I was doing the washing-up last night with half an ear on Michael Vaughan on the radio. Interested to hear his tour squad for New Zealand- forward planning for the next Ashes – that included Sibley/Crawley, Pope, Archer/Saqib Mahmood, Foakes/Bairstow/Buttler, Curran/Woakes and the assertion that England should only play one of Broad or Anderson at any one time.
And Liam Livingstone has been hauled into the attack at the James Anderson end. Middlesex 108-6.
And Surrey crumble to 174 all out – losing 6-22 at a most inopportune rate. Time for Morne to have a morning.
John Simpson batting very nicely here at OT – wiser heads than me say he was in the very first academy intake at Old Trafford but was let go because they had too many wicket-keepers.
Kyle Abbott puts his big boots through the Taunton fairytale. 12-9-11-6. Somerset 59-7.
Lancs fans may like to know that the Division Two trophy is motoring up from ECB HQ this very moment and will be presented at the end of this match. We don’t think Colin Graves is driving.
Middlesex bring up the fifty partnership in 95 balls and it is as if yesterday evening never happened. 87-6. Meanwhile Somerset self-destruct further – George Bartlett for 9. 58-6 and in the middle of an existential crisis.
Essex making up for lost time at Chelmsford – Surrey 159 for seven, Foakes, Clarke and Jacks all snaffled this morning. Somerset relying on Clark and Plunkett to bully the total past 200.
So Darren Stevens has now made 237, struggled out of bed, limped down to breakfast, taken the new ball and taken two for four.
Somerset have decided that what they really, really want is down to the wire, tension-building cricket – otherwise winning the Championship for the first time in their history doesn’t really count. So they’re now 57-5, 139 behind Hampshire, Bartlett and Gregory trying to desperately stick thumbs in the dyke.
September wickets galore. In Division Two Sussex’s day doesn’t get off to the best of starts – two in two from Luis Reece, Delray Rawlins for 34 and Ben Brown first ball (134-5). Glamorgan lose Root and Wagg to Griffiths 330-6; Harris and Simpson have put on Middlesex’s biggest partnership of the innings – 31- in the more welcoming morning sunshine; Durham – what are you doing? – 51 for SIX, Sanderson 5-29 –against Northants. Gloucestershire potter on without incident at New Road – 103-4.
Can’t believe how much I missed yesterday – Darren Stevens doing it for 40 year olds everywhere, Lancashire winning the Championship, and Nottinghamshire remembering belatedly, and with the pressure off, how to bat.
Here at Old Trafford, I’m told that Middlesex’s batting on Monday evening wasn’t that bad, Tom Bailey was brilliant and a couple of the batsmen – Robson and Cummins – were perhaps a little unfortunate to be walking back to the pavilion.
Start of play scores
Headingley: Kent 482-8: Stevens 237, Billings 138; Olivier 5-108
Chelmsford: Surrey 137-4: Smith 34, Foakes 31*; Porter 2-47 Essex: Yet to bat
Ageas Bowl: Hampshire 196: Dawson 103, Barker 40; Gregory 3-63. Somerset 30-2: Abbott 2-1
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 425-6: Mullaney 179, Clarke 125, Evison 45. Warwickshire: Yet to bat
Old Trafford: Lancashire 259: Livingston 84, Croft 55*; Sowter 3-42, Harris 3-59. Middlesex 39-6: Bailey 5-16
Pattonair County Ground: Derbyshire 138: Dal 35; Wiese 4-18. Sussex 116-3: Van Zyl 49*; Reece 2-27
Wantage Road: Northamptonshire 217:Rossington 82; Rushworth 5-68, Raine 3-53. Durham 37-4: Sanderson 3-20
New Road: Worcestershire 221: Wessels 72; Higgins 4-55, Payne 3-57. Gloucestershire 87-4: Barnard 3-16
Glamorgan 300-4 v Leicestershire
From a beautiful Old Trafford where the sun is out, the air is still, and melancholy hangs but hasn’t fallen.