Roundup: Hampshire edge Gloucs to Division One spot
The County Championship bid farewell to midsummer in a mixture of farce and last-gasp glory. At Headingley, the on-off Roses match was finally abandoned after a morning inspection by the umpires, with Dom Leech – who dislocated a joint in his left knee on Tuesday after slipping while fielding – on crutches in the dressing room.
Glen Chapple, the Lancashire coach said: “We knew yesterday the outfield was struggling to deal with the water that had fallen on the previous days. Unfortunately, things haven’t changed a great deal. The outfield is still soft. It’s obvious that won’t repair in one day. The umpires view is the ground isn’t fit and there is too big a risk of injury. I think they’ve made the right call.”
A gripping match at Cheltenham ended with victory for Hampshire, who snatched the Division One chalice from Gloucestershire’s palms. A sweet century by Tom Lace had given the hosts hope of batting out the day, but after plucky resistance from brothers Tom and Ollie Price, Hampshire’s final target was just 54.
Division One also beckons for Warwickshire, who secured their place by drawing with Worcestershire. Fifties from Rob Yates and Pieter Malan did the business in overturning a first-innings deficit on a wicket that Worcestershire had hoped would turn but flattened by the hour. Sweet succour for Warwickshire, who didn’t win a game in last year’s Bob Willis Trophy.
Notts are another team transformed, and after drawing with Durham they too will play in Division One. Durham were set an unlikely 381 to win, Cameron Bancroft sent packing by Stuart Broad for the second time in the match. At the Oval, Ravi Ashwin rubbed his hands and prepared for the Test series after fizzing 6-27, with the ball ripping out of the footholds. Somerset were rolled out for 69 which left Surrey chasing 259 to win, and the teams shook hands at 5pm. Jack Leach took 7-115 in the match.
There was joy at Merchant Taylor’s school as Middlesex celebrated a rare win, bowling out Leicestershire . Tim Murtagh, stand-in captain for the match, took four for 36. Northants buckled down on an attritional last day at Sophia Gardens, in stark contrast with the joie de vivre of the day before. The men at the grindstone were Harry Gouldstone and Rob Keogh, who retired on 50 so he could watch his grandmother’s online funeral service, before returning to the crease in a black armband.
Kent, bedevilled by Covid, hung on for a draw against Sussex in the battle for the Group 3 wooden spoon. Harry Finch pinged 115, but after Jack Carson took three quick middle-order wickets, Harry Podmore and debutant Bailey Whiteman clawed through the final overs.
Derbyshire’s two remaining Blast matches have been cancelled following the positive Covid Test which wiped out their Championship game with Essex. This leaves the North Group of the Blast to be decided on an “average points per completed match basis.” The ECB also confirmed that the abandoned Championship game would be treated as a draw.
The Championship now divides into three divisions, with the eventual winners of Division One to be crowned champions before facing the runners-up at Lord’s for the Bob Willis Trophy.
Division One: Yorkshire, Lancashire, Notts, Warks, Somerset and Hampshire
Division Two: Durham, Essex, Gloucs, Surrey, Northants, Glamorgan
Division Three: Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Leics, Middlesex, Sussex, Kent
Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Sussex, Kent
Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Surrey, Northants, Glamorgan
Yorkshire, Lancs, Notts, Warwicks, Somerset and Hampshire
Hampshire beat Gloucestershire by 7 wickets
It’s Hampshire who will be playing in Division One
Time for me to write one last round-up, with Hampshire needing just 18 to pip Gloucestershire at the last, Kent eyeing up another 139 at a fair old lick to give Sussex a bloody nose, or alternatively just hang around till they shake hands, and Northants holding on, trailing Gloucestershire by 23 with six wickets left.
Surrey draw with Somerset
After all the excitement, they shake hands at 5pm. Ashwin having warmed up nicely for the Test series with 6-27.
Notts draw with Durham
Notts progress to Division One, Durham must settle with Division Two.
Worcestershire draw with Warwickshire
Warwickshire confirm their Division One status after a draw on a pancake pitch. Just 21 wickets fell in the match.
Middlesex win by 121 runs!
Topped off with a superb yorker from Harris. Murtagh 4-36; Harris 3-50. Well done Middlesex!
An email arrives, from Smylers“I’m glad the ECB are confident about Headingley for the England match on Sunday, but I’m not sure they’ve factored in that our eight-year-old has a ticket. Aidan still hasn’t managed to watch an England cricket match, despite several years of trying — thwarted, variously, by rain, England Men losing in three days, me not realising England Women were playing at Headingley, coronavirus and — most unlikely of all — England Men winning in three days. If the jinx is to continue, something else needs to crop up, and broken drainage would be a new one to add to the list.”
Poor Aidan, that’s rotten luck. The forecast for Leeds over the next few days is cracking - 23 degrees tomorrow, and 26 degrees Fri-Sun and, most importantly, NO RAIN - which is probably why the ECB are making confident noises. However, I’ve no idea how difficult it will be to clear the drainage issues, or whether it is just a matter of waiting for the ground to dry. They’d have to be totally sure that there was no water rising up into the bowlers run-ups - one of the key issues yesterday.
Bedingham is bowled for 36! Durham 174-4, need 207 for victory.
Hampshire 0-1! A first wicket, Weatherley caught behind for a duck.
Thanks to Kevin Howells, for this snippet: Somerset will take more points through if Hampshire, as looks almost certain, go through than Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire all out 310
Hampshire need 54 to win in 20 overs to play Division One cricket in September.
The ECB are confident that England’s T20 against Pakistan at Headingley on Sunday will go ahead without issues.
Wickets at Cheltenham.
The unluckiest of dismissals for Ollie Price at Cheltenham, he approaches a long-hop, the ball cranks off Tom Alsop’s helmet, loops in the air and is caught by Mason Crane.
And now Matt Taylor follows for a duck. Gloucestershire 310-9. This is Hampshire’s for the taking.
Former Sussex batsman Harry Finch is 79 not out at Canterbury, and Dan Lincoln, a former goalkeeper in the Reading academy, hits a six out of nowhere. Kent sit a stoical 155-3. I gave them no chance of lasting the day and am very pleased to be proved wrong.
Three maidens in a row at Chelmsford, and the overs tick on.
Amla is relatively sprightly today, 24 not out off 57 balls. He’s built a corrugated cardboard platform with Jamie Smith of 41 for the fourth wicket.
Here we go, the final session of cricket till the end of August, with the last remaining Division One spot still up in the air. Not bad! It’s been a fantastic first half of the season, we wait to see how it all pans out in September - it could be all eyes on Division One while Divs 2 and 3 scrap about for....pride? prize money? Is it enough? We will find out, I guess.
Chester-le-Street: Notts 328 and 217 v Durham 165 and 136-3. Durham need 245 to win
Cheltenham: Gloucs 229 and 302-7 v Hampshire 486-7 dec Gloucs lead by 45
Northwood: Middlesex 324-9 & 196 v Leics 228 and 145-5 Leics need 148 to win
Cardiff: Northants 215-9 and 161-4 v Glamorgan2 462-4 dec Northants trail by 86
Canterbury: Sussex 181 & 332-4 v Kent 165 and 139-3 Kent need 210 to win
New Road: Warwicks 395 and 160-1 v Worcs 447-9dec Warwicks lead by 108 runs
Headingley: Lancashire 411-2 v Yorkshire MATCH DRAWN - UNSAFE CONDITIONS
The Oval: Somerset 429 and 69 v Surrey 240 and 79-3 Surrey need 180 to win
The Price brothers still holding on with just one over remaining before tea. Gloucestershire’s lead is 43.
Rob Yates moves to his fourth half century of the season - what a summer this has been for him. Remembering particular that knock against Essex which seemed to remove Simon Harmer’s cloak of invincibility. Warwickshire 155-1.
Over at Cheltenham, there’s been a huge wicket for Hampshire,Tom Lace lbw for 118. He throws his bat and helmet away as he crosses the boundary rope in sheer fury, and the task of batting out the day now falls to the two young brothers, Tom and Ollie Price. Gloucestershire’s lead is 35.
Northamptonshire have announced that Friday night’s cancelled fixture at The County Ground will be replaced by an exhibition T20 match featuring two Steelbacks sides led by Josh Cobb and Graeme White.
The mood music over Covid, The Hundred and the Royal London continues to grow more gloomy.
More squad changes in The Hundred
West Indies allrounder Hayley Matthews joins Welsh Fire after Suné Luus tested positive for Covid and can’t travel.
Colin de Grandhomme signs for Southern Brave in place of Andre Russell who can’t play due to international commitments and Guyana’s status on the UK red list.
Marchant de Lange will start the competition for Trent Rockets following Wahab Riaz’s visa issues. Glenn Phillips will play for Welsh Fire in place of the injured Kieron Pollard.
Adelaide Strikers batter Katie Mack replaces Ellyse Perry at Birmingham Phoenix. Amy Jones will now captain the side.
Ollie Pope will miss the start of The Hundred as he recovers from a quad injury while Alice Monaghan replaces Hannah Jones at London Spirit.
Sorry Surrey. Ryan Patel is caught and bowled van der Merwe by Surrey 40-3.
No, no Kent, that is not how you do it! They lose a second as Marcus O’Riordan is run out for 47. Has the domino just been flicked?
Gloucestershire have the lead, but more relevantly, they’ve lost a wicket. Lace is still there on 110, Taylor the man to go after a 27 full of ooomph. A lot to ask for Ollie Price to hang around for a couple of hours.
Anything R Ashwin can do... Stuart Broad warming up for the winter.
Ahh, this is not good for Surrey. A second opener goes, Stoneman bat/pads to short leg off Jack Leach. Surrey 25-2. But an immovable object is at the crease.
Somerset have opened with van der Merwe and Jack Leach and Rory Burns is already sunk, bowled for 12. Surrey, 25-1.
A maiden hundred for Gloucestershire for Tom Lace
What an opportunity to grasp! He’s got a third of the way to saving the game for the county he joined at the end of last season. Gloucs 244-5, Lace 108 not out. Gloucestershire trail by 13, with a minimum of 52 overs left.
I know those watching the Cheltenham stream yesterday thought that Bracey seemed a little leaden footed. Thanks to ReadingOldBoy BTL for this observation earlier this morning, “Cheltenham is also quite unforgiving to a keeper. At the College Lawn end in particular, once it is past the keeper it goes very quickly to the boundary, so there is no hiding place.”
Make that 72-3, Harris bowled by Sowter for 46. That chase of another 220 has leapt over the hill.
Durham and Warwickshire have safely negociated the first 25 minutes, but Leicestershire have lost stalwart Lewis Hill for 17. 64-2.
Somerset finish the afternoon as they ended the morning - all out for 69. Ashwin 6-27, Moriarty 4-20. I’m sure Joe Root is delighted.
Surrey need 259 to win.
Chester-le-Street: Notts 328 and 217 v Durham 165 and 18-0. Durham need 363 to win
Cheltenham: Gloucs 229 and 205-5 v Hampshire 486-7 dec Gloucs trail by 52
Northwood: Middlesex 324-9 & 196 v Leics 228 and 63-1 Leics need 230 to win
Cardiff: Northants 215-9 and 97-4 v Glamorgan2 462-4 dec Northants trail by 150
Canterbury: Sussex 181 & 332-4 v Kent 165 and 52-1 Kent need 297 to win
New Road: Warwicks 395 and 46-0 v Worcs 447-9dec Warwicks trail by 6 runs
Headingley: Lancashire 411-2 v Yorkshire MATCH DRAWN - UNSAFE CONDITIONS
The Oval: Somerset 429 and 60-7 v Surrey 240 Somerset lead by 249
Points decided in the Championship match between Derbyshire and Essex
The match is treated as a draw and in accordance with Playing Condition 16.2.3, both teams have been awarded eight points for a draw plus the bonus points they had accrued before the match was abandoned; total points - Essex (11), Derbyshire (9).
Derbyshire's two remaining Blast matches cancelled
The ECB statement:
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that Derbyshire Falcons’ final two Vitality Blast group-stage matches have been cancelled.
ECB has determined that Derbyshire CCC is unable to field a team of a strength appropriate to maintain the integrity of the two matches and of the competition as a whole.
Derbyshire are adhering to Covid-19 protocols and managing a number of injuries. In addition to six injured players, 14 members of Derbyshire’s squad are self-isolating after they were deemed as close contacts of an unnamed team-mate, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.
Derbyshire were due to play Northamptonshire Steelbacks (Friday 16 July) and Yorkshire Vikings (Sunday 18 July) in their remaining group-stage matches.
Those matches will be deemed as having been cancelled. Under Playing Condition 126.96.36.199 the North Group will, therefore, be decided on an ‘average points per completed match’ basis.
Someone pushed fast-forward on their faithful old tape recorder at The Oval this morning, Ashwin pockets his fifth as Roelof van der Merwe opts for a sweep at just the wrong moment. Somerset 58-7.
Hell’s teeth: Higgins falls to De Grandhomme, who had earlier dropped him off a fairly simple chance.
Did I mention that Durham need 381 to win? Currently 17-0 with Bancroft and Jones clopping Stuart Broad for a boundary each.
Wonderful batting from Tom Lace and Ryan Higgins this morning as Gloucestershire pass 200. The Hampshire lead is just 55.
Turn your head away for a minute to deal with a Sainsbury’s delivery and what happens? Somerset are 49-5, three for Ashwin, two for Moriarty. Somerset 55-5, a lead of 244 and an interesting afternoon in store for anyone in tube distance of The Oval.
A drop at Cheltenham. Ryan Higgins on 15, the culprit de Grandehomme. With 40 minutes till lunch, it is too soon to say it is/was crucial. Notable.
Gloucestershire are still hanging on. Notts are seven down, three for Salisbury and Potts - shame Durham collapsed so badly or they might have had a chance of forcing a result.
This from Gary Naylor. I haven’t heard anything - and will ask- but I imagine contingency plan on top of contingency plan is being made. If whole squads go down, I think The Hundred is in trouble whoever the replacements.
Worcestershire have declared with born-again batter Ed Barnard 112 not out - nearly 600 runs at 64 this season. Warwickshire go out to bat with a deficit of 52 runs; while at The Oval R Ashwin is repaying - a little late perhaps - Surrey’s big bucks by having Steve Davies caught behind for seven and Tom Lammonby for 3. Somerset 21-2.
And Gloucestershire have reduced their deficit to double figures
Oh dear. Kent 0-1. Joe Gordon caught off Robinson without scoring.
I fear for Kent.
Chasing 348 Batting out two and a half sessions. Sussex declare on 332-5, Travis Head 49 not out. Courage young-uns!
You saw it here first!
Fifty for Tom Lace - 114 balls and one six. An innings to remember if he can but hold out. Ryan Higgins is his company. They trail Hampshire by 117 at the moment with every positive run worth double in terms of chewing up the minutes.
Don’t forget to send me any thoughts - this is the last CC Live for a while. Regional structure, James Vince, holidays, gardens, butterflies, summer pudding, India’s tour. I’ll read them all.
Middlesex are all out for 196, to set Leicestershire 293 to win. Callum Parkinson 4-35.
Surrey all out 240, Jack Leach 6-43. Will Somerset bother to set a target? 189 ahead on first innings.
And most importantly of all, a breakthrough at Cheltenham where the mulleted one traps Glenn Philllips for 16. Gloucestershire 132-4.
This looks great. Emma John chairs a panel including Isabelle Westbury, Taha Hashim and Adam Collins, to talk the Hundred and other stories. Is it the future of the game, or ludicrous marketing drivel - will it live up to the hype, or down to the criticism?
There be something in the water. Three wickets fall the first ten minutes of the day: Moriarty lbw for a duck, Sowter caught off the other Parky for ten and Vasconcelos for a duck.
Happy news for Saqib Mahmood who makes the T20 squad as the result of his heroics against Pakistan. The other understudies to make the cut are Lewis Gregory, Matt Parkinson and Dawid Malan.
Huge sympathy for Luke Procter, who left the Northants squad last night following a family bereavement.
In happier news, Michael Neser has been awarded his county cap by Glamorgan this morning. In five matches this season, he’s taken 20 wickets at 16.70. And he’s signed a contract for the next two years. Dyddiau hapus!
Some further details on events at Headingley. The area by the Emerald Stand end has been identified as problematic for a while.
Yorkshire said yesterday, ““Analysis of the outfield at that end has previously taken place and has identified issues with a layer of thatch that can cause a build up of water on the surface following heavy rain-fall.
“The Club had originally planned to get the outfield re-laid prior to the 2021 season but unfortunately difficulties arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in this being delayed.
“The Club intend on completing this work at the end of this season.”
These were the thoughts of Andrew Gale and Glen Chapple yesterday:
Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale:
“You have two of the most experienced umpires in the country (in Nigel Llong and Ian Gould). So whatever decision they make is what’s right by the game.
“They felt that as the day went on and there was more traffic on that side of the pitch (Emerald Stand End) and the run-ups, it was bringing water up.
“With with their experience, they probably didn’t want a situation where someone like a Jimmy Anderson runs in and roles his ankle. They didn’t think it was fit for play.
“Fair play to Lancashire because they’re bossing the game and they seemed ok about it.
“I didn’t see the ground this morning because I was in the indoor nets. But I trust Ian and Nigel to make the right decision.
“They wanted to get play on, and whatever decision they made, I would have backed it.”
Lancashire coach Glen Chapple:
“We had a lot of rain yesterday. We got here this morning and the ground was still wet.
“The best I can give you is that maybe the heat has brought more moisture up and it’s gone from being just playable to not playable.
“It’s disappointing for the players and supporters, but unfortunately the ground’s not fit at the moment.
“The umpires are doing their job, and it’s their call to make. None of us have been down the end that’s causing the problem. I fully trust the umpires to make the right call.
“Everybody has a job to do here, and we have to respect the umpires’ call. I’m not an expert on Headingley.
“The players and supporters will be very disappointed, but the main thing from all this is that you don’t want to see someone injured badly. We all hope Dom recovers quickly.”
England are supposed to be playing Pakistan at Headingley on Sunday in a T20 - will update with news as it comes. The weather forecast for the next few days is good so that should help with drainage.
Match abandoned at Headingley
Conditions at the Emerald Stand end have not got any better overnight, so the umpires, with the agreement of both teams, have decided to call it a day.
Start of play scores
Chester-le-Street: Notts 328 and 125-5 v Durham 165 all out. Notts lead by 288
Cheltenham: Gloucs 229 and 107-3 v Hampshire 486-7 dec Gloucs must bat all day
Northwood: Middlesex 324-9 & 176-7 v Leics 228 Middx lead by 272
Cardiff: Northants 215-9 v Glamorgan2 462-4 Glam lead by 247
Canterbury: Sussex 181 & 277-3 v Kent 165 Sussex lead by 293
New Road: Warwicks 395 v Worcs 415-8 Worcs lead by 20
Headingley: Lancashire 411-2 v Yorkshire Play was suspended because of unsafe playing conditions
The Oval: Somerset 429 v Surrey 239-8 Somerset trail by 190
At Headingley, Yorkshire’s Dom Leech collided with the concrete foundations of the Western Terrace while fielding and sustained a terrible injury to his left leg. The Yorkshire physio, Kunwar Bansil, drove him to hospital after the club was told an ambulance would take two hours. It was Leech’s first game with the Yorkshire first team.
After heavy rain had washed out the second day, play started at noon on the third. But increasingly water kept rising to the surface at the Emerald Stand end of the ground and around the bowlers’ footmarks. After Leech’s injury the umpires took the players off for tea and, after further inspections – booed by sections of the crowd – and under blue skies, play was abandoned for the day. The game is now certain to end in a draw with Lancashire 411 for two.
Hampshire finished the day jauntily in the winner-takes-all game at Cheltenham, after Nick Gubbins coasted to a century in only his second game for the club. Gloucestershire, who must bat for four and a bit sessions to guarantee Division One status come August, then lost three quick wickets.
At the Oval, Jack Leach took five for 32, including Ravi Ashwin for a golden duck, as Surrey subsided after a strong opening partnership between Rory Burns and Mark Stoneman. Somerset are guaranteed Division One cricket thanks to Hampshire’s failure to secure maximum batting points. Durham collapsed like a piece of parchment against Nottinghamshire in their must-win game at the Riverside, Joey Evison taking five for 21.
Three wickets from Leicestershire’s Will Davis befuddled Middlesex, 17 for four in their second innings before Steve Eskinazi, batting with a runner, mopped brows. At Sophia Gardens, Glamorgan’s Kiran Carlson (170) and Chris Cooke (133) – both not out – made hay against Northamptonshire. Ali Orr hit his maiden first-class century for Sussex – with Tom Haines getting 94 – against Kent.
Good morning! The sun is bursting out for our last day of Championship cricket till August 30, and there is still much to play for. Division One is the prize for Hampshire, if they can roll over shell-shocked Gloucestershire by stumps, while Warwickshire are in touching distance. Lancashire, Yorkshire, Somerset and Nottinghamshire are already confirmed as Division One teams.
First to Headingley, where the game was suspended yesterday after Leech’s injury and the umpires found the playing conditions to be unsafe. Confirmation that Leech has dislocated a joint at the side of his left knee and will see a specialist tomorrow. No decision has yet been made over whether there will be any play today: