August 31, 2012

LV= County Championship, Friday, August 31

David Hopps

6.10pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

Yorkshire have beaten Gloucestershire by two wickets with 16 balls to spare, claiming 19 priceless points in their push for promotion. Anthony McGrath finishes 76 not out. Report to follow.

5.55pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

Yorkshire now require 31 runs from six overs to win, with three wickets in hand, and if Anthony McGrath stays in they might do it. He’s continued to take the fight to Gloucestershire, the leg side being particularly productive. Supporters of Yorkshire’s rivals at the top of Division 2 should be reassured that Gloucestershire are by no means making it easy in terms of effort.

5.30pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

Any outcome is still possible at Scarborough. Andy Hodd was only able to contribute eight runs to Yorkshire’s run chase, but Anthony McGrath has continued to bat with panache and has just reached his half century. No sooner had he done so than Anthony Ireland dropped him off his own bowling. He was being assertively supported by Adil Rashid until he edged Will Gidman to the wicketkeeper. Azeem Rafiq comes to the wicket and Yorkshire need 47 to win off 9.3 overs. Meanwhile Kent’s win at Leicester adds yet more significance to what will happen over the next few minutes.

5.00pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

It’s touch and go at North Marine Road. One of my colleagues predicts a draw with Yorkshire eight wickets down. The most experienced among us is unwilling to commit himself, but is keeping an eye on the weather radar and suggests rain stopped play. Anyway, Yorkshire have moved on to 236-5 with Anthony McGrath 36 not out. They need 77 off a minimum of 16 overs.

4.40pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

Anthony McGrath has taken the initiative after the departure of Jaques, and is responsible for Yorkshire adding 20 runs in five overs. He’s been playing sweetly through the on side. Liam Norwell has just replaced Fuller at the Pavilion End.

4.25pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

Phil Jaques has brought up Yorkshire’s 200 with a cut off James Fuller. They now need 113 runs for the victory. Jack Taylor’s off spin from the Trafalgar Square End is tying them down but runs are coming more freely at the other end. To add even more edge to events, it’s raining in Leeds and it’s heading this way. And now Jaques is caught driving at James Fuller. 205-5.

4.15pm: Jon Culley at Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire

The captains will shake hands on a draw in approximately 35 minutes' time, which will an entirely satisfactory outcome for Warwickshire, stretching their lead at the top of the Division One table by another 10 points to 22 and to all intents putting Nottinghamshire out of the race.

Sussex are still in the race, but need to beat Somerset at Hove, probably with maximum points, to retain an interest when they travel to Durham for the final round. Otherwise, Warwickshire's visit to Trent Bridge, which many hoped would be a title decider, will have nothing on it.

Warwickshire are 53-2. The only long face in the dressing room may be worn by William Porterfield, who was spared the axe that fell on Darren Maddy in this game but has done little to improve his standing with scores of 26 and 3.

4.10pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

Yorkshire have just resumed a run chase that could shape their season and the outcome of the Division 2 promotion race. They went to tea on 183-3 requiring a further 131 runs to win at just over four an over. However, off the fourth ball of the final session Gary Ballance drove Jack Taylor’s off break straight to cover and now Anthony McGrath has come to the wicket. Phil Jaques is well set on 71 and Yorkshire will want him to stick around.

3.40pm: Mankading: The last word (maybe)

Jarrod Kimber on Mankading. The column you have been waiting for.

3.25pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Surrey

In the words of Fred Trueman, I don’t know what’s going off out there. Or do I? It would seem that those four overs of ‘joke’ bowling were an attempt to goad Surrey into a challenging declaration. And if that was the case then it hasn’t worked.

There are now a minimum of 38 overs remaining and, at 275 for four, Surrey’s lead is 298. Take off two overs for the change of innings and Somerset would have to go ballistic to win.

A draw is by no means a bad result for Surrey so why risk losing? Those four overs were nothing but a tease!

3.05pm: Mankading revisited

Lots of bloggers writing about Mankading today. Here is Liam Cromar's take. Not many bloggers agree with the Taunton crowd it seems.

2.55pm: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

There were three main topics of debate in the stands and on the terrace at Scarborough at lunch time. The first was the umpires’ decision to abandon the day at 1.20pm yesterday. Were they a little previous? Certainly, as I sat in my garden forty miles away at 5 o’clock enjoying the warm sunshine I was thinking that if it was like that at Scarborough the players might be on the field.

Secondly, there was what we saw during the first half hour of today’s play. Was it cricket? To be sure, it was far from edifying to watch two part-time spinners lobbing up doughnuts, and fielders pretending to attempt to get in the ways of balls on their way to the boundary. On the other hand, we’re pretty well assured of a result, and if it goes Yorkshire’s way they’ll be very well placed to bounce back to Division 1. My own view, I’m afraid, is pragmatic rather than principled. If my own county were to do what Yorkshire did this morning and went on to win, I’d rub my hands together and enjoy the points gained.

The last bone of contention is the degree of challenge in the target that Gloucestershire set Yorkshire. 314 at less than four an over might be considered somewhat generous. If Yorkshire go on to win their supporters won’t complain, but there might be a few down in Hampshire who will.

Yorkshire’s openers Adam Lyth and Joe Root both played delightfully before getting themselves out. Yorkshire are 152-2, going at exactly the required run rate.

3.00pm: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Durham

While grounds around the country anticipate exciting final afternoons, we appear to be heading towards a sedate conclusion with the race for bonus points in the allocated 110 overs marginally won by Durham.

Two early wickets this morning presented Lancashire, in more dire need of points than Durham, with an opportunity to claim three wickets in 42 overs to secure an extra bonus point. They were denied from doing so by some hapless fielding and a stubborn 148-run stand between Paul Collingwood and Scott Borthwick that secured an extra batting bonus point just before the 110 overs deadline.

Collingwood was dropped on 45 by Glen Chapple and 75 by Ashwell Prince, allowing him to complete his first championship century of the summer, while Borthwick finally fell for 60 after drilling Gary Keedy straight to Chapple at mid-off.

2.40pm: Jon Culley at Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire

In keeping with the (mean) spirit of the game, Nottinghamshire have avoided the follow-on and declared at 356-8, denying Warwickshire a third batting point. They handed Warwickshire a lead of 148 with 51 overs left in the day, which you presume will just be an exercise in marking time, given that Jim Troughton will have no interest whatsoever in giving Notts a sniff, even by setting up a ridiculous run-chase.

A draw will give Warwickshire a 28-point lead over Notts and a 22-point lead over Sussex, with two games to play. It could be all over next week.

Alex Hales finished unbeaten on 155, which is not a bad day's work for him with an England opener's position up for grabs.

2.10pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Surrey

Happily, the help-yourself session lasted only four overs, but presumably served a purpose (producing 47 runs). And at least Chris Jones will have a happy memory of it – he claimed his maiden first-class wicket when a somewhat bemused looking Pietersen drilled an off-break to short extra cover.

KP did his bit by heaving three sixes - one of which was caught in the stands by Somerset’s currently injured Nick Compton - and departed with more of a grin than a scowl.

After that, it was back to the proper stuff with George Dockrell and Peter Trego back in the attack. Presumably the declaration will come when the leader is something like 280 or 300.

1.50pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Surrey

Well, this is a bit of a surprise. Relations between the two teams have clearly not been harmed beyond repair by the events of yesterday. Or maybe it’s just a case of needs must. Anyway, we have the buffet bowling of James Hildreth and Chris Jones for Mr Pietersen to feast on.

Negotiations have taken place, clearly, over the lunch interval and Somerset – who could still have a tilt at the title – will be set a target by Surrey, who should be absolutely safe if they win here.

1.05pm: David Lloyd at Somerset v Surrey

Rory Burns came through quite a going-over from Alfonso Thomas, who – in the space of a few overs – hit the batsman’s hand (with a sharp lifter), his helmet (with a quick bouncer) and a toe (with a slightly off-line yorker).

The youngster not only survived but prospered sufficiently well to reach 60, moving to that number with a lofted straight drive off George Dockrell that also brought up Surrey’s first century opening stand of the championship season.

Dockrell had his revenge a couple of balls later, however, through a bat/pad catch to short leg, then Sajid Mahmood removed Zafar Ansari and the stage was set once again for Kevin Pietersen.

It wasn’t long before KP was fussing about an open window high above the sightscreen at the River End. He couldn’t get his message across but then stirred spectators into action by lofting Dockrell for a big six in their direction.

This is a good test for young George and one the 20-year-old is likely to relish, whatever the outcome. At lunch, Surrey were 176 ahead at 153 for two with a minimum of 63 overs remaining. Who needs transfer deadline day when we could – I stress, could – have an interesting finish here?

1pm: Jon Culley at Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire

No Mankading here, thank you very much, but Notts have lost two wickets somewhat carelessly and might not avoid the follow-on, although you suspect Warwickshire do not have enough time, or possibly energy, to bowl them out again.

Chris Read had the opportunity to score his second century of the season but danced down the pitch to Ian Blackwell on 95 and missed the ball. The Notts captain flung himself headlong towards his crease but Tim Ambrose had the bails off in a flash.

Read's stand with Alex Hales was well past the previous record for the fifth Notts wicket against Warwickshire. It put on 222 in 49.3 overs.

It was an aberration that followed an otherwise solid occupation by the Notts pair, barring the odd streaky inside edge while Tom Milnes and Chris Wright were charging in early doors. But after Read's dismissal, Paul Franks wasted a chance to underline his value to the squad when he clipped a ball from Boyd Rankin straight to mid-on for nine.

But Hales, who is on 139, has just lofted Blackwell back over his head for six and Notts are 322-6 at lunch. They need to reach 355 to be less than 150 behind.

12.05pm: Meanwhile, on Mankading...

Here is an interesting blog by Will Atkins

And thanks to Jon R below the line for alerting us to this:

You can view the incident on the ECB highlights

11.55am: Myles Hodgson at Lancashire v Durham

While war threatened to break out in the West Country yesterday, here in the North we were all settling down to a final day with a match heading gently towards a draw. That was until two early wickets for Simon Kerrigan, Lancashire’s left-arm spinner, which has left Durham facing a potentially surprise first innings deficit.

Michael Richardson and Phil Mustard have both fallen to catches close to the wicket and Kerrigan to extracting turn and bounce from the River End, so we may have a more exciting final day that we envisaged – even if it is Lancashire chasing valuable bonus points towards their relegation struggle.

Durham probably need only a draw to safeguard their Division One status next summer, so are unlikely to be open to setting up a contrived finish. The events at Scarborough, however, have sparked an interesting debate in the press tent, strictly divided down parochial lines. Those of a Yorkshire persuasion believe it is a great move for cricket, others believe the opposite.

There has also been plenty of discussion about football’s transfer deadline day with the Lancashire press officer, a devoted Bolton fan, hoping for a few more signings before tonight. There is a general consensus that having one for cricket would add a frisson of excitement to the county season. Can you imagine Geoff Boycott, Yorkshire’s president, being stopped outside the Hutton Gates at Headingley by a TV reporter asking for the latest on transfer deals as the clock ticked down towards midnight?

11.50am: Les Smith at Yorkshire v Gloucestershire

Rejoice! The sun is out, the sky is blue, there’s not a cloud etc. After two washed out days a sizeable crowd arrived looking forward to an intriguing day at North Marine Road. The question being asked yesterday was whether Yorkshire would be conservative and go for the points available from a draw – potentially 8 – or gamble in the hope of doubling their money. We soon found out. Andrew Gale declared on Tuesday night’s total of 61-2, conceding a first innings lead of 154 runs to Gloucestershire. He also gave us an immediate indication of the type of cricket we could expect for the next half hour or so, throwing the ball to himself to bowl the first over of the innings. It was the sixth over of his first class career. At the other end it was Adam Lyth. Yesterday we were under water, now we had spin at both ends.

Gloucestershire declared their second innings closed after scoring 159 off ten overs. Watching Gale and Lyth bowl, it was impossible not to think of those badminton players in the Olympics who kept serving deliberately into the net. Gale’s career bowling average is now 144. For the record, Benny Howell scored 83 with 14 4s and two 6s, and Rob Nicol 75 with 13 4s and three 6s. Yorkshire require 314 runs off 84 overs to secure the victory which would see them overtake Hampshire into the Division 2 promotion places.

11.445am: Jon Culley at Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire

Should Warwickshire somehow manage to win this match, which is a bit of a long shot given that to do so they will need to take 16 wickets in a day on a pitch that has so far yielded 10 in 185 overs, there will be echoes of their last Championship winning year.

In 2004, they won the title employing the simple tactic of seeking to bat only once in the game. They scored 410 or more in the first innings in nine of their matches, including two totals of 600 or more and three others between 502 and 546. As it happens, they won only one of those matches by an innings.

Nonetheless, with five victories in the wins column, they clinched the title on September 6 when Sussex, the only team that could catch them, were beaten by Middlesex at Hove. History could repeat itself next week, after a fashion, if Sussex lose to Somerset at Hove.

Warwickshire have topped 400 in their first innings only six times this season, including this match. At 238-4, Nottinghamshire still needed another 117 to avoid the follow-on, although Warwickshire have not made any inroads today with Alex Hales completing his second century of the season in a partnership with Chris Read worth 169.

11.05am: David Lloyd at Somerset v Surrey

The lull after the storm? Well, it’s all quiet on the West Country front at the moment after yesterday’s ‘Mankading’ of Somerset batsman Alex Barrow.

Gareth Batty, the Surrey captain who took ultimate responsibility for Murali Kartik’s run-out of the backing-up Barrow, said last night that he would meet his opposite number, Marcus Trescothick, behind closed doors to “make sure it is right.”

That he did, by all accounts, with Trescothick reporting that he was happy to move on after he had accepted Batty’s apology.

There was still a fairly sombre mood here before start of play. But Surrey’s not out openers, Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari, walked out to gentle applause from spectators – a far cry from the boos, jeers and angry shouts that greeted every member of the visiting team last night.

Whether we have any chance of a meaningful contest here remains to be seen. Surrey resumed 81 ahead at 58 for nought.

10.30: David Hopps with a quick Mankading refresher course

You have never heard of Mankading? That's running someone out backing up. Much of the rest of the cricketing world knows it as Mankading. Very few people in England do. But they know that Murali Kartik did it to poor young Alex Barrow at Taunton yesterday and made a man of him as a result.

But in the interests of globalism and all that, we wrote "Mankading" into David Lloyd's piece. He probably has no idea what he is talking about.There again it won't be the first time. (Old joke, should have resisted it).

A brief crib sheet for those who are secretly a little confused:

(i) The MCC laws allow Mankading

(ii) There is nothing specifically in the Spirit of Cricket saying that Mankading is against the spirit of the game.

(iii) The tradition where batsmen are warned before they are run out at the non-striker's end has kept the peace for decades, to majority approval, but it is only a tradition.

(iv) Kartik did warn Barrow - so you could ask, why the fuss?

(v) The ICC changed their regulations for internatiional cricket recently and these have been adopted by the ECB for professional cricket in England. A bowler used to have to run a batsman out before entering the delivery stride, now it can be done before completing the delivery stride. That makes it easier.

(vi) Change regulations and you draw attention to something. There has definitely been a shift of opinion - certainly outside England - towards the view that Mankading is acceptable.

(vii) More cider was spilled by angry spectators at Taunton yesterday than at any time this season.

Feel free to add your own views below in the somewhat more gentle environment of the county blog.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Chris Cowles on (August 31, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

I think a batsman going out of his crease is lucky to get one conventional warning.

Posted by David Hopps on (August 31, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Thanks for all the comments today. Come back and join us again.

Posted by Martin P on (August 31, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

Massive win for Kent puts them right back in the promotion hunt. A bit of rain in Scarborough would go down very nicely indeed!

Posted by Chris Hughes on (August 31, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

The fact that numerous bloggers and Twitterati have come out in support of Mankading is a depressing reflection of modern cricket. What is a relatively common practice on the village green shouldn't become a standard practice in the professional game.

Posted by Derek Grabham on (August 31, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Surrey seem to aim for a draw, I fear that may bite them at the end of the season if Worcs and Lancs win last two games. They should be bold and go for it like in the other current Championship games. That is enterprising.

Posted by Anonymous on (August 31, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Somerset should look closely at themselves before blaming others for yesterday's run out. Barrow was especially dozy to be out of his crease just three balls after being warned for the same breach of the rules.

I've heard a recording today of former Somerset player Steve Snell whining about the treatment of 'young Alex'. For goodness sake - he's a professional sportsman, not a twelve year old making up the numbers in a village fourth team friendly! In any case, there was a senior player ('Pirate Pete' Trego) out in the middle with him who should have offered some clear guidance after the warning.

In addition, I have the impression that things were going on and being said by both sides before the warning. That should have contributed to both batsmen taking Kartik's warning particularly seriously.

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Hopps
David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.

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