July 19, 2012

LV= County Championship, Thursday July 19

4.55pm: David Lloyd at Kent v Glamorgan

4.55pm: David Lloyd at Kent v Glamorgan

Some good news for Glamorgan: Matthew Mott, their head coach (head of elite performance, to give him his official title) is staying with the county after being interviewed by Cricket New Zealand.

4.20pm: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Worcestershire. Worcestershire, without a championship win all season, have put themselves into a strong position to change that after dismissing Lancashire for 162 and claiming a 129-run first innings lead on a spin-friendly wicket at Old Trafford.

Moeen Ali claimed career-best figures of six for 67 and Shaaiq Choudhry, Worcestershire’s left-arm spinner, wrapped up the rest of the wickets to also grab a career-best four for 38 to leave Lancashire facing the prospect of following on until a 43-run last wicket stand between Kyle Hogg and Simon Kerrigan.

4.10pm: David Lloyd at Kent v Glamorgan

Mike Powell, playing against his old county, must be wishing those threatening showers had arrived at the St Lawrence Ground when they were forecast. As it was, he walked out to face Glamorgan at 110-3 – and walked back in, one ball later, with the scoreboard reading 110 for four.

Harris was the man doing all the damage. He won a leg before decision to remove Northeast for a nicely made 52, then located Powell’s outside edge to have figures of 4-33 from 12 overs in only his third championship match of the season following a groin injury.

Darren Stevens survived the hat-trick attempt comfortably enough, then set about repairing the damage with some typical stand and deliver hitting. By tea he had 44 from 31 balls, Brendan Nash was unbeaten on 52 and Kent were a healthier looking 176-4.

4.05pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

Marcus Trescothick, who has his eye on returning for Somerset next Tuesday in their t20 quarter-final, is concerned about the 4.15 start. "It is far from ideal for working spectators," he said, "but this has been arranged so two quarter-finals can be screened on the same evening. I might leave my decision as to whether to play until as late as Tuesday morning."

2.50pm: David Lloyd at Kent v Glamorgan

Good(ish) news. Play will resume at 3.10pm. But more showers are likely, apparently. When weren’t they?

2.45pm: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Worcestershire.

It has been quite a 24 hours for Lancashire since claiming a cluster of wickets either side of lunch to take control of their championship match with Worcestershire. Since then a determined Ben Scott century guided the visitors to a competitive 291 and now Lancashire have suffered a collapse of their own.

They have lost six wickets for 44 runs in 22 overs either side of lunch and, on 117 for six, look in danger of conceding a major first innings deficit. All six wickets have fallen to Moeen Ali’s off-spin and the left-arm spin of Shaaiq Choudhry, although several shots will not make pretty viewing when there is the inevitable review into Lancashire’s collapse.

The loss of opener Stephen Moore began the collapse when he attempted to hit Ali over the top and picked out deep mid , while Karl Brown was stumped trying to charge Choudhry and Tom Smith mis-timed an attempted sweep to backward square leg.

Having struggled themselves against Lancashire’s spinners yesterday, the turnaround has provided a major boost to Worcestershire’s morale as they chase their first championship victory of the summer.

2.10 pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

News from Somerset's second X1, playing Essex at Coggeshall: Marcus Trescothick, in his first innings for three months following his ankle injury, has made 42. He has not ruled himself out of playing in Somerset's t20 quarter-fnal next week.

2pm: David Lloyd at Kent v Glamorgan

To say it rained during the lunch interval would be to do the heavens an injustice – it came down in stair rods, for about 20 minutes. The ground staff had the covers on as quickly as they could but the damage has been done and the umpires will not inspect again until 2.45pm.

1.10pm: David Lloyd at Kent v Glamorgan

Two 22-year-olds have caught the eye this morning – and their names will come as no surprise to followers of Kent and Glamorgan.

Opener Sam Northeast has had his ups and downs since first being identified as a star in the making but, by all accounts, he looked very much the part when making 35 and 54 not out against the South Africans last weekend – and the same could be said of his performance before lunch, which he reached unbeaten on 47.

As for Glamorgan fast bowler James Harris, his first-debut was made just before he turned 17 and he has been on England’s radar pretty much ever since. Here, he bowled with good pace – and extracted impressive bounce – while picking up Rob Key and Ben Harmison as the hosts reached 98 for two.

12.05pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

Will the County Ground at Taunton be the first in the country to have a roof built over it? After all, they have some money nowadays. "No," says chief executive Guy Lavender, firmly. "The roof over the centre court at Wimbledon cost circa £80m. If you think about the envelope required to play cricket, it is so enormous as to make it completely unaffordable, leaving aside the engineering challenges."

11.55am: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Worcestershire

Old Trafford is renowned for a number of bizarre ways to stop cricket, including sun stopping play some years ago, so no one should have been surprised that in cloudy conditions and only 2.5 overs into the second day’s play, the players were ordered to walk off the field.

It was not for bad light, or light drizzle but followed a complaint from Worcestershire seamer Gareth Andrew about the run up from the Pavilion End. He had just been hit for four by Paul Horton when he approached umpire George Sharp and complained about a small area of turf around four yards behind the batting crease.

Following a consultation between the umpires, head groundsman Matt Merchant and several members of the Worcestershire team, it was decided to take the players off after only 11 deliveries from that end of the ground. Lancashire believe the repairs will not take long, but in the mean-time chief executive Jim Cumbes has been out in the middle to disccuss the issue and has now been joined by Peter Moores and Steve Rhodes, the two coaches.

As you can imagine, the delay has not been greeted well by the small crowd, but the players have just begun to filter back onto the field after an 18-minute delay.

11.25am: David Lloyd at Kent v Glamorgan

It’s been six weeks, give or take a couple of days, and Kent are finally back in championship action – but no-one seemed to have told openers Rob Key and Sam Northeast.

A lot of teams, Kent included, have made worse starts to T20 matches this season than 21-0 off two overs. That was the way the hosts began, however, as Key cover drove two boundaries in three balls from James Harris before Northeast plundered three fours off Huw Waters.

Mind you, there may need to be a stewards’ enquiry into the first-class status of this contest. No-one can remember when Eddie Bevan, the veteran BBC Wales Radio commentator, last missed a Glamorgan match but he is absent today – apparently preparing himself for his daughter’s wedding.

Glamorgan off the mark earlier this week with their first championship victory of the season (a terrific run-chase at Northampton) and no Bevan to call their attempt to keep the ball rolling: who says domestic cricket is predictable?

11.25am: Nigel Gardner at Derbyshire v Yorkshire

The news we were all expecting has just been announced. No play today although, typically, it has now stopped raining but much too late to alter the gloomy picture here at Queen’s Park. But at least that gives the ground a chance to dry out and with an improved forecast for tomorrow, fingers crossed that we can start on time.

10.50am: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Worcestershire

Overnight rain has also delayed the start here at Old Trafford, although it will be an identical delay as yesterday and we are expecting to start at 11.30am. Lancashire will resume on 13 without loss trailing Worcestershire by 278 runs under a cloudy sky with the sun trying desperately to break through.

If yesterday’s absorbing play is any guide, we are unlikely to see much seam bowling after Lancashire’s spinners, Simon Kerrigan and Steven Croft, claimed seven wickets between them on the opening day. Worcestershire followed suit last night by giving Moeen Ali the chance to try two overs of off-spin with the new ball.

10.45am: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

Sunshine this morning in the old market town of Taunton. Almost unbelievable. In spite of all the rain, Somerset, not least owing to their success in t20, the staging of an Elton John concert and hosting the South Africans, are financially in a stronger position this season than most counties. One concern: Guy Lavender, their chief executive, jokes that he is feeding half the world's media. It is true that the carvery here is extremely good - appreciated not least by the South African and Zimbabwean journalists and the contingent from Sky who attend most matches. Indeed, one veteran Zimbabwean reporter, evidently starved of good food in his homeland, is so taken with the improved fare on the county circuit that he requested being served fish and chips at 12.25pm precisely at West End last week to ensure it had not run out. Culinary reviews will no doubt follow.

10.35am: Nigel Gardner at Derbyshire v Yorkshire

Bad news I’m afraid from Queen’s Park. The sunshine of yesterday has been replaced by rain clouds and there is little chance of any play today. Despite the forecast of showers, it has been raining steadily here throughout the night and morning and, although the umpires are due to inspect at 11am, no one here is expecting any positive news. The outfield is saturated and even if the rain stopped and the sun came out, it would take at least six hours for the ground to dry out. Much more of this and tomorrow’s play will be in doubt as well. A pity because the game is fascinatingly poised with Yorkshire holding a slight advantage after Steve Harmison’s late burst from the Pavilion End in the evening sunshine. This latest soggy chapter in the summer of 2012 must be doubly frustrating for him because he would have been desperate to build on that spell which would have done so much to restore his confidence.

10.20am: Andrew McGlashan sets up the day

Hello everyone. Who needs The Oval, eh? Another day of county action awaits with players up and down the country hoping that reports of an improved weather forecast actually come true.

Poor Cheltenham. Another day lost to the rain yesterday. It’s been a desperate season so far, but let’s think positively. The jet stream is moving north.

Where we did see action yesterday there was some eye-catching cricket. It was quite a day for Steven Croft who took three wickets as well as being named in England’s 30-man World Twenty20 squad. But his thunder was stolen by a fantastic hundred from Ben Scott. Meanwhile, at Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire and Surrey traded blows in the 42 overs possible.

As always, keep the discussion going in the comments section below and enjoy the day.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo