County cricket – Derbyshire v Essex abandoned after Covid outbreak – as it happened

Last modified: 06: 13 PM GMT+0

Derbyshire and Essex players are isolating after their match was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak while rain disrupted several fixtures

Covid threw a bouncer into Essex’s chances of playing Division One cricket later this season when their Championship game against Derbyshire had to be abandoned before play on the second day.
A positive Test in the Derbyshire ranks was the cause, with other squad members being ‘pinged’ as close contacts. The entire squad is now self-isolating, alongside the Derbyshire players involved in the Vitality Blast match last Friday. Points awarded from the abandoned game are yet to be decided, but Essex, who started the match with a theoretical chance of reaching Division One, are presumably now out of the running. A decision will be made in consultation with Public Health England and the ECB on whether Derbyshire will play their two remaining Blast matches, against Northamptonshire on Friday and Yorkshire on Sunday.
There was more Covid-interruption at Canterbury, where Kent’s second-string team was further depleted. Nathan Gilchrist, who took two for 24 during Sussex’s first innings, was told to self-isolate from a separate track and trace incident, leaving Bailey Wightman as the sixth Kent debutant of the match. Just 80 minutes play were possible, with Kent moving on to 122 for seven.
Hampshire finished the chirpier in the winner-takes-all contest at Cheltenham. Gloucestershire’s batting never recovered from losing 3-0 in the three first overs of the day. Hampshire then built a lead of 41 thanks largely to an opening stand of 174 between Ian Holland and Joe Weatherley.
At the Oval, Somerset only have to avoid defeat to leap into Division One and their batsmen made good progress, hoovering up a third batting point and reaching 429. Some jolly late-innings japes from Jack Leach and Marchant de Lange, who both swung sixes, entertained the crowd. Rory Burns had time to hit four fours in Surrey’s reply before the rain fell.
Overnight batsmen Charlie Thurston and Saif Zaib helped Northamptonshire to respectability at Sophia Gardens, but off spinner Andrew Salter’s four for 18 mopped up the tail. Glamorgan lost both openers before the heavens opened Middlesex lost five for 29 as their middle-order and tail folded origami-style in the face of seamer Will Davis, who finished with five for 66. Bulwark Sam Robson was finally out for a seven-hour 154. Colin Ackermann led the Leicestershire reply, 65 not out before bad light intervened. Tim Murtagh took three for 34.
New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi grabbed six wickets on his red-ball debut for Worcestershire, but Warwickshire still scooped up four batting points in their quest for Division One cricket. Daryl Mitchell then hit his highest score of the season, 83 not out, on a flat New Road pitch. Not a ball was bowled at Headingley or The Riverside.

A rain depleted day all round, finishes with Warwickshire, Somerset and Hampshire making the running. Much sympathy for the Essex and Derbyshire players, respectively self-isolating and seemingly out of the Division One race. Thanks for the company as always, good night!

Time for me to write up on this rain-soaked day, action still at New Road, Cheltenham and Merchant Taylors’.


Well played Colin Ackermann, 59 not out to help Leicestershire recover from 29-2 to 161-4. Inglis was bowled by Bamber one short of what would have been fifty.

Slowly the rain is picking all the games off: Cheltenham, New Road and Merchant Taylors’ school pluckily holding out. They’ve been saying all day on the comms that once one goes at Cheltenham, everything can fall in a heap, and sure enough Hampshire have lost 3-21 after a first-innings partnership of 174. Phillips and Higgins the wicket-takers.


Play abandoned for the day at The Oval

Surrey will pick up tomorrow at 24-0, 405 behind Somerset

Tea-time scores

Group One

Derbyshire 146 v Essex 86-3 MATCH ABANDONED: COVID
Durham v Nottinghamshire 312-9 Play abandoned for the day, rain
Worcestershire 68-0 v Warwickshire 395 all out

Group Two
Gloucestershire 229 v Hampshire 181-1
Middlesex 324-9 v Leicestershire 149-4
Surrey 24-0 v Somerset 429 all out Rain stopped play

Group Three
Glamorgan 52-2 v Northants 215-9 Rain stopped play
Kent 127-7 v Sussex 181 Bad light stopped play

Yorkshire v Lancashire 273-2 Play abandoned for the day, rain


Play abandoned for the day at The Riverside

Overnight rain, morning rain, post lunch rain. Bad luck for Durham who needed a win to be in with a chance of Division One.

Ian Holland gone! James Bracey snaffles him, standing up to Glenn Phillips. At last. Hampshire 174-1.

Turns out, it is a batting kind of afternoon. Weatherley and Holland plough on, Hampshire grasping each precious run. 162-0. Mitchell and Libby, reassuring figures that they are, Worcestershire 53-0 at New road. And Ackermann and Inglis fighting hard with a 62-run fourth wicket partnership.

The covers hover into place at Sophia Gardens as well, with Glamorgan 48-2.


The rain has now reached The Oval, where they’ve taken tea. Surrey 24-0.

A slight desperation in the voice of the Gloucestershire commentator at Cheltenham - “things can change very quickly here....”

So where are we? Worcestershire are 30-0 following Warwickshire’s 395; rain has stopped play at Chester-le-Street, with Notts 312-9. Hampshire rocking and rolling 136-0; Leicestershire 83-3 after Middlesex collapsed; Surrey 18-0, with the fast men opening the bowling at The Oval. Glamorgan have lost both their openers, 36-2 and Kent 111-6, all power to the bat of Podmore, 30 off 76 balls.

Something for those Lanky fans bemoaning the weather:


A drop at midwicket! Definitely not what Gloucestershire wanted, the second time Ian Holland has been dropped today. Hampshire 127-0, building, crafting, intimidating.

Somerset jig happily, dismissed for 429. Now we get to see what Jack Leach can do on this Oval pitch. He had fine old time with the bat.

Somerset nearing 400 with Jack Leach and Marchant de Lange looking to have some fun out there!

LIVE STREAM ➡️ #WeAreSomerset

— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) July 12, 2021

Hampshire are now only 106 behind Gloucestershire, with all ten wickets in hand. Weatherley 53 not out, Holland 46 not out. Can they rip the Division One dream from Gloucestershire (promoted, remember, at the end of 2019.)

A sixth wicket for New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi at New Road bowls Warwickshire out for 395.

And, lo, Kent pass 100!

Zumerset subziding, but they’ve got more than 400 on the board at The Oval. de Lange the last man to go, caught off Moriarty. Wickets now falling to the spinners, but unsure whether that is the pitch breaking up or just the balance of probability given the number of overs bowled. Virdi - 28, Moriarty, 29 and Ashwin (getting their money’s worth) 42. 420-9


Northants are back in the pavilion for 215 - Berg absent injured with an ankle problem. Salter grabbed 4-18, VDG 3-46. These two sides will both slot into Division Two, come August, so the points they gather against each other in this match could be crucial.


Poor Kent. Nathan Gilchrist, drafted into the new-look team yesterday, has been pinged after being contacted by Track and Trace from a separate close contact. He is now isolating and will be replaced by another debutant, paceman Bailey Wightman.

Kent are currently 80-6, top-scorer Harry Finch the latest to go (24), a fourth wicket for Jamie Atkins. Kent still trail Sussex by 101 runs.

This is sweet from Yorkshire opening batsman George Hill . Not that Jimmy will have any mercy tomorrow morning. Thanks to Graham Hardcastle.

“I’m looking forward to facing Jimmy Anderson.

“It’s a bit weird really because myself and my brother (Freddie) used to try and mock some bowlers’ actions in the back garden, and his was one of them.

“But it’s the old cliche of, ‘Face the ball, not the bowler’.

“It’s easier said than done, but it will be a good challenge.

“As you saw with the new ball yesterday morning, it did a bit. And that’s the main threat. But the pitch is pretty flat and quite slow. Once you get in, there’s value for your shots. The main thing is to try and get in so we can turn things around.”


“Runners?” asks John Starbuck. “They still allow runners? Thought they were cancelled a year or two back.”

Just looked it up. Law 25 seems to apply . This seems to be the crucial bit: 25.5.1 The umpires shall allow a runner for a batsman if they are satisfied that the batsman has sustained an injury that affects his/her ability to run and that this occurred during the match.


Play abandoned for the day at Headingley

The rain, it raineth.

Some unwelcome news from Surrey, where Jamie Overton’s 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗳 injury means he won’t bowl again in the remainder of this innings. He will be monitored ahead of the second Somerset innings. He will bat, possibly with a runner. Somerset move onto 370-8 at The Oval, Ben Green a third wicket for Amar Virdi, gone for 43.

They’re back on at Cheltenham, where Gloucestershire need wickets. It looks like the weather willl be kind so they’ll play have to play this out to the death.

While we wait for play to resume round (some of) the grounds, a look at the standings in the Blast (with Derbyshire’s fixtures now up in the air) and the Championship.

Hope you could beat oatcakes and peanut butter. Rather tacky on the tongue.

The latest covid cancellation:

📰 | We can confirm that the scheduled fixture against @StaffsCricket has been cancelled due to ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19.

We would like to thank Staffordshire CCC for their co-operation throughout the decision making process.

🦊 #runningfoxes | #ANewBreed

— Leicestershire CCC 🏏 (@leicsccc) July 12, 2021

Lunchtime scores

Group One

Derbyshire 146 v Essex 86-3 MATCH ABANDONED: COVID
Durham v Nottinghamshire 312-9 No play before lunch, rain
Worcestershire v Warwickshire 359-7

Group Two
Gloucestershire 229 v Hampshire 88-0
Middlesex 324 v Leicestershire 33-2
Surrey v Somerset 360-7

Group Three
Glamorgan v Northants 193-7
Kent 69-5 v Sussex 181 No play before lunch, rain

Yorkshire v Lancashire 273-2 No play before lunch, rain


Hampshire are determined to squash any predictions I had of their premature demise. Currently 79-0 from 20 overs as Ollie Price’s first ball is smashed to the boundary. Gloucestershire collapsed to 229 all out earlier this morning.

At New Road, Will Rhodes falls after a partnership of 93 with Matt Lamb. Ah, and now Burgess is bowled for four, a third wicket for Sodhi. Warwicks 343-6.

There will be an inspection at 1.40 at Headingley. That snow in April seems a long time ago.

A smart catch by Ryan Patel brings a second wicket for Amar Virdi, but Somerset press on, 347-7. Van der Merwe the man out, for 41

👐 Ryan Patel with the diving catch under the helmet.

More please, lads!


— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) July 12, 2021

The players have taken an early lunch at Canterbury, with a further pitch inspection at 1pm.

More on Derbyshire v Essex

The whole Derbyshire squad are now self-isolating, alongside the Derby players involved in the Vitality Blast match last Friday.

In a statement Derbyshire confirmed: “Due to the isolation protocols and impact on the available playing squad, the decision has been made in conjunction with Public Health England and the England and Wales Cricket Board to abandon the fixture, with the awarding of points to be confirmed in due course.”

Derbyshire’s chief executive Ryan Duckett said: “As a club, we have operated a robust testing regime among all staff throughout the return to cricket and have clear safety regulations in place.

“This isolated incident highlights the fact that sport is not exempt from the pandemic. It is of course a great disappointment to see the abandonment of a fixture but the safety of all players, staff and supporters must always come first.”

A decision will be made in consultation with Public Health England and the ECB on whether Derbyshire will play their two remaining Blast matches, against Northamptonshire on Friday and Yorkshire on Sunday.

If the Championship game is confirmed as a draw, Essex will take 11 points and Derbyshire nine - not enough to qualify for Division One.

“The bit I remember was that unless Hants can end a draw with figs in the region of 400 - 2, then they need to win. Commentators think 400 - 2 is unlikely. “ Ah, thank you Andrew Benton!

So we’re pretty much looking at Division One consisting of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire. Four Test counties and two cider-slurping scoundrels.

A fourth, nay fifth, wicket for Will Davis at Merchant Taylor’s school! Middlesex collapse to 324-9, losing four for 20.

Will Davis picks up the wicket of Robbie White.
Photograph: John Mallett/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock

Some nice batting by Thurston and Zaib has plumped up the cushions for Northants at Sophia Gardens -currently 172-4, Zaib 44; Thurston 46.

A smashing morning for Will Davis, scooping up White, Robson (154) and Harris in the space of four overs. Middlesex 312-7.

The commentators at Hampshire v Gloucestershire have just run through what Hampshire have to do to qualify but I didn’t quite catch it. Did anyone else? Hampshire are currently 25-0.

No play before lunch at Chester-le-Street, and the forecast is not cheering for Durham fans.

Somerset have chewed up a third batting point at The Oval, van der Merwe and Green ploughing onwards. Still only two wickets to spin - one for Ashwin and one for Virdi.

Covid, the Hundred, the summer... as we’ve been ruminating over for a while and Adam sums up beautifully.

Going to take a lot of luck to avoid one of The Hundred teams not getting close-contacted out of the comp with track-and-trace staying as it is until 16/8 - i.e. the majority of the tournament. Or one of the Test squads - the first two before 16/8. The status quo is too messy.

— Adam Collins (@collinsadam) July 12, 2021

As the number of cases grow, and the restrictions relax, it seem impossible that the Hundred won’t be hit. For a start, players have children, still in school till the end of next week. And, in Manchester at least, the kids are having to isolate in droves.

As Adam also points out: aren’t ECB are going to have to bring back the bubble for the Tests against India?

Sam Robson moves to 150

Sam Robson is still holding the fort for Middlesex, 150 not out! He’s lost Cracknell and White this morning. A second wicket for debutant Sakande.

Rhodes and Lamb plough on for Warwickshire, they’ve compiled a valuable 33 for the fifth wicket so far.

And Gloucestershire have just been bowled out for 229. Not the first half hour they’d have hoped for.

“Please don’t tell us about Cheltenham - it’s bad for the home side.” sniffs Andrew Benton. “Noticed that evil perpetrator De Grandhomme doesn’t have his name on the back of his shirt, only his initials CDG. Or is he wearing Charles de Gaulle’s outfit? Excellent bowling for so early in the morning...”

Not a bad start to the day, a flat white and a couple of wickets.


And meanwhile, Gloucestershire have lost three wickets for nothing at Cheltenham. Overnight batsmen Taylor to Kyle Abbott, then O Price and Worrall to the first two balls of the mighty mullet’s first over.

Derby v Essex: abandoned

The match has had to be abandoned after a Derbyshire player tested positive for COVID and other squad members have been pinged as close contacts. Essex are presumably now out of the Division One fight, though points yet to be decided.

Derby v Essex: match abandoned after a Covid outbreak

More news as it comes.


A delayed start also at Derby, which leaves four games in play: at The Oval, New Road, Cheltenham and Merchant Taylor’s school.

Rain watch.

The weather, I’m afraid, is misbehaving. Rain has caused a delayed start at the Roses match, The Riverside, at Canterbury (inspection noon) and Sophia Gardens (inspection 11am).


Please let’s not pretend this is a football only problem 🙏🏽

— Azeem Rafiq (@AzeemRafiq30) July 12, 2021

I read an excerpt of this poem on BBC Radio 4 just now but the whole poem is best. So here it is: a poem which stands up for the human spirit - If by Rudyard Kipling.
"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.

— lemn sissay OBE (@lemnsissay) July 12, 2021

Start of play scores

Group One

Derbyshire 146 v Essex 86-3
Durham v Nottinghamshire 312-9
Worcestershire v Warwickshire 245-4

Group Two
Gloucestershire 214-6 v Hampshire
Middlesex 280-3 v Leicestershire
Surrey v Somerset 280-6

Group Three
Glamorgan v Northants 128-4
Kent 69-5 v Sussex 181
Yorkshire v Lancashire 273-2

Sunday's round-up

James Hildreth composed his first century since July 2019 to shovel Somerset into a promising position at The Oval. Hildreth, the acting captain, dug his way out of a rotten run of form on a pitch primed for spin and against a Surrey attack including Ravi Ashwin.

Kent were forced to ring for reinforcements after 14 members of their first team had to isolate following a positive Covid case in last Friday’s Vitality Blast squad. The fast-assembled second-string team bowled superbly to dismiss Sussex for 181, with four wickets for Jas Singh. Batting proved harder and they sunk to 69 for five.

The duel at Cheltenham finished to the satisfaction of both sides as Gloucestershire built and Hampshire whipped away. A first‑wicket partnership of 61 between Miles Hammond and George Scott was followed by James Bracey being bowled for a duck. More mini-partnerships came and went as Gloucester shoved a batting point in the bag.

Pieter Malan styled out a glorious maiden century for Warwickshire at New Road. He and Dom Sibley (80) put on 220 before a tumble of wickets in the late afternoon, including a maiden Championship scalp for Worcestershire’s 17-year-old debutant spinner Josh Baker.

At Sophia Gardens, rain drew events to a premature close after Northamptonshire had reached 128 for four under heavily curtained skies against Glamorgan. There were three wickets for Timm van der Gugten.

In the Roses clash at Headingley, Keaton Jennings fashioned his second Roses century of the season as Lancashire enjoyed a dominant day. Put into bat by Yorkshire Jennings and Alex Davies put on 161 for the first wicket. Jordan Thompson took the two wickets to fall.

Sam Robson’s unbeaten 138, his second century of the season, boosted Middlesex’s chances at Merchant Taylor’s School. Robson and Josh de Caires, Michael Atherton’s son, added 73 for the first wicket, and solid partnerships continued through the afternoon against Leicestershire.

Tight bowling from Durham kept Nottinghamshire’s batsmen in check at the Riverside, with three wickets for Chris Rushworth, on his 35th birthday, and Ben Raine.

Essex held on to their dreams of qualifying for Division One, after bowling Derbyshire out for 146.


Good morning from the other side. Hope you’re all doing ok.

Firstly, solidarity with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka from this cricketing corner. The racism those young England boys are getting is so disgusting and immoral, it makes you question what it is to be a sports fan. As human beings they are admirable, as athletes, incredible. Nor can cricket claim the high ground, recent revelations have taught us that. Let’s all be better.

As to the cricket - we hit day two of this final round of preliminary matches. I was supposed to be at The Oval but had an unfortunate Covid ping early yesterday evening, so you’ll have to put up commentary from the kitchen.

Two games are running on a pace - at Canterbury, where second string Kent play Covid-depleted Sussex and at Derby, where Essex are hoping to defeat Derbyshire with maximum points to stay in with a chance of Division One. Everything still to play for at The Oval, where the pitch didn’t spin as much as expected for three-spin Surrey, and Cheltenham, in the winner-takes-all battle.


Tanya Aldred

The GuardianTramp

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