July 21, 2012

LV= County Championship, Saturday July 21

6.05pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

6.05pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

Somerset have beaten Warwickshire by one wicket. Thrilling victory, brought about by an innings of 152 by Craig Kieswetter.

5.20pm: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Surrey

Today is Jason Roy's birthday and he has been generous enough to entertain the scattering of spectators in the appropriate spirit, hitting 70 off 45 balls with eight fours and three sixes, one off Harry Gurney and a couple off Samit Patel. Surrey are 197-4.

Young Rory Burns, meanwhile, has at last been yorked by Andre Adams for a fine 79, the highest Championship score by the 20-year-old left-hander, who was badly dropped on 54 by Patel but otherwise showed a good deal of composure in only his fifth first-class match and only his third against county opposition.

Notts are getting something out of the exercise. Three wickets for Adams has given them a bowling bonus point, although there is a matter for concern in that captain and wicketkeeper Chris Read has had to give the gloves to Riki Wessels after taking a knock on the left index finger.

4.20pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

Forget all that talk about a thousand runs before the end of May - although it was hard to do so for Nick Compton at the time. He is in fact on the verge of scoring a thousand championship runs for the season, which, apart from being highly praiseworthy, says something about the ease of runs against student opposition earlier on. What with that and Craig 'gloves' Kieswetter approaching a century, Somerset could yet defeat Warwickshire and elevate themselves into a strong position in the first division.

3.35pm: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Surrey

Surrey deserve something to be encouraged by and a score of 77-0 after 25 overs falls into that category, particularly given that the two opening batsmen, Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari, are aged 21 and 20 respectively, with 14 first-class games between them.

And this against a Nottinghamshire attack that includes Andre Adams, Ben Phillips and Samit Patel, who have more than a thousand first-class wickets between them. Burns has got away with a couple of streaky edges but otherwise they have performed an effective job at denying Notts any extra bonus points.

2.52pm: Nigel Gardner at Derbyshire v Yorkshire

Yorkshire came into this game 25 points behind Derbyshire and that’s still the position at the end of this match which, I’m sad to report, has been abandoned after a third inspection by umpires Peter Hartley and Sunderan Ravi. Parts of the outfield, particularly near the boundary, were still too damp and with the safety of the players a priority, the game had to be called off. There have been a few people here scratching their heads trying to recall when Derbyshire last had three days of a first-class match washed out and so far, no one can come up with an answer, not even the club’s scorer John Brown who, at the age of 125, can go back a long way. The hope now is that tomorrow’s CB40 game here will go ahead when Yorkshire could have their captain Andrew Gale back from injury. If the Derbyshire preview of the game is to believed, it should be an interesting contest after a press release from the club forecast a “barmy” afternoon.

2.40pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

There cannot have been a cricketer so keen to return to the game as Marcus Trescothick. He opted to roll out a net himself, and then tidy it away afterwards, for the purpose of having some throw-downs from coach Andy Hurry today. Needless to say, quite a crowd gathered. He is in the squad for the CB40 match against Durham tomorrow for what would be his first appearance for three months.

2.10pm: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Surrey

There must be a thesis, if not an entire book, to be written about the psychology of where people sit in cricket grounds. I've just seen a bloke sitting in the far corner of the William Clarke Stand, underneath the old press box, in the shade, about as far from the pitch as it is possible to be, and he's behind a pillar. Why?

Notts, meanwhile, are all out for 328 following a rather pointless exercise in bat swinging which saw the last three wickets fall in eight balls without addition to the score. Just as Chris Read missed out on a century, Ben Phillips fell short of a half-century, miscuing Stuart Meaker to be caught at square leg for 47. Meaker finished with 5-78.

1.15pm: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Surrey

On a day such as this it would be absurd to say you'd rather be somewhere else but at least at Taunton and Arundel they appear to have a game on. Nine wickets in the morning at Taunton and Warwickshire have the edge. Sussex, meanwhile, are threatening to make a proper horlicks of chasing 94 to beat Durham.

Sussex have limped to lunch at 41-5, from which position they ought still to win. If not, Surrey's apparent decision to decline any deal with Notts here might bring them more quizzical looks if Durham join Worcestershire in enjoying an unexpected change of luck.

At Trent Bridge, Notts have three bonus points to Sussex's two and Chris Read hasn't even given us a century to write about, bowled all ends up by Stuart Meaker for 98.

1pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

There has been no necessity to revive the dead art of declaration making at Taunton this morning as a collapse of Warwickshire wickets has meant Jim Troughton has not had to decide when to close his side's innings. Somerset were left needing 271 to win, which is what a Sobers or an Ingels Macrackers, as Private Eye called the celebrated late captain of Hampshire, would have reckoned was a just target. Like all modern day captains, Troughton probably would have been more conservative. Anyway, two wickets down at lunch means a fascinating afternoon is in prospect.

12.52pm: Nigel Gardner at Derbyshire v Yorkshire

The latest is the umpires have just inspected and are going to look again in another hour. We’ve been told the prospects of play are “limited” which doesn’t sound good although both teams are keen to play. The problem is that although parts of the ground are fine, others are still very wet and, quite rightly, Peter Hartley and Sunderan Ravi have to take into account the safety of the players. So there may be no further play in this game but the club has just announced that anyone who had a ticket for Thursday or Friday will be able to use it for the 40 overs match tomorrow.

12.30pm: Ivo Tennant at Somerset v Warwickshire

Computer problems, involving a corrupt hard drive at the County Ground this morning - imagine the fun Alan Gibson would have had writing about that in his fountain pen - but communications appear to be working now. And technological thoughts from forward-thinking chief executive Guy Lavender after all the rain: "One solution could be an all weather outfield and artificial wicket; modern materials and surfaces have come a long way, but I have yet to find anyone who felt this was a viable solution at present and we really haven’t given it any consideration. In addition, it would still be very difficult for the batsmen to see the ball in poor weather which would be dangerous. The most pragmatic way to deal with the weather is to have a domestic structure with the space to replay specific fixtures but that of course would require a major rethink."

12.27pm: Nigel Gardner at Derbyshire v Yorkshire

We’ve been reminiscing here about a game against Yorkshire at Queen’s Park three or four years ago. The BBC’s admirable Dave Callaghan, who incidentally doesn’t mind a bit of Travis, thinks it was a Twenty20 match but whatever competition it was, Anthony McGrath left a whiff of cordite in the Derbyshire air with an explosive innings which included several sixes that scattered customers queuing at an ice cream parlour where Bakewell Pudding flavour is a particular favourite. Perhaps he might get the chance to find his range again later today although there’s still no news on whether we are going to get anymore cricket.

12.05pm: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Surrey

No sign of anything that suggests any agreement. Notts have added 56 in the first hour and a bit for one wicket with Adam Voges just out for 59, leg before to one from Jon Lewis that nipped back a little and punished the Australian for staying pretty much rooted in his crease. Chris Read is still there on 81. He and Voges added 145 for the sixth wicket, two more than they put on together at Uxbridge last week.

Looks like they might be getting some help from Somerset in keeping Warwickshire in range. The Bears were 98-8 when I last looked, which gave them a lead of only 244 at Taunton. So game on there.

A win for Somerset, of course, would bring them back into the title race just as Marcus Trescothick prepares to make his return. A three-way race would be good.

11.35am: Nigel Gardner at Derbyshire v Yorkshire

Summer has finally arrived at Queen's Park. The sun is beating down and there’s a chance we might get some play this afternoon. [Isn't this a weather intro? - Ed] The umpires inspected at 10.30 and will look again at 12.30 with lunch brought forward to 12.45. Admission is free today and people have started to come in so hopefully they will be rewarded with a couple of hours this afternoon.

There’s no chance of a positive result now but both teams could pick up an extra bonus point and Steve Harmison will be keen to get a few more overs under his belt. And of course, umpire Sunderan Ravi will be able to stand in his last day on the county circuit before he returns to India tomorrow when Derbyshire are expecting a bumper crowd for the CB40 match against Yorkshire here.

That will certainly help the county’s coffers although they have missed out on what should have been a good money spinner if the weather had not ruined Derbyshire’s 400th first-class match at Chesterfield. But it hasn’t been a complete financial write-off because chief executive Simon Storey confirmed a few minutes ago that the club was prudent enough to take out insurance for this game.

11.15am: Jon Culley at Nottinghamshire v Surrey

The first thing to say is that this is a day when I can promise not to talk about the weather, except that by saying I wouldn't talk about the weather I have just mentioned it, of course. But I won't do it again, unless it rains, which it won't, because the sun is out and there is nothing to suggest it will not stay out all day.

Last night, apparently, both sides could see the merits of setting up a run chase so that the final day has more purpose than an opportunity for bonus points. Zander de Bruyn and Chris Read were observed in conversation before the start but those who claim to be able to read body language were not enthused by what they saw. We shall see. Notts are keen not to let Warwickshire slip away from them and Surrey, you would have thought, will not have been too pleased that Worcestershire won so easily at Old Trafford.

Mind you, Read has helped himself to two boundaries from a couple of somewhat inviting deliveries from Chris Jordan to move from 49 overnight to 58 currently, from 76 balls with 10 fours. Notts are 187-5 and Read and Adam Voges have added 103 from 22.2 overs.

11.00am: David Hopps with a very short preamble

Our crack team of county writers have been given strict instructions to avoid weather intros for the rest of the season. Mr Gardner of Derbyshire, who seemed to overlook this instruction at Chesterfield yesterday when providing a reverie on Travis' 1999 hit single Why Does It Always Rain One Me? will receive suitable punishment by being strapped to a chair at close of play today and forced to listen to this unbearable song until the end of time.

With those promises clearly made, please read on. You are very welcome.