The rain has abated at The Oval – Burns and Stoneman march out dominant tread after dominant tread. No play before lunch at Chelmsford and Glamorgan and Durham both now 3 down.
That thud echoed around Southport: Fell lbw Bailey for 11, another victim for the leading wicket-taker in Div 1, Tom Bailey. Worcestershire 55/2. And the SUN has appeared.
And a very last thought on Final’s day, a super piece from Gary Naylor:
Ticket queues at Taunton for Blast Finals day, with just 500 tickets allocated to the finalists
A pre-Test snifter
Yikes Durham. 16/2, a second for Sanderson, Harte for 6. Somerset 36/2- Trescothick for 4, Byrom for 1. A wicket at Colwyn Bay – Selman for a 14 ball duck, and Kent whizzing along with Zak Crawley 42 not out.
A query from Barcelona airport where Finbar Anslow writes…
“Good morning! I have a question about the T20 finals; it seems unfair that the second semi final is so close, timewise, to the final; surely this is an advantage to the winners of the first semi, any statistics on this?”
Anecdotally I’m told that when Warwickshire won the morning match a few years ago Ian Bell had time to have a round of golf at Edgbaston golf club before coming back for the final, but I think…. and I’ve got to check this…feel free to get there before me….that the stats are pretty even.
And a WICKET at Southport: Mitchell out for 9, caught behind after being dropped on 5. Worcestershire 20/1
This is what the ECB are searching for – innovation and sustainability from Lancashire’s Ken Grime as the sun threatens a brief appearance.
And early wickets at The County Ground, where Kent are 21/1, Dickson lbw to Viljoen for four, and Chester-le-Street where Durham are 6/1, Steel out for 2.
Can anyone trump my double-decker and coffee elevenses? I doubt it. Very good americano from the re-ferbed Citroen van at the far end, should anyone be popping down to Southport later.
And starts delayed by rain at The Oval, Chelmsford, Lord’s and Colywn Bay.
If you’re deliberating then yes, bring the thermos
Here Worcester have won the toss and will bat. That decision and Lancashire’s selection has left the locals scratching their heads…
- having picked three spinners in their 14, Lancs have left out Parkinson and Parry (and Chanderpaul). Worcestershire on the other hand have picked their left-armer twirly-man Twohig
Good morning from Southport, so lovely to be back – it’s been a while. Heatwave long in the memory, new-term stationery lusted over and bought, Northern Rail chugger stop-starting through verdant Lancashire flat-lands on a damp late-August Wednesday. But what’s this? Still five rounds left in the Championship, and centre-stage at last for the proud old thing, save for the Blast finals on September 15 (FYI: Lancashire Lightning v Worcestershire Rapids 11am; Somerset v Sussex Sharks 230pm; Final 645pm, brrrrrr)
And so to the next four days. All heads turn to The Oval where Championship favourites Surrey, who have a whopping 32-point lead at the top of Division One, entertain Nottinghamshire. Current silver-medallists Somerset are away at Headingley, where Yorkshire find themselves in relegation danger after that thrashing by Worcestershire at Scarborough, and there’s a wooden-spoon face-off here at bonny Southport where Lancashire and Worcestershire fight it out for oxygen. In a not-at-all-a-panic-measure, Lancashire have just signed South African spinner Keshav Maharaj (22 Tests, 90 wickets @ 27.65) – to join their burgeoning clan of twirlers -till the end of the season
In Division Two, in-the-doldrums Glamorgan at least have the lovely Colwyn Bay to keep them chipper, though they must entertain leaders Warwickshire. In the chasing pack, Middlesex and Sussex battle at Lord’s – which is co-currently hosting a beer and cider festival.
Southport: Lancashire v Worcestershire
The last draw here was in 1989, and both sides are desperate for points. Worcestershire moved off the bottom after their win against Yorkshire and Lancashire replaced them after the six-run defeat thriller against Surrey – a game which the Worcestershire team watched on the team coach on the way back from Scarborough. Maharaj makes his debut on a Southport pitch which often helps spinners. Moeen Ali may join Worcester on the second day if not needed by England
Chelmsford: Essex v Hampshire
Both sides are safeish… but a win will bring precious ballast. Hampshire are without James Vince, wanted by England, and Dalye Steyn, who injured his groin in the win against Nottinghamshire.
The Oval: Surrey v Nottinghamshire
Surrey can almost pocket the title this week if they win and Somerset lose against Yorkshire . Tom Curran makes his first Championship appearance of an injury-interrupted season, replacing younger brother Sam if he plays in the Test. Jade Dernbach is out with an injured groin muscle sustained during the nail-biting win against Lancashire. South African Test opener Dean Elgar returns for his second spell as overseas player this season and Gareth Batty could make his first Championship appearance of the year alongside Amar Virdi. Notts, not-so-fresh from the Blast quarter final defeat at Taunton, are still missing Chris Nash – but Ben Slater, their recent signing from Derbyshire, could make his debut.
Headingley: Yorkshire v Somerset
Yorkshire are still missing Steven Patterson and Ben Coad, but Mat Pillans, who recently signed from Surrey, could make his debut, and Kane Williamson is available for his last appearance of the season. Jack Brooks is in the squad to play the team he will join next season. Somerset are buoyant after last week’s Jack Leach-inspired victory over Essex kept them in the race.
Derby: Derby v Kent
Third-placed Kent’s chase for promotion is boosted by the return of New Zealander Matt Henry, fabulous in early-season. Derbyshire have made a loan signing of Tom Lace, a young opener from Middlesex, after losing Ben Slater to Nottinghamshire, with Luis Reece out with long-term injury.
Chester-le-Street: Durham v Northamptonshire
Durham earned their third win of the season last week against Glamorgan in Cardiff, ; Mark Wood will continue in their seam attack. Northants, who somehow managed to lose to Middlesex after enforcing the follow-on last week, are without Ben Duckett with a broken finger
Colwyn Bay: Glamorgan v Warwickshire
The first and only time top-of-the-table Warwickshire have travelled to Colywn Bay they won, with a youthful Jonathan Trott scoring a hundred. Not quite the precedent Glamorgan want after their sixth defeat out of nine to Durham last week left them 14 points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Bristol: Gloucestershire v Leicestershire
Leicester hope to have Zak Chappell and Neil Dexter back in the side in their guise as unexpected promotion candidates. Gloucestershire are expected to give a home debut to Ben Charlesworth, a 17-year-old opener who played for England Under-19s this summer.
Lord’s: Middlesex v Sussex
Middlesex hope to capitalise on their unlikely win against Northampton last week, but it is Sussex who are in the box seat – currently second 39 points ahead of Middlesex. Luke Wright returns to their Championship squad after missing last week’s win against Derbyshire.
Your tables here: Division One