May 25, 2012

LV= County Championship, Friday May 25

5.25pm: Jon Culley at Surrey v Warwickshire
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5.25pm: Jon Culley at Surrey v Warwickshire

This match will finish tonight, you suspect, but it is still not clear who wins.

Warwickshire's fifth wicket added 111, which clearly tipped the balance in their favour, but Gareth Batty has claimed his fourth wicket of the innings and 10th of the match by pushing one through to trap William Porterfield leg before and the visitors suddenly face a tricky passage of play.

Porterfield made 66, Tim Ambrose has 64 but Rikki Clarke will have to take care if Warwickshire are not to start twitching a little. At 156-5, they need another 66, with 11 overs left of the scheduled allocation, but the extra half-hour will probably come into play one way or another.

5.10pm: Alex Winter at Essex v Derbyshire

Everyone’s been robbed of another day in the Chelmsford sunshine tomorrow because Derbyshire have won at an absolute canter. Sailing home by 10 wickets. Martin Guptill has smashed it around for a 42-ball half-century with three sixes – the best of them a straight drive off Charl Willoughby. It’s been finished with a four through midwicket by Paul Borrington – who needed runs. Another 22 points for Derbyshire who maintain their 26 point lead at the top of Division Two.

5.15pm: Ivo Tennant at Hampshire v Glamorgan

Cracking finish in prospect here at West End, where Glamorgan, much in need of a championship victory, will need to score at least 260, but perhaps not a great deal more, to win tomorrow. Strangely, the two fixtures here which looked likely, at least on paper, to be over in the shortest time, have gone the full distance. Gloucestershire, beaten in two days at Chelmsford, brought off an unexpected victory earlier this season and anything could happen in this match. And all on a thickly grassed pitch, too.

4.45pm: Alan Gardner casts an eye elsewhere ...

Leicestershire are on the express freeway to Heavy Defeatsville, with Kent just a couple more wickets from a huge innings victory. Michael Powell’s second hundred for his new county helped the hosts rack up 533 – a lead of almost 400 – and only three Leicestershire batsmen have reached double figures (with Josh Cobb’s 12 the best) in the second innings. The post-Glamorgan-win-in-round-one slump continues to afflict Leicestershire for the second season running. Oh, and there goes Wayne White, Darren Stevens’ third wicket, to make it 76-9 ...

At Northampton, the home side are building a commanding second-innings lead, after dismissing Gloucestershire for 268 earlier in the day. It could have been worse for Gloucs, who lost two wickets for the addition of just seven runs to their overnight 156 for 6, before Ian Saxelby stuck around for 30 to help Hamish Marshall to his first first-class ton for the county in three years. Still, with Kyle Coezter heading towards a second half-century in the match and Northants 285 ahead with eight wickets standing, they are well set to pursue a second win of the season on the final day.

4.15pm: Sahil Dutta at Sussex v Nottinghamshire

A meandering, hazy afternoon of sunshine with Sussex well placed at tea was punctuated by an over of utter misfortune for Nottinghamshire’s Andy Carter. Searching for his first wicket on his return to the side he almost had it twice in a single over. First Adam Voges put down a sharp chance off Chris Nash at second slip before, two balls later, a nip-backer to Luke Wright clipped the top of leg stump. The clunk reverberated around the ground and bowler was celebrating with batsman walking off. Yet closer inspection revealed the bails unmoved. The fielders crowded around to check the offending bail was not nailed on and Carter trudged back to fine leg with no reward for his toil.

4pm: Jon Culley at Surrey v Warwickshire

This match remains in the balance. Surrey were looking favourites as Warwickshire slumped to 37-4 in 16.2 overs, chasing 222 to win. But Will Porterfield and Tim Ambrose have added 45 since the last wicket.

Varun Chopra, who played so well in the first innings, departed to the fifth ball of the opening over when he was leg before to Jade Dernbach before Gareth Batty started to get amongst the wickets, bowling from the Pavilion End.

The off-spinner had Ian Westwood well caught by Tom Maynard at slip from the fourth delivery of his first over and had Jim Troughton leg before sweeping with the third ball of his second over, although it looked as though he might have been unlucky with the ball perhaps missing leg stump.

When Darren Maddy drove the second ball of his fourth over straight back at him, Batty held the catch for his ninth wicket of the match. He's taken 10 only once before, against Northants for Worcestershire in 2004.

At tea, Warwickshire are 82-4, needing another 140, with 32 overs left in the day. Bizarrely, we've had to switch off the aircon in the press box because we were cold.

3.55pm: Alex Winter at Essex v Derbyshire

We’ve just seen a remarkable 15 overs in which only James Foster scored runs. He farmed the bowling from seven down and managed to run Tom Craddock out before David Masters struck the only non-Foster runs of the final part of the innings. The second new ball eventually doing for Foster who was yorked, plumb in front lbw for 96 after some lusty blows which included him standing outside off stump for a time.

Derbyshire are rolling on. They will chase 94 to win after tea; a fourth win of the season approaching. Is this a breakthrough season for Derbyshire? They look a team high on confidence and clearly finding a method to win cricket matches. But like Northamptonshire last year, will have the t20 break to deal with but you would back them to put up another win next week against Gloucestershire – a chance to really take a grip of the division.

3.30pm: Ivo Tennant at Hampshire v Glamorgan

Interesting chat on Test Match Special at lunchtime with Sir Viv Richards, Sir Ian Botham and plain Mr Vic Marks reminiscing about their Somerset days. They mentioned everyone from Brian Close to Derek Taylor to Colin Dredge to Peter Denning - but not a word about the late Peter Roebuck, who, of course, was instrumental in breaking up their best ever side. Somerset also seem to be air-brushing him out of their history. There was no minute's silence or mention of him at the start of the season. It is unlikely the press box will be named after him. All rather sad. But all rather predictable.

2.30pm: Alex Winter at Essex v Derbyshire

It’s even hotter today at Chelmsford but thankfully a cooling breeze is running across the ground. But it keeps trying to close the one window we’ve actually managed to get open in the press box – I don’t know how the guys to my right are surviving stuck behind glass. As I type, Mark Elkid of the Derby Telegraph has managed to finally prop it open with a camera charger! Beer for the gentleman please. Or water...the staff have kindly brought a fresh tub for the cooler on my request – I’ve finished half of it already.

There was drama this morning as Phil, the Opta man, was late! Who to score the cricinfo card!?! Thankfully he only missed an over, traffic problems in north London accounting for his delay – that pesky A12 again I think. Thankfully I’ve taken that out of the equation with my use of the train today.

And today is perhaps going to be all we need to get this game wrapped up. Derbyshire enjoyed a three-wicket morning with Essex still behind at lunch. Owais Shah getting out in bizarre fashion, about a day early on a Wes Durston long-hop that hit his leg stump. There’s also been another gorgeous David Wainwright delivery; he’s now trying to mop up the lower order.

A hardcore band of Derbyshire followers is present – I remember they staged a mini pitch invasion after winning a most unbelievable game at Bristol three years ago. They were bowled out for 44 on the first morning, after being 9 for 7, but turned the game around and bowled Gloucestershire out for 72 to win the match before tea on the second day. Wild it was.

Speaking of Gloucestershire, their revised planning application has been approved by Bristol City Council’s planning officer – but that blessing mattered little with the planning committee when the original plans were heard. The new plans are to be debated on Wednesday.

2.00pm: Ivo Tennant at Hampshire v Glamorgan

Bilal Shafayat has become Hampshire's latest acquisition from another county. He is not exactly an old lag, though, in that he is only 27 and has signed a one year contract following his successful debut against Derbyshire two weeks ago when he made 93. When he played with Kevin Pietersen for Nottinghamshire, he was reckoned to be no less promising, but his career fell away, surprisingly. Moves to Northamptonshire and then back to Trent Bridge did not work out. "The journey has got me where I am but it is not over yet," he said. Indeed not.

2.00pm: Sahil Dutta at Sussex v Nottinghamshire

Sussex’s schoolchildren might have enjoyed their lunch more than their county team. Three wickets - two self-induced - on a cloudless day were not part of the script after choosing to bat first.

The kids, though, were full of cheer. I counted 12 chaotic games of Kwik Cricket, a precursor to Twenty20 but surely the kind of fast-paced action the market craves. At the end of lunch there was a crowd of youngsters craving Ben Phillips’ autograph. He was very obliging, and surprised I imagine.

1.25pm: Jon Culley at Surrey v Warwickshire

Lunch was delayed by about 12 or 13 minutes in the end, with Jade Dernbach the last man out, bowled taking a big swing at Chris Woakes. But the extra minutes were useful to Surrey, who gained another 11 runs. They were all out for 245, leaving Warwickshire five sessions to chase 222. One way or another, it could be over today.

1.05pm: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Middlesex

It has not been the best of days for Middlesex, who learned early in the morning they would not be allowed the use of Steven Finn, their fast bowler, after he was left out of England’s line-up for the second Test at Trent Bridge. According to ECB regulations, Finn had to be at Aigburth by 11.00am so he could take part in the final two days of the match.

His bowling could have been useful when Lancashire begin their second innings after lunch with a useful 162-run lead having decided against enforcing the follow on. Resuming on 155 for five, Middlesex lost their last five wickets for only 48 runs in 15.1 overs in good, sunny batting conditions on a good wicket.

Lancashire, presumably, have decided the humid conditions are not conducive towards enforcing the follow on, while bowling last on a worn surface always has its advantages. The morning session was also another triumph for Ajmal Shahzad since his controversial move from Yorkshire. He claimed four for 40, including a wicket with his fourth ball this morning, to further endear himself to Lancashire’s support.

1pm: Jon Culley at Surrey v Warwickshire

This fascinating contest remains absolutely in the balance. Jeetan Patel has six wickets for 92 runs, having taken all five to fall this morning, but Surrey have built enough of a lead to give Warwickshire plenty to do in the fourth innings.

Patel saw off three batsmen in the first 35 minutes, at which point Surrey were 165-7, which put them only 141 in front. But Jon Lewis and Chris Jordan have scored valuable runs since then, adding 54 before Will Porterfield took a good catch at short mid-wicket to curtail Lewis's progress.

He made 31 and Jordan has just been out for 40 adjudged to have been leg before by umpire David Millns, although the batsman's body language conveyed the impression that he thought he had hit the ball before it thudded into the pad.

The wicket came almost on the stroke of one o'clock, which meant lunch would be delayed by potentially up to 30 minutes because nine wickets were down. Surrey are 235-9, leading by 211.

12.15pm: Ivo Tennant at Hampshire v Glamorgan

Richard Illingworth, one of the umpires standing in this match, has just held up the match for a few minutes to go to the groundsman's hut for what is euphemistically known as "a comfort break." It is remarkable, really, that the umpires, most of whom are in late middle if not old age, do not require these more often. Dickie Bird, one would have thought, would have been on and off the ground repeatedly, but he was not. He was once brushed aside in a race for the pavilion by the great Garry Sobers, who had been up all night and whose stomach was playing up. Sobers, of course, was such a genius that this made no difference: it was his last Test at Lord's, in 1973, and he still made a century.

11.40am: Jon Culley at Surrey v Warwickshire

London does not always get a good press, especially among provincial types, such as me and my friend Brian Halford, who may work in Birmingham but is sensible enough to live in Warwick. We venture into the capital from time to time, share our experiences of noisy, overpriced hotels, and go home.

You can only admire people who live here, who get to enjoy all the obvious attractions but who pay a heavy price. The tube trains, for example, are not only overcrowded and hot but increasingly prone to breaking down. One of them did on the Jubilee Line the other evening, between Baker Street and St John's Wood, and 770 passengers literally had to get out and walk, along the tunnel, in swelteringly hot conditions. The whole ordeal lasted about four hours. Embarrassingly for Transport for London, the train involved was one of two newly painted in a special livery to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.

You can't imagine it was a particularly funny experience, although it would have been mildly amusing to note how long it took for someone to drop the pretence that nothing untoward had happened and actually speak to someone else.

Not much fun for the locals watching Surrey this morning. They have lost three wickets already, all to Jeetan Patel, who had Tom Maynard caught at silly point and bowled Jacques Rudolph before Gareth Batty clipped him straight to mid-on. At 168-7, Surrey's lead is just 144.

11.00am: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Middlesex

We have another hot, sunny day at Aigburth where Lancashire will be hoping to force home their advantage and claim their first victory of the season. Within their ranks they have one player who is still on a high from attending the Stone Roses first live appearance in 16 years on Wednesday night in Warrington.

All-rounder Kyle Hogg, who spends the winter working for SJM, a leading concert promotions company, went to the surprise concert straight after playing the opening day against Middlesex. It is the Stone Roses’ first warm-up gig before playing to thousands in three major concerts at Heaton Park in Manchester that were announced to mark confirmation they were re-forming.

“It was awesome,” said Hogg. “It was just great to see the four of them on the stage again together. If the other night is any guide, Heaton Park is going to be crazy because there were only around 1,000 people there the other night and that was mad enough.”

Lancashire have also confirmed that Ajmal Shahzad, their loan signing from Yorkshire, will not be available to play in either of the Roses t20 matches being held on June 29 at Headingley and July 6 at Old Trafford.

10.45am: Sahil Dutta at Sussex v Nottinghamshire

Picture perfect at Hove. Enough to draw a decent scattering of supporters to the ground a good hour before play, though maybe they were deceived by the 30-minute delay to the start time this morning, granted to give the groundsmen extra time after last night’s CB40 game.

A feature of covering matches at Hove is sharing the cosy press box with hoards of kids who come through partly to see the scribes at ‘work’ but mainly for a decent view of the pitch. Most are nonplussed but one this morning watched the teams warm up with wide eyes before asking, clearly bemused, “why are they playing football?” Good question son, good question.

10.30am: Alex Winter arrives by train

Yes indeed, public transport all the way to Chelmsford today. My sister has borrowed my car to go on a hen do to Devon! How awfully inconsiderate I initially thought but after my journey this morning, about 80 minutes from South London with two changes at Bank and Stratford, I forgive her. It was pleasant and the train station is but a five minute walk from the ground here.

The main cricketing action, as ever, is out in the shires and today our writers are in situ to provide you all the best coverage once again. All the action so far, including Somerset's victory at Taunton, is available on our county homepage. So have a perusal, catch up with where we are at, grab a cold one and prepare for another day on planet earth, made so much the more worth living for sunshine and the County Championship.

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Pat on May 25, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Philip G, I'm conscious that the weather has been a help for us as much as it's been a hindrance.. I reckon the top 3 in Div 2 is a fair reflection of the season so far and those will be the three from which the promoted teams will be found, although Kent and Yorkshire are arguable better equipped to compete.. It's certainly the best Kent seam attack for a long time and it's still without Azhar.

  • SanjayN on May 25, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Warwick in a good position, interesting they didn't take the extra 1/2 hour but 40-odd is still a tricky proposition so why take the risk? No weather issues 2morrow either.

    I'm confident Rikki will be at the helm against his old county and take it home for us. Come on you Bears, reclaim the top spot and stay there all season.

  • Philip G on May 25, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    What a win for Kent today. When the weather is with us...

  • Nick C on May 25, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Thanks Paul it's nice to know something was done,

    I agree that appropriate considering the circumstances and as I said he isn't particularly well remembered. Without trying to sound uncaring I do think today and certain Diana's death were a little bit too much of trying to show an emotional outpouring whever anyone of vague note dies these days. How many football games are played without the black armbands being trotted out?

    Mourn the dead certainly and honour the true greats but we don't need to make a song and dance about it every time.

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Nick C - Ale is a fine drink and the preferred stopgap if the hostelry of choice does not stock a sufficiently good cider.

    Strangely enough my favourite two ales are Cornish - Doom Bar and Betty Stoggs.

    The only drink I rarely touch is lager nowadays, grew up on the stuff (so to speak) and changed when I realised its not really very nice.

    Oh, and Guinness and I seem to have a mutually negative relationship so I give that a miss too.

    Windies and the Bears seem to both be under slightly less pressure at the moment.

  • Paul, Somerset on May 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    There's a big photo of Peter Roebuck on the wall behind the new Somerset Stand at the County Ground. It's as big and as prominent as all the others of Gimblett, Botham, Richards, etc.

    It first appeared in March, after his death, and seems an appropriate way to mark his passing. Anything more prominent, such as a request for a minute's silence, would have felt decidedly uncomfortable to me in the circumstances.

  • Nick C on May 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    @Ivo

    Just read your log sorry that just how Roebuck is remembered as at the County Ground even amongst the supporters. I have a Godfather, Father and friends who will recount to me the greatness of messr's Garner, Richard and Botham. The glory of watching the latter two enjoy a slogging contest at the Benson and Hedges cup final. Roebuck the man who lost Garner and Richards then Botham following on to lead the team to years of mediocrity. Clubs tend to honour the players that brought them greatness or were well loved I don't think Roebuck was either.

  • JonR on May 25, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    It's not true at all that Peter Roebuck is being removed from Somerset's history. He is included in the club's hall of fame and a large portrait of him was due to be added to a location somewhere around the County ground before his untimely death. I believe that the club announced before the start of the season that this will still happen, if it hasn't happened already.

    Is it not unsurprising that there was no mention of Peter Roebuck given the frosty relationship between him and the two Sirs?

  • Justin on May 25, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Samuel Yeah was a great finish altough i was worried at 7 / 2 but thankfully Suppiah came through for us. You read my mind about the cider and test.

    Do you think Thomas comming back gave us a lift? Overton and Dockrell best match for the kids this year.

  • Nick C on May 25, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    Zider? It's horrible stuff give me a pint of good old ale any day. Sorry as much as you can get good Cider in west country there are plenty of good real ale brewers as well and I find it a much nicer product.

  • Pat on May 25, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Philip G, I'm conscious that the weather has been a help for us as much as it's been a hindrance.. I reckon the top 3 in Div 2 is a fair reflection of the season so far and those will be the three from which the promoted teams will be found, although Kent and Yorkshire are arguable better equipped to compete.. It's certainly the best Kent seam attack for a long time and it's still without Azhar.

  • SanjayN on May 25, 2012, 18:02 GMT

    Warwick in a good position, interesting they didn't take the extra 1/2 hour but 40-odd is still a tricky proposition so why take the risk? No weather issues 2morrow either.

    I'm confident Rikki will be at the helm against his old county and take it home for us. Come on you Bears, reclaim the top spot and stay there all season.

  • Philip G on May 25, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    What a win for Kent today. When the weather is with us...

  • Nick C on May 25, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Thanks Paul it's nice to know something was done,

    I agree that appropriate considering the circumstances and as I said he isn't particularly well remembered. Without trying to sound uncaring I do think today and certain Diana's death were a little bit too much of trying to show an emotional outpouring whever anyone of vague note dies these days. How many football games are played without the black armbands being trotted out?

    Mourn the dead certainly and honour the true greats but we don't need to make a song and dance about it every time.

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Nick C - Ale is a fine drink and the preferred stopgap if the hostelry of choice does not stock a sufficiently good cider.

    Strangely enough my favourite two ales are Cornish - Doom Bar and Betty Stoggs.

    The only drink I rarely touch is lager nowadays, grew up on the stuff (so to speak) and changed when I realised its not really very nice.

    Oh, and Guinness and I seem to have a mutually negative relationship so I give that a miss too.

    Windies and the Bears seem to both be under slightly less pressure at the moment.

  • Paul, Somerset on May 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    There's a big photo of Peter Roebuck on the wall behind the new Somerset Stand at the County Ground. It's as big and as prominent as all the others of Gimblett, Botham, Richards, etc.

    It first appeared in March, after his death, and seems an appropriate way to mark his passing. Anything more prominent, such as a request for a minute's silence, would have felt decidedly uncomfortable to me in the circumstances.

  • Nick C on May 25, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    @Ivo

    Just read your log sorry that just how Roebuck is remembered as at the County Ground even amongst the supporters. I have a Godfather, Father and friends who will recount to me the greatness of messr's Garner, Richard and Botham. The glory of watching the latter two enjoy a slogging contest at the Benson and Hedges cup final. Roebuck the man who lost Garner and Richards then Botham following on to lead the team to years of mediocrity. Clubs tend to honour the players that brought them greatness or were well loved I don't think Roebuck was either.

  • JonR on May 25, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    It's not true at all that Peter Roebuck is being removed from Somerset's history. He is included in the club's hall of fame and a large portrait of him was due to be added to a location somewhere around the County ground before his untimely death. I believe that the club announced before the start of the season that this will still happen, if it hasn't happened already.

    Is it not unsurprising that there was no mention of Peter Roebuck given the frosty relationship between him and the two Sirs?

  • Justin on May 25, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Samuel Yeah was a great finish altough i was worried at 7 / 2 but thankfully Suppiah came through for us. You read my mind about the cider and test.

    Do you think Thomas comming back gave us a lift? Overton and Dockrell best match for the kids this year.

  • Nick C on May 25, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    Zider? It's horrible stuff give me a pint of good old ale any day. Sorry as much as you can get good Cider in west country there are plenty of good real ale brewers as well and I find it a much nicer product.

  • Mathew on May 25, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Leicestershire starting to show the form that had them bottom last year. However I do believe Kent will be there or there about to get promoted at the end of the year.

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Sorry Sam - 3 points for a draw I believe should mean the Bears will still be top!

    The ship has been steadied somewhat by Ambrose and Porterfield but still a huge amount of work to be done, expecially considering the performance of the tail in the 1st innings.

    Paul - Sheppy's cider is nice. My local Sainsbury's stock the dabinett so its on hand in a pinch.

  • Rikki on May 25, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    I guess there are no bonus points for Middlesex because Gareth Berg has a great John Houseman name.

  • Samuel on May 25, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Alex - I know all about Thatcher's Gold believe me. You get started on cider at a very early age here in the West Country...

    And sorry to say for Dave (and myself... having to praise Surrey is always hard) but I'm cheering on a Surrey win here, to keep us top of the table!

  • Ray W on May 25, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    Ivo - I completely agree about Peter Roebuck. Surrey still have a portrait photo of Chris Lewis in the Oval pavilion, and rightly so; he had a significant career at Surrey and deserves to be recognised for that, regardless of what happened subsequently. As you say, it isn't right to try and erase someone out of history.

  • Alex Winter on May 25, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Dave - nice place Falmouth, arguably the better of the two Cornwall coasts too. Rick Stein has got a chippy there that you can just turn up for - absolutely fabulous grub with none of the snobbery of his places in Padstow (all great though).

    I also stumbled upon a lovely restaurant on a lower-ground floor, can't remember it's name but seafood and jugs of sangria there were aplenty! Superb.

    Fine match on at The Oval.

  • Paul, Somerset on May 25, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Derbyshire have a depth of bowling that Worcs would envy: I'd count Groenewald, Pallodino, Clare and Wainwright as all clever and experienced enough to keep their team in contention in Div.1.

    Their batting is where they could find themselves outclassed, Particularly as they won't have Guptill next summer. That just leaves Durston as a man I'd back to have the class and confidence to take on the better bowlers.

    Sheppy's do an excellent dabinett cider which I'd recommend trying.

  • William Franklin on May 25, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    I thought Surrey would need a lead of 250+ but it appears 221 is going to be tough. Great to see Batty in the wickets, he was almost in tears when he got his Surrey County Cap last year saying it was one of his proudest moments.

    @dave the eagle - there was a nice beer destival at the Oval last week.

  • Mathew on May 25, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Looks like it's going to be a tough chase for warwickshire, clearly the ball must be spinning considering the amount of wickets batty and patel have in this game, as I don't really see either of them as elite world class spinners.

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Alex - not a bad choice, although the Old Rascal is a nice little drop.

    Part of the problem living in the Midlands (one of many I expect readers will think) is that we get very few cider festivals.

    Plenty of CAMRA beer festivals but they only give a nod (sneer) to cider and will have maybe four or five on. Hoping to get down to Falmouth to visit family - some proper cider drinkers in that part of the world.

    Anyway - the Bears are imploding with the 3rd wicket down already. Damn.

  • Alex Winter on May 25, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Dave, Samuel...Aspall's isn't bad but nothing can top the cool, crisp refreshment of a Thatcher's Gold - that stuff is superb.

    RE: DErbyshire's impending promotion ;) I'd say they have just as good a squad as Worcestershire, so no reason why they couldn't mount a challenge to stay in the top flight - where they haven't been since 2000.

  • Michael Trout on May 25, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Something fishy about the wicket at the Oval, Mr Culley? Was it too dry at the start of the match? Could have done with a decent soak. An aside, but did you previously call yourself Collis? Name changes are as common as tattoos these days.

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Samuel - I'm a Coventry boy, not born but bred and a cider drinker for many years.

    Aspalls is my current favourite but I always keep a wide selection of bottles to ensure a suitable beverage for all moods and weather.

    Tremlett is looking like a nearly man as injury seems to be shortening his career by a significant degree. Charging in at full tilt though, and I wouldn't fancy standing in the way - pads or not. Maybe with a riot shield....maybe.

  • Samuel on May 25, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Dave - the Trent Bridge pitch tends to get quicker as the game goes on too (remember Bresnan's bumpers against India last year?), meaning Finn really would have been a handful throughout the game. I'm still not sure he'd get into England's best team either though, if everyone was available. I still think, in England anyway, that our best seam combination is Anderson, Broad and Tremlett. Tremlett seems to have a habit of making good batsmen look average - Ponting, Jayawardene and Tendulkar have looked all at sea against him at times. I get the feeling Chanderpaul wouldn't be too comfortable against him either. It makes his injuries even more frustrating.

    And Aspalls? Fine choice. Are you East Anglian by any chance? I drank many a pint of that whilst at uni in Norwich...

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    Samuel - I can see your point about Bresnan, but I think Anderson and Broad can swing it enough anyway. The Trent Bridge pitch is usually a bit quicker and I think Finn could have been a handful. The WI batsmen don't seem to be comfortable with the short ball in general and Finn does whistle it past the nose very well.

    Particularly jealous by the way. I have to wait until 6pm before I can unrack the crate of Aspalls I have chilling.

  • Samuel on May 25, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Dave - I can see why they went for Bresnan at Trent Bridge; it's a swinging ground, and more so than Finn or Onions, Bresnan is a swing bowler. But, as I've said, my reasoning is that Bresnan wouldn't get in the side over Finn, or perhaps even Onions, if he didn't bat as well as he did. I'm not sure that's the right way to go about picking your bowlers. I rate Bresnan as a good cricketer, but I don't think he's part of England's best team.

    Oh, and I've been quiet because Somerset wrapped it up yesterday, so it's time to settle down with a cider or two and the Test match on TV, with the TV pulled into the garden!

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Stuck in meetings all morning on a day like this does not endear office work to me. Grrrr.

    Anyway. Nice to see the Bears manage to limit Surrey to a lead that should be relatively comfortable to chase down (famous last owrds of course).

    I assume the usual suspcts have had their heads turned by the wickets falling at Trent Bridge. I'm not usually one for a knee-jerk reaction but I'm getting the feeling the Bresnan is starting to wane a little. I'm hoping he is not justifying his place on the superstition that we win when he is in the team.

    Personally would have liked to have see Finn in action to offer something a little different.

  • OldAdam on May 25, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Derbyshire's progress this season seems inexorable (I hope that isn't the kiss of death). But, if they do continue in this fashion and gain promotion, will they actually be ready for it? What's worse, win evrything in sight in Division 2 or end up bottom of Division 1? And I regard myself as an optimist!

  • Kenny Shovel on May 25, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    HELLO, Hello, hello. ECHO, Echo, echo.

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  • Kenny Shovel on May 25, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    HELLO, Hello, hello. ECHO, Echo, echo.

  • OldAdam on May 25, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Derbyshire's progress this season seems inexorable (I hope that isn't the kiss of death). But, if they do continue in this fashion and gain promotion, will they actually be ready for it? What's worse, win evrything in sight in Division 2 or end up bottom of Division 1? And I regard myself as an optimist!

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    Stuck in meetings all morning on a day like this does not endear office work to me. Grrrr.

    Anyway. Nice to see the Bears manage to limit Surrey to a lead that should be relatively comfortable to chase down (famous last owrds of course).

    I assume the usual suspcts have had their heads turned by the wickets falling at Trent Bridge. I'm not usually one for a knee-jerk reaction but I'm getting the feeling the Bresnan is starting to wane a little. I'm hoping he is not justifying his place on the superstition that we win when he is in the team.

    Personally would have liked to have see Finn in action to offer something a little different.

  • Samuel on May 25, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Dave - I can see why they went for Bresnan at Trent Bridge; it's a swinging ground, and more so than Finn or Onions, Bresnan is a swing bowler. But, as I've said, my reasoning is that Bresnan wouldn't get in the side over Finn, or perhaps even Onions, if he didn't bat as well as he did. I'm not sure that's the right way to go about picking your bowlers. I rate Bresnan as a good cricketer, but I don't think he's part of England's best team.

    Oh, and I've been quiet because Somerset wrapped it up yesterday, so it's time to settle down with a cider or two and the Test match on TV, with the TV pulled into the garden!

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    Samuel - I can see your point about Bresnan, but I think Anderson and Broad can swing it enough anyway. The Trent Bridge pitch is usually a bit quicker and I think Finn could have been a handful. The WI batsmen don't seem to be comfortable with the short ball in general and Finn does whistle it past the nose very well.

    Particularly jealous by the way. I have to wait until 6pm before I can unrack the crate of Aspalls I have chilling.

  • Samuel on May 25, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Dave - the Trent Bridge pitch tends to get quicker as the game goes on too (remember Bresnan's bumpers against India last year?), meaning Finn really would have been a handful throughout the game. I'm still not sure he'd get into England's best team either though, if everyone was available. I still think, in England anyway, that our best seam combination is Anderson, Broad and Tremlett. Tremlett seems to have a habit of making good batsmen look average - Ponting, Jayawardene and Tendulkar have looked all at sea against him at times. I get the feeling Chanderpaul wouldn't be too comfortable against him either. It makes his injuries even more frustrating.

    And Aspalls? Fine choice. Are you East Anglian by any chance? I drank many a pint of that whilst at uni in Norwich...

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Samuel - I'm a Coventry boy, not born but bred and a cider drinker for many years.

    Aspalls is my current favourite but I always keep a wide selection of bottles to ensure a suitable beverage for all moods and weather.

    Tremlett is looking like a nearly man as injury seems to be shortening his career by a significant degree. Charging in at full tilt though, and I wouldn't fancy standing in the way - pads or not. Maybe with a riot shield....maybe.

  • Michael Trout on May 25, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Something fishy about the wicket at the Oval, Mr Culley? Was it too dry at the start of the match? Could have done with a decent soak. An aside, but did you previously call yourself Collis? Name changes are as common as tattoos these days.

  • Alex Winter on May 25, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Dave, Samuel...Aspall's isn't bad but nothing can top the cool, crisp refreshment of a Thatcher's Gold - that stuff is superb.

    RE: DErbyshire's impending promotion ;) I'd say they have just as good a squad as Worcestershire, so no reason why they couldn't mount a challenge to stay in the top flight - where they haven't been since 2000.

  • Dave the Eagle on May 25, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Alex - not a bad choice, although the Old Rascal is a nice little drop.

    Part of the problem living in the Midlands (one of many I expect readers will think) is that we get very few cider festivals.

    Plenty of CAMRA beer festivals but they only give a nod (sneer) to cider and will have maybe four or five on. Hoping to get down to Falmouth to visit family - some proper cider drinkers in that part of the world.

    Anyway - the Bears are imploding with the 3rd wicket down already. Damn.