Lancashire Rue Rew’s Fine Form
Nottinghamshire cruised to victory by an innings inside three days at Northampton after they chose to field first. Ricardo Vasconcelos (62) provided lone resistance as the hosts were bowled out for 158, with Brett Hutton taking five for 37 (his third five-wicket haul of the summer). Joe Clarke (76) made the top score of the match, as Nottinghamshire replied with 255. James Sales took a career-best four for 24, while Vasconcelos picked up four catches. The home side didn’t even manage the 97 runs they needed to make the visitors bat again, as they were rolled over for just 72, Dane Paterson taking four wickets in his first four overs before finishing with figures of five for 16.
Essex’s trip to Edgbaston also failed to last three days, but the match was much closer after they were put in to bat. Having reached 76 for two they proceeded to lose their last eight wickets for just 50 runs, with Chris Rushworth and Oliver Hannon-Dalby both taking four wickets. Warwickshire’s reply of 242 featured Hasan Ali’s maiden fifty (53 not out) for the county. Doug Bracewell took four for 51, his best figures for Essex. Essex’s second-innings total of 215 was never likely to be enough, and Hasan Ali took four for 48 – his best return for Warwickshire. A target of just 100 proved less than straightforward as the hosts lost six wickets in getting there.
Middlesex were put in to bat at The Oval in the London derby and a second-wicket partnership of 152 between Sam Robson (76) and Pieter Malan (66) took them up to 166 for one, before a terrible collapse saw them bowled out for 209, Daniel Worrall being the main destroyer, taking five for 48. Rory Burns (88) led the reply before Jamie Smith hit 97 to take Surrey up to 380 and a significant lead. None of the Middlesex team could make the major score that was needed, and they were all out for 240, with Ben Foakes taking six catches. That left Surrey to chase down a target of just 70, which they did with little concern, losing one wicket on the way to victory. Their third win of the summer took them to 82 points, three points clear of Warwickshire, who have also won three games.
At Old Trafford, Lancashire’s chances of breaking their run of draws was hindered by the efforts of one man. Somerset batted first and James Rew scored 105 as they made 361 all out, with Matt Henry providing some late-order fireworks, hitting 50 not out in 39 balls on his debut for the county. Of greater concern for Lancashire and England was the fact that a groin problem meant James Anderson did not take the field after the first day. Daryl Mitchell made 105 on his first appearance for the county in Lancashire’s reply of 326, with Craig Overton and Henry both taking four wickets. Lancashire’s depleted attack needed to take quick wickets, and at 139 for four they had an outside chance of forcing a victory, but Rew had other ideas. He went on to complete his second century of the match and his third of the summer (all against Lancashire), finishing on a career-best 118 not out. He was well supported in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 192 with Kasey Aldridge, who completed his maiden century, reaching on 101 not out as Somerset finished on 398 for five.
Kent were put in to bat by Hampshire at Canterbury and fell away to 95 all out, with James Fuller taking five for 21 in just eight overs. With a series of handy contributions, Hampshire hit back to score 373, leaving the hosts with a daunting task to save the match against Hampshire’s impressive bowling attack. An opening partnership of 122 between Zak Crawley (56) and Ben Compton (54) set the tone and they finished on 259 for four in 113 overs.
In the Second Division, Yorkshire were involved in another tense finish, this time against Durham at Chester-le-Street. The White Rose county, with Shan Masood finally in place as captain, chose to bat first and made 254, with no one reaching fifty, while Matty Potts took four for 49. Durham’s reply of 227 was also missing any significant score from their batters; George Hill took four for 43. Hill then became the first to pass fifty as Yorkshire’s second-innings total of 218 set a target of 246. Potts and Ben Raine both took four wickets.
Michael Jones (56) threatened to lead Durham to victory, but a tumble of wickets saw them slip from 126 for two to 173 for eight, at which point Potts joined Raine and they inched their way towards the target. At the end of the third day, Durham were 213 for eight, 33 short, with the promise of a thrilling finish. On the final morning, the pair continued their steady progress until Potts was LBW to Hill for 25 with 2 runs still needed. Brydon Carse (not the worst person to have coming in at No 11, having scored a century in his last match) was able to do the necessary to secure a one-wicket win, with Raine looking on from the other end, on 50 not out. For Bas de Leede and Ajaz Patel, it was an exciting introduction to life at Durham and this third win of the season took them well clear at the top of the table.
Glamorgan took control from the start after they asked Worcestershire to bat first at Sophia Gardens. The visitors collapsed to 34 for six but recovered to a very modest 109, with Michael Neser and James Harris both taking four wickets. Neser continued his fine all-round summer by top-scoring in the match with 86 as Glamorgan hit back with 258. Adam Finch took a career-best five for 74. Trailing by 149, the away side needed something special but could manage only 227, with Timm van der Gugten taking five for 48 and Jamie McIlroy a career-best three for 36. The target of 79 was achieved without loss.
At Derby the first day was lost to the weather before Gloucestershire won the toss and chose to field. Harry Came hit a maiden century (108) in Derbyshire’s first innings of 251 for nine declared. In reply, there were career-bests from Ben Charlesworth (87) and Matt Taylor (57 not out) as they responded with 383. Mitchell Wagstaff, on his first-class debut, scored 18 in the second innings as Derbyshire finished on 166 for five and the game ended in a rather inevitable draw.
The first day was also lost at Leicester, where the hosts decided to ask Sussex to bat first. Tom Alsop made them pay with a career-best 182 not out as his side made a hefty 430 all out, though Steve Smith scored just 3 before being trapped in front by Wiaan Mulder, who went on to take five for 63, his best figures for the county. Despite an unbeaten 59 from Rehan Ahmed, Leicestershire couldn’t quite avoid the follow-on, as they were bowled out for 270, Ari Karvelas taking four for 79, his best figures for Sussex. Rishi Patel made his second century of the summer (100), and then Mulder completed a fine all-round performance, scoring 102 not out, as they finished on 295 for six. The draw left Sussex in second place, 19 points behind Durham, ahead of the final round of Championship matches before the start of the Blast.