Not only did Gary Ballance defend from the front as Yorkshire captain to stave off defeat against a rampant Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl, but it took some history with him along the way with knocks of 108 and an unbeaten 203*. Naturally, there was only one winner in Round Three's Division One Player of the Week poll...
FINAL VOTE RESULTS
- Gary Ballance 53%
- Liam Livingstone 35%
- Sam Robson 5%
- Ryan MacLaren 4%
Liam Livingstone (Lancashire)
68 & 168 in victory over Somerset
It's not often that a half-century pips a Daddy hundred, but it was Livingstone's battling 68 set the ball rolling for Lancashire's outstanding come-from-behind win. Trailing by 169 runs in the first innings, the Lancs skipper's second innings almost made up the deficit himself, helping the hosts set Somerset a target of 295 which they failed to chase down.
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
108 & 203* to hold off Hampshire
Remarkable on so many levels, nevermind that Hampshire were close to defeating Yorkshire for the second time in three weeks until Ballance held them up, batting for more than 12 hours across both innings. No Yorkshire captain, in all their illustrious history, has ever scored two hundreds in a first class match. This was also the second time that Ballance has achieved the feat in the Championship – the first coming in 2013 against Surrey. It's not even May, yet Ballance already has 508 runs!
Ryan McLaren (Lancashire)
Eight wickets to finish off Somerset
If Livingstone dragged Lancashire to the fore, then it was McLaren who knocked the stuffing out of Somerset. His 4-76 in the first innings kept the visitors in check before some incisive, wicket-to-wicket bowling on a fourth day pitch that offered assistance in the right areas saw him win the match with 4-23. It sealed Lancashire's first win in 14 Championship matches.
Sam Robson (Middlesex)
149 & 77 in draw with Essex
But for bad light at the end of day four, this would have been a fantastic set of match-winning innings from Robson, who seems to do all his best work early season. A commanding 18th Championship hundred set-up Middlesex for a huge first innings score of 507, before a breezy 77 put Essex 451 behind. Unfortunately for Robson and Middlesex, Essex were able to save the game.