Last week in the County Championship saw only one positive result, but this time rain was only one of the factors. Very suddenly, batting conditions around the country appeared to get much easier this round and we had some big scores. This did mean that although we still only got one result, we at least got to see quite a bit of cricket before then and some close run finishes.
Surrey drew with Somerset
Warwickshire drew with Lancashire
Worcestershire drew with Sussex
Kent drew with Northamptonshire
Leicestershire drew with Essex
Yorkshire drew with Hampshire
Derbyshire beat Glamorgan by eight wickets
Warwickshire’s points from their drawn match were enough to put them at the top of the first division table without a lot of other movement in D1. Derbyshire’s victory extended their lead over Yorkshire in Division Two, which now stands at 14 points. Glamorgan are still at the foot of the second division and now have more losses than any county in either division.
My player of the week, who I forgot to name the last few weeks, (might do so retroactively when I have more time) is Paul Horton. Lancashire looked headed for a certain defeat after following-on and he played an absolutely brilliant knock to make sure they got out of danger.
Matches at the Oval and Edgbaston both involved the team batting first scoring over 500 and the other one having to fight to stay in the match. Somerset had centuries from Arul Suppiah and James Hildreth to set up their 512-9 declares whilst Warwickshire had tons by Varun Chopra and Rikki Clarke en route to 557-6 declared. Warwicks, however, took so long to get their runs that they only got three batting points. Surrey fought better than Lancashire, however, with a century at the top of the order from Steve Davies. Eight wickets for Stuart Meaker meant that Surrey had an outside chance of winning, whilst Lancs just needed to bat out a draw. The Red Rose got a brilliant, unbeaten century from Paul Horton to make it comfortable in the end. At New Road, the biggest contribution was probably from the groundsman after the flood waters had receded. Sussex managed to set Worcs a large target thanks to a first wicket stand of 189 in the second innings between Ed Joyce and Chris Nash (the former with an unbeaten century) but there was not enough time for a result.
In the second division, Northamptonshire’s trip to Canterbury saw the visitors take a large first innings lead thanks to David Sales’ 140, but a flat pitch did not leave any time for a result. At Leicester the home side put up 372 in the first innings with 119 of them from Ramnaresh Sarwan, who also scored 98 in the second innings. When Essex responded with 409, however, and from there a result was always unlikely. The match at Headingley ultimately followed a similar story, but started with Hampshire 55-3 and 83-4 in their first innings. Simon Katich, however, scored 196 and with help from Michael Bates’ 103 sent Hants to a huge first innings score. Yorkshire needed a response and got it from Antony McGrath, putting up 399-9 in all. The only match with a result was at Derby where Glamorgan continued their poor run. Batting first, they could not do what so many other sides did only made 236. Martin Guptill and Wayne Madsen both scored centuries as Derbyshire showed just how far below par Glamorgan were. David Wainwright’s 5-51 in the second innings meant that they had an easy chase and won comfortably.