• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Northants victorious; Footitt fearsome

    Mark Footitt was on fire at The Kia Oval and Northants became the season's first winners on a hectic second day of Championship action

    Saturday was bathed in glorious sunshine and things certainly started bubbling up in the Specsavers County Championship.

    Northamptonshire became the season's first winners and the five other games are moving on apace, with more results to come.

    Here's the best of Day Two in the 2017 season:

    Footitt on Fire

    Mark Footitt's season began, not so much with a bang as an atomic blast. In a devastating spell of fast bowling, on what was a relatively slow Kia Oval pitch, the left-armer took six for three from 32 balls. Warwickshire’s middle order of Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, and Sam Hain couldn’t muster a run between them, Surrey are in total control and Footitt looks like he might just be an outside chance for the Ashes down under.

    Broad and Pattinson a Class Above

    The bowlers have had the edge throughout the East Midlands derby and, technically, they did even during a pivotal seventh-wicket Nottinghamshire partnership. Notts opening bowlers James Pattinson and Stuart Broad came together with an 84-run first innings deficit on the board, but quickly plundered 122 from the next 20.1 overs, wrestling the momentum away from their hosts. Broad made 52 before he was dismissed, with James Pattinson going on to a career-best 89 not out before he ran out of partners. If that wasn’t enough, they then came out to bowl and, with the help of Luke Fletcher, reduced Leicestershire to 59-6 at the close.

    Anderson and McLaren Drive Lancs On

    Jimmy Anderson endorsed Lancashire’s signing of Ryan McLaren earlier this week, and the South African showed what a valuable presence he may be for the Red Rose's bowling attack when he helped finish off Essex’s first innings. He provided some necessary impetus to the attack during a flat period, taking two quick wickets, including opposition captain Ryan ten Doeschate. Anderson took three himself, not least that of top scorer Ravi Bopara, and Lancashire are very much in pole position at Chelmsford.

    Gloucestershire Wilt

    Gloucestershire’s visit to Canterbury looked fairly finely balanced when they were 89-3, aiming to overhaul Kent’s first innings of 298. Unfortunately, they then lost seven wickets for just 62 runs and were all out with just half of their opponents’ total. A half-century from Joe Denly, the 48th of his first-class career, allowed Kent to stretch their lead to 267 runs at the close. Gloucestershire have it all to do.

    Northants Win Inside Two Days

    A cracking start to the season for Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. This was their fourth consecutive Championship win, their fifth win in six games, and it came despite being reduced to 170-6 in their first innings. The win was achieved thanks to some belligerent batting from Adam Rossington, Richard Levi, Steven Crook, and Rory Kleinveldt in the late middle order, and a double-demolition of a fragile-looking Glamorgan. What's looking fairly certain is that, with few exceptions, both divisions of the County Championship will be keenly contested this year.

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