With bad light and rain stalking the country, some non-county news: MS Dhoni (finally) retires.
Trent Bridge: Lancashire v Nottinghamshire 218-1 (Slater 92 not out, Duckett 91 not out)
Grace Road: Leicestershire v Durham 176-3 (Bedingham 96) Rain stopped play
Not tea Headingley: Yorkshire 174-4 (Malan 75 not out) v Derbyshire
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Gloucestershire Rain – no play Inspection 345.
The County Ground: Northamptonshire v Worcestershire 93-5 (Buck 3-31) Rain stopped play.
Not tea: Edgbaston: Warwickshire 121 (Coverton 3-17, Abell 3-4) v Somerset 23-0
Arundel Castle: Hampshire v Surrey 79-5 (Holland 4-22).
Canterbury: Kent v Middlesex 22-1. Play abandoned for the day – rain.
Not tea Hove: Sussex 45-1 v Essex
Inspection at 3.45 at Sophia Gardens. Sussex underway at Hove, where Jamie Porter has Haines caught behind for 14. 38-1. Tea scores to follow.
Quick! Notts fans – prepare to screen shot the scorecard, Duckett and Slater both within sight of their hundreds.
Play has been abandoned at Canterbury
Rain, rain and more rain. Middx 22-1.
There was a wicket for Tommy Taylor at Grace Road just before bad light stopped play. Poor David Bedingham for 96. Last season someone, Hoppsy I think, waxed lyrical about Taylor and his potential.
Warwicks all out 121. Top scorer Tim Bresnan 32 not out. Abell’s figures better than COverton’s on this topsy-turvy afternoon. I predict Somerset will be 80-6 only for their tail to put on another 100. It will be enough.
Ian Holland, destroyer of Surrey’s top order, first won a place for Victoria by winning Australian TV programme Cricket Superstar. In December he made his debut for USA against UAE . Now he’s swishing his cape for Hampshire against Arundel. Beat that BTLers!
Warwickshire being utterly Somersetted – if Coverton don’t get you, Lewis Gregory must. (Or Tom Abell.) Warwicks 113-9.
Fifty for Ben Duckett for the unjinxable Notts batting line-up. Just 69 balls. And Ben Slater unbeaten on 84. Over to Grace Road where Durham are 159 for 2, young Lees 60 not out, David Bedingham 81 not out. Malan (47 not out) trying to hold things together for Yorkshire.
Hadn’t realised how young this Hampshire side that have Surrey 46-5 are. Just one capped domestic player and one international player (Ian Holland – USA) amongst them.
“Meanwhile…” continues Geoff, “I guess it can be said that Jason Roy still hasn’t played any red ball cricket since the Ashes.”
“Did Surrey have to step through the back of a wardrobe to move from 33/2 to 31/4? A typo perhaps?”
I like to keep you lot on your toes. Surrey are on the look out actually for a very large wardrobe to hide this afternoon’s batting disaster. Lucky that Morne Morkel stepped off the plane earlier this week, I say.
A shout out to Adam Collins who is doing the OBO on his birthday. In the rain. Happy Birthday young thing! Follow the Test, as it doesn’t happen, here:
Jason Roy doesn’t offer a shot to Holland. Surrey 36-5.
It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong down at Arundel. Surrey now 31-4, Stoneman the mighty Holland’s latest victim, lbw for 21. Holland 3-10. Jason Roy in now. He hasn’t played red-ball cricket since the Ashes – nothing to see here.
Was pleasantly surprised to rediscover the sandwiches I’d made earlier. Then a quick-time stroll round the block where an aggressively spiky conker shell fell just to the right of my left heel. A reminder that we don’t have many of these langurous summer days left. What I miss most in winter: heat, length of day, summer birds, cricket, coffee in the garden, swimming in the sea.
Anyway, the first half hour after lunch has brought misadventure at Arundel where Worcestershire (88-5) seem to be in a race to the bottom with Warwicks (77-5) . Three wickets for Nathan Buck. A sorry start for Surrey at Arundel – 31 for 2. Patel and Borthwick undone by Ian Holland. Five fours for the previously out of touch. Stoneman.
And the batting renaissance continues in the most unlikely quarters: Notts 134-1, Durham 136-2, Yorks 102-2
Off briefly to the kitchen to inspect the fridge. Just wanted to give Beyond the Boundary, the Netflix documentary of the Women’s World T20, a quick plug. I haven’t seen it yet but women’s sport needs all the friends it can get at the moment.
Trent Bridge: Lancashire v Nottinghamshire 107-1 (Slater 58 not out)
Grace Road: Leicestershire v Durham 99-2
Headingley: Yorkshire 82-2 v Derbyshire
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Gloucestershire Rain – no play before lunch.
The County Ground: Northamptonshire v Worcestershire 71-3
Edgbaston: Warwickshire 65-5 (Coverton 3-5) v Somerset
Arundel Castle: Hampshire v Surrey Rain – no play before lunch. Start due 1.40pm
Canterbury: Kent v Middlesex 22-1. Rain delays
Hove: Sussex v Essex Rain – no play before lunch. Inspection 1pm.
And the morning session goes to Craig Overton! He bowls Matt Lamb with the last ball of the session with the tasty bowling figures of 9-6-5-3.
The rain has returned at Canterbury and everyone else prepares for lunch. Scores to follow.
Steady recovery the morning’s story. Notts 96-1, Durham 81-2, Yorks 64-2, Worcs 65-3, Warwicks 63-4.
Middlesex have just started at Canterbury and lost an inevitable early wicket, Max Holden for 2. 12/1.
And injury news: poor Ollie Stone will be out for another three weeks but hopefully back for the T20s.
And Hass is out. And so is Bell. Stick with me though, we’ll get through this.
Of course, rain could yet prove crucial in this competition. The ECB have tried to mitigate against this by increasing the number of points for a draw from five to eight.
A reminder of how the points work:
Win – 16 points
Draw or tie – 8 points
Loss – 0 points
As with the County Championship, bonus points in the Bob Willis Trophy will be awarded in the first 110 overs of each team’s first innings and are retained regardless the result of the match.
200 to 249 runs – 1 point
250 to 299 runs – 2 points
300 to 349 runs – 3 points
350 to 399 runs – 4 points
400 runs or over – 5 points
3 to 5 wickets taken – 1 point
6 to 8 wickets taken – 2 points
9 to 10 wickets taken – 3 points
Midlands pilgrim Ben Slater, fifty not out!
As pointed out on the radio – he’s already played Lancashire this month while in Leicestershire colours, on loan from Notts, and made 172!
YJB is caught behind for 22 (Yorks 40-2). Still, better than walking back to your hotel in the rain like the England players at the grey, mizzly Ageas Bowl. The weather is having a laugh at the moment. I see Michael Vaughan has suggested pink balls for all Test cricket – though that wasn’t a huge success in the Championship experiments last year as I remember.
At Canterbury, Kent have won the toss and will bowl first. Nick Gubbins has been withdrawn from Middlesex’s squad, as he may have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. He will self-isolate & monitor for any symptoms over the next few days.
Notts not only wicketless but scoring more quickly than anyone else too. Slater has hit eight fours in his 39, Hass hanging on in there on 14.
Oh dear, Ian Bell. He calls Will Rhodes for the quickest of quick singles but the mid-off fielder was quicker still, running Will Rhodes out with a direct hit. Warwicks 15-3.
Another hand grenade from Craig Overton who is practically unplayable this morning, bowling Hain for 1. He’s pitching on the spot, whippet-fast and with a swinging ball. Warwicks 15-2.
A quote I’d missed from him at the beginning of August: “The England selectors have told me to try and add a yard of pace to my bowling without letting it affect my accuracy and that is what I have been working on.”
It seems to be working.
Oh, Durham, Durham, Durham. Dickson and Steel both out in single figures – 17-2 v Leicestershire. Worcestershire too straight out of their training kit and into the doldrums – two wickets for Northants’ Nathan Buck – Mitchell and Libby both gone.
Rainwatch: no play before lunch at Sophia Gardens. Play due to start at 12.15 at Canterbury.
I’m nervous for Warwicks batting first against Somerset, who still have both Overtons despite the rumours that Jamie might jump ship to Surrey mid-Season. The radio commentary is currently competing with the tentative strains of Dear Theodosia from the piano next door. And just as I was about to press send – a wicket falls, 12/1, COverton the inevitable .
Morning rain eh, down south? Delayed starts at Sophia Gardens, Canterbury, Hove and Arundel. Also at the Rose Bowl for England v Pakistan.
Time in the first twenty minutes of the day for the Yorkists to lose a wicket (Kohler-Cadmore for a duck), and Worcestershire (Libby for a duck). Notts remain, for now, intact.
An email that dropped from Tone White, between rounds:
Thank you for giving some substance to a day’s casual babysitting in the S of F. Nothing strenuous, charming grand-daughter, but a slightly out of practice grandfather with a low boredom threshold and not much enthusiasm for games.
The chance to sneak a look at the county whimseys gives the pecker a lift! But all these lads I’ve never heard of !
I know! It is usually the beauty of a Championship summer that some have become
CCLive! names by September – but they’ve only got six weeks this year. Don’t think anyone will forget Jordan Cox in a hurry though. To clarify, he is currently self-isolating after the fan-photo error, which is why he can’t play for Kent.
The Bob Willis Trophy Final will start on September 23 at Lord’s, the final of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy will be held on September 26 at the home ground of the finalist with the most points and the T20 Blast final will happen on October 3 at Edgbaston. The new Warwickshire chief executive Stuart Cain has said he is hoping for between five and eight thousand spectators.
Trent Bridge: Lancashire v Nottinghamshire
Moved from Old Trafford because of the Greater Manchester lockdown. Notts have had a dreadful start to the Bob Willis Trophy – still winless in first-class cricket since June 2018. Assistant coach Kevin Shine has reported some “tricky conversations” after defeat by Yorkshire last Tuesday, despite a first-innings lead. It will be Haseeb Hameed’s first game against Lancashire since he left last season and Luke Wood’s first against Notts since his transfer to Old Trafford. Lancashire bounced back last week, winning easily against Durham, after losing against Leicestershire in the first round.
Grace Road: Leicestershire v Durham
Both teams come into the game defeated in their last match, with Durham currently propping up the Norther table. Sam Evans is named in the Leicestershire squad after Ben Slater returns to Notts; Durham’s Ned Eckersley says “We know we can do it, we just need to have that self belief and confidence to go out and do it and put a performance together.”
Headingley: Yorkshire v Derbyshire
It is an overcast morning at Headingley, where the top two teams in the North group fight it out. Surprise table-toppers Derbyshire are without Luis Reece, while Yorkshire are still missing Ben Coad (oblique), Matthew Fisher (abdomen) and Gary Ballance (illness), but add David Willey to their squad
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire cross the Severn Bridge for the first match of the season at Sophia Gardens. Glamorgan rest Michael Hogan for Lukas Carey; Gloucester are boosted by new signing Tom Lace and Ryan Higgins fresh from his career best 11-96 v Warwickshire.
The County Ground: Northamptonshire v Worcestershire
Northants have awarded a county cap to ex-Oldham hairdresser and Championship winner with Lancashire, Luke Procter. Worcestershire, currently second behind Somerset in the Central Group, add Joshes Tongue and Dell to their squad.
Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Somerset
Top of the table Somerset are still without George Bartlett but Lewis Gregory returns. Warwicks have had a disappointing start with coach Jim Troughton saying “We have got a point to prove. We know we can play good cricket, we have shown that in four of the eight days in the season so far, but 50 per cent isn’t good enough.”
Arundel Castle: Hampshire v Surrey
An idyllic place to watch a cracking Southern Group fixture. Injury and internationally- hit Surrey are boosted by the availability of Morne Morkel and Jason Roy. Hampshire are missing Keith Barker, Ryan Stevenson, Ajeet Dale and Liam Dawson with injuries, and James Vince who awaits the birth of his second child.
Canterbury: Kent v Middlesex
Second and third in the South group, this is a big one. Kent, who beat Sussex in the last round, are boosted by the return of Joe Denly and the golden arm of Darren Stevens; Middlesex, who lost to Hampshire in a tight game, include Steven Finn, Ethan Bamber and Robbie White in their squad to replace Tim Murtagh, Tom Helm and Tom Lace.
Hove: Sussex v Essex
It is damp at Hove, but they are hoping to start on time. County Champions Essex are big favourites after proving, yet again, their bouncebackability in the first two rounds. Dan Lawrence returns to that squad after leaving the England bubble following a family bereavement. Sussex name an unchanged squad, after their loss to Kent last week.
Good morning from what was going to be Old Trafford, but turns out to be my house as I hadn’t noticed the game had been switched to Trent Bridge because of the GM Lockdown. Incidentally, but, it turns out, irrelevantly, it is a lovely morning in Manchester, the washing is out and the bees are having fun on the lavender.
This is the third of the Bob Willis Trophy’s five rounds, with some patterns starting to emerge – Essex are unbeatable, Somerset retain their ability to swing from appalling to steam-rolling, fortified by the batting of their tail and their pace attack, Derbyshire are a surprise package and Notts remain stuck in a whirlpool of despair.
Some intriguing contests – especially Lancashire v Notts, the return of the Hass, a Northern faceoff at Headingley between Yorkshire and Derbyshire, and in the Southern Group Sussex take on Essex.
In other news: Tom Lace has joined Gloucestershire – following the conveyor belt of young Middlesex players who have swapped London for Bristol, including Ryan Higgins and George Scott. Lace is a highly-promising batsman, who was on loan to Derbyshire last year. And Jordan Cox, who scored an unbeaten double century against Sussex earlier this week, has been dropped by Kent after posing with fans for a photograph and thus breaking social distancing protocols.
Please do email me any thoughts at [email protected] or @tjaldred – the more the merrier!