• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Sangakkara the artist

    Kumar Sangakkara oozed class at Lord's and both Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance were in the runs as the Championship returned

    The Specsavers County Championship is back and it feels good.

    Though it was a rain-affected Friday, there was still plenty of action to sink our teeth into, and it served as a reminder that class is permanent, especially where a couple of left-handers are concerned. Here are the highlights...

    Anderson drama
    The big story of the morning came at Emirates Old Trafford, and it was a bad one, a very bad one. After taking a good catch at slip to dismiss Adam Lyth, Jimmy Anderson then bowled Alex Lees before pulling up with a groin injury and leaving the field in some discomfort. No word has been forthcoming on the seriousness of his knock but it’ll leave England sweating ahead of the Test series with South Africa for sure.

    A hat-trick of lefties

    Three left-handers who simply cannot stop scoring runs this season, so let’s take them each in turn. Kumar Sangakarra registered a majestic hundred at Lord’s, his third in three successive Championship matches in 2017. And on the day when he came face-to-face with a portrait of him commissioned by the MCC, too. Alastair Cook passed 50 for the eighth time for Essex this season and Gary Ballance, who is already past 1,000 first-class runs for the season, racked up another 74.

    Leave it out

    As we regularly notice on our County Championship social accounts, folk just love a leave. And for leave fans, this special Kumar Sangakkara edition went down a storm. Deciding not to play a ball that pitches on middle and flies over the over stump takes nerves of steel. But then this is Kumar Sangakkara we’re talking about. No sweat.

    Let it Rayn

    Even with his skip-size hands, this counts as one of the grabs of the season. Ollie Rayner, at second slip, lunging forward to scoop an edge off Rory Burns practically from the floor, off the bowling of his captain James Franklin. He's renowned for his high slipping standards, but this one must be right up there.

    Tying them up in Notts

    Could the Nottinghamshire juggernaut resume the same speed it had built up prior to the break for 50-over action? If the answer to that question was in doubt during a morning session in which Glamorgan had their vistors 68/3, including Indian star Cheteshwar Pujara back in the hutch for two, the afternoon session left no doube. Jake Libby and Riki Wessels both hits tons as Notts ended a glorious day in Cardiff on 335/6.

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