County cricket: Yorkshire v Notts, Somerset v Worcs and more

Yorkshire are two down, with both wickets gifted to Notts. The first was Alex Lees lbw offering no shot to Jake Ball and the second Che Pujara run out at the non-striker’s end following a mix-up with Adam Lyth, who dropped a ball at his feet only to see the India batsman hurtling towards him. Pujara probably got close enough to shake hands before turning back to no avail. Jake Libby had the simple task of under-arming a throw back to bowler Harry Gurney, who did the rest. Yorkshire are still in a decent position, however, at 37-2 with a lead of 105. Lyth is 12 not out and Gary Ballance has avoided a pair and is unbeaten on six.

Just checking … Durham couldn’t turn their game around, could they? They have been bowled out for 170 in their second innings against Kent, leaving a target of 93 thanks to James Weighell’s 84 – a career best if you don’t mind. It’s certainly not the foregone conclusion of a couple of hours ago.

Here at Headingley, Alex Lees has fallen for a duck in Yorkshire’s second innings, lbw offering no shot at a Jake Ball in-ducker. Che Pujara was then dropped at first slip on nought. Yorkshire are currently 13-1, leading by 81.

… a deficit of 23. So we have a tantalising game. They scored 26 more runs quickly in part because of the excellence of Ed Barnard, who registered the second half-century of the match. There was a bit of dross from the Somerset bowlers, one of whom – Lewis Gregory – is being been pursued by at least one another county. A 28-day approach has been filed for his services, which has raised the odd eyebrow here. He finished with 4-51 from 14 overs. Has the pitch lost a few demons? How fit is Steve Magoffin (his hamstring is a concern)? We are about to find out.

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… including 4-49 for Ben Coad, meaning a lead of 68 for the Yorkies. Essex have the upper hand against Lancashire at Chelmsford, where they are 82-3 in their second innings and 88 in front. Tom Westley and Ravi Bopara are in the early stages of their innings, with the former on 17. At the Oval, Hampshire are 143-7 replying to Surrey’s 211. Looks a particularly good game there.

In Division Two, title favourites Middlesex are in danger of undoing some of the good work done last weekend in beating Northants. In their ongoing match at Derby, they are 144-8 in reply to 265 and are in danger of handing Derby a rare home win. Two wickets apiece for their four-pronged attack. Durham are clinging on eight down in their second dig at home to Kent, still 30 behind. Glamorgan are going nicely at 70/-1 in reply to Gloucestershire’s 236, while Warwickshire have steadied against Northants – they are 198-5 in reply to 147. Sam Hain has top-scored so far with 85. At Grace Road, Sussex are still going with the bat. 358-7. Ishant Sharma has a maiden first-class fifty and remains unbeaten.

That Lyth grab:

County cricket: Yorkshire v Notts, Somerset v Worcs and more – live!

Yorkshire CCC

WHAT-A-GRAB – take a bow @lythy09

L Wood – c A Lyth b TT Bresnan#YourYorkshire

April 21, 2018

An action-packed last 15 minutes or so, including two wickets in two balls for Tim Bresnan, including a magical catch by Adam Lyth at second slip to get rid of Luke Wood – one-handed diving to his right. That helped leave Notts at 130-8 before Jake Ball greeted Jack Brooks’s return to the attack with a quartet of boundaries in as many balls. That has helped the score up to 156-8 – a deficit of 100.

Early lunch down at Taunton following the morning rain. Play to start at 1.10pm.

Graham Hardcastle

OUT! Second wicket for @timbresnan in as many balls, split between overs. Wessels caught at third slip. Hat-trick ball blocked by Ball. Notts 130-8.

April 21, 2018

Graham Hardcastle

What. A. Catch. Find a replay.

April 21, 2018

A couple of wickets here, both for Ben Coad, who had Ross Taylor caught at third slip for 57 and Tom Moores the same way for one. Jack Leaning took both catches, albeit the second one low down. Notts are now 117-6 with Riki Wessels 35 and Luke Wood 12.

Hampshire are also six down at the Oval as they reply to Surrey’s 211. 82-6 to be precise, with three wickets for Rikki Clarke and one for little seen Matt Dunn.

Having spoken a lot about wickets over the last day and a bit, let’s give a nod to Sussex, who are still going strong in their first innings against Leicestershire at Grace Road, where they are 320-7, with Michael Burgess 41 and Ishant Sharma unbeaten on 36.

Feeling a bit betrayed here since the forecast told us that all would be fine but grey cloud envelops the ground; there’s a bit of drizzle but I’m sure it will clear before long. Such are the wonders of the modern world that we can watch Surrey playing Hampshire in the sunshine at the Oval on the big screen. There Amla and Rossouw are trying to restore the Hampshire innings.

So that may not excite Ed Smith much. We all know that Ed is very clever and well-versed in the game, but he faces quite a challenge. However what was Strauss going on about in the ECB press release when he said: “There is real depth to his Smith’s talent identification knowledge.”

My weather identification knowledge tells me it’s still raining here. Quite hard now. And Rossouw is out lbw at the Oval, where Hampshire are 79-6.

Wickets continue to fall around the country, but Notts are making healthy progress through Ross Taylor and Riki Wessels, who have just brought up a half-century stand and counting. As I type, Taylor has just square driven Jack Brooks for his ninth boundary to move to 51 off 62 balls. Notts are now 94-4 and 162 behind.

Elsewhere, Lancashire have been bowled out for 144 at Chelmsford as they replied to 150. Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer claimed five wickets apiece. Essex are 14-0 second time around. The majority of the action continues to take place at Chester-le-Street, where Durham are hurtling towards a two-day defeat to Kent. Having been bowled out for 91 in their first innings, they are 35-6 in their second, still 43 runs in arrears. Matt Henry has added four wickets to his five-for in the first innings.

James Vince lasted two balls of the second day at the Oval, trapped lbw by Rikki Clarke. And Sam Northeast has just fallen to Sam Curran, reducing Hampshire to 63-5 in reply to Surrey’s 211.

All is well with the world here at Headingley. The sun in shining and Dickie has tipped his boys to win the title. “I’m very impressed with Yorkshire,” he said. “I see a lot of strength, from the youngsters right through to the senior players. And I think we’ll win the Championship this year because there’s so much talent. I’ve just seen a young lad bowl in the nets, the spinner James Logan, and I’ve seen a lot of him in the second team. When I see talent like that, we’ve got to be close to winning the title. I thought we were outstanding yesterday.”

Play is just about to get under way. The immediate danger to Yorkshire comes in the form of Ross Taylor, who is unbeaten on 34 following a flurry of late evening boundaries last night. Notts resume on 53-4 in reply to 256.

Morning all. Another dry day in the west at the moment, though there is mist over the Quantocks. There is a fine contest in prospect. The pattern here is repeated around the country. The bowlers have prevailed; only Sussex at Leicester managed to bat all of the first day. This makes for exciting cricket but may not be quite what the new chief selector craves.

Ed Smith will take more note of anyone scoring runs rather than taking wickets at this time of year. So far there have been two centurions in county cricket this summer, both from overseas: David Wiese, the South African playing for Sussex, who battered Warwickshire last week and Australia’s Matt Renshaw here yesterday.

So we are not all dreaming up the drawbacks about starting the Championship season so early, while T20 cricket and the cosmetic imitation that is destined for 2020, take over in the height of the summer when the pitches are truer. Here at Taunton wickets have fallen to Ed Bernard, Joe Leach, Josh Davey and Lewis Gregory, none of whom are quite the type of bowlers England are looking for. Not many Test matches are played on bright, green seaming surfaces (though quite a few are similar to those that prompted the nickname “Ciderabad” for Taunton in the last two years).

That aside there is much to look forward to around the country. A rapid clatter of wickets adds a bit of spice and if the weather stays fine the draw is taken out of the equation. Look around the matches and it is often tough to pick the winner. Very little separates Essex and Lancashire, Surrey and Hampshire or indeed Somerset and Worcestershire. Yorkshire may have the edge at Headingley. In the second division favourites Middlesex have work to do at Derby; so do Durham at Chester le Street against Kent and Northamptonshire at Edgbaston.

Who knows? On the sixth day of the season we may even witness the first century by an English qualified batsman in the summer of 2018.

Vic will be along to set the scene shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a look at the overnight scores after the first day’s play:

Division One:

  • Yorkshire 256 all out, Nottinghamshire 53-4; Notts trail by 203 runs
  • Surrey 211 all out, Hampshire 52-3; Hants trail by 159 runs
  • Somerset 202 all out, Worcestershire 153-8; Worcs trail by 59 runs
  • Essex 150 all out, Lancashire 141-8; Lancs trail by nine runs

Division Two:

  • Northamptonshire 147, Warwickshire 113-3; Warks trail by 34 runs
  • Sussex 254-7, Leicestershire yet to bat
  • Gloucestershire 236, Glamorgan 26-0; Glamorgan trail by 210 runs
  • Durham 91 all out, 13-1; Kent 169 all out; Durham trail by 65 runs
  • Derbyshire 265 all out, Middlesex 45-3; Middx trail by 220 runs

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