Middlesex look to Strauss as rain takes its toll

Freddie Auld

April 25, 2003

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Day 3 of 4

Division One

Kent v Leicestershire, Canterbury
Things went from bad to much better for Kent after Geraint Jones led the fightback with an accomplished 104. Jones, batting at No. 7, was the mainstay of the Kent second innings, and with contributions from Mark Ealham (82), and an 88-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Martin Saggers (47), Jones helped Kent to 411 all out, a lead of 386, before rain stopped play.

Lancashire v Nottinghamshire, Old Trafford
No play today.

Middlesex v Sussex, Lord's
All eyes will be on Andy Strauss tomorrow as he burdens Middlesex's bid for victory against Sussex. He was 64 not out when rain ended play early with the game was in the balance - Middlesex needing another 191 with eight wickets left. Sussex managed added 10 runs to their overnight total before Jason Lewry was caught behind for 8, leaving James Kirtley stranded on 25. Sussex then took the early wicket of opener Sven Koenig, but Owais Shah put Middlesex back on track with a quickfire 61, including a six off Mushtaq Ahmed to bring up the century stand with Strauss, before being trapped lbw by Kevin Innes for 61.

Warwickshire v Essex, Edgbaston
No play today.

Division Two

Hampshire v Glamorgan, Cardiff
It was a case of better late than never for Glamorgan fans at Cardiff today. Rain prevented play starting until after tea, but when it did, Matthew Maynard warmed a few of the Hampshire fielders' hands with a rasping knock of 63 not out off 55 balls, sharing an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 129-runs with Michael Powell (74*).

Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire, Wantage Road
In a match heading for stalemate, the Northants captain, vice-captain - and even the third-choice captain - couldn't take the field, leaving wicketkeeper Toby Bailey in temporary charge. But he could do little about Craig Spearman's good early-season form. Spearman powered on to 68 not out, including one six and 10 fours, three of which came off one Ricky Anderson over. And Bailey couldn't do much about the bad weather either, which ended play after lunch.

Somerset v Durham, Taunton
After a delayed start, Nixon McLean and Richard Johnson took two wickets each as Durham lost their last five wickets for only 27 runs. McLean bowled Danny Law without adding to his 35, and he also had Nick Phillips caught at slip. Johnson then picked up his ninth of the match with the wicket of Andy Pratt for 27, and Neil Killeen edged him behind for a second-ball duck. Killeen struck twice for Durham in one over, including the wicket of Marcus Trescothick, but Somerset need only 118 for victory.

University matches

Loughborough UCCE 206 & 235-4 drew with Surrey 663-9 dec at The Oval
While four of the Surrey players smashed centuries in their first innings, Loughborough's Vikram Atri did his best to be the fifth player of the match to do so, as he and John Francis made the Surrey allstars toil in the field against the young pretenders. Even though the weather was bad, Atri had a great time, hitting 82 not out from 147 balls, before bad light and rain ended play at tea.

Worcestershire 348-5 drew with Oxford UCCE 231 at The Parks
New Worcestershire captain Ben Smith continued his good form before the rain put pay to another match. Following his scores of 104 and 82 against Hampshire, Smith made 63 off 94 balls against Oxford in The Parks. Worcestershire scored 92 in the day's play but again it was the offspinner Paul McMahon who stood out. McMahon - on Nottinghamshire's books - finished with a worthy 3 for 93 as Worcestershire finished on 348 for 5.

Bradford/Leeds UCCE 108-5 drew with Derbyshire 511-5 at Derby
Persistent rain in Derbyshire meant the game was abandoned shortly after lunch. Only 12 overs were bowled in miserable conditions, with Bradford/Leeds adding 21 to their total. But, ever the thoughtful captain, Dominic Cork kept his team-mates warm by bowling seven of them during the innings. Chris Elstub again impressed, finishing 26 not out.

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