• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Top Five: Specsavers County Championship 6 Aug

    Red ball cricket returned with a bang as 86 wickets tumbled on an extraordinary day of County Championship action

    Going to Scarborough was billed as a tough test for early season pace-setters Essex, but despite missing Alastair Cook and Tom Westley through England duty, the Eagles soared in a magic morning session. Mohammad Amir blew the Yorkshire line-up away, taking 5/18 in a spell of almost unplayable seam bowling, to leave the the White Rose on 113 thanks to Adam Lyth’s gutsy 64. The hosts then produced a difficult bowling display of their own to have Essex 188/8 overnight.

    Faced with a depleted Leicestershire line-up - Mark Cosgrove, Clint McKay and Mat Pillans all deemed unfit - Durham’s openers filled their boots. And then some. Overseas signing Tom Latham finally made his Championship debut after overcoming a foot injury and oozed class en route to a magnificent 124. The New Zealander shared Durham’s highest stand of the season with Cameron Steel - who went on to make a career-best 145 not out - as the pair piled on 234 for the first wicket. Well batted, fellas!

    Is Ben Cox the finest wicketkeeper on the county circuit right now? The general consensus appears to be a resounding 'yes!' and the Worcestershire stopper took three more catches as Sussex finished the day 342/7. This superb diving grab complete with James Bond-style commando role was the pick of the bunch…

    It was an extraordinary day at Lord's as a sizeable Sunday crowd witnessed 20 wickets fall. While they enjoyed watching the Middlesex seam attack dismiss Warwickshire for 126 - Steven Finn the pick of the pace attack with 4 wickets - they were less-than enamoured when the visitors returned the favour and Middlesex finished Day One 161. Chris Woakes took two on his return and Ryan Sidebottom (not that one) chipped in with four wickets on his Warks debut. The visitors then made it to 12/0 at close, to trail by 23 runs.

    It’s still all to play for in the race for promotion from Div Two with just 51 points separating the top five. Fourth-placed Northants piled on the runs against Gloucestershire, racking up 343; while leaders Notts reached 93/2 in response to Derbyshire’s 220. Fifth-placed Sussex were the surprise package of the day, battling back from 49/3 to 342/7 against fellow promotion-chasers Worcestershire, thanks largely to a superb Chris Nash century. What will Day Two bring? 

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