May 4, 2012

LV= County Championship, Friday May 4

5.40pm: Father Christmas spotted
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5.40pm: Father Christmas spotted

Sleet has stopped play at Scarborough - shortly after Colin Graves took on new powers as Yorkshire's full-time executive chairman. As Graves has bankrolled the club for years, Father Christmas had even arrived in style. watch out for reindeers in Huntriss Row.

5.07pm: Best of the Blogs

This take on Ajmal Shahzad will delight some more than others. But we think it's a neat read.

4.50 pm: Nigel Gardner at Derby

Rain stopped play here shortly after 4.30 with Gloucestershire making a good fist of it second time around at 169 for 2, the Kiwi pair of Kane Williamson and Hamish Marshall frustrating the home attack. The word on Benny Howell’s dismissal is that he was done by a slower ball delivered from the back of the hand by Jon Clare rather than the pitch but it was a good innings and his father John, who now lives in Australia and played a few matches for Warwickshire Seconds in 1978, was here to enjoy it.

Since then, David Wainwright has continued his impressive start to his new career after leaving Yorkshire by bowling an excellent 12 overs spell that yielded only seven runs either side of tea although no sooner had his figures been relayed by the scorers than he was dispatched for two boundaries in his next over which cost 10. He will shortly get the chance to have the last word because play is due to start again at 4.55.

4.40pm: Alan Gardner at Middlesex v Worcestershire

We’re going to have an extended evening session at Lord’s, or at least as much play as the conditions permit. The teams came back out at 3.30pm after three hours of watching the BBC’s local elections swingometer and, in a 20-minute spell, Sam Robson succeeded where Andrew Strauss had failed and recorded his half-century, taking just 11 balls to move from 29 to 50. He struck Alan Richardson for consecutive fours, as the Middlesex old boy struggled with his run-up and then plundered 10 off three deliveries from Aneesh Kapil, whose figures went from 1-1-0-1 after his dismissal of Strauss to 3-1-22-1 and prompted his removal from the attack after another break for bad light.

Quite what the light metre readings say is unknown up in the press bubble but the visibility seems to have remained pretty consistent all day – gloomy but playable – and Middlesex certainly haven’t had too many problems batting. Sure enough, they were out again 10 minutes later and the indefatigable Richardson was finally rewarded in his 14th over with the wicket of Robson, as the opener’s ungainly back-foot swipe ended up in Klinger’s hands at third slip. This time, the Australian was worthy of his name. Denly has since pinged a couple of eye-catching straight drives down the ground to move Middlesex on to 139 for 2, with 33 overs still scheduled for the day.

4.30pm: Jon Culley at Lancashire v Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire's second innings has come to a rapid conclusion, the last three wickets falling in the space of seven balls without a run scored.

Stuart Broad holed out to mid-on attempting to hit Simon Kerrigan over the top, then James Anderson, who managed to take the catch without further damage to his thumb, completed a five-for by bowling Graeme Swann and Andre Adams with consecutive deliveries to finish with 5-82.

Now we'll see what Broad can come up with by way of response. Lancashire need 328 to win, with 36 overs left today and all of tomorrow.

4.10pm: David Hopps on Colin Graves hands-on role at Yorkshire

Colin Graves - last seen telling Ajmal Shahzad he had no future at Yorkshire - is strengthening his day-to-day involvement with Yorkshire from Monday 7 May when he assumes the role of executive chairman, an amalgamation of his existing role as chairman and the vacant chief executive post.

Graves sold the last of his Costcutter shares in November last year, the business he grew from scratch in 1986 into a national chain of supermarkets, but retained a position on their Board. He was offered the role of non-executive chairman, but has opted instead to become more hands on at Headingley.

Whether he was correct to become the Scourge of Shahzad is highly debatable in my view, but such as Yorkshire's precarious financial position that his greater involvement can only be beneficial. A dash of honesty can do a lot of good in the right places.

He has been a Board Director at Yorkshire CCC since 2002 when, as a member of the Gang of Four, he assumed control of the club's consistently perilous finances. He will now work in a full-time capacity at Headingley in a salaried position and also retains his position on the ECB management board.

3.45pm: Jon Culley at Lancashire v Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire have issued a statement to the effect that Mick Newell is unaware of any interest from Bangladesh in making him their next coach, although Cricinfo sources have confirmed that he is a strong candidate to succeed Stuart Law in the role.

Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire have established a lead of 325 with three second innings wickets still standing, even though James Anderson has extended his workout by taking two wickets for 17 runs in 3.4 overs in his latest spell.

The England pace bowler has conceded boundaries to both of his Test team pals, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, the former cracking two in a row after avoiding a pair. Still plainly not feeling well, Anderson has had to stop to take pills at least once, yet produced a corking delivery to have Paul Franks gloving a catch to 'keeper Gareth Cross, who then pulled off a terrific catch to dismiss Chris Read, possibly off an inside edge.

Read, who batted more than two and a half hours for his 54, had shared a 100-run partnership for the fifth wicket with the England Lions captain, James Taylor, before the latter was caught rather tamely down the leg side off the left-arm spinner, Simon Kerrigan. They are taking tea now after an interruption for rain, the first stoppage of the game.

3.10pm: Nigel Gardner at Derby

OK, thinking caps on. How many French-born players have there been in the first-class game? The reason for the question is that one of them is going rather well and leading a spirited Gloucestershire fight back here. Benny Howell, who was born in Bordeaux, has passed his second Championship half century and is making Derbyshire work a lot harder for their wickets after Wayne Madsen enforced the follow-on. The 23-year-old right-hander has shown sound judgement but can play a few shots as he showed when he straight drove David Wainwright for six shortly after lunch.

Which makes you wonder why he was released at the end of last season by Hampshire after making only one first-class appearance in which he scored 71. His captain was the former Derbyshire legend Dominic Cork so could this have been a case of a Bordeaux being Corked? Anyway, he’s just been bowled by one from Jon Clare that seemed to keep low for 64 with Gloucestershire still 57 short of making Derbyshire bat again.

2.40pm George Dobell

Worcestershire have moved next week's championship match against Surrey to Kidderminster.

2.40pm: Alex Winter at Glamorgan v Essex

Off for bad light and then back on and now Glamorgan enjoying their best dig of the season with the bat. Ex-Surrey Stuart Walters is playing nicely.

One of the sponsors here at the Sophia Gardens is Castell Howell (or Howell Castle in English) – a food wholesaler. Someone half-jokingly suggested their investment coincided with Mark Cosgrove’s arrival at the club – he is large chap but a great cricketer, overlooked by a fitness-conscious Australian regime, you could say in a similar manner to England’s attitude to Samit Patel. But Cosgrove has far more talent than Patel and it was a disaster Glamorgan didn’t keep him.

Cosgrove was binned in Glamorgan’s shake-up two winters ago, a shake-up designed to bring success back to the Principality; the change brought no dividend last year. Their latest idea is the signing of another Australian but one whose fitness is approved by the national selectors. Marcus North I think is due in the country today.

2.15pm: Exclusive: Mick Newell on shortlist for Bangladesh coaching job

George Dobell's story is here. Mr Dobell has also combined with our Bangladesh correspondent Mohammad Isam to bring news of Shakib Al Hasan's potential move to Essex.

1.20pm: Nigel Gardner at Derby

Good afternoon from the County Ground where it’s decidedly bleak. On days like this, it’s hard to argue with Byron who said winter in England ends in July and begins again in August. The floodlights are on but at least it’s dry and play started on time.

Derbyshire sprung a surprise before a ball had been bowled this morning by awarding caps to four players, Tony Palladino, Jon Clare, Martin Guptill and Wes Durston and it was the latter who warmed his hands by taking a smart catch at slip to end the Gloucestershire innings after the last pair of Paul Muchall and Ian Saxelby had added 34 runs to at least earn their side a batting point.

In the light of Ajmal Shahzad's departure from Headingley, it is worth remarking that Derbyshire are delighted with their recruit from Yorkshire, the left-arm spinner David Wainwright who has already made his mark at his new county. He ran through Northants on the final day of the opening game of the season here and he certainly has no regrets over his decision to move on.

It was Wainwright who eventually defeated Muchall with one that turned and Derbyshire had no hesitation in sending Gloucestershire back in. The visitors need 182 to avoid an innings defeat and Chris Dent quickly discovered where his off stump was when he looked around to find it lying behind him after he played no shot at Tim Groenewald in the second over.

1.20pm: The team you pick but never watch

It’s one thing for Colin Graves to call a spade a spade. But our no-nonsense county cricket columnist went one better and named himself after a Shovel. Read our no-nonsense (and non-nonsensical) county columnist Kenny Shovel on the side you love to pick but never watch.

1pm: Jon Culley at Lancashire v Nottinghamshire

Critical period coming up after lunch in this game. Notts are 195- 4, which gives them a lead of 218, but Chris Read and James Taylor, having started to build a partnership against the old ball, will be facing an almost new one this afternoon.

Glen Chapple took it the over before lunch and quickly found the edge of Taylor's bat, but it dropped short of the slips.

James Anderson, feeling better after yesterday's poorliness, bowled seven overs for 22, having conceded 14 of those runs in his first eight deliveries. He has taken a crucial wicket for good measure, having Michael Lumb caught at first slip playing back to one that found a bit of extra bounce.

Samit Patel rather wasted his opportunity, falling on 39 after grafting solidly for almost two hours. A change of bowling may have played a part. Luke Procter came on for Chapple and Patel flung his bat at the first hint of width and was caught behind.

There could be more problems for Lancashire, though, after Procter left the field shortly before lunch, apparently not moving easily. Tom Smith is already out of this game -- and facing a few weeks on the sidelines -- with another hamstring injury.

12.45pm: Alan Gardner at Middlesex v Worcestershire

Just as the murmurs of approval at Strauss’ innings were beginning to increase here at Lord’s, he missed a straight one from Aneesh Kapil – Worcestershire’s England U-19 bowler, who had only moments before bared his forearms to the cold for the first time – to be out lbw for 49. The umpire, Nigel Cowley, ruminated on his decision briefly, perhaps trying to avoid catching the England captain’s eye, before raising his finger. Strauss didn’t hang around but he may have regretted Sam Robson’s sluggish running two overs previously, when he clearly wanted a third to take him to his half-century.

Having hooked the returning Richardson into the Grand Stand for six, Strauss was beginning to play with a flourish that Cervantes would have been proud of (as a literary man, the Spaniard would surely have developed a taste for the game). From 22 off 49 balls, Strauss lashed 27 off his next 23 before his association with Robson – Middlesex’s first 50-run opening stand of the season – was ended, somewhat anticlimactically, with the score on 80. Joe Denly arrived at the crease but after a single was added to the score, the players went off for bad light.

Robson has left diligently and accumulated steadily for 29 but the lingering image will be of him lingering at the non-striker’s end as Strauss chided him for not getting a shuffle on. I imagine it may be mentioned over lunch – which is now being taken.

12.15pm: George Dobell at Warwickshire v Durham

It must be infuriating to bowl at Jeetan Patel. The New Zealander played a huge role in Warwickshire’s victory over Somerset with a ferocious innings that settled a tight game and has again produced valuable runs here.

In conditions providing lots of assistance to the bowlers, Patel has repeatedly moved his front foot out of the way and mown the ball back over mid on and mid off with strokes that owe little to the coaching manual but plenty to a decent eye for the ball. At one stage he thrashed Claydon for three successive fours.

He seemed, on the face of things, a modest overseas signing - he has a career bowling average above 40, after all - but with bat and ball, in the field or in the dressing room, he is proving a fine team player. Here he helped Warwickshire stretch their lead to 104 before Chris Wright - a man good enough to bat No. 7 in some sides - was caught behind off the deserving Onions.

It was a frustrating session for Durham. Edges flew between slips and the gully and twice there were tough catching chances for Ian Blackwell. He is now so immobile in the field - and clearly hampered by his injured shoulder - that he was unable to take either. It’s just possible this game could finish today…

12.10pm: Alex Winter at Glamorgan v Essex

What ho. Play in the Principality today started on time but I didn’t bet on it driving to the ground; cloud of varying greys fills the skies and it looks like it has to rain but none is forecast. Essex have bagged an early couple but haven’t bowled brilliantly – Charl Willoughby off target before changing ends and Tymal Mills seemingly hindered by the shirt he is wearing – so tight he should be playing rugby league.

Fall out from Cardiff City’s defeat in the play-off semi-final first leg dominates the morning press. The BBC’s Edward Bevan quick to point out that it’s not doom and gloom for all in these parts today – he and fellow men from Swansea were quite delighted at the scoreline.

11.50am: George Dobell at Warwickshire v Durham

This has been a wonderfully entertaining session. Graham Onions, in particular, has bowled really well in conditions offering him loads of assistance and has beaten Bell several times. Twice in an over Bell edged him just short of the slips and several edges have also flown down to third man. Jeetan Patel has just joined him and, thanks to a few agricultural swipes and a couple of pleasing drives, has helped Warwickshire increase their lead past 70.

Bell was eventually caught behind, off the glove, from one that climbed and left him from Mitchell Claydon. Earlier Keith Barker, who for all his many qualities has a serious issue with the short ball, was caught behind as he top-edged a pull.

11.45am: Jon Culley at Lancashire v Nottinghamshire

James Anderson into the attack at 11.35, even though it transpires that the teams had agreed that he could bowl at any time from 11.11am onwards. Lancashire continued instead with Simon Kerrigan, the left-arm spinner, at the Pavilion End.

Nottinghamshire have been praised for their sportsmanship in not insisting that Anderson served the full time penalty after spending more than three hours off the field yesterday, suffering from a fluey virus.

Commenting this morning, Mick Newell, their director of cricket, said: "In telling Anderson he did not have to field for the length of time he had been off, the umpires made a rare mistake. But we felt that for the betterment of the game it would not have been right to hang the umpires out to dry for it and that it was right in the circumstances that Anderson be allowed to bowl.

"The crucial thing is that they tried to get Anderson on the field yesterday. He was clearly not very well so it was apparent there was no shamming going on."

Nottinghamshire are 148-2 with Michael Lumb having completed a patient half-century in 224 minutes from 173 balls. Anderson's first over went for six in his opening over today, his first ball having been cut for four by Samit Patel.

11.35am: Alan Gardner at Middlesex v Worcestershire

You may notice I refrained from pre-rambling before the scheduled start of play – and what do you know, we have actually got some cricket to talk about. There’s nothing so underrated as silence. Anyway, the gloom over St Johns Wood has lifted just a fraction (whether it’s really much brighter than yesterday afternoon, I’m not sure), though not enough to make batting first an attractive option, with Middlesex duly being inserted for the third time in a row at Lord’s, and four in four overall this season.

That means another look at Andrew Strauss, England’s dear leader who is in need of some affection, or luck at the very least. So far he’s had a fair degree of the latter, pushing forward uncertainly against Alan Richardson on several occasions only to hear the ball thump into Ben Scott’s gloves behind him. He got off the mark with a nudge to fine leg from his ninth ball faced, then edged one low to third slip. The same fielder, Michael Klinger, was then surprised to find a thick deflection spear towards him at throat height: he dropped it – a Klinger clanger, as one wag had it – and Strauss’ luck was seemingly confirmed as in.

He was on 5 at the time and has since added 13 more, including a fierce square drive just now, the bottom hand coming off the bat as the ball skedaddled to the rope. Strauss is a far from Quixotic character but if Richardson, the windmilling Worcs horse, can be outlasted, then he may fancy a tilt today.

11.10am: George Dobell at Warwickshire v Durham

Morning from Edgbaston. It’s cold and grey, but we’re underway on time here.

Ian Bell talked in some depth about his troubles over the winter after play last night. You can read most of it in yesterday’s match report but, among the things I couldn’t fit in, was his view that Saeed Ajmal and Graeme Swann are currently the two best spin bowlers in the world. I was also quite struck by the extent that Bell felt he was struggling for runs - even in Sri Lanka - and impressed by his acceptance that there may have been some technical failings behind the problem. He is still not quite back to his best - even as I write he has been hit on the glove by a delivery from Graham Onions - but there was a moment yesterday, after he had about 65, when the feet started to move with more certainly and the strokes became more fluent.

While that clearly bodes well for England, it also has more immediate relevance for Warwickshire. The lead is currently just over 40 - Warwickshire have just earned their first batting bonus point - and, on a pitch that will remain tricky, anything approaching 100 may well prove decisive.

11am: Jon Culley at Lancashire v Nottinghamshire

Unusually for these parts, it is cloudy this morning, although rain does not look imminent. Nottinghamshire have resumed at 122-2, a lead of 145. James Anderson, who spent much of yesterday lying down in the dressing room, feeling 'under the weather' with a cold, will bowl today, although not immediately.

This follows a compromise apparently reached between the teams over when he would be allowed to bowl, having spent so much time off the field yesterday.

Under normal circumstances, if a bowler is off the field because of illness or injury (apart from injury inflicted by an external blow during the game) he has to spend the same amount of time on the field before he can bowl again. Anderson returned to game yesterday afternoon, having been off for 100 minutes, believing he needed to field for 100 minutes before he could bowl again. However, umpires Bailey and Gale sent him back to the dressing room, believing it would not be necessary in that the requirement did not have to be carried forward to the next day.

It turns out they were wrong, although it not clear how this came to light. It is understood, however, that Nottinghamshire are not insisting that the letter of the law is applied strictly and that Anderson, who has come out with the rest of the Lancashire team, will bowl sooner rather than later. Hope that's clear...

10.30am: The early shift

Welcome to the county blog. We are a little lost for inspiration this morning so while we collect our thoughts, why not tell us what you think. Our top team of writers will be along shortly.

For reports on the second day from our writers around the country, head over to the county homepage

And the latest Kenny Shovel column will be along shortly... once we've passed it through the lawyers

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Coverpoint on May 4, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    would it not be more economical to have county cricket scores computer generated! For all the interest there isn't with regard to paying customers watching a non-spectator sport it would save a lot of money and other resources. If successful the idea could be extended to Test cricket and we would be rid of all the hype and nonsense!

  • Darren Cook on May 4, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Ansari the young English talent has just got the wickets of a South African, Malaysian and then another South African walks in! and it's supposed to be English County cricket!

  • Darren Cook on May 4, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Anybody watching the Surrey/Somerset game can tell me why Waller only bowled 4 overs with far better figures than the Irishman Dockrell who bowled all, 8 and in fact more economical than any other Somerset bowler!

    Time for Waller to move on if he wants to improve his career as it's plain to see that Somerset prefer the Irishman Dockrell!

    Plus why are Sky talking about the South African Compton being considered for England! don't we have enough South Africans in the team as it is!

  • Darren Cook on May 4, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Anybody watching the Surrey/Somerset game can tell me why Waller only bowled 4 overs with far better figures than the Irishman Dockrell who bowled all, 8 and in fact more economical than any other Somerset bowler!

    Time for Waller to move on if he wants to improve his career as it's plain to see that Somerset prefer the Irishman Dockrell!

    Plus why are Sky talking about the South African Compton being considered for England! don't we have enough South Africans in the team as it is!

  • Mark Halliwell on May 4, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Good to see Glos making a better fist of it. Decision to move Howell up and drop Coughtrie down vindicated second time around. Kame Williamson is a class act and even skipper Hamish has got runs. Now the big test - build on it tomorrow and maybe even set Derbyshire a tricky target on day 4... Hope Kane and Hamish can hang around, then it's down to messrs Cockbain and Gidman W.

  • Alan Gardner on May 4, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    It is, in point of fact, the only anagram of my name, as a computer programme once gleefully informed me (trust me, it looked gleeful). As you may have gathered, we're off again at Lord's, probably for the last time. Any questions for Aneesh Kapil?

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Alan, an anagram of your name would have a similar meaning to mine, so you too are forgiven.

  • Alan Gardner on May 4, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    I have to sub everything that George writes, as well as peer through the gloaming at the matchstick men on the pitch at Lord's ...

    However, for the sake of a good riff:

    Surrey Moneybags Durham OAP Essex Floaters Somerset Bottlers Worcestershire Lazari Derbyshire Anonymous Lancashire Scousers

    Etc and so on.

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    I hear you Dave, I hear you.

    I'm just trying to imagine things from a newbie's perspective.

    I also have doubts over city franchises attracting fanbases.

    And as someone on Twitter said, players may think they want a franchise system (as per PCA survey) - but a huge chuck of those who voted in favour are actually talking themselves out of playing at all given reduction in teams and therefore first team places.

    What we need is a population on a par with India. I know I'm doing my bit on that front!

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    George as my favourite cricinfo news squirrel you are forgiven

  • Coverpoint on May 4, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    would it not be more economical to have county cricket scores computer generated! For all the interest there isn't with regard to paying customers watching a non-spectator sport it would save a lot of money and other resources. If successful the idea could be extended to Test cricket and we would be rid of all the hype and nonsense!

  • Darren Cook on May 4, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Ansari the young English talent has just got the wickets of a South African, Malaysian and then another South African walks in! and it's supposed to be English County cricket!

  • Darren Cook on May 4, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Anybody watching the Surrey/Somerset game can tell me why Waller only bowled 4 overs with far better figures than the Irishman Dockrell who bowled all, 8 and in fact more economical than any other Somerset bowler!

    Time for Waller to move on if he wants to improve his career as it's plain to see that Somerset prefer the Irishman Dockrell!

    Plus why are Sky talking about the South African Compton being considered for England! don't we have enough South Africans in the team as it is!

  • Darren Cook on May 4, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Anybody watching the Surrey/Somerset game can tell me why Waller only bowled 4 overs with far better figures than the Irishman Dockrell who bowled all, 8 and in fact more economical than any other Somerset bowler!

    Time for Waller to move on if he wants to improve his career as it's plain to see that Somerset prefer the Irishman Dockrell!

    Plus why are Sky talking about the South African Compton being considered for England! don't we have enough South Africans in the team as it is!

  • Mark Halliwell on May 4, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    Good to see Glos making a better fist of it. Decision to move Howell up and drop Coughtrie down vindicated second time around. Kame Williamson is a class act and even skipper Hamish has got runs. Now the big test - build on it tomorrow and maybe even set Derbyshire a tricky target on day 4... Hope Kane and Hamish can hang around, then it's down to messrs Cockbain and Gidman W.

  • Alan Gardner on May 4, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    It is, in point of fact, the only anagram of my name, as a computer programme once gleefully informed me (trust me, it looked gleeful). As you may have gathered, we're off again at Lord's, probably for the last time. Any questions for Aneesh Kapil?

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Alan, an anagram of your name would have a similar meaning to mine, so you too are forgiven.

  • Alan Gardner on May 4, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    I have to sub everything that George writes, as well as peer through the gloaming at the matchstick men on the pitch at Lord's ...

    However, for the sake of a good riff:

    Surrey Moneybags Durham OAP Essex Floaters Somerset Bottlers Worcestershire Lazari Derbyshire Anonymous Lancashire Scousers

    Etc and so on.

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    I hear you Dave, I hear you.

    I'm just trying to imagine things from a newbie's perspective.

    I also have doubts over city franchises attracting fanbases.

    And as someone on Twitter said, players may think they want a franchise system (as per PCA survey) - but a huge chuck of those who voted in favour are actually talking themselves out of playing at all given reduction in teams and therefore first team places.

    What we need is a population on a par with India. I know I'm doing my bit on that front!

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    George as my favourite cricinfo news squirrel you are forgiven

  • Dave Lewis on May 4, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    Anus if the kids can't get excited about the county championship, they want taking away for re-education.

    Although we do need a new T20 competition, the current one is stale. City franchises, money split between 18 counties...next problem...

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    On a serious note, what a stark contrast Somerset Bridesmaids v Surrey Hamilton-Browns is compared to IPL coverage.

    Love my CC but empty, cold-looking ground compared to T20 fever ... I know which one would grab my attention as a kid. (I'm not a kid)

  • George Dobell on May 4, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Sorry, Anus. Really busy day with news. Not as much time for blog as we would have liked.

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    But moving on from that, it's nice to see some county cricket on the TV, even if it is the CB40. We (being Somerset) really do look threadbare in the bowling department at the moment though. If we can get Shazhad in, and once Thomas gets back from the IPL, we'll start to look half decent again. I'd love to see Davies and Hamilton-Brown opening the batting for England in the T20 cup later this year - they're an excellent partnership, and KP was playing well at 3 in the IPL, so I'd have no problem in dropping him down a spot.

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Had hoped some of the writers might have joined in mind...

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Always trust a Samuel, that's what old nanny McGuigan used to say.

    Dave the Eagle - you soar like an eagle you beautiful man!

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    I think you'll find, if you look up the list Anus, that I supplied a few earlier too!

  • Dave the Eagle on May 4, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    In order to prevent hospital trips for Anus (so to speak), what about

    Warwickshire non-declarers Zummerzet flat-trackers Middlesex cardsharps (due to the amount of time spent in the dressing room due to rain) Nottinghamshire Ragers (Mssr Broad mainly)

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    No one wants to play with me :(

    *yanks on testes in anger*

    *instantly regrets it*

  • Dave the Eagle on May 4, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    @Kenny

    Ray was both, they certainly couldn't find two men willing to stand for so long.

    Re: Warks/Durham - the Bears currently in full control of this match with Durham still 55 adrift with only 6 wickets remaining. A full days play tomorrow now looks unlikely due ot the match being over rather than the weather for a change.

  • Ray W on May 4, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    Ha ha, Kenny - you're right of course. It was at Scarborough, right in the hight of the summer holidays, and I was able to roughly count the number of spectators - around 300-350 each day.

    By contrast, the last time, England B played a football match, 22,000 people turned up. What that tells us about spectator culture, I'm not sure...

  • Kenny Shovel on May 4, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    @Ray W:

    Who was the other umpire?

  • Ray W on May 4, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    Fenners: the Leeds-Bradford UCCE site says they'll be posting a report on there soon.

  • Michael Trout on May 4, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    Something fishy about this blog today. Someone else called Michael Trout has posted. Perhaps we could meet up? As a matter of interest, what do you get called by your mates? I tend to get Mike. "Trouty" down the pub.

  • Ray W on May 4, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Kenny Shovel: I've watched an entire 4-day Lions game. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it. ;)

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    On Kenny's article, I actually would watch the Lions games if they were broadcast anywhere! The only one I remember being on TV in the last few years was the game against the Aussies back in 09, and I don't know if the whole game was covered or only a couple of days. Perhaps the ECB could stream them or provide comprehensive highlights packages on the website?

  • Michael Trout on May 4, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    I agree with Dave Lewis

  • Dave Lewis on May 4, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Lan-cash-ire, go-ing down, Lan-cash-ire, go-ing down.

    Average team that produced some great cricket last season, average team being found out this season.

    My money on Lancashire and Worcestershire for relegation, decently priced double that I reckon.

  • Fenners on May 4, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Is there a report on the Leeds/Bradford defeat of Sussex yesterday?

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    Anus, what about:

    Yorkshire Squabblers Surrey Moaners Essex (Match)Fixers - Kaneria as captain, backed up by Mervyn Westfield obviously. Lancashire Chapplers (seeing as they're virtually a one man team at times!)

  • George Dobell on May 4, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Hi Samuel: Ha! Just the sort of detail you'd expect a pro journo to notice... Hardly pedantic! Quite a significant detail. Thanks.

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Hi chums,

    I believe nicknames for counties in Twenty20 should be based on their character - not arbitrary like most (all?) of them. So have decided to lobby the ECB to get genuine names in place.

    So far I have:

    Somerset Bridesmaids Middlesex Squatters Yorkshire Pit Ponies Worcestershire Scuba-divers

    Any more?

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Just to be pedantic and annoying George, but I'm pretty sure you're watching Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston, not Somerset!

  • Dave the Eagle on May 4, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Bell finally falls for 120. A very nice knock.

    71 runs ahead is a decent lead (with hopefully a few more from teh final partnership) and Durham will have their work cut out. All 3 results still a possibility but a draw still most likely at present I feel, considering the weather forecast today.

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    Not bowling because of a cold? Sounds like a serious case of man-flu if you ask me...

  • Andrew Bloxham on May 4, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    D Constantopolis, Chris Read is another I'd suggest. His batting average has been somewhere in the region of 60 across the last couple of years, unless I am very much mistaken.

    Read was always renowned for his excellent wicket-keeping ability, with his supposed weak batting being the only barrier between himself and England's number seven spot. Unfortunately for him, the excellence of Matt Prior has all but ensured that particular ship has sailed, but Notts won't be complaining.

    There we are, two examples at Notts, and perhaps an honorary mention to Glen Chapple, who has been nothing short of superb of late.

  • Andrew Bloxham on May 4, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    There's still an outside chance of Warwickshire picking up a win at Edgbaston, providing the rain holds off. It is very gloomy and overcast in Birmingham this morning, and the city was subject to heavy rain overnight, but so far so dry and there should be play this morning with Edgbaston's excellent drainage facilities and ground staff.

    The Bears, with Ian Bell still at the crease after reaching a hard fought century yesterday, will no doubt look to increase their lead to 100 before looking to bowl Durham out cheaply a second time. Were it not for the innings of Bell Warwickshire would have been in a whole heap of trouble.

    One thing is for sure, it is a bowlers match, so either side could still win this. A substantial lead for Warwickshire may prove to be crucial.

  • Spacey! on May 4, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    I hope the weather improves soon. I love cricket but really, what sort of person invents a game where you come off for rain, in a country where the weather does nothing but?

  • D Constantopolis on May 4, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    What a season it has been by Andre Adams so far. HCan you think of any other county cricketers that keep getting better with age? Its amazing how Mick Newell gets the best out of his players at Notts - Mark Ealham being another example a few years ago....

  • D Constantopolis on May 4, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    What a season it has been by Andre Adams so far this season. HCan you think of any other county cricketers that keep getting better with age? Its amazing how Mick Newell gets the best out of his players at Notts - Mark Ealham being another example a few years ago....

  • Martin on May 4, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    Come on Yorkshire, let's get it wrapped up today.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Martin on May 4, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    Come on Yorkshire, let's get it wrapped up today.

  • D Constantopolis on May 4, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    What a season it has been by Andre Adams so far this season. HCan you think of any other county cricketers that keep getting better with age? Its amazing how Mick Newell gets the best out of his players at Notts - Mark Ealham being another example a few years ago....

  • D Constantopolis on May 4, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    What a season it has been by Andre Adams so far. HCan you think of any other county cricketers that keep getting better with age? Its amazing how Mick Newell gets the best out of his players at Notts - Mark Ealham being another example a few years ago....

  • Spacey! on May 4, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    I hope the weather improves soon. I love cricket but really, what sort of person invents a game where you come off for rain, in a country where the weather does nothing but?

  • Andrew Bloxham on May 4, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    There's still an outside chance of Warwickshire picking up a win at Edgbaston, providing the rain holds off. It is very gloomy and overcast in Birmingham this morning, and the city was subject to heavy rain overnight, but so far so dry and there should be play this morning with Edgbaston's excellent drainage facilities and ground staff.

    The Bears, with Ian Bell still at the crease after reaching a hard fought century yesterday, will no doubt look to increase their lead to 100 before looking to bowl Durham out cheaply a second time. Were it not for the innings of Bell Warwickshire would have been in a whole heap of trouble.

    One thing is for sure, it is a bowlers match, so either side could still win this. A substantial lead for Warwickshire may prove to be crucial.

  • Andrew Bloxham on May 4, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    D Constantopolis, Chris Read is another I'd suggest. His batting average has been somewhere in the region of 60 across the last couple of years, unless I am very much mistaken.

    Read was always renowned for his excellent wicket-keeping ability, with his supposed weak batting being the only barrier between himself and England's number seven spot. Unfortunately for him, the excellence of Matt Prior has all but ensured that particular ship has sailed, but Notts won't be complaining.

    There we are, two examples at Notts, and perhaps an honorary mention to Glen Chapple, who has been nothing short of superb of late.

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    Not bowling because of a cold? Sounds like a serious case of man-flu if you ask me...

  • Dave the Eagle on May 4, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Bell finally falls for 120. A very nice knock.

    71 runs ahead is a decent lead (with hopefully a few more from teh final partnership) and Durham will have their work cut out. All 3 results still a possibility but a draw still most likely at present I feel, considering the weather forecast today.

  • Samuel on May 4, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Just to be pedantic and annoying George, but I'm pretty sure you're watching Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston, not Somerset!

  • Anus McGuigan on May 4, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Hi chums,

    I believe nicknames for counties in Twenty20 should be based on their character - not arbitrary like most (all?) of them. So have decided to lobby the ECB to get genuine names in place.

    So far I have:

    Somerset Bridesmaids Middlesex Squatters Yorkshire Pit Ponies Worcestershire Scuba-divers

    Any more?