• Specsavers County Championship 11m

    Div Two reports: Leaders Notts take control on day two

    Riki Wessels was a century maker at Trent Bridge, while there was a brilliant debut for Ravichandran Ashwin in Division Two

    There were plenty of star performers on day two, with Neil Dexter and Jack Taylor impressed with the bat, while Graham Onions reached a landmark wicket-taking total.

    Glamorgan 294 & 126/6 v Sussex 268 
    Nottinghamshire 213 & 317/8 v Northamptonshire 141 
    Kent 313/9 v Leicestershire 350 
    Worcestershire 363 & 10/0 v Gloucestershire 258 
    Durham 480/9 v Derbyshire 164


    When bad light ended play ten overs before the scheduled close on the second day, an inspired spell of bowling from the Sussex seam attack had reduced Glamorgan to 126 for 6, an overall lead of 152.

    Ollie Robinson, who took four wickets in the first innings, as Glamorgan lost five wickets for thirty five runs after tea, again led the way with impressive figures of 15-3-29-3, with support from Jordan and Archer. Much will depend on Glamorgan’s lower order, who will need another 100 runs to set the opposition a challenging target.

    Sussex resumed on 79 for 3 but Glamorgan’s bowlers were soon into their stride with Rory Smith removing Angus Robson with his fifth ball of the morning, the batsman not offering a stroke as the ball came back off the pitch to hit the middle stump. Chris Nash began with a flurry of boundaries, but Smith soon struck again as Luke Wright, who had earlier been dropped at slip, was yorked for five.

    Although Michael Hogan leaked runs in his opening spell, the other seamers continued to probe, and Sussex lost another wicket when Chris Jordan, who had started with two boundaries, was bowled by Lukas Carey. Ben Brown meanwhile, was rarely in trouble, striking boundaries on both sides of the wicket, as Sussex continued to lose wickets at the other end.

    David Wiese was the next to go when he edged an expansive drive to the wicketkeeper to give Hogan his first wicket, but Jofra Archer, who is probably the best No 11 in the business, settled in with Brown to share a productive partnership for the last wicket.

    They put on 43, a valuable stand in the context of the game, before Brown, who made 77 and had struck eleven fours, was bowled by Meschede, giving the Glamorgan seamer his fourth wicket.

    The home team had a lead of 26 on first innings, and were proceeding quite nicely to 69 for 1, before Sussex’s seamers initiated the collapse. Nick Selman had become Robinson’s first victim, but Owen Morgan and Jack Murphy played the new ball with confidence until Morgan was well held low down by Jordan at second slip.

    Murphy, who made 27, was then given out to a catch by the wicketkeeper off Jordan, this after a half-hearted appeal from Brown, and Jordan then took his second wicket in consecutive overs when Donald, struck a fierce drive to cover only to see Robson take a stunning catch low to his right.

    The collapse continued as Kiran Carlson and Andrew Salter both edged to the wicketkeeper, and at 104 for 6, Glamorgan needed Meschede  and Tom Cullen to replicate their 108 run partnership in the first innings. Meschede struck some early boundaries, and the seventh wicket pair remained until the close with Glamorgan 126 for 6, with Meschede unbeaten on 17.


    A scintillating century from Riki Wessels has put Nottinghamshire in total command at the halfway stage of their Specsavers County Championship match against Northamptonshire at Trent Bridge.

    Fading light forced the players from the field before tea, with 37 overs remaining in the day, with Notts on 317 for eight in their second innings, an overall lead of 389.

    Wessels remains unbeaten on 107, having reached his hundred from 77 balls, with 14 fours and three sixes. The former Northants man raced from 50 to 100 in only 21 deliveries and has shared in an unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 90 with Jake Ball, whose contribution is 10.

    Wessels said: "Batting at six seems to suit my game. I can come in and take it to the bowlers and put them under pressure.

     “It’s always nice to get runs against Northants. There were some brutal comments thrown around in 2010 when I left but those people are no longer there and now I’ve got plenty of friends in the current side – but it’s still pleasing to get runs against them."

    Rory Kleinveldt (3-81) and Richard Gleeson (3-107) have each taken three wickets to try and keep Northants in the contest but Wessels’ knock, the 22nd century of his career, finally appeared to knock the stuffing out of a side that were handicapped, for varying times, by the absence of three key players. 

    Samit Patel made 64 from 59 balls, setting the platform for Wessels’ brutal assault.

    After 20 wickets fell for 373 runs on the opening day it took just 13 deliveries of the morning session before that tally was increased, with Jake Libby edging Azharullah to third slip.

    Steven Mullaney became the first of three Notts batsmen to lose their off-poles to Kleinveldt, with Patel and Alex Hales also joining the list.

    Patel batted with the utmost freedom, reaching his 50 from only 42 balls before playing loosely, around a full-pitched delivery. Hales also seemed in the mood, caressing five boundaries in his 22-ball 25 before also having his stumps re-arranged by the South African all-rounder.

    Indian Test star Cheteshwar Pujara batted doggedly for 162 minutes in making 34, before being pinned in his crease, to fall to Azharullah for the second day running.

    Northamptonshire’s hopes of strengthening their position – and re-kindling their promotion hopes - were damaged by a succession of unfortunate injuries, with captain Alex Wakeley and wicketkeeper Adam Rossington having to leave the action and go to hospital for x-rays on hand injuries – David Murphy took the gloves and picked up a catch, despite being given a torrid time as some uneven bounce began to show.

    Their resources were stretched even further when Ben Sanderson hobbled off the field after bowling five deliveries in a comeback spell.

    Gleeson picked up the wickets of Chris Read, Brett Hutton and Luke Wood in the mid-afternoon gloom but that only fired Wessels up to produce another blitz against his former county.

    He scored 158 against them at Trent Bridge in 2014, their last championship visit, and made 146 in their one-day meeting in Nottingham last year. This time he had the satisfaction of passing 10,000 career runs early on, before launching an all-out assault on the tiring attack.

    He celebrated his third Championship hundred of the season by clubbing the next ball from Kleinveldt for his fourth maximum, seconds before the umpires intervened and called an early halt to proceedings.


    Leicestershire all-rounder Neil Dexter returned to his former home ground to bag five for 76 and help restrict Kent to 313 for nine on a fascinating second day of cut and thrust cricket in Canterbury.

    The hosts, who still trail Leicestershire – the only side in the County Championship still without a win in 2017 – by 37 runs struggled to cope with Dexter’s underrated military-medium seamers.

    Only Kent skipper, Sam Northeast, who batted almost four-and-a-half hours for his 97 went past 50 for the home side, but he too fell to the wiles of Dexter.

    Dexter believes the familiarity was key: “I’ve played a bit of second team cricket in the past couple of weeks and came into this match with quite a nice rhythm to my bowling and I think that, coupled with my local knowledge of the slopes here, helped me a lot today."

    Responding to Leicestershire’s dogged first innings of 350, Kent’s opening batsmen Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sean Dickson were both back in the hutch inside 13 overs.

    Dickson, who looked solid in scoring 19, drove with firm-hands and leaden feet at a full away-swinger from Ben Raine only to edge to second slip. Then, with his score on 17, Bell-Drummond pushed at a gentle Dexter away-swinger and nudged a second catch to Ned Eckersley in the cordon.

    Northeast and Joe Denly appeared comfortable in adding 39 either side of lunch until Denly, 58 runs short of reaching his 1,000 for the season, tossed away his wicket by wafting off the back-foot against Raine to be caught behind.

    Sam Billings marched in for only his fourth championship innings of the summer to get off the mark with an effortless straight-driven boundary off Raine. But, having breezed to 16, Billings played loosely across the line of a shooting off-cutter and appeared disappointed when umpire Martin Saggers upheld Dexter’s lbw appeal.

    Dexter was soon celebrating again when he nipped one down the Canterbury slope to hit the back pad of Old Tonbridgian and Kent Championship debutant, Zak Crawley, who went lbw for only a single.

    Northeast and Darren Stevens combined to steady the Kentish ship with a sensible sixth-wicket stand worth 80 either side of tea. Content to wait for the bad ball, Northeast went to a 97-ball 50 with six fours and Stevens was only four runs short of joining him when he played around his front pad to go lbw to a Matt Pillans in-ducker.

    Left-hander Matt Coles sidled in to launch a one-man boundary spree, hitting seven of them in his 37 before an attempted lap against spinner Callum Parkinson looped up to the keeper seemingly via the gloves. Coles, however, marched off rubbing his forearm.

    Home skipper Northeast was only three short of his third century of the summer when his 170-ball stay came to an end. Caught on the crease and playing across a Dexter off-cutter, he went lbw after 260 minutes at the crease.

    Dexter picked up his fifth when Mitch Claydon, with his side 13 shy of a third batting bonus point, drove on the up straight into the hands of short-extra cover.

    Much to the delight of home supporters, Kent’s last man Imran Qayyum came in to hit his first runs in first-class cricket, including a brace of boundaries, to help Adam Milne steer Kent beyond 300.

    The second day started as Monday’s play had finished with Leicestershire’s last pairing of Parkinson and Hill making hay.

    Resuming on their side’s overnight score of 326 for nine, the duo continued to use the long handle and added 24 for a fourth batting bonus point before their invaluable 122-run stand ended when Parkinson (75) edged a Stevens away-swinger to slip to give Stevens a career-best return of eight for 75. Hill was left unbeaten on a season’s best 85.


    Ravichandran Ashwin delivered a trio of wickets on his Worcestershire debut but Jack Taylor was once again the major thorn in their side in leading a partial Gloucestershire recovery on day two of the Specsavers County Championship.

    The Indian spinner, who has joined Worcestershire for the conclusion of their promotion battle, bowled a lengthy spell and was rewarded by claiming the scalps of keeper Gareth Roderick, Kieran Noema-Barnett and Craig Miles

    An inspired afternoon spell of 9-4-12-3 by Ed Barnard helped reduce Gloucestershire 93-5 in reply to Worcestershire's 363 all out - still 121 short of making the home side have to bat again.

    But it was at that juncture that Taylor came to the middle and continued his impressive sequence of Championship scores against Worcestershire with a fourth hundred in four matches.

    He hit 105 at Bristol and 107 not out at New Road last summer and followed that up by making 143 at Cheltenham last month and now 101 not out.

    Taylor shepherded Gloucestershire past the 214 follow on target in reaching 258 all out.

    Ashwin finished with 3-94 from 29 overs and Barnard career best figures of 4-23.  By the close Worcestershire had totalled 10-0 - an overall advantage of 115.

    Paceman Josh Tongue had made the initial breakthrough when Chris Dent (22) was snapped up at leg slip by Joe Clarke. Then Barnard struck three times in the space of four overs.

    He held onto a return catch off a leading edge from Will Tavare (9) and bowled both opener Cameron Bancroft (33) and George Hankins (4).

    Ashwin had to wait until his 10th over to claim his first success. Roderick (9) attempted to work the ball through mid wicket and only succeeded in giving a return catch.

    Taylor was then given solid support by Gloucestershire skipper Phil Mustard (29) in a partnership of 78 in 21 overs.

    A fine piece of fielding by Brett D'Oliveira led to Mustard being run out by his direct hit from mid off after attempting a quick single off Ashwin.

    Kieran Noema-Barnett (15) was lbw to Ashwin and Tom Scott (8) departed in the same manner to George Rhodes.

    But Taylor went to his century off 140 balls with 12 fours before Ashwin had Miles (7) caught at short mid wicket for his third scalp and Liam Norwell (0) was bowled by Barnard.

    Worcestershire lost their last three first innings wickets for three runs and were dismissed for 363 on a rain-shortened morning session

    Ben Cox (61) shouldered arms and was bowled by Norwell (4-54) after striking ten fours in his 91 ball knock.

    Joe Leach (17) attempted to pull Miles and was also bowled and Norwell wrapped up the innings as Pat Brown (3) went for a drive and was caught behind.


    Graham Onions took advantage of some limp Derbyshire batting to grab the four scalps which took him to 600 first-class wickets on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Chester-Le-Street,

    The visitors were all out for 164 in reply to Durham's 480 for nine declared,  and with two overs still to be bowled the umpires ruled the light was too poor to resume.

    The experienced bowler said: “I'm not a massive fan of milestones but it's a proud moment to get to 600. I had no idea how close I was so it was a surprise when I saw it go up on the board.

    “It's been a lot of hard work and I missed 18 months after my back operation when I thought I might not play again."

    Durham's total featured 177 from Paul Collingwood and 53 not out from Matthew Potts, whose five previous first-class innings had yielded three ducks, a two and 14 not out.

    After resuming on 127, Collingwood soldiered on relentlessly to his third highest Championship score, the two higher ones both coming in 2005 – 190 at Derby and 181 at Taunton.  His best score remains his 206 for England at Adelaide in 2006.

    He pulled Hardus Viljoen for his only six before hooking the next ball straight to long leg. It ended his 228-ball innings and left Viljoen with five for 130, but once the shine had worn off the second new ball Derbyshire lacked the firepower to extract any life from the surface.

    Nor did Onions and Rushworth have much joy initially. Despite regularly beating left-handed openers Ben Slater and Luis Reece, it was the 12th over before the latter edged Onions to Michael Richardson.

    Billy Godleman made two before groping forward to a ball from Rushworth which took out his off stump and Derbyshire were 41 for three when Paul Coughlin splattered Madsen's timber.

    Coughlin retired through injury after four overs and Onions returned to remove Slater for 29 and Palladino with the help of sharp catches by Tom Latham at second slip. He also had Viljoen caught behind.

    Rushworth nipped one back to pin Matt Critchley lbw for 12 and there were also two wickets for Keaton Jennings.

    He may be short of runs, but he struck with his ninth ball when he had Alex Hughes lbw for 47. Harvey Hosein made 12 before being strangled down the leg side to give Jennings two for 13 from nine overs.

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