County Cricket 2007 / News

County Championship round-up

Hick counters Murali's threat

Cricinfo staff

May 17, 2007

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Division One

3rd day

Graeme Hick's 110 built a lead of 166 for Worcestershire despite Muttiah Muralitharan's six-wicket haul, but Lancashire will be confident of fighting for a draw after the second day's wash out at Old Trafford. Hick and Steven Davies added 114 for the fifth wicket before Muralitharan struck two quick blows but Kabir Ali, following his eight wickets, provided useful support. The eighth wicket added 64, Hick's century coming off 156 balls, then Muralitharan wrapped up the tail. However, Muralitharan's wiles were not only too much for the lower-order they also confounded Luke Sutton, the wicketkeeper, who spilled at least three catches. After their capitulation in the first innings, Lancashire's top order went about their task of wiping off the deficit in more confident style with Paul Horton and Mark Chilton progressing through 22 overs, although Chilton was dropped at slip on 7.

2nd day

Surrey were left applauding their Marks as they got set and went to a third-wicket stand of 403 against a bewildered Sussex at Hove. Ramprakash made his 13th double-century, and was left 266 not out, with 31 fours and three sixes, as Butcher declared on 626 for 3. Butcher himself made 179, with 16 fours and a six, but was dropped by Carl Hopkinson off Rana Naved-ul-Hasan on his overnight score of 75. And he was put down on 104, too, edging off Luke Wright to first slip. The partnership was the highest Championship stand against Sussex, and the second highest at Hove. Ali Brown then made his fifty, in an unbroken stand worth 117, as the innings was called to a halt. Poor Hopkinson - after chasing leather for the best part of 150 overs, he then lost his wicket the first ball of the innings, as Matt Nicholson trapped him leg-before. Sussex then settled, with Richard Montgomerie and Chris Nash both making fifties before stumps.

Kumar Sangakkara marked his Warwickshire debut with an unbeaten 137 as he and Alex Loudon added 229 to pull their side out of a major hole after Durham grabbed four early wickets at Edgbaston. Graham Onions' three wickets during his first spell sent the home side slumping to 23 for 4, but Sangakkara and Loudon set about a stirring recovery. Sangakkara's ton came off 207 balls as he became the ninth player to hit a ton on debut for Warwickshire. The first half of Loudon's innings was an amazing affair: it took 26 balls to get off the mark but just 33 more to reach fifty. He reached his second century of the season, from 140 balls, before edging to slip moments before the close.

Division Two

Alex Wharf struck his highest first-class score of 128, remaining unbeaten at the end, helping Glamorgan to post 392 on the second day against Gloucestershire at Bristol. Glamorgan's bowlers then ripped through the home side, removing five before the close. Mark Wallace, who resumed on 99 at the start of play, eased past his hundred and held the fort for 334 balls while Glamorgan's lower middle-order struggled, until Wharf opened his shoulders in his 226-ball 128. Jamie Harris, the teenager who turned 17 yesterday, then plucked out three quick wickets in 21 balls to leave Gloucestershire struggling on 118 for 5, some 274 runs behind.

Boyd Rankin mopped up Middlesex's tail for Derbyshire who dismissed the visitors for 248 on the second day at Derby. Tom Lungley had earlier cut through Middlesex's middle order, taking the key wickets of Ed Joyce, Ed Smith and Jamie Dalrymple, leaving Nick Compton to anchor the innings with a turgid 51. That Middlesex reached the lofty heights of the 200s owed much to Chaminda Vaas's brisk 56 from 88 balls but, his effort aside, the tail offered little aside.

There was again no play at Grace Road between Leicestershire and Essex

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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