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  • Specsavers County Championship 13m

    Race for promotion heats up in Div Two

    Keep on top of all the Division Two action with our essential round-up

    Kent 236 & 343/9 v Durham 448 & 271/6 - match drawn
    Northants 218 & 277 beat Derbyshire 176 & 191 by 128 runs
    Glamorgan 381 & 18/1 beat Worcestershire 267 & 129 by 9 wickets
    Leicestershire 340 & 175 v Sussex 284 & 110/2
    Gloucestershire 303 & 30/1 v Nottinghamshire 535/8d

    KENT v DURHAM

    Kent’s 10th wicket partners Yasir Shah and Mitch Claydon saw out the final 46 balls of the match to secure a thrilling Specsavers County Championship draw with Durham in Canterbury.

    Shah, on his home debut, batted for 81 minutes while last man Claydon – a former Durham player – combined to deny Paul Collingwood’s side their first win and clinch a battling draw.

    Required to bat all day to maintain their unbeaten status in the division, Kent lost three wickets in each of the opening two sessions leave the door ajar for a Durham win.

    The hosts first blow came to the 20th delivery of the day when, in aiming an expansive drive against Barry McCarthy, opener Daniel Bell-Drummond only succeeded in dragging the ball onto his middle stump to slope off with only 17 to his name.

    After helping to add 76 in 17.5 overs for the second wicket Joe Denly departed for 45 to the deserving Gavin Main. Denly had scored his ninth boundary by edging Main through the cordon to the ropes at third man but, without addition, Denly pushed at one with an open bat face only to steer the ball into the hands of Paul Collingwood at slip.

    Durham bagged their third wicket of the session with 117 on the board when Sean Dickson, four short of his 50, drove a firm return chance to the bowler Keaton Jennings who accepted the catch with glee.

    After lunch Sam Northeast and Joe Weatherley dug in for 26.3 overs in adding 63 for the fourth wicket before Weatherley, the Hampshire loanee, departed for his fourth successive championship score in the 30s. Defending on the back foot, the 20-year-old was undone by low bounce as one from Gavin Main kept low to pluck out his off stump.

    Darren Stevens came in to scratch around for 16 minutes without getting off the mark before he pushed at a Ryan Pringle delivery to be caught behind by Stuart Poynter stood up to the stumps.

    Poynton was celebrating 10 runs later when Chris Rushworth’s reintroduction at the Nackington Road End accounted for Will Gidman for the second time in the match. The Durham bowler, attacking from around the wicket, ran one away from the left-hander who feathered though to the keeper to go for three.   

    Early in the final session and fresh from his unbeaten century in the first innings, Northeast emulated his Durham counterpart Paul Collingwood by notching a second innings half-century from 108-ball and with five fours.  

    Collingwood’s bowling changes continued to work wonders and the fourth wicket in succession fell in the first over of a new stint. At 4.30pm Collingwood claimed the second new ball, tossed is to his attack leader Chris Rushworth and was rewarded with the wicket of Adam Rouse with the second delivery.

    Playing back in defence Rouse (23) was adjudged lbw by umpire Steve Garrett although it appeared that the Durham cordon had initially appealed for a catch at the wicket.

    Rushworth landed another hammer blow by ending Northeast’s 229-minute vigil for 72. The Kent skipper, who hit an unbeaten 109 in the first innings, missed out when aiming to leg and Garrett again raised the finger, much to Northeast’s obvious displeasure.

    Matt Coles, not known for his stoical batting, then joined forces with debutant Yasir Shah to take Kent into the last hour on 271 for eight. The ninth-wicket pair won their first battle in seeing off Rushworth who, after giving his all for 25 overs in a spell of three for 62, hobbled off for treatment to a stiff back.

    Shah, working on the ‘attack is the best form of defence’ principle, unfurled a series of wristy flicks, cuts and drives to hit the ropes on five occasions before his partner Coles departed with under eight overs remaining.

    Poking in defence at a shooting delivery the left-hander went for lbw for 30 to give Matthew Potts, the 18-year-old Durham Academy graduate, his maiden championship wicket on his first team debut.

    It came down to the final over from Potts who bowled the final delivery of the match to Shah with six slips, two gulleys and a short leg. The Pakistan all-rounder denied his fellow debutant, however, and the cheers were Kentish as the hosts maintained their push for promotion. Kent banked 8 points to Durham’s 12.    

    NORTHANTS v DERBYSHIRE

    Ben Sanderson took four second-innings wickets to push Northamptonshire back into contention for promotion from Division Two with a 128-run win over Derbyshire at Wantage Road.

    Sanderson’s 4/31 on day three followed up 5/52 in the first innings and saw Northants comfortably defend 319 for a fourth win in six matches this season. 

    Sanderson said: “It’s been quite professional by us in this game. Sometimes against teams lower down the table you can almost go through the motions but we’ve really fought hard, especially after our first innings.

    “We’re really glued as a bowling unit at the moment and it’s good to get among the wickets. We’ve got previous coming back after a good day and not putting the game to bed but where we’ve been good this year is really keeping the pressure up with the ball, so credit to us as a unit.”

    It looked like Derbyshire were rolling over having slipped to 58 for 6 shortly after lunch but Tom Taylor made a bright half-century in a stand of 106 with Daryn Smit that avoided humiliation. It merely delayed Northants’ victory until after tea, with Derbyshire eventually bowled out for 191.

    It was another remarkable day where 16 wickets fell - as they did on day one. Nine of them came in the morning session where Derbyshire’s hopes of a first victory in two years was raised, only to be dashed before lunch.

    Northants resumed four down with a lead of 289 and sights on setting a target towards 400. But such ambitions were destroyed as Conor McKerr took a second five-wicket haul in the game and became the youngest bowler to take ten in a match for Derbyshire, beating FE Bracey, whose ten came back in 1907 in this very fixture at Derby.

    McKerr swung a full ball into the pads of Ben Duckett to trap him lbw for just 8 and took out the leg stump of Josh Cobb who recorded a pair. And when Rory Kleinveldt was cleaned up looking for runs with only the No. 11 for company, McKerr had 10 for 141.

    It completed an outrageous Northants collapse from 225 for 1 and from four overs before the close on the second evening, Northants lost 8 for 33 in 18 overs.

    It meant Derbyshire were right back in the game but with still a testing 320 to chase. But 20 overs in and their were shattered.

    Before lunch, they lost three cheap wickets to Sanderson. Billy Godleman miscued a pull that came off a top-edge to square leg, Jeevan Mendis was trapped lbw to an inswinger and Shiv Tahkor also fell pulling, his a full-blooded shot that was very well held by Cobb at square-leg.

    After lunch, Sanderson’s fourth came when Wayne Madsen chopped into his middle stump and Gary Wilson was run out from a direct hit running to his right from point. Nathan Buck also removed Alex Hughes lbw trying to pull.

    Derbyshire were in desperate need of a resistance if only to save face and Taylor counterattacked to good effect, driving Buck down the ground, Rob Keogh past extra-cover and sweeping the same bowler. He should have gone for 28 when he was caught at deep square off a Buck no-ball but survived to go through to a second first-class fifty in 44 balls with a clip through midwicket - his ninth four.

    Together with Daryn Smit - bravely resisting with an injured right hand - the pair added 106 for the seventh wicket at over five-an-over to bring to target down to 156 and make Northants sweat a little. But Taylor fell playing in the manner that had brought him his fine fifty - trying to hook Buck and getting a faint edge through to wicketkeeper Duckett.

    When the same bowler had Tony Palladino held at second slip for 2 it looked as if the game would be over before tea but Smit’s resistance continued and he and McKerr got Derbyshire through to the break, only for McKerr to be bowled by Keogh two overs in the final session.

    26-year-old Luis Reece was unable to bat having been taken to hospital earlier in the game with an inflammation of the heart caused by a viral infection. He was discharged from Kettering General Hospital on the third morning of this game.

    Derbyshire captain Billy Godleman said: “Ultimately we didn’t play good enough cricket for as long as they did and that was the reflection in the scores.

    “After the first innings I would taken the score but I did think we could have bowled them out closer to 150 on day one. But the manner of how we’ve lost our wickets in both innings really hurts me.”

    WORCESTERSHIRE v GLAMORGAN

    Glamorgan secured back to back victories under new skipper Michael Hogan as they completed a nine wicket success over faltering Worcestershire with a day and a half to spare at New Road. Hogan led from the front with the ball, claiming the first three wickets in Worcestershire's second innings as they were bowled out for 129 after resuming on 34-1 to leave Glamorgan requiring just 16 to win.

    He finished with 5-38 from 14.2 overs to follow his 5-49 in the win over Durham - his initial match in charge - and also received excellent support from Timm van Gugten and Lukas Carey.

    It was the first time the Welsh County have won two Championship games in a row for two years since a sequence of four successive victories in June 2015. Hogan has replaced Jacques Rudolph as Glamorgan's four-day captain until the end of the season and launched his tenure with a thrilling two wicket win at Swansea.

    But this was a more convincing triumph and all the more satisfactory against a side who had won their opening four Championship games and inflicted an eight wicket defeat on them inside seven sessions at the SWALEC Stadium.

    Rudolph also showed a welcome return to form after relinquishing the captaincy with his first Championship hundred for two years to lay the foundations of a Glamorgan recovery from 58-6 on the opening day. Worcestershire, in contrast, have suffered two defeats in a row after a quartet of victories to launch the campaign. It is not the ideal preparation for their Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final with Yorkshire Vikings or Surrey at New Road on Saturday.

    Several of their middle order batsmen are struggling for form and only 19-year-old Josh Tongue and skipper Joe Leach posed a major threat with the ball in this game. The big plus for them will be the return of all-rounder John Hastings after Australia's exit from the ICC Champions Trophy and the hope he can help galvanise the squad to reproduce their early season form. 

    Hogan had sent back Daryl Mitchell yesterday evening and made the first two breakthroughs this morning as Brett D'Oliveira (22) was trapped lbw and Joe Clarke (17) departed to a head high catch by Will Bragg at cover.

    Ben Cox (3) tried to cut Lukas Carey and Colin Ingram at first slip held onto a juggling catch before Tim van der Gugten struck in successive overs.

    The out of form Tom Fell battled away for 33 off 87 balls but then fell victim to a superb head high catch by Ingram and in the next over Ed Barnard (2) nicked through to keeper Chris Cooke.

    The procession continued after lunch as the final four wickets fell to Hogan and Carey for 10 runs in 5.3 overs. Leach (7) chopped Hogan onto his stumps, Whiteley (16) steered Carey to gulley, Tongue (1) nicked the same bowler through to keeper Chris Cooke and Nathan Lyon (4) swung at Hogan and was bowled.
     
    Glamorgan lost Nick Selman - bowled by Barnard for three - in reaching their modest 16-run target.
     

    GLOUCESTERSHIRE v NOTTINGHAMSHIRE


    Samit Patel delivered an object lesson in concentration to post a hugely impressive career-best first-class score and put Second Division leaders Nottinghamshire firmly in charge on the third day against Gloucestershire.

    The 32-year-old former England batsman combined patience and graft in an innings of 257 not out that spanned more than eight hours as the visitors made a mammoth 535-8 declared to establish a commanding first-innings lead of 232.

    Gloucestershire reached the close on 30-1 in their second innings, trail by 202 and will have to apply themselves with the bat if they are to stave off defeat on the final day.

    Unbeaten in the four-day format so far this season, Nottinghamshire worked hard to wrestle control of a contest that had been pretty much even up to its halfway point.

    Demonstrating a clear understanding of what was required on a typically slow Bristol pitch, Patel settled in for the long haul to eclipse his previous highest first-class score of 256, made against Durham MCCU at Trent Bridge in 2013.

    Resuming on 78 not out, he registered his first three-figure Championship haul of the season before lunch, completed a double century during the afternoon session and then opened his shoulders to move serenely to a landmark total after tea. 

    Unable to time the ball as he would have liked and seldom fluent, Patel's innings was scarcely a thing of beauty. Yet a sparse County Ground audience, appreciating his diligence and application in trying circumstances, rose as one to acknowledge his achievement when he pushed a delivery from David Payne to mid-on for a single to reach 257 and prompt the declaration.

    Although several of his fellow batsmen made starts and failed to go on to post meaningful totals, they nevertheless afforded Nottinghamshire's 2017 beneficiary the support he needed to dominate proceedings.

    Having helped stage a stand of 146 for the third wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara on day two, Patel dominated partnerships of 54, 46, 83 and 94 with Michael Lumb, Riki Wessels, Chris Read and Luke Wood for the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth wickets respectively.

    Intent upon containment first and foremost, Gloucestershire's bowlers in the main adhered to the tenets of line and length before tiring beneath the afternoon sun and in the face of Patel's relentless compilation.

    Craig Miles removed nightwatchman Fletcher without scoring and Chris Liddle produced a superb delivery to pin Lumb lbw during a morning session which yielded 92 runs. Undone by Jack Taylor's off spin, Wessels departed in similar fashion shortly after lunch and Kieran Noema-Barnett summoned an in-swinger to bowl the progressive Read for 40 as the home side threatened a fightback.

    But Patel, who raised 100 from 224 balls and faced a further 153 deliveries in making a double hundred, pressed down on the accelerator during the final session to confirm east Midlands supremacy.

    In all, he batted for eight hours and 16 minutes, negotiating 452 balls and accruing 23 fours and a six. He offered one glimmer of a chance on 186, Payne failing to take a tough catch on the long-on boundary.

    Patel's long sojourn was lent additional perspective when Cameron Bancroft was trapped lbw for two, going half forward to his second ball from Fletcher in the very first over.

    Thereafter, Bristolians Chris Dent and Will Tavare served up defiance aplenty to survive a tricky 10-over spell in failing light and afford Gloucestershire renewed hope.

    On his personal best, Patel commented: "I knew it was on and decided to pace myself throughout the day. I never really changed tempo. I was most nervous when on 256. knowing that I was level with the score I made against Durham and needed just one more run. It feels good to make 200 in a Championship match for the first time and the lads are chuffed for me."

    LEICESTERSHIRE v SUSSEX

    A six wicket haul for Jofra Archer, to go with the five he took in the first innings, left Sussex favourites to win their Specsavers Division Two championship match against Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.

    Needing 234 to win, the visitors closed the third day on 100-2, with Leicestershire seamer Ben Raine having dismissed Sussex openers Harry Finch, bowled, and then Chris Nash caught behind.

    The 22-year-old fast bowler Archer shouldered the burden for a Sussex attack deprived of the services of South Africa international seamer Vernon Philander, who rolled an ankle in the field during the morning session.

    With fellow South African David Wiese unable to bowl more than a handful of overs due to a stomach strain, Archer (6-70) and left-arm spinner Danny Briggs (3-40) produced outstanding efforts to give their side a good chance of securing a second successive championship win.

    The morning session had seen Barbados-born Archer have Paul Horton caught behind off a brutal lifter and pin Ned Eckersley leg before with a well-pitched up delivery which beat the batsman for pace.

    Colin Ackermann was given out caught behind down the legside off Chris Jordan, but the biggest blow for the home side was the loss of in-form captain Mark Cosgrove, who went back to a delivery from Briggs, missed and was palpably leg before.

    Shortly after lunch Pettini got his bat down on an Archer yorker but was unable to prevent the ball rolling back on to his off-stump. Another quick, straight bouncer then accounted for Harry Dearden, the ball flicking the batsman’s glove on its way through to the wicket-keeper.

    Briggs dismissed Tom Wells in extraordinary fashion, putting up his right hand and deflecting a firmly hit lofted straight drive into the air for Archer, at mid-on, to take a simple catch.

    Raine edged a straight delivery from Briggs into the hands of Jordan at slip, and Clint McKay, having been horribly dropped by Wiese off Briggs, edged Archer into the slips where Finch held a smart low catch to his left.

    Leicestershire’s final pairing of Dieter Klein and Zak Chappell then fought hard to extend the Foxes lead to 241 before Klein was yorked by Archer.

    Earlier in the day, Philander and Briggs extended their tenth wicket partnership to 83, a county record for Sussex against Leicestershire, eclipsing the 80 compiled by John Vinsett and Harry Butt at Aylestone Road in 1909.

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