• Specsavers County Championship 2m

    Top five: Specsavers County Championship 25 Sept

    Spin was king in the relegation battle at Taunton and we saw a 'Ball of the Season' contender


    The crucial battle for survival between Somerset and Middlesex saw spin account for 11 of the 13 wickets to fall in the day. Ravi Patel finished with career best figures of 7/81 before a two-wicket burst from Jack Leach saw the visitors reduced to 18/3 at the close, replying to 236. Nerves of steel are going to be required over the next 72 hours, there’s no doubt about that.


    There were hearts in mouths at Chelmsford when Tom Wesley was dismissed by a snorter from Steven Patterson. He headed straight off the pitch in a hurry for treatment but was diagnosed with bruising on his thumb rather than anything more serious - a huge boost with England’s Ashes squad announced on Wednesday. On the pitch, Yorkshire’s Division One status was confirmed after Somerset missed out on four batting bonus points, but at 80/5, the Tykes were thwarted by Simon Harmer, who smashed 64 as Essex rallied to 207 all out.


    Wet weather is a curse at the best of times, but when you’re chasing promotion or trying to survive it’s even worse. So spare a thought for Hampshire, who were washed out against already relegated Warwickshire at Edgbaston, and Northants, who couldn’t get on the field and start their quest to leapfrog either Worcestershire or Notts and climb into Division One. Thankfully, the forecast for Tuesday is much better.


    Ball of the century? Maybe not, but it was definitely the ball of Monday. Matty Parkinson took advantage of a spin friendly track in Manchester to rip this beauty back into Mark Stoneman’s pegs. It had echoes of Shane Warne’s belter to Andrew Strauss at Edbgaston in the 2005 Ashes. Thank heavens Stoneman won’t have to face him Down Under this winter, eh?


    Kent's Joe Denly bagged a fourth Champ ton of the season, to push his tally to 1,165 for 2017. Not only that but his 152 for Kent against Glamorgan - the next highest score was just 37 - saw him past 10,000 first-class runs. And he's only 31. How many might he end up with?

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