County cricket: Northants v Surrey plus Essex v Hampshire on a rain-hit day – live

    Key events

    And bad light stops play at New Road.

    Time has ticked on, with Yorkshire nine down, Northants six, Warwicks three and Essex five, time for me to write up.BTL remains open, of course.

    1000 runs for Jake Libby

    And that’s the run! Nudged into the leg side. A handsome round of applause from the fleeced-up spectators. The fifth Division Two player to cross the Rubicon this year.

    Five frantic moments at New Road: first Jake Libby is run-out, according to the television, but not the umpires. Now on 44, still needs the one run for a thousand in the season. Meanwhile at the other end, Gareth Roderick reaches a fine fifty before losing his middle stump to De Leede.

    A hundred for Tom Lammonby!

    His first of the season, off 139 balls, giving Somerset a rollicking start against a Kent side desperate for points.

    At last: a 100 for Lammonby Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

    Oh Warwickshire! Oh Middlesex! Oh Murtagh! Warwickshire 28-3; Murtagh 3-8.

    Bas de Leede, who flies out to India to join the rest of the Dutch team pre World Cup after this match, takes over at the New Road end, and immediately hits Gareth Roderick in the box. Poor Roderick rolls around in pain. Worcestershire 70-o, going along very nicely, with my nerves about the greenness of the pitch totally unwarranted.

    Two points in Leicestershire’s pocket, Yorkshire six down for 112. But Worcestershire on the case, 60 without loss off 15 overs.

    A penultimate innings at Lord’s for Tim Murtagh, a magnificent 0 not out as Middlesex are dismissed for 121.

    A guard of honour for Tim Murtagh
    A guard of honour for the retiring Tim Murtagh at Lord’s. Photograph: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo/Shutterstock

    Scaffolding on the cathedral tower, four slips having their trousers ruffled by the warm wind. Worcestershire holding on. Libby, on 21, needs 45 for a thousand runs for the season.

    And Middlesex are all out for 121. Five for OHD.

    Creeping clouds here at New Road, while Yorkshire are wobbling at Grace Road: 96-4. I’ve just noticed that Durham have Ian Botham wines on the back of their shirts.

    At The Oval, an excellent effort by Hassan Azad, 47 from 144 balls, has dragged Northants to respectability on a rain affected day – 100-2. Essex 167-5 in that crucial game against Hampshire.

    Oh, and a third wicket for Hannon-Dalby, Middlesex eight down, but at least they made it to three figures: 100-8.

    Middlesex and Kent locked in an apparent battle to steal the last relegation spot. Middx 99-7 against Warwickshire; Somerset 127-1 against Kent, at four an over. Kent are on to their fifth bowler already.

    Ben Raine, broad of backside and shoulder, trots in. Roderick drives his second ball for four. A big lbw shout to his last. And Worcestershire survive the first over of the day. At the Diglis End, Fernando gives the ball a thorough polish on his trouser leg.

    A sobering interview with Kemar Roach on the future of Test cricket.

    As the grass gets a final trim, an announcement for the Christmas Carvery at New Road. Just three months away.

    Worcestershire are the unlucky losers of the toss. Play to start in 10 mins.

    Worcestershire’s promotions since two Divisions came into fruition: 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2017

    A wicket at Grace Road! Lyth the man to go to Scott Currie. Yorks 58-1.

    Right in front of the press box, Vishwa Fernando has just been given his Durham cap.

    Play will start here at New Road at 3.45 with 36 overs to be attempted. Full physical jerks in process now: stretches, football, sidesteps, medicine balls.

    Someone spots shadows on the grass where the players are knocking up with a football.

    Fifty for Tom Lammonby!

    At a quick trip-trap: 59 balls. He’s lost Abell, a wicket for Bhuiyan, for 20. Somerset 75-1.

    And at Grace Road, Lyth and Bean looking confident against some wayward Leicestershire bowling. 41-0.

    The rain has now reached Chelmsford, where they’ve taken an early tea with Essex 140-5. Matthew Critchley 25 not out. Tea at Lord’s too: 74-5. And the Oval, Northants 82-2.

    Play abandoned for the day at Derby

    The rain ruins any chances for Sussex to make any amends.

    This is the most promising things have looked for a while at New Road. Nearly all the covers off, and the umpires due to inspect at 3pm. Pity the poor captain who loses the toss. Five hardy souls have just parked themselves on the top row of the Basil D’Oliveira stand.

    Another game enters the fray: Yorkshire are having a bat at Grace Road after Leicestershire won the toss and sent them in. Currently 9-0.

    Gary Naylor’s always very readable and useful round-up of events:

    Lancs coach Mark Chilton on Tom Hartley, called up for England’s ODI matches against Ireland to replace the injured Craig Overton. Hartley has only played three List A games, but a fistful of T20s.

    “One of our key objectives is to try and improve players and get them to a level where they get picked for international and franchise teams. It’s really good reward for his efforts and we’re delighted for him.

    “He made an impact in the white ball game at the start of his Lancashire career, but he’s always had a real ambition to keep developing his red ball cricket, and he’s continually worked on that.

    “What I’ve seen from Tom is gradual improvement across his whole game.

    “He’s a tall spinner and his qualities in short format cricket are being able to bowl the ball into the pitch, hit the top of the stumps a lot, and cramp batters for room (to play their shots).

    “In red ball cricket it’s about adding the subtleties and variations of pace and flight into his style. He’s not quite a traditional up-and-down type of spinner, because he’s coming from a good height and if he can get some drift and drop on the ball, and a few more revs, that’s what he’s continually working on with the coaches.

    “The other aspect of his game is his batting and to see where he is now, again he’s made continual gradual improvement and that’s what we are trying to do, create an environment where players carry on getting better and see how far they can go.”

    The indefatigable ground staff pick up the damp covers again at New Road, skies slightly more hopeful, possibly, in a good light. Before today, the word was that the pitch would “do a bit”. We’ll have to wait and see if that holds. A further inspection at three o’clock.

    Lammonby and Abell whizzing along at Taunton, at almost six an over. Would it be awful to suppose that it won’t last for long? Kent should be energised by the scorecard from Lord’s – Middlesex 74-5.

    James Vince swallows an edge from Dan Lawrence, in his penultimate game for Essex. Some turn from Dawson, which is good news for Hampshire, but also Essex, with Harmer lurking in the cupboard. Essex 96-4.

    And if anyone is passing New Road, the PA announcer has just told the bucket seats that the ladies pavilion with its delicious cakes will be open at 2.30.

    Play now only at Chelmsford and Taunton – where Kent have won the toss and inserted Somerset. Good luck to the south-west boys on a emerald square.

    Fifty and out for Tom Westley, as he nudges Kyle Abbot to James Vince. Hants 82-3.

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