LV=CC week five roundup

There was more rain in the LV=CC this week, but not as bad as it was last week and we did have more results than draws this time. (Though this was partly due to a contrived match at Lord’s.

Nottinghamshire beat Lancashire by 185 runs
Warwickshire beat Durham by nine wickets
Middlesex beat Worcestershire by 132 runs
Derbyshire drew with Gloucestershire
Glamorgan drew with Essex
Northamptonshire beat Hampshire by 117 runs
Yorkshire beat Leicestershire by an innings and 22 runs

Of note is that now all of Durham, Lancashire, Worcestershire and Glamorgan have still not won a match this season. Yorkshire’s win at Scarborough was their first of the Championship. Meantime, Warwicks and Notts are each yet to lose a match despite some close finishes for the former and the latter having just a single batting point this season. It keeps Warwickshire on top of the D1 table by four points over Notts, having played one fewer match. Derbys have also done enough in their draw to stay at the summit of D2.

As mentioned above, one of the most notable match of the round was probably at Lord’s where Worcestershire declared before the last day on 45-2 and Middlesex forfeited their second innings. It set up a chase of 283 on the last day, but Worcs did not get near it. It was still an example of good attacking thinking, however. The points allocation system is (rightly, I think) set up to reward victories highly and almost discount draws. Worcs correctly assessed that it was worth going for a win and we got an exciting finish out of a match that looked dead.

This was also the week in which all of the England players were cleared to appear for their counties. Ian Bell rather dramatically returned to form for Warwickshire, scoring 120 after coming in with the Bears 15-3. He this time outshone his England colleague Trott, who could only make two. As Warwickshire do not play next week, Bell will appear for the Lions to get some more time in the middle. Jimmy Anderson bruised his hand and come down with a stomach ailment, but still managed to take 5-82 in Notts’ second innings. In the other dressing room for that match, Swann and Broad took 3-26 & 2-30 and 0-60 & 3-67 respectively. Swann and Anderson each bowled the other in the match as well. Andrew Strauss scored a pretty good 49 in tricky conditions at Lord’s. It was not chanceless, but it was fairly quick and pretty fluent for the conditions. It should ease the silly media speculation about him, however. Steven Finn did not play a large role on the final day, but did take 2-30. For Essex, Alastair Cook’s return to the middle did not last long, as he made only nine and five. Jonny Bairstow made his case to bat at six against the Windies with 182 in Yorkshire’s innings victory, whilst Tim Bresnan took 1-37 and 1-57.

Many of the best performances were not from the England players, or even those on the fringes of the side, however. Andre Adams completely turned the match at Old Trafford with his first innings 7-32 (a career best) and Warwickshire’s Keith Barker took 5-33 in the first innings and 5-37 in the second to ensure that Durham were only briefly in the match. Strauss got the most publicity in Middlesex’s first innings, but it was Joe Denly who put them in a winning position with his unbeaten 134 whilst Alan Richardson tried in vain to restrict the hosts with his 5-89. Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen hit a century and Tony Palladino took 5-47 as Gloucestershire were forced to follow-on at Derby, but Kane Williamson stepped up for the visitors with 128 (of 409-4) as they secured the draw. Cook failed for Essex, but Alviro Petersen, his South African counterpart, did not and scored 145 at Cardiff. Huw Waters responded for the hosts with 5-47 to restrict Essex in the second innings as the match was drawn. David Willey put in a possibly match-winning effort with the ball for Northants, taking 5-39 in the final innings as Hants could not get close to their target. Finally, Leicestershire had a pair of excellent performances in vain at Scarborough. Wayne White took 5-90 in the first innings and Matthew Boyce scored 122 as Leicestershire tried to make Yorkshire bat again.

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