The staccato feel endured on the second day of the latest round of County Championship matches, but there were some fine performances and some remarkable passages of play as the weather relented across the country.
Restarting at 243 for 2, life was much tougher for the Essex batsmen on day two. Including Tom Westley's dismissal from the last ball on Friday, they lost nine wickets for 117 runs, all out for 360, with Kyle Abbott taking five-for. Hampshire's innings, though, took things to a new level. They lost five wickets without scoring in a 17-ball period facing the new ball - their top six managed just 21 runs in all and, despite a fifty partnership from Lewis McManus and Kyle Abbott they have a mountain to climb at 92 for seven.
UPDATE Last 17 balls 0-5:— County Championship (@CountyChamp) May 20, 2017
TANK SOAKS UP SURREY FLAK
There were four Surrey wickets for James Franklin and three for the highly-rated Tom Helm as champions Middlesex took control of the match at Lord's. But, perhaps some credit for grasping the nettle should go to Ollie Rayner, who followed his magnificent slip catch from yesterday with three more vital grabs. In response, Surrey's seam bowlers piled the pressure on but 67 from Eskinazi, a superb century from Dawid Malan, and a quickfire fifty from the skipper and star all-rounder James "Tank" Franklin have put the hosts in a very strong position.
BATTED TANK! 🔥🔥— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) May 20, 2017
Brilliant half century from the skipper! pic.twitter.com/naIkUPDAj2
The injured Jimmy Anderson was nowhere to be seen when play began on day two at Emirates Old Trafford. It was soon announced that he would sit the day out and is set for a scan on Monday: he won't take any further part in this Roses match, and his county could really have done with him. No play was possible until 4.15pm, but when it started Yorkshire's batsmen made mincemeat of the Lancs bowling. They completed a phenomenal first-innings recovery from 178 for six to finish 421 for seven, with a superb hundred from Jack Leaning and a belligerent 94 not out, a first-class best, from Jack Brooks.
READ 'EM AND WEEP
Chris Read helped Notts to four batting points and a total of 448 despite injuring his hip and needing a runner. He wasn't able to keep wicket but had an able deputy in Riki Wessels who took his 99th and 100th first-class catches with the gloves. Notts' bowling attack may have lost Ball and Pattinson to international cricket, but they still have a formidable array of weapons and they reduced Glamorgan's shaky lineup to 187 despite a battling half-century from Aneurin Donald (his third in as many Championship matches). Cheteshwar Pujara may not have got the runs he wanted in the Notts innings, but he contributed with a deadeye of a run-out.
WET, WET, WET
Much like the opening day of this round of Championship cricket, the sunny early-morning weather gave way to intermittent showers, with the players going in and out (of the pavilion) more often than a jack-in-the-box doing the Hokey Cokey on a bunjee rope. Nowhere was safe as rain spread across the country and, if that wasn't enough, bad light even interrupted things at Taunton and Grace Road.