Bad light has become stumps at Chester-le-Street and Hove. Only Middlesex -81-4 – continue batting against Hampshire at Lord’s.
Bad light has stopped play at Chester-le-Street, where Worcs are 6-0 following on from Durham’s 246 all out; and Hove, where Sussex are 51-2, following on from Kent’s 145 all out.
And with the news that Darren Stevens teased out Tom Haines for 14 down at Hove – Sussex 24-1 – I must try and put pen to paper for the round-up. Thanks for hanging on in there today.
Durham are all out for 246, with Josh Tongue picking up the last three wickets to finish with 5-39 and Carse high and dry on 38 not out. Just time for Chris Rushworth and Mark Wood to give Worcestershire the once over before stumps.
Off come Sam Robson’s gloves as he fast-walks off the velvet Lord’s grass after Kyle Abbot grabs him for 20. Middx 33-1 in what are quite perky conditions now in north London.
Darren Stevens plods in making the ball sing Darren Stevens songs. Sussex resist: 7-0. Middlesex are still intact: 29-0, young Davies 13, Sam Robson 16. And some late-order hoopla from Mark Wood (11) and Brydon Carse (33) has taken Durham to a respectable 234-8.
The Sussex innings gets off to a good start with a four by Thomason off Quinn’s first ball. Apparently Darren Stevens is doing some side-stretches – Sussex beware. Sussex 4-0 after four balls.
Middlesex are holding up surprisingly well under London’s later afternoon gloom and against Mohammad Abbas and Keith Barker: 16-0. And, as I realise that I’ve somehow tuned in to a time-delayed “live” feed from Sussex, the real scorecard shows that Jack Carson has grabbed two in two overs, and Ollie Robinson snaffled Leaning for 62 and Kent are all out for 145.
Leaning gets a bit of a snorter from Archer and leans back to cut. The next one is faster, with more of a dastardly zip, and Leaning rolls back onto his backside to evade. Sussex 124-7.
Oh dear. Ben Brown drops Jack Leaning on 51 with the first ball after tea. Kent 119-7. Jofra Archer is having another spell from the other end – an on the spot over, just one from it. The radio commentators have spotted that Ollie Robinson (bowler) felt his back after picking up the ball and has jogged off the field for a quick check-up.
They’re back out at Hove too, after a brisk shower, and a tea break, with Kent 113-7.
Play at Lord’s!
Mohammad Abbas’s match figures the last time these two sides met: 9-37. He has the ball in his hand and accelerates in from the nursery end. Middx 2-0.
Alex Lees out for 99!
Poor Lees, on the sup of tea, sees a wide ball and his brain thinks three-figure-ping! Unfortunately, he feathers an edge and is caught behind for 99. Durham 183-7 at tea.
Play abandoned for the day at Chelmsford
again, without a ball being bowled.
Play due to restart at Hove at 4pm, and to start for the first time at Lord’s at 4.15.
Time for me to make a quick cup of tea, with Lees on 91 at Chester-le-Street and tea imminent.
Six overs left till tea at Chester-le-Street where Alex Lees (82) is within scratching distance of what would certainly be the only century of the day. Both he and Carse are in short sleeved shirts, the umpire’s coat is unbuttoned, tis a bonny day in the north-east. Durham 162-6. Nice to see the patch of land left to grow wild by the Durham groundsman for wildlife visible between the stands.
The scenes are bleak on the HoveCAM – with groundsmen holding and pulling sodden sheets with an air of finality as the wind shifts them around. At Lord’s play is due to start at 4.15 – the battle for mid-table respectability as Hampshire (3rd) take on Middlesex (5th).
I really enjoyed this on friendly and grassroots cricket by Emma John. It strikes me that friendly cricket fits much better into most peoples lives than regular club cricket once they’ve got families and/or move up the career ladder/work antisocial hours. All power to the Googly Fund’s elbow and Rob Franks’ fund for a running blade.
Make that 136-6 at Chester-le-Street as Stuart Poynter is a first wicket for Ed Barnard today. Off he strops, swishing his bat in disappointment, a fourth wicket since lunch, and a slip slop into a ill-fitting first innings score. Durham 136-6.
And at Hove, they’re off for rain again. with Kent 113-7. Jack Leaning the only man passed 24, 51 not out. Three wickets to George Garton, two each to Archer and Robinson.
The bad news from Taunton is that the outfield is so wet, the prospects of a prompt start tomorrow morning are also slim. Seems Ali needn’t have worried about Craig Overton’s workload.
At Chester-le-Street, Lees has had to watch as yet another wicket falls, Ned Eckersley, also to Tongue, for a duck. Durham 135-5.
A smell of Durham wickets wafts over from the North-East. Burnham wriggles in front of his stumps and is trapped, lbw to Josh Tongue for 23. Durham 127-4.
Fifty for Alex Lees! Holding things together at the top of the innings for Durham who are 126-3 against Worcestershire after being put in. Still sunny at Chester-le-Street, the floodlights are on at Hove.
At Lord’s there will be a further inspection at 2.45 with hope of play starting at 3.30 – if there is no further rain.
Flick over to the stream to see a portly gentleman carrying his bat at the join between handle and wood, marching towards the pavilion. Kent 91-6.
Archer bumps hands with Robinson as England inked-in congratulates England hopeful, who has just collected his second wicket. A second lbw appeal in the over and poor Muyeye is lbw for just one. Kent 90-5 and Enter Darren Stevens.
They’re back on at Hove, where the skies have brightened. Olly Robinson has been bowling to Ollie Robinson – can anyone remember the last time two namesakes faced off? Oh, that’s the end of Robinson (Ollie), prodding at George Garton for five. Kent 85-4 and Muyeye strolls out on debut.
Rain latest: Inspection at 2.15 at Cardiff.
That’s it. Elsewhere, hope pushed back into her burrow.
Thanks to those BTL who pointed out this cracking piece by Andy Bull:
What an utterly bizarre story – imagine trying to remember all the lies you’d told, on all the press releases, and all the scorecards – it was never going to last long.
Gosh, at Chester le Street, Joe Leach is chased to the crease by his shadow. Durham have just lost Bedingham, a second wicket for Charlie Morris for 24. Durham 86-3.
And off they go at Hove…(Kent 74-3) leaving the only match still in progress that in the most northerly ground of the round. Eyes north, to Chester-le-Street, where Durham are 86-2.
If Archer don’t get you. Robinson must. Jordan Cox is bowled in Olly Robinson’s first after lunch under puddle-grey skies. Kent 70-3.
Riverside: Durham 80-2 v Worcestershire
Chelmsford: Essex v Derbyshire No play before lunch – rain
Lord’s: Middlesex v Hampshire No play before lunch – rain
Taunton: Somerset v Surrey No play before lunch – rain
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Yorkshire No play before lunch – rain
Hove: Sussex v Kent 64-2
And that’s lunch, where both Durham (80-2) and Kent (68-2) should be quite happy with their morning’s work. Beleaguered Kent survived two spells from a languid-quick Jofra Archer, not losing a wicket to his (slightly) slower second spell, and Durham recovering from 36-2. Time for me to stretch my legs, see you in half an hour or so post sarnie/barm cake/butty.
Aha! Spinner of the moment Jack Carson is going to have a little bowl before lunch. From the sea-end, he cuts a boyish figure, angular, all elbows, drying the ball between his palms. Kent 62-2.
Durham have lost a second on a slow Thursday morning at Chester-le-Street, Borthwick for a cheapskate four. Run machine Daniel Bedingham is now at the crease alongside Alex Lees: 74/2. Only two rounds left after this to pick up those thousand runs before the end of May. Bedingham on 582 before today, Lyth 538, Hill 499, Vasconcelos 493, Libby and Pope 485, Critchley 483 and Bracey 478.
The dog has brought me a glove. Is this a sign? At Hove, the wind is furring up the microphones, and Archer is now running down the slope. His figures: 7-4-11-2. Kent 38-2.
Just realised this is the last round without spectators! If you’re going to a match next week, let me know where.
A missive arrives from Brian Withington, “How many ECB website ‘interactions’ are counted when you have all available streams open on a split screen? I think someone managed all nine during an earlier round.” Er not sure how these things work… anyone else?
Feeling sympathy towards Sky who rolled into Cardiff this morning with all their bells and whistles only to find spring sprinkling on their parade. Still only play in two games, at Hove, where Kent are 27-2 after being put in, and Chester-le-Street, where Durham were also put in and are 30-1 (Will Young lbw to Joe Leach for 5).
Archer has a rest after four overs, he’s more than done his job, whereas big, strong, Robinson, a hearty woodchopper to Archer’s willow the wisp, carries on. Kent 18-2. Could this be England’s opening attack v New Zealand?
Player to watch: Tawanda Muyeye making his debut for Kent today at No. 6. A former winner of the Wisden schools cricketer of the year award, he is an allrounder whose batting is a joyously aggressive thing. As Wisden said:
“People in the know at Eastbourne have learned to ask when he will next be playing, so they can feast on his style, which shows the aggressive influence of Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen, two of his idols.”
Just thinking how the streams have democratised county cricket. Not just giving coverage to fans at home/work who can’t/wouldn’t have time/money to go to a ground and watch, but also the No.1 cricket journalists who are so stretched with international commitments that they can’t watch much county cricket. Ed Smith was probably a ground-breaker in this, a few years ago he used to watch the streams on his ipad on the train to help with selection. It could mean that good players from unfashionable counties are more likely to be picked/written about.
Two wickets to Jofra Archer
Archer greets Zak Crawley with a throaty lifter. Looking green at Hove, and all the three slips have their hands shoved deep into their pockets. Crawley whips an over-pitched ball away for four but Archer strikes back, as Crawley gloves one that zips and moves behind. Sussex 11-2 after eight overs. Archer has two wickets for six in his first four overs.
And as I press send, Bell-Drummond pushes at a snappy one from Jofra Archer. Kent 3-1, and it is Jofra Archer v Zak Crawley.
Casting my eye over Division One: what has happened to Essex? Is it all in the head? They’ve always relied more on their bowlers than their batsmen, but perhaps that doesn’t work if the hoo-doo has gone -if they no longer believe they can do it, and nor do the opposition. Was that Warwickshire run-chase the rubicon? Kent and Durham both wicketless after five overs.
Apologies, for unknown reasons, the wifi decided to misbehave. We have play in just two games, as rain arrives at Chelmsford and Lord’s as well as Cardiff and Taunton. Durham and Kent are batting, and at Hove Jofra Archer has just completed his first over. He’s been out of action since the fifth T20 international between England and India on March 20, after both an elbow problem and a hand injury after cleaning out the fish tank.
A reminder that you can access the live streams via youtube and also the central ECB hub, with radio commentary on BBC digital radio. There have been roughly 700,000 interactions with the live stream per round!
The following England players will be lacing up their boots today: Jofra Archer (Sussex), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Reece Topley (Surrey), Mark Wood (Durham).
Weather watch and rain delays
“Rain across the south-west today, but sunshine and showers elsewhere. Cooler in the north-east.”
There will be no play before lunch at Cardiff because of a wet outfield and the start is delayed at Taunton due to rain.
The one round where there is just a single game in the north! Up in Manchester, I’m considering hanging out my washing…
And the round to come:
Ali Martin drops me a line: “It will be interesting to see if Craig Overton, in the Somerset squad, actually plays today. I’m pretty sure no county seamer has bowled more than his 206.2 overs.. and he’s on an England pace contract, which controls his workload etc. It may be that he and the England medical staff are perfectly happy right now, of course. If he doesn’t play, that may indicate that he’s in line for the Test squad too. Looking at the rain radar right now, we might not find out for a while…”
Nottinghamshire 73 (played 5)
Warwickshire 67 (played 5)
Worcestershire 66 (played 5)
Durham 53 (played 4)
Essex 52 (played 5)
Derbyshire 40 (played 4)
Gloucestershire 95 (played 5)
Somerset 82 (played 5)
Hampshire 62 (played 5)
Surrey 59 (played 5)
Middlesex 41 (played 5)
Leicestershire 40 (played 5)
Lancashire 93 (played 5)
Yorkshire 86 (played 5)
Northants 68 (played 5)
Glamorgan 58 (played 5)
Sussex 51 (played 5)
Kent 38 (played 5)
Riverside: Durham v Worcestershire
Chelmsford: Essex v Derbyshire
Lord’s: Middlesex v Hampshire
Taunton: Somerset v Surrey
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Yorkshire
Hove: Sussex v Kent
Good morning! Er, sorry, this went live when I wasn’t expecting it…but welcome to round six of the Championship – mid May and we’ve got ourselves a merry little contest. Only six matches this round – with four teams: Lancashire, Northants, Notts, Gloucesteshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire sitting things out.
And last, but not least, Eid Mubarak! to everyone celebrating today .