SSCC Division Two Round up: Tuesday 26th April

SSCC Division Two Round up: Tuesday 26th April

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Essex vs Northamptonshire at Chelmsford

Essex 441-8 (Bopara 76, Cook 64; Sanderson 5-108) lead Northamptonshire 119 (Rossington 67*; Porter 5-46) & 148-4 f/o (Duckett 58) by 174 runs

Like most of the country, the match at Chelmsford was plagued by rain, light and a multitude of other weather features in between some actual cricket being able to be played.

Essex resumed on 351-3 with Ravi Bopara 66* and Dan Lawrence 51*at the crease but it wasn’t long before they were both back in the hutch as Lawrence fell to Azharullah having just tripped over his half-century and the ex-England player fell to Ben Sanderson, caught by Rory Kleinveldt, having added just 10 to his overnight total.

All of sudden, the hosts were six down with 390 runs on the board. Sanderson continued with his form and forced three of the last bats back to the changing rooms finishing with an innings total of 5-108.

It was Essex who remained on top for the day though as they declared on 441-8 and then had Northants in all sorts of both at 6-4 as Jamie Porter and David Masters ripped through the batting line-up. Adam Rossington came to the rescue to a certain extent striking 67* but the visiting side could only make 119 before being asked to follow-on.

Their second innings proved more fruitful with Ben Duckett making 58 and Porter only taking two wickets before the close of play.

They still trail by 174 runs with the scorecard reading 148-4. Richard Levi and Azharullah will resume tomorrow morning – weather permitting – on 28* and 5* respectively.

Gloucestershire vs Worcestershire at Bristol

Gloucestershire 380 and 211-6 (Dent 81*) lead Worcestershire 411 (Clarke 135) by 186 runs

Gloucestershire have given promotion-candidates Worcestershire some questions to mull over, but it seems weather will force a draw after Day Three in Bristol.

Joe Clarke, fresh from yesterday’s century, kept his innings going to make 135 prior to being the ninth wicket down for 370. It seemed at that point Worcestershire would miss out on a last batting point, but Matt Henry’s pacey 42 from 40 balls ensured the visitors reached 411 and gain a handy first-innings lead.

Cameron Bancroft and Chris Dent wasted little time in overcoming the 31-run difference though, before the former continued his disappointing start to the season, edging Ed Barnard behind for 29.

Ian Cockbain offered Dent some support, but Joe Leach’s dismissals of both he and Gareth Roderick in the space of four balls threatened a Worcestershire fightback.

But while Dent remains, closing the day unbeaten on 81, Gloucestershire hold a strong card, leading by 176 runs with a day remaining, although abject weather is once again forecast.

Dent will have to do his job without the middle order after Hamish Marshall fell for 17, bowled Henry, while George Hankins, bowled Henry and Kieran Noema-Barnett, yep, bowled Henry, fell in the space of two balls.

Leicestershire vs Kent, at Grace Road

Leicestershire 174-2 (Cosgrove 99*) trail Kent 264 by 90 runs

Mark Cosgrove closed Day Three on an agonising, unbeaten, 99 after rain once again derailed Leicestershire’s hosting of Kent.

The Australian batsman came in with his side struggling on 15-2, shepherding former Middlesex man Neil Dexter to 174 before the day was once again ended prematurely.

Despite a glut of runs in their victory over Glamorgan last week, openers Angus Robson and Paul Horton were unable to repeat their heroics on home soil.

Robson was the first to go, surviving just five balls before edging Matt Coles behind for a duck, giving Adam Rouse as catch on his Kent debut. And it got better for the wicket-keeper, as Darren Stevens found the edge of Horton to leave Leicestershire in trouble after bowling out the visitors for 264.

Resuming on 233-8 after just six overs yesterday, Zak Chappell wrapped up the Kent innings to take his first wickets in first-class cricket, removing Matt Coles and Mitchell Claydon to deny Sam Northeast’s side a third batting point after Daniel Bell-Drummond’s century.

And after their difficult opening, Cosgrove took the attack to the Kent bowlers, finishing just one short of a deserved century at stumps after hitting 19 fours in his 106-ball effort.

Dexter was not without his boundaries too, hitting eight fours as Leicestershire dominated the run rate, but it seems not enough for the Foxes to secure a second victory of the season. The weather seems to be the winner at Grace Road.

Derbyshire vs Glamorgan, at the 3aaa Ground

Glamorgan 377 (Bragg 129; Palladino 5-83) lead Derbyshire 331-9 (Madsen 97; Hogan 3-65) by 46 runs.

Derbyshire and Glamorgan got into the spirit of the Game of Thrones season 6 premier last night, with the catch phrase “Winter is coming” being as apt for either today. As I wrote my notes for the day’s play, I simply wrote COLD! And underlined it three times, if nothing else; to keep my hands warm.

Derbyshire closed the day trailing Glamorgan by 46 runs with one wicket remaining in their first innings, following a day that ebbed and flowed and swung one way and then the other, changing nearly as much as the weather.

Derbyshire started the day well, with Ben Slater and Wayne Madsen continuing where they left off last night, benefitting from some loose bowling from Glamorgan and completing a century partnership, just before Slater fell LBW to Andrew Salter for a well made 62.

Neil Broom followed quickly after which saw Wes Durston join Madsen at the crease just before the lunch break.

After the break, where hopefully the players had something warm, Durston cut loose, scoring a quick fire 43 from 56 balls giving the innings some impetus before he fell to David Lloyd caught behind trying to cut another ball to the boundary.

Durston’s demise brought about a collapse, which saw Matt Critchley, Tony Palladino, Luke Fletcher and Madsen – who fell agonisingly close to a century – all follow him back to the pavilion.

This brought Andy Carter to the middle with Tom Poynton who added 42 for the last wicket together, with Carter scoring 31, a First Class best with some lusty blows around the park.

Salter was the pick of the Glamorgan bowlers who bowled well in difficult conditions for the spinner, but he kept it tight and deserved his reward. He added “I’m pleased to get three wickets, it wasn’t the most comfortable of feelings to start with, but I managed to get some rhythm.”

Madsen, who fell for 97, said, “[I’m] a little bit disappointed to fall short but in terms of the game situation it was important to make sure we batted through the morning session without too much damage. Tomorrow we can have a really hard go at them and potentially there’s still an opportunity for us to get a result out of this.”

Despite Madsen’s words about forcing a result, with more inclement weather forecast, the most likely result is a draw, with Derbyshire needing another 19 runs in 20 overs for another batting bonus point their main focus in the morning.

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