County cricket: Essex v Kent, Gloucs v Yorkshire, and more – as it happened

    Key events

    Rhodes is a colossus as Warwickshire pummel Durham

    Taha Hashim

    Not content with the 490 they struck on Friday, Warwickshire opted to continue their dismantling of Durham’s attack at Edgbaston, declaring two runs short of 700. The Bears captain Alex Davies was unable to convert his double hundred into a triple, but his predecessor Will Rhodes went to an unbeaten 178 as every member of Warwickshire’s top three celebrated a three-figure score in the county’s second-highest first-class total. There was less fortune for their No 4, Ed Barnard, bowled for one by a fine, ripping delivery from Callum Parkinson. Last year’s Division Two champions finished the day trailing by 520, but with the consolation of an Alex Lees century incoming in the morning.

    Essex, who also put up 400 on day one, settled for 530 before their declaration against Kent, Matt Critchley top-scoring with 151 not out at Chelmsford. But the hosts missed their headline seamer Sam Cook, out due to a thigh niggle, as Daniel Bell-Drummond celebrated his second hundred of the week and Ben Compton his first of the season. Jaydn Denly took his maiden first-class wicket for the visitors and could well bat alongside his uncle, Joe, on Sunday.

    Plenty of England’s Test setup were in action at the Oval, but two names from the past stepped up. Dom Sibley and Rory Burns put on 167 for Surrey’s first wicket against Somerset, with the former hitting his 20th first-class ton. Out of the current crop, Ben Foakes went to a half-century but Ollie Pope fell cheaply, while Shoaib Bashir spun the ball with control to dismiss Burns and go at two an over.

    Emilio Gay went all the way to 261 for Northamptonshire against Middlesex before being run out attempting a desperate second at Wantage Road. Middlesex have endured a tough opening to the season in the field, having taken just nine wickets for the loss of 1,172 runs. A second-innings shootout is in development at Sophia Gardens, with Glamorgan 74 for four after acquiring a first-innings lead of 39 against Derbyshire. The visiting off-spinner Alex Thomson has 10 wickets in the match, a first in his professional career.

    Fynn Hudson-Prentice’s five-fer for Sussex against Leicestershire at Grace Road was followed by a second consecutive hundred for the opener Tom Haines, while Cheteshwar Pujara showcased his famous patience in compiling 38 off 148 deliveries. Cameron Bancroft was similarly old-school at the top of the order for Gloucestershire against Yorkshire at Bristol, taking 160 balls to reach his half-century. He couldn’t, however, stop his side from conceding a first-innings deficit of 63. Keaton Jennings was another opener in the runs, remaining unbeaten on 85 for Lancashire against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

    Calvin Harrison had a fine day across all three facets for Nottinghamshire against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge. To begin with, his 52 with the bat in a seventh-wicket 146-run stand with Lyndon James, who fell for 96. Then a wonderful low catch at third slip to dismiss Jake Libby. And then, for The Prestige, three wickets with his leg-spin to put his side on top.


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    Close of play scores


    Chelmsford: Essex 530-7d v Kent 245-1

    The Rose Bowl: Hampshire 367 v Lancashire 233-4

    Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 399 v Worcestershire 220-6

    The Oval: Surrey 358-6 v Somerset 285

    Edgbaston: Warwickshire 698-3d v Durham 178-3


    Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 237 & 74-4 v Derbyshire 198

    Bristol: Gloucestershire 263 v Yorkshire 326 & 57-0

    Grace Road: Leicestershire 338 v Sussex 282-6

    Northampton: Northamptonshire 552-6d v Middlesex 128-1

    It’s probably time for me to get started on my roundup for the paper. Keep having your fun BTL. I do have to say, the Oval looks glorious at the moment with the late afternoon sun out. Get yourself down here soon if you’re in the vicinity.

    I’d been wondering where Sam Cook was. Essex are missing him, with Kent currently 159-1, DBD, the new skipper, loving life. Bell-Drummond is 83 not out, having hit a ton against Somerset in the last round.

    🧽 𝗜𝗻𝗷𝘂𝗿𝘆 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲

    Before play yesterday Sam Cook had a niggle in his thigh. So as a precaution, he was left out of the Starting XI.

    — Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) April 13, 2024

    Dan Lawrence’s first County Championship innings for Surrey is a short one. He’s gone lbw for 6 to Kasey Aldridge, who has bowled with heart from what I’ve seen today. The 23-year-old’s got two for 29 to show for his efforts, and Somerset aren’t completely out of this, with Surrey 291-5 and leading by six.

    Gorgeous work from Mason.

    Lots of love for Mason Crane BTL and he’s giving it back: he finishes with four for 60 as Derbyshire are bowled out for 198. Around me there’s a round of applause as Jamie Smith, who is caressing it around the carpet, brings up his half-century … and then he’s bowled next ball! Craig Overton goes straight through him to send the off stump dancing.

    Teatime scores


    Chelmsford: Essex 530-7d v Kent 117-1

    The Rose Bowl: Hampshire 367 v Lancashire 125-2 (play still going)

    Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 399 v Worcestershire 82-3 (play still going)

    The Oval: Surrey 263-3 v Somerset 285

    Edgbaston: Warwickshire 698-3d v Durham 90-2


    Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 237 v Derbyshire 198-9 (play still going)

    Bristol: Gloucestershire 202-6 v Yorkshire 326

    Grace Road: Leicestershire 338 v Sussex 205-3 (play still going)

    Northampton: Northamptonshire 552-6d v Middlesex 22-0


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    Nice to see this BTL from Scotty848 a few hours ago: “Just arrived in Manchester, my partner is running the marathon tomorrow having raised £1000 for the Brain Tumour charity. Upon parking I had a sudden urge to change into my whites, pad up, and then throw my wicket away in the most nonsensical, absurd and badly timed manner possible. There’s something in the air here HPG, Galactus et al.” All the best with the marathon!

    Despite the double tons and gargantuan totals, there is still space on the canvas for a low-scoring thriller. Derbyshire have gone from 110-2 to 180-9 in response to Glamorgan’s 237. Mason Crane, who has gone to Wales on loan in search of some more game time, has three for 49 from 23 overs. Good to see.

    Warwickshire have picked up two wickets in two overs to make Durham’s day worse – Oliver Hannon-Dalby accounted for Scott Borthwick with a nick to the keeper, and Craig Miles repeated the trick against Colin Ackermann. The visitors are 49-2, still trailing by, um, 649 runs. Gulp. Northamptonshire, by the way, declared on 552-6 against Middlesex, with James Sales celebrating his first professional hundred.

    Surrey having Dan Lawrence, England’s Test No 4 a couple years ago, at No 6, is some flex. Ben Foakes is out in the middle with Jamie Smith at the moment.

    Tom Haines makes it two in two

    After 133 in the first round against Northants, Sussex’s Tom Haines has another century, this time against Leicestershire. The 25-year-old was name-dropped quite a bit a couple years ago in conversations regarding England’s opening options. He’s got Cheteshwar Pujara keeping him company at the moment, with Sussex two down. In front of me in south London, Dom Sibley has gone without adding to his ton, bowled by Lewis Goldsworthy’s left-arm spin after smashing the ball on to his foot, before it trickled back to hit the stumps.

    Century for Dom Sibley!

    With a clip down the leg side for two off Shoaib Bashir, Dom Sibley brings up his 20th first-class hundred. His average is hovering just under 40 in this, his 131st game. A fine player.

    Emilio Gay run out for 261

    Emilio Gay’s magnum opus is over – but he’s not let a Middlesex bowler get him. The opener is run out by Max Holden coming back for a second, and Northants have now passed 500. James Sales, son of David, is not far off a maiden first-class hundred.


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    Ollie Pope begins his season with a pull to deep backward square leg to fall for 11. A Surrey fan near me yelps in anger.

    A 160-ball fifty comes up for Cameron Bancroft in Bristol, one boundary from it. He’s here for a long time.

    Calvin Harrison, who hit 52 from No 8 earlier in the day, took this ripper for Notts.

    Miracle catch!

    Calvin Harrison has this one under control at third slip and Jake Libby is out for next to sweet nothing

    — Vitality County Championship (@CountyChamp) April 13, 2024

    Numbers. Big numbers.

    Another Warwickshire stat: top three have all made 175+. It’s the first time in first-class history that numbers 1,2 & 3 have all reached 150. Also the 4th FC innings with three 175+ scores (Hyderabad v Andhra, Jan 1994; West Indians v Leics, Jul 1950; NSW v Victoria, Jan 1909)

    — Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) April 13, 2024

    At The Oval, Shoaib Bashir has ended Surrey’s monster opening stand: Rory Burns went back for the cut and was adjudged caught behind. Ollie Pope comes out to have a bat against Bashir – this should be an intriguing watch, a duel between the two England teammates.

    Warwickshire have finally, finally had enough

    Warwickshire have declared … on 698-3! Why not just nab the extra two? Strange. Anywho, Will Rhodes finishes on 178, Dan Mousley on 55. Elsewhere, Worcestershire’s openers have perished early: they’re 4-2, with Luke Fletcher getting rid of Gareth Roderick and Dillon Pennington getting his old teammate Jake Libby.

    Right, I’m back and so are most of the county cricketers across the land. Except for at Trent Bridge, where they’re still lunching – Notts have been bowled out for 399 by Worcestershire, with Lyndon James dismissed four runs short of what would’ve been a fourth first-class hundred. They’ll take that, having been 238-6.

    Lunchtime scores

    I’m off for some food and maybe a wander on to the Oval outfield, where Somerset’s fielders haven’t had a great deal of fun this morning.


    Chelmsford: Essex 530-7d v Kent 29-1

    The Rose Bowl: Hampshire 367 v Lancashire 12-0

    Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 399-9 v Worcestershire (play still going)

    The Oval: Surrey 155-0 v Somerset 285

    Edgbaston: Warwickshire 662-3 v Durham


    Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 237 v Derbyshire 117-3

    Bristol: Gloucestershire 88-3 v Yorkshire 326

    Grace Road: Leicestershire 338 v Sussex 98-1

    Northampton: Northamptonshire 425-4 v Middlesex

    My apologies to Fynn Hudson-Prentice, whose five-for I forgot to acknowledge – it’s not all misery with the Kookaburra. He finished with five for 50 against Leicestershire. Sussex are currently 94-1 in response to a total of 338, with Tom Haines approaching a half-century.

    In Bristol, Cameron Bancroft is busy appeasing the purists. The Australian opener is 39 off 116 balls, with Gloucestershire going at less than two an over. His partner Miles Hammond is on 14 off 64. Proper Cricket.

    Warwickshire pass 600 … and Hampshire end on 367

    The Bears have clocked up 600 … and they want even more; they haven’t declared. Elsewhere, Hampshire have been bowled out for 367, with Nathan Lyon wrapping up things with the wicket of Kyle Abbott. The Australia and now Lancashire offie finishes with figures of 3-110.

    At least Ed didn’t bother driving:

    Double ton for Emilio Gay!

    Middlesex really are having a miserable time with the ball so far this season, having watched Sam Northeast go to a triple ton last week. Now they’re struggling to remove Emilio Gay, who has just brought up his maiden first-class double century.

    Essex declare on 530 for seven

    Essex aren’t going to do a Warwickshire and gun for 600 … they’re satisfied with 530-7 in their first innings against Kent. Matt Critchley – routinely tipped for England by friend of the blog Adam Collins – finishes with 151 not out. Shane Snater gave it a bit of tonk at the end with a 16-ball 26*.


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    Another wicket at Edgbaston … like London buses and all that. Parkinson’s bowled another beauty, this time turning one past Ed Barnard to bowl the all-rounder for 1. At the Oval it feels like watching England back in the summer of 2020: Rory Burns has joined Dom Sibley in reaching a half-century.

    Zaltz delivers, as pointed out by LongHop BTL.

    It is now… 555-1 is the highest ever 1st-innings score with one wicket down, by a team that has put in to bat in FC cricket. Previously: Karnataka, 553-1 v Madhya Pradesh, Nov 2004.

    — Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) April 13, 2024

    Hundred for Will Rhodes … and Alex Davies departs for 256!

    Warwickshire continue to punish Durham – Will Rhodes, the former Bears skipper, goes to his ton off 153 balls. And then from the very next ball Alex Davies is bowled for 256, Callum Parkinson producing a ripping delivery to knock over the current Bears captain.

    Over at Chelmsford, Jaydn Denly, nephew of Joe, is having a bowl for Kent as Essex continue to have fun with the bat, Matt Critchley is unbeaten on 127 while Simon Harmer, very useful down the order, moves to 41. Jaydn’s uncle is also in Kent’s XI!

    Big fan of these kind of highlights, which are more than just wickets, fours, sixes etc. Also quite hypnotic to watch Lyon just land dot after dot.

    A first-ball first-baller at Grace Road! Sussex’s Tom Clark has departed from the opening ball of his side’s innings after Leicestershire were bowled out for 338, Matt Salisbury the bowler. Meanwhile, Dom Sibley’s just absolutely pulverised a short ball from Lewis Gregory at the Oval. He’s on 49, going at a decent lick, too.

    At Edgbaston, Warwickshire have gone past 500 (!). Will Rhodes has taken three boundaries off one Matt Potts over to bring up the landmark. Carnage – I’m expecting 1,000 by the end of the day.

    At the Oval, Gareth Batty is very animatedly working with Dan Lawrence on the new signing’s funky off-breaks. The quest to be a proper, proper all-rounder is on.

    “Hello Taha.” Hello, Andrew Benton. “Would you know if there have been any developments on the introduction of bamboo bats?”

    Hmm, last I heard on it was this statement from the MCC, who cited Law 5.3.2: “The blade shall consist solely of wood.”

    “Currently, Law 5.3.2 states that the blade of the bat must consist solely of wood, so for bamboo (which is a grass) to be considered as a realistic alternative to willow would require a Law change,” read the statement.

    “Importantly, the Law would need to be altered to allow bamboo specifically, as even if it were to be recognised as a wood, this would still be illegal under the current Law, which bans lamination of the blade, except in junior bats.”

    Cricket really is a weird ol’ game.

    Yesterday’s action

    Here’s Tanya’s roundup from last night:

    It was a day for batting as the sun came out and the Kookaburra ball was placated as it likes to. There were eight centuries around the grounds, one a magnificent 226 by Alex Davies as Warwickshire pinballed 490 for one by stumps at Edgbaston. Davies’s swashbuckling knock was his first double century, and he and Rob Yates pounded 343 for the first wicket until Yates was caught for 191. It was a chastening return to Division One for Durham and for their new overseas recruit Scott Boland, an expert with the Kookaburra. There was one bright spot for Durham, Ben Stokes bowling two practice spells. The hope is that he might return for their match on 24 May.

    At the Oval, 3,000 people pushed through the turnstiles to watch Somerset gallop through the morning session against Surrey before tumbling into a batting black hole after lunch. While the ice-cream van did a good trade, Tom Lammonby reached his seventh career century, a promising early sign from a man who usually makes his hundreds in September.

    He and Matt Renshaw had skipped along to 178 for the second wicket before Lammonby called for a quick single on 99. Renshaw was run out from a direct hit and from there they concertinaed, losing seven for 20. It was only some big hitting from Lewis Gregory that dragged Somerset towards a batting point. There was time for four overs from Shoaib Bashir as Surrey made smooth evening progress.

    Elsewhere, there was a century for the Yorkshire captain, Shan Masood, against Gloucestershire at Bristol, as Joe Root and Harry Brook fell cheaply to Zaman Akhter (five for 89).

    There were centuries too for Dean Elgar and Matt Critchley as Essex made hay against Kent; Joe Clarke as Worcestershire plugged away against Nottinghamshire; and Emilio Gay, whose 165 against Middlesex was his highest first-class score and helped Northamptonshire gather home batting points, something they didn’t achieve until 26 September last year.

    What’s the score?


    Chelmsford: Essex 421-6 v Kent

    The Rose Bowl: Hampshire 305-6 v Lancashire

    Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 305-6 v Worcestershire

    The Oval: Surrey 42-0 v Somerset 285

    Edgbaston: Warwickshire 490-1 v Durham


    Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 237 v Derbyshire 46-1

    Bristol: Gloucestershire 28-2 v Yorkshire 326

    Grace Road: Leicestershire 326-8 v Sussex

    Northampton: Northamptonshire 311-3 v Middlesex


    Good morning, folks! I’m at the Oval, playing the role of sub teacher while the brilliant Tanya Aldred has a well-deserved breather.

    As it’s my debut on this particular page, please go easy on me, send in as much helpful correspondence as you desire, and, most importantly, have a great time BTL. I’d also love to know if you’re somewhere in the shires taking in a game.

    The headline from yesterday: well, we’ve got a decent game on here between Somerset and Surrey, but what’s been going on at Edgbaston?! Durham – with their stellar cast of Boland, Potts and Carse – had a chastening day against Warwickshire, who put up 490-1 from 96 overs. Alex Davies remains unbeaten 226 from just 274 balls. Yikes.

    Anywho, here’s my tune for the day. Let’s have some fun.

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