Day one report
Close of play scores
Liverpool Hampshire 143, Lancashire 25-3
Trent Bridge Nottinghamshire 292-9 (JM Clarke 109; JDM Evison 58 no) v Yorkshire
Edgbaston Warwickshire 283-4 (SR Hain 83 no; WMH Rhodes 60; DP Sibley 56) v Somerset
Chelmsford Northamptonshire 81 (SJ Cook 5-21, JA Porter 4-31), 23-5 (SJ Cook 4-5); Essex 170 (CJ White 4-40; TAI Taylor 4-67)
Bristol Durham 140 (Zafar Gohar 5-50); Gloucestershire 146-6 (GL van Buuren 62)
The Kia Oval Glamorgan 379-4 (DL Lloyd 121; JM Cooke 68) v Surrey
Canterbury Middlesex 147 (MD Stoneman 59; DI Stevens 4-21); Kent 82-4.
Hove Derbyshire 371-5 (WL Madsen 111; MJJ Critchley 85; BA Godleman 52) v Sussex
New Road Leicestershire 222 (L Kimber 71); Worcestershire 30-1
Leicestershire have been dismissed by Worcestershire for 222. Daryl Mitchell marches out for his penultimate Championship innings.
And, with that, I better put my head down and write. Keep an eye on things for me.
And so it starts. Davies bowled for 4 by Abbas. Lancashire 6-1.
An email lands from Steve: “Glad your enjoying the delights of Aigbutrh. Following vividly in Sri Lanka. Came for a test series 20mths ago. Still here. Bit of local knowledge in regards the wkt. The tides of the Mersey have a lot to do how it plays. As you know you’re close to the sea. Across the estuary at Royal Liverpool in the Open golf the green speeds change as the tides ebb & flow .Great stuff”
While over at Trent Bridge, Joe Clarke has gone to his hundred (Notts 255-6), as have David Lloyd (121; Glamorgan 340-4) and Wayne Madsen (111; Derbyshire 315-4).
Keith Barker has hitched up his trousers a long way. George Balderson looks nervous as he plays him back. At the other end, a smiling Mohammad Abbas has the ball and ooof - not sure how Davies (in his penultimate innings for LAncashire) avoided that one. A tasty session ahead.
Middlesex’s 147 all out consisted of the following scores from numbers 4-11: 0, 0, 6, 0, 9, 0, 0. Darren Stevens 4-21, the man is a
And it’s a change of innings here at Aigburth as Mason Crane has a welly and is caught off Parkinson. Hampshire are all out 143. Balderson 3-21; Parky 3-9.
Mohammad Abbas gets a quick rub down in time to take the new ball.
An interesting intervention from the British High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Parky! A quicker one does for Brad Wheal and that’s a third bonus point in the bag for Lancashire.
Had a stroll, it was lovely. Wish you were all here. There are lots of pints being nodded over.
Aigburth: Lancashire v Hampshire 129-8
Edgbaston: Warwickshire 161-3 v Somerset
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 176-6 v Yorkshire
Chelmsford: Essex 89-4 v Northants 81 all out Not Tea
Bristol: Gloucestershire 42-2 v Durham 140 all out Not tea
The Oval: Surrey v Glamorgan 238-2
Canterbury: Kent v Middlesex 147 all out
Hove: Sussex v Derbyshire 244-3
New Road: Worcestershire v Leicestershire 171-7
I meant to say that the umpires have been keeping an eye on the Hampshire batsmen strolling with an insouciant tread down the middle of the pitch. And that’s tea with Hampshire 129-8
Maybe Essex were bored. They’ve knocked up a seven run lead, but lost four wickets in the process: Cook, Browne, Rymell and Lawrence. 88-4. If Essex had made it into Division One, would they have been battling for honours today?
Organ wallops his pad with his bat in frustration after top edging Parky and being caught by a folding Josh Bohannon, The slide continues.
Gloucestershire make a disastrous start to their reply to Durham’s 140 all out (Zafar Gohar 5-50) as Dent falls to the fifth ball of the innings for a duck. Things looking up a bit now, 21-1.
It’s September 21, twenty to three, and a chirpy legspinner has the ball. A (insert collective noun -cardigan? ) of elderly gents potter round the ground. Hampshire, 114-7, are eyeing up 150. Notts 157-5 are, I think, losing wickets too quickly for their bonus points needs. Joe Clarke still there, on 58. And in the other Division One game, Will Rhodes has been bowled by Lammonby for 60, Sibley is still there on 56. Warwickshire 139-2.
An email! “Good afternoon Tanya,” Hello Steph!
“If Kent started slowly this morning, they seem to be right back in the groove now. Middlesex are 122/5, and predictably 3 of those 5 wickets fell to Darren Stevens.
“If I was a bit younger and fitter, I’d have been at St Lawrence in person, but I must say I really appreciate the live streams we’ve had this year.”
I wish I could whisk you there, Steph. And yes, three cheers for the live streams - magical things.
A polite ripple of applause greets the Hampshire hundred. Can the tail winkle a few more runs on a pitch that is drying out nnd learning to behave?
A fighter jet steams across Aigburth, going who knows where?
Durham are stumbling 129-8, four gone since lunch, two to van Buuren, two to Zafar Gohar. Glamorgan meanwhile are doing an impression of a runaway train, a hundred partnership between David Lloyd (79) and Joe Cooke (53). No wickets yet for Clarke in his farewell game.
And a second catch goes down in the slips at Aigburth.
So Northants are all out for 81. I’m not really sure what to say to that. Five for Cook, four for Porter, Harmer only had time to bowl five overs. Perhaps Essex are playing in a fury after that bizarre story about a contretemps between Ronnie Irani and the Essex senior players.
Lots of oohs and aahs, but Hampshire hanging on. And that could be a missed chance at second slip, with Barker the batter. What else is happening round the grounds?
Warwickshire in the business of accumulation, Sibley on the verge of joining Will Rhodes in a fifty, 116-1. At Trent Bridge, Notts 126-4, Coad has winkled out Mullaney for 31.
Hang on - Barker too has gone! Smashing one-handed catch by Davies... Hampshire 91-7
Smashing piece from Jonny:
I know this sounds unlikely, but it is too hot in the Aigburth tent. Squinting at Tom Bailey who is redirecting his fielders, Organ and Barker not looking too troubled at the moment. Hampshire limp onwards, 86-6.
Keith Barker is a giant, he could pick up Alex Davies and fold him into his top pocket, patting it for security like my lovely father in law used to do for his 20 park drive.
In the bonus points hokey-cokey, Lancashire have now picked up their second . Hampshire are pointless. As are Notts (110-3) and Warwickshire (93-1). Yorkshire have one in their unlikely quest for the Bob.
And a snappy stat, care of Paul Edwards: Croft and Vince are the only two survivors of that Lancashire v Hampshire game in 2011 which Lancashire snatched at the last to keep their Championship hopes alive.
To add some jeopardy, James Vince has a waft. Unwisely. Hampshire 71-6.
At Chelmsford, Dan Lawrence has signed a two-year contract extension and Northants are in the middle of a sticky pudding, with Emilio Gay the only man in double figures. 60-7.
The players are out, James Vince, in raffish baggy shirt, is scuffing away at the pitch at the non-striker’s end.
Aigburth: Lancashire v Hampshire 64-4
Edgbaston: Warwickshire 80-1 v Somerset
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 79-3 v Yorkshire
Chelmsford: Essex v Northants 60-7
Bristol: Gloucestershire v Durham 78-4
The Oval: Surrey v Glamorgan 125-1
Canterbury: Kent v Middlesex 84-2
Hove: Sussex v Derbyshire 125-2
New Road: Worcestershire v Leicestershire 88-3
And with a characteristic boundary to James Vince, that is lunch here at Aigburth. The groundsmen trot out with wheelbarrow and brushes and the spectators start their lunchtime perambulations. Lancashire will be very happy with Hampshire’s 64-4.
Notts are three down now, with Duckett joining Slater and Hameed back in the pavilion. Clarke is in rich touch, four boundaries in his 18. Notts 75-3.
A rifle through the Lancashire handbook shows that Balderson got an unbeaten fifty and his best bowling figures here against Derbyshire last year.
Trouble at mill
Dom Sibley took 38 minutes and 19 balls to get off the mark but he’s been positively motoring since. One crunched four through the covers, a straight drive down the ground, a trademark (?) flick through the leg side and now Jack Leach has just been slotted down the ground for four to move to 27. Will Rhodes, his old opening partner, has looked in decent fettle at the other end too, sitting 25 not out. Interesting point about the ropes ... they’re in a touch towards the Hollies Stand side but not ridiculous to be fair, have seen them shorter in the past. Warwickshire 62 for one after the early loss of Rob Yates.
A mighty rumble from the ice-cream van and Hampshire slip to 48-4, as now Weatherley can’t resist the charms of Balderson, edging him behind. This is moving more swiftly than I expected.
Ali on that ECB decision on Pakistan. The optics stink.
Some great reading around the topic from this by George Dobell to Peter Oborne on Sky.
I hear that they’ve pulled in the boundary rope at Edgbaston, in the knowledge that Warwicks will need batting points. And they’ve picked up some steam too, Sibley and Rhodes, three boundaries apiece. Warwicks 50-1.
And another! Hampshire 43-3 as Gubbins follows Alsop, without scoring, a slow walk back, eyes firmly on the grass in front of his nose. Did I mention that it was ten years since Lancashire last won the Championship?
As the sun comes out, Tom Alsop hangs out his bat and the ball sails into waiting grasp of Danny Lamb at second slip, off Balderson. Hampshire 43-2.
Liverpool have very kindly given us some packed lunch. Delayed gratification is over-rated. A couple of enthusiastic appeals from Balderson and Wood but Hampshire moseying on: 43-1.
An hour in: Dom Sibley has scored a run. (Warwicks 12-1); Slater and Hameed zipping along (37-0),
Division Two: a couple of wickets for Jamie Porter and one for Sam Cook (Northants 26-3); Lees and Jones for untroubled (Durham 24-0); Rutherford and Lloyd in white-ball mode for Glamorgan (56-0).
Division Three: Robson (out) and Stoneman (still there) in frisky mood (Middlesex 34-1); Sussex’s bowlers in for another thrashing (Derby 73-0); and Leicestershire also galloping ahead (43-1).
Apologies for the delay, I’ve just spilt coffee on Ken Grime, disabling his mouse. If anyone in the Aigburth area happens to have a spare one, drop me a line...Hampshire currently 17-1.
Morning Tanya and chums, I’m at Edgbaston where Rob Yates has just edged Josh Davey to slip and Warwickshire are three for one ... Davey has slipped into gear nicely after the disappointment of Finals Day, bowling a succession of beauties to the left-hander and earning his reward. Decent sprinkling of spectators in the stands and star dust among the two sides. I make it 10 international cricketers on show this week. Not bad, eh?
The other title contenders, Warwickshire and Notts, are also batting. And at Edgbaston, young Rob Yates has been caught off Davey for 3. Warwicks 3-1. Nottinghamshire, meanwhile, are 9-0, HH has squeaked a boundary.
An interruption in the first over at Bristol, where an air ambulance has landed. Fingers crossed they’ve got there in time.
Hampshire 1-1. Ian Holland caught off Tom Bailey at bat-pad for one.And a ripple of a roar skims across Aigburth.
As I type this, not a wicket has fallen round the country.
The green benches are filling up and there’s a queue for the coffee van . Lancashire won the toss and will bowl. Parky is playing and Luke Wood has come in for Rob Jones. There was a moment on the public address when Kyle Abbot was announced in the Hampshire team, only to be amended 30 seconds later for Mason Crane.
Last round of fixtures
Aigburth: Lancashire v Hampshire
Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Somerset
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire
Chelmsford: Essex v Northants
Bristol: Gloucestershire v Durham
The Oval: Surrey v Glamorgan
Canterbury: Kent v Middlesex
Hove: Sussex v Derbyshire
New Road: Worcestershire v Leicestershire
Hampshire are in front of our noses doing various stretching exercises with rubber bands as music blasts out from a speaker. We think it is UK garage...
The last time Lancashire won the title in a home match was in 1930 at Blackpool. Just saying.
So, here we are. The last round of Championship matches of the year and as my train zips towards Aigburth, autumn chases. The sky is scribble grey and the leaves on the silver birch trees growing up the embankment are starting to rust. We’ll start at 10.30am round the country, the sun sets at 7.13 this evening in Liverpool.
There are four horses in this Championship race: Hampshire, Warwickshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire - in that order. Your money?