April 8, 2012

LV County Championship 2012: Sunday, April 8

6.45pm: Alex Winter wraps up the action

6.45pm: Alex Winter wraps up the action

So the first round of a new season comes to an end. We've got reports on wins for Notts, Surrey, Somerset and Yorkshire's draw from our reporters for your perusal.

Elsewhere Derbyshire have pulled off a great win at the Racecourse, declaring just before lunch and David Wainwright, on his debut for the county, rattled through Northants under the lights to hand them a big win and a fine start to the season.

Both other games in Division Two were wrapped up yesterday with wins for Essex by an innings and Leicestershire, who were deducted five points for a slow over rate.

That's week one done and dusted then, hope you've enjoyed our new blog and have got involved on twitter or in the comments section below. We're back on Thursday with our army out around the shires, a London derby to look forward to and Durham v Nottinghamshire too, so make sure you join us later in the week.

4.30pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Middlesex

About this walk in the park.. Needing 72 to win, Somerset decided to tease their supporters just a little by subsiding to 44 for four. Either that or they had one eye on the ever darkening sky and only one eye on the ball coming towards them.

To a chorus of “re-write, re-write” in the press box, Jos Buttler walked out to join James Hildreth. Fear not you Cidermen! A few good blows from James Hildreth and Jos Buttler, who finished the contest with a reverse sweep, and Somerset were home and dry by six wickets.

3.50pm: Myles Hodgson at Yorkshire v Kent

County cricket is nothing if not unpredictable and no sooner had there been a press box debate about what time both sides could shake hands on a draw, then Yorkshire suffered a mini-collapse to keep interest in the game.

A draw is still the most likely of outcomes, but losing three wickets in six overs shortly before tea has ensured Yorkshire will not enjoy a comfortable tea interval. They are still 38 runs behind on 135 for three, after following on.

3.40pm: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire

Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket, is not especially surprised that James Taylor was overlooked when England announced their 26-man England Performance Squad for 2012.

“I think now Taylor is playing in Division One the selectors want to see what he has really got,” Newell said of the England Lions captain, who moved to Nottinghamshire during the close-season after scoring 3113 runs at 41.51 in 47 Division Two matches with Leicestershire.

“He doesn’t have a proven record of playing in Division One as (Jonny) Bairstow does, as (Ben) Stokes does and to some extent as (Jos) Buttler does. So they want to see what he has got in Division One and that is a fair position to take.”

Taylor made an inauspicious start to his Notts career in this match, scoring four and 13 in his first encounter with Division One bowlers in challenging conditions. “It wasn’t easy against the new ball,” the Worcestershire skipper, Daryl Mitchell, confirmed. “It is the first week in April and the ball swung and seamed around as you would expect.”

3.10 pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Middlesex

Take a bow George Dockrell. In fact, take the first of what should be many a bow at the County Ground. The 19-year-old Irishman, playing only his second championship match, finished with six for 27 from 20.1 magical overs.

It was, as you might imagine, his best effort in the competition and it was almost entirely responsible for Middlesex losing their last seven wickets for just 40 runs to be bowled out for 175.

Somerset were left with 72 to win and, with 40 overs remaining and the weather looking reasonable, it should be a walk in the park.

2.15pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Middlesex

Big trouble here for Middlesex as Big Vern and Young George combine to telling effect.

The visitors were looking reasonably comfortable at lunch but 118 for three has become 148 for six inside nine overs. Philander, trying his luck from the Old Pavilion End (having done all his previous work at the River End), had both Neil Dexter and Dawid Malan caught behind.

But, if anything, George Dockrell – Ireland’s 19-year-old left arm spinner – was looking even more impressive. Turn and bounce accounted for John Simpson, giving Dockrell his third wicket of the innings. And Middlesex were only 44 runs to the good.

1.00pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Middlesex

Well, would you believe it? Of course you would. Having survived the ‘crucial’ first hour – admittedly, and almost inevitably, with nearly as much luck as judgement – Middlesex lost their first two wickets of the day to the left-arm spin of George Dockrell.

Neither Vernon Philander nor Steve Kirby could find a way through, despite beating the bat plenty of times. But just when Middlesex followers were starting to relax – and wondering whether to visit the aforementioned carvery or plump for take-away pasty and chips – Dockrell struck twice in quick succession to keep them in their seats and away from an early lunch

Sam Robson fell lbw, sweeping and Chris Rogers, having just reached 50, edged an attempted cut.

Still, given the seamer-friendly conditions at start of play, Middlesex would probably have settled for 134 for three at lunch – a lead of 30.

12.20pm: Myles Hodgson at Yorkshire v Kent

Kent have exceeded expectations, certainly mine, that a positive result may be possible although any claimed sightings of the Easter Bunny on the Western Terrace should be greeted with scepticism – it would never have been able to hop past the stewards!

Four wickets this morning from Charlie Shreck have ensured Yorkshire follow on 173 runs adrift, but not before a bit of drama with last man, Richard Pyrah, walking out to bat with a plaster cast on his left arm after breaking his left ring finger fielding on Friday.

His brave innings, which lasted one ball, brought back memories older readers may have of Malcolm Marshall doing the same at this ground. Marshall was a little more successful in his efforts after walking out to bat with a broken thumb in the 1984 Headingley Test against England.

He lasted 16 minutes and eight balls to help Larry Gomes reach his century and then claimed seven wickets when England batted again. There is no suggestion Pyrah will be asked to bowl again for several weeks, even in the unlikely circumstances he is required to do so again in this match.

12.05pm: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire

No one expected to be playing on Sunday after 20 wickets fell on the opening day. In the event we have had an hour and two minutes but there won’t be any more. Worcestershire are all out for 299 and Notts have won by 92 runs.

It is raining steadily but the umpires were in no clearly mood to prolong proceedings, even after Neil Edwards dropped a perfectly easy chance at second slip offered by James Cameron -- plainly because the ball was like a bar of soap.

Umpire Tim Robinson needed no second bidding to raise the finger when Fletcher appealed for leg before against Alan Richardson two balls after the drop.

11.35am: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire

After their collective crumble in the face of the new ball on Saturday evening, there was a suspicion that Worcestershire might be hard pressed to survive until lunch with only four wickets left and a target now probably beyond them.

In fact, they would be on the brink of defeat already had Notts held their catches. James Cameron had an escape on 11, albeit a difficult chance to Michael Lumb at third slip off Andre Adams, then David Lucas was let off on six, when Adams himself put one down at second slip off Luke Fletcher.

Fletcher already has a wicket, though. Shaaiq Choudhry departed to the sixth ball of the morning, leg before. It looked like it might have been veering towards the leg side but umpire Robinson didn’t hesitate.

On the subject of crumble and lunch, the caterers here have, as ever, deserved a shout-out. High quality cooking in the Radcliffe Road dining room. Can’t think of a genuine rival apart from the carvery at Taunton. 294-7; 98 needed.

11.10am Myles Hodgson at Yorkshire v Kent

There have been plenty of musings in the press box this morning about our chances of seeing a positive result on a wicket that has been batting friendly from the start. Optimistic Yorkshire followers believe they should declare behind (once they have saved the follow on and claimed maximum batting points) and look to set up the game by dismissing Kent cheaply.

I must confess to missing yesterday’s play after being otherwise engaged at Sunderland’s 0-0 draw with Tottenham, but looking at the scores, that scenario seems unlikely. Then again, if I witness a sighting of the Easter Bunny on the Western Terrace, I’m prepared to become a believer.

As to the match, Yorkshire began the final day on 316 for six still needing 72 to avoid the follow on, but have started brightly with Adil Rashid driving the second ball of the day from Charlie Shreck down the ground for four.

11.00am: David Lloyd at Somerset v Middlesex

No disagreement here about the conditions – it ought to be a great morning for bowling with dark clouds and some moisture in the atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, though, the two teams have different views on what should happen next.

“Great conditions for bowling and hopefully some early wickets for us,” said Somerset’s Nick Compton, who had the sweet-bitter experience yesterday of easing into the 90s against his former county only to be dismissed one short of a century.

Middlesex started their second innings last night trailing by 104 and had reached 38, for the loss of Joe Denly, when bad light followed by rain stopped play.

“We’ve battled really hard – our bowlers stuck to their plans and kept us in the game by doing a fantastic job,” said Denly. “Unfortunately I got out yesterday but it’s our task today as batting unit to get through what will be a tough stage at the start of play.

“Vernon Philander is a quality bowler so getting through first hour will be crucial but hopefully we can stick in there. There have been some brilliant battles throughout the whole game.”

10.55am: George Dobell at Surrey v Sussex

Some interesting thoughts from Mark Ramprakash on this game. Writing on Twitter he had strong praise for Luke Wells:

“Luke Wells looks a v good young player. V similar to Cook but possibly better technically,” Ramps wrote.

He also suggested that, in gloomy conditions and under floodlights, the pink ball might be easier to pick-up than the red.

“1st time I've played cricket 1st class cricket under floodlights with red ball. ECB need to clarify rules re shadows/when is it to dark… Mayb we should b playing with pink ball in those circumstances. Easier to see for fielders & spectators.”

10.25am: George Dobell at Surrey v Sussex

Morning from the Kia Oval. A bit gloomy here this morning, but the rain has cleared and we should start on time.

Hugely impressed by Surrey over the last few days. The team are not the finished article but, on and off the pitch, this is a club moving in the right direction. The next few years promise a great deal.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on January 26, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    sBavAh I think this is a real great blog post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

  • testli5504537 on July 31, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Mehak I. Ali Chacha is one man who never gives up. Despite the fact that our team loses the matches we could esliay win, he's this one guy who never gives up on the team. There should be people like Chacha Cricket to support our team.Expect the unexpected from Pakistan that's all we can do and say at this time. Let's just put aside Kamran Akmal's disappointing performance for once. The team should forget whatever happened and focus on the other matches that are due.Eventhough we are a strong team, we can esliay get under other teams' pressures. Its time we eliminated politics from cricket (not taking other sports into account at this time) and focus on what's best for us. Our main aim should be the World Cup. If not the World Cup, we should atleast perform well so that burqas are not needed when they come back to their homeland!Salutes to Chacha and good luck to Team Pakistan.Forever Green. Forever Pakistani. Go get them boys!

  • testli5504537 on April 8, 2012, 14:10 GMT


    I can see sense it some of your points as well, didn't know all that about Trott as I was/still am one of those saying that he is South African, will Never change my mind about Pietersen though,lol!

    Although on to the cricket as really enjoying the changes by Cricinfo and the fact the Championship has started,just need the weather to pick up though,lol! shame the ECB have made a total mess of the fixtures once again, to me more is less concerning the fixtures, time to rest and properly get ready for games is a must for quality cricket...

  • testli5504537 on April 8, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Hi Darren, Yes, I can see that point of view. Maybe bit harsh on Dockrell (who is hardly old) and Meschede (wasn’t he schooled in UK?), but I take the broader point. They can both play for England, by the way, though I accept that is not relevant to your point. I wouldn’t completely disagree, either. But… might it not be good for Waller and Gregory that they have to fight to get into the side (we don’t want it to be too easy for them, do we?) and isn’t it good that the standard of county cricket is augmented? Thing is, the UK has a legacy. Whether it is the empire, the commonwealth or euro union, the UK has an advantage. Isn’t it right to utilise that? Look at Trott: he has a UK passport, a British dad, a Brit wife and a Brit daughter. Yet still he gets people saying he's from South Africa. That seems crazy, to me. Good point about Ireland. Could say the same about South Africa and Kolpaks. I’d argue that their loss is our gain, but I accept it’s a moot point.

  • testli5504537 on April 8, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Hello George,

    My issue arises with the overseas players who move to the UK as an adult to purely further their career, players like Dockrell and Meschede spring to mind, we aren't talking about players like Strauss, Prior or Owais Shah who although born overseas have lived in England most of their lives and no doubt feel as English as anyone.I for one have been routing for Shah in the IPL!

    As above both English talents Waller and Gregory have been kept out of the Somerset team by overseas players. Also we have the farce that was the Ed Joyce situation who plays for England then suddenly decides he's once again Irish when he gets dropped! as a proud Englishmen it makes me ashamed that this is allowed to happen by the ECB!Also as someone who thinks it's very important to encourage lesser Countries like Ireland and how are they going to ever improve if we take all their best players?

  • testli5504537 on April 8, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Hi Darren, You are, I suspect, using the ‘overseas’ term provocatively. They are not really overseas players, you know. Some would suggest that the fact that Middlesex have recruited from far and wide does not reflect too well on their youth system (though Finn is a good one, isn’t he?), but it’s also worth pointing out their location: right in the middle of one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. Isn’t it natural and right that their team reflects that? Personally, I’d prefer that than a system where people of different cultures felt opportunities were denied them. Interesting debate, though. I deleted the other guy's comment. It wasn't relevant, polite or intelligible, really. We can all disagree and debate just fine on here, but let's do it nicely.

  • testli5504537 on April 8, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    6 overseas players for Middlesex! a disgrace....

  • testli5504537 on April 8, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    Somerset have none overseas Irishman and South African bowling at present, good to see that English cricket is safe in Somerset's hands!

    Shame English prospects Waller and Gregory aren't playing instead!

  • testli5504537 on April 8, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    We're almost certainly still looking at a draw, but I've seen enough from Kent to suggest we have a genuine chance of promotion again. My only worry would be the lack of cover for Tredders, who's bound to spend yet more of this summer carrying drinks for England.. Riley hasn't shown much as yet.

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