly).
As an aside, my brother firmly believes champions (in any sport) should spend the following season wearing capes when they play. What do we reckon?
*Fun fact: Stone is the co-owner of a company that sells clefts of willow to bat makers”
Hello! It’s a hundred per cent pure spring loveliness in Manchester and the weather is set fair everywhere, warmer than yesterday, breezy in the south. So get those shorts on and with an Aperol spritz in one hand and a copy of the Guardian in the other, flutter back for act three in the 2021 County Championship.
Nine games today, with the top news those missing the cut - James Anderson is out of Lancashire’s game against Kent with a tight calf, and Dom Sibley’s broken finger means he misses Warwickshire v Essex and the following week’s trip to Durham - but he will hopefully be fit for England’s Test series v New Zealand.
A reminder that you can follow all the action on BBC local radio or watch the live stream here.
Due to a poorly, pitiful, puppy demanding to be hand fed, and the kindness of the sports desk, I am working from home today, but Ali Martin will be at Edgbaston sending in his very wisest thoughts. Do email me or tweet me at the address above, we love to chat.