LIKE A FINE KLEIN
What a day for Rory Kleinveldt. After top scoring with 43 in the first innings of Northants' crucial clash with second-placed Notts, he then went and plundered career best figures of 9/46 as the once unassailable looking league leaders slumped to 151 all out. Then a quick-fire 48, in support of Richard Levi's superb 115, saw Notts set 314 to win. And there was still time for him to nip out Steven Mullaney and Billy Root before the close. Sensational.
GOING OUT WITH A SANG
What on earth are we going to do when Kumar Sangakkara retires? Weep for months probably. This is some titanic twillight the Sri Lankan legend is enjoying, smashing an eighth century in just nine Championship matches this season with Somerset the most recent victims, as their survival hopes took a hit. Come on Kumar, just one more year.
HARA KIRI AT HQ
There's something in the water at Lord's. After 15 poles fell on Tuesday, Wednesday went one better, and Thursday will see a result. Lancashire lost their last five wickets for 52, then Tom Bailey added figures of 5/44 to his first innings 5/54 as Middlesex were skittled for 152, leaving a tantalising chase of 221. By the time gloom eveloped the Home of Cricket, Lancs had reached 46/1.
If Wednesday morning was a case of 'after the Lord Mayor's show' for Essex, when they sank to 76 all out the match after they were crowned champions, the afternoon reminded us why they already have the title in their pocket. No doubt with a flea in their ear, they battled to 208/3 in their second dig, Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara taking them into a lead of 30. They couldn't, could they?
A good start for Tom Westley undone by a fine Liam Dawson catch— County Championship (@CountyChamp) September 20, 2017
Would you have the Essex batsman in your Ashes squad? pic.twitter.com/igoQMfVymn
Things are still in the balance, and therefore increasingly tense, at Headingley, with Yorkshire sweating over their Division One status. Sangakkara did them a favour, and that might be important as they could only muster two batting points, falling for 296 in reply to Warwickshire's 219, Adam Lyth top scoring with 62. By the close the visitors had climbed to 49/1, a deficit of 30. Like I said, tense.