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County Championship 3m

Key stories from Round 2 of the LV= Insurance County Championship

A new ball of the century while Gloucestershire shatter Somerset's home record

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Key stories from Round 2 of the LV= Insurance County Championship

James Bracey and Tom Lace celebrate Gloucestershire's victory at Somerset

Group 1:
Derbyshire 390 and 312/5d drew with Worcestershire 305 and 193/8
Essex 96 and 330 beat Durham 259 and 123 by 44 runs
Warwickshire 201 and 333/7 beat Nottinghamshire 273 and 260 by three wickets

Group 2:
Hampshire 319 and 290/4d beat Middlesex 79 and 281 by 249 runs
Gloucestershire 309 and 156/2 beat Somerset 312 and 149 by eight wickets
Surrey 672/8d drew with Leicestershire 375 and 295/3

Group 3:
Sussex 481 and 154/2 beat Glamorgan 285 and 349 by eight wickets
Yorkshire 379 and 330/5d beat Kent 265 and 244 by 200 runs
Lancashire 305 and 296/7d beat Northamptonshire 177 and 218 by 206 runs

Parkinson's wonder ball

In 1993, it was Shane Warne to Mike Gatting. The ball pitched well outside leg, spun sharply past the bamboozled batsman and took off stump. In 2021, it was Matt Parkinson to Adam Rossington. The ball pitched well outside leg... and, well, watch what happened next.

Plenty of onlookers made the instant comparison with the great Aussie leg-spinner, and it's easy to see why. But Parkinson had a terrific game against Northamptonshire in his own right. This was the 24-year-old's first LV= Insurance County Championship appearance of the season, and looked entirely in his groove returning to the county game. The Rossington dismissal was one of three wickets in the first innings, and Parkinson went even better in the second dig: three for 39 from 32.3 overs, including the winning wicket, as Lancashire completed a 206-run victory.

Essex save home record but Somerset's in tatters

Essex began this round without a first-class defeat at Chelmsford in 952 days, but Brydon Carse's eight wickets put that record in jeopardy against Durham. The county champions were dismissed for 96 first time round, but second-innings runs for Dan Lawrence and Paul Walter helped set a defendable target of 168, and Simon Harmer's second five-for of the game saw Durham downed.Β 

Somerset couldn't do the same at The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton. Their unbeaten home record spanned nearly four years but in the first West Country derby since 2007, Gloucestershire stole the spoils thanks to James Bracey: 118 in the first innings and 83* in the second to make it two wins from two for Gloucestershire.

Robinson the strongest link

One of the most reliable bowlers on the county circuit, Ollie Robinson was never going to be kept quiet for long. After claiming just two wickets in the snow-shortened opener at Lancashire last week, the Sussex quick returned to blistering form with career-best innings figures of nine for 78. That followed his four scalps in the first innings as Glamorgan's batsmen struggled to withstand Sussex's vice-captain. It left Sussex a target of 154, which they knocked off with ease thanks to half-centuries for Aaron Thomason and Tom Clark.

Praise Pope once again

Ollie Pope didn't feature in red-ball cricket for Surrey last season, but his second game of this year for his county was among his most fruitful. A magnificent 245 in Surrey's sole innings against Leicestershire at The Kia Oval set up his bowling attack with a final day race for victory. Pope batted for seven hours, finding the boundary 30 times and anchoring the innings - later assisted by Jamie Smith, who struck his maiden Championship hundred aged just 20. Hassan Azad salvaged a draw for Leicestershire with his first century of the season - his 144 is his highest first-class score.

Critchley's perfect week

Games rarely get better than the one played by Matt Critchley. Worcestershire were on the receiving end of all his best traits at Derbyshire. Critchley scored his fourth first-class century - and his first since September 2018 - in the first innings, following that up with a terrific bowling performance, claiming figures of five for 67. But Critchley wasn't done: a counter-attacking 84 second time round, and then picked up three wickets as Worcestershire managed to eke out a hard-fought draw.

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