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May 3, 2007
Kent made extraordinarily quick work of Sussex to consign the champions to an early season defeat at Canterbury and gain payback for Sussex's victory against them last month. Kent skittled them for 102 and 160 to win by an innings and 106 runs, with Yasir Arafat dismissing Carl Hopkinson and Murray Goodwin with Sussex on 36 to set the wheels in motion. Arafat ended with 4 for 36. Things didn't get much better in Sussex's second innings; following on, they collapsed at the hands of Simon Cook, who ripped out 6 for 35 in 13.5 overs of hostile pace. Cook had gone wicketless in the first innings, but more than made up for that. Sussex had taken the early advantage on the first day, reducing Kent to 66 for 4 to suggest that they would beat them for the second time this season. However, the tide - and the match - swung Kent's way thereafter.
Second-innings crumbles are becoming something of a feature for Surrey whose top-flight struggles continue. It was Lancashire's turn to make them suffer at Old Trafford. Lancashire eked out a slender first-innings lead of 31, but Surrey lost five wickets just gaining parity - slipping to 34 for 6 with their top order blown away by Dominic Cork and Glen Chapple. Scott Newman was pinned lbw as the first ball nipped back, then Mark Chilton ran out Jon Batty who hadn't faced a ball. Mark Ramprakash then chipped to mid-on for a rare single-innings failure, with the loss of Ali Brown (0) and Rikki Clarke (3) completing a miserable time. Surrey had an inkling of what kind of day they were in for when Mark Ramprakash dropped Stuart Law at second gully on 9. It was a sharp chance, high to his left, but should have been held. Law went on to make 120. There was a bright spot in among the clouds - Neil Saker's first five-wicket haul, including grabbing Paul Horton, edging, and Luke Sutton, fending to short leg, in two balls. The hat-trick was very close to lbw against Chapple, and he eventually bagged him at first slip off a limp prod. Ian Salisbury was disappointing on a pitch taking turn: even Jimmy Ormond switched to off-spin, to remove Cork, caught at slip, in his first over after changing.
If England are looking for their wicketkeeper to make runs... Tim Ambrose made 251 of them, not out, as Warwickshire cemented a strong position at New Road. They racked up 610 for 6 before declaring and then dismissing Phil Jaques for a duck. Worcestershire recovered, though, losing just another wicket as they started to chip away.
Division TwoAn Englishman, a South African and two Australians walk up to the pitch... Derbyshire were certainly laughing at Taunton as they delivered a weighty punchline of 801 runs - the sort of score that should be clarified as when football teams score 8 (eight), so yes, eight hundred and one - the first time that 800 has been scored at the same ground in two consecutive matches. Somerset and Justin Langer did the damage against Middlesex in the first match here earlier in April, with 850, but they were on the receiving end this time, with Simon Katich the rampant Australian here. He made a double century, and there was a trio of centurions - Ian Harvey, another Aussie, made 153, Ant Botha doing South Africa proud with 101 and David Pipe representing England with 106. Derbyshire's total was a new record for the county, beating their 707 for 7 declared, again on the Taunton track, but their real concern was then Somerset wickets. They removed the dangerous Justin Langer for just 4 and then Marcus Trescothick (32) to leave them 107 for 4 by the close.
* Derbyshire's 801 is a new world first-class record for the highest total ever made by a team who lost their first wicket on 0 - previous best 758 by Australia v West Indies at Kingston in the 5th Test 1954-55. Derbyshire also lost their second wicket at 0 (Caddick took two wickets in the first over of the innings) and the previous highest for that was 544 by New South Wales v Victoria at Melbourne in 2002-03.
There were runs aplenty too at Bristol, Gloucestershire continuing to build and finally posting 507. Steven Adshead was the third batsman to fall in sight of his hundred; he made 81 before becoming one of Jim Allenby's five victims. Stuart Broad grabbed three of his own. Leicestershire made a good start to their reply, though, with Tim New and HD Ackerman (59*) putting on 99 for the second wicket after Darren Robinson fell for 14.
Northamptonshire recovered from 113 for 5 to avoid the follow-on against Essex thanks to a century stand for the sixth-wicket between Usman Afzaal (66) and Steven Crook (53). Both fell inside the space of two overs after tea but not before their partnership of 104 foiled the Essex charge at Northampton. The going was tough early on against some hostile seam bowling from Alex Tudor and Andre Nel - Tudor forcing Afzaal to retire hurt on 12 after striking him on the forearm, and the incoming batsman Riki Wessels was then caught behind off Tudor's next delivery. But the tough got going: Ufzaal returned after the fall of the fifth wicket. Danish Kaneria struck with the third ball after lunch as he defeated the defensive prod of Niall O'Brien for 3. Stephen Peters's dogged resistance finally ended caught at first slip as Tudor finally got his man. Monty Panesar, who has just revealed his ambitions for a Test half-century despite never posting one at first-class (his highest is 39*), will have to wait for another day: he reached 33.
Ryan Sidebottom and Mark Ealham provided the experience, and wickets, knocking over Glamorgan on the second day at Trent Bridge as Nottinghamshire continued to boss proceedings. Glamorgan could only reach 262 and were made to follow on. Charlie Shreck then bagged his first wicket, Daniel Cherry for a duck, and added another lbw victim shortly after to leave Glamorgan on the edge of the mire at 20 for 2, still trailing by 193.
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