County cricket - as it happened

时间:2019-11-16  作者:佘榜哧  来源:pk10投注  浏览:124次  评论:83条

Preamble Morning all. George Dobell is at Essex v Leicestershire, while Paul Edwards is at Lancashire v Notts and Paul Rees will be chipping in on Glamorgan v Northants.

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11.11am: It's another tearfully blue morning in leafy Birkdale and there is a steady stream of punters coming through the gates, thus making sure they get decent seats for the second day's play at this proud, well-presented outground, writes Paul Edwards.

The consensus is that Tuesday went smoothly for a club whose officials have worked very hard to get first-class cricket back at Southport: most importantly, the wicket played pretty well and Pitch Liaison Officer Jack Birkenshaw is expected to give it a clean bill of health shortly. Fourteen wickets fell, but most of the dismissals can be explained by very good bowling – take a bow Kyle Hogg – and a few by thoroughly brainless batting, le palme de noir being awarded to Samit Patel.

Southport's cricket community flocked to the game yesterday and the attendance of 2,606 was Lancashire's highest for a County Championship game this summer. That figure could well be eclipsed today, thus putting even more pressure on Southport and Birkdale's staff. The platoon of black-uniformed waiters is coping pretty well with the crush, even though they had to deal with an invasion of Manchester Evening News journalists yesterday afternoon.

This thirsty posse - although the Magnificent Seven might be a better description of them - rode into the press tent in mid-afternoon. Led by the inimitable Colin Evans, a Yul Brynner figure in so many flattering ways, they were in mellow, civilised mood as they watched Nottinghamshire's last-wicket pair put their side's top order to shame.

Yes, there is cricket too. Lancashire go into the second morning on 86 for four, still 117 runs behind Nottinghamshire and looking to build the sort of first innings lead that would help them secure their eighth Championship win of the season. Conditions, although never truly difficult, eased as yesterday progressed and the ball got older. The first hour will be crucial today.

11.29am: Morning from Garon Park in Southend, writes George Dobell. We've a late start here as Essex were 'playing away' last night. So it's a noon start, a 2pm lunch and a 7pm scheduled finish. It would be easy to be cynical about Garon Park as a venue. Very easy.

I've never been to Chernobyl but I imagine it's similar. It speaks volumes for the ground that The Samaritans have a tent here. But, even if Garon Park isn't classically beautiful – and it really isn't - there's something to be said for taking county cricket around the county. It is an Essex home fixture, after all, not a Chelmsford one. If a few new cricket lovers are developed as a result of this game, it's surely all well and good.

We've two new captains today. Ravi Bopara leads Essex, in the absence of the injured James Foster (twisted ankle), while James Taylor leads Leicestershire. Andrew MacDonald has returned to Australia as his wife is ill. Her condition is not thought to be serious. Oddly I've just been mistaken for a Southend United footballer. I don't know much about them as a team, but if I'm being mistaken for one of their number – I'm 39 and look uncannily like a potato – it suggests they may not be the most athletic bunch.

12.11pm: Leicestershire have won the toss and Essex will bat, writes George Dobell. There's an interesting side story to this game. Warwickshire, you see, covet players from both these sides. Leicestershire's James Taylor and Essex's Ryan Ten Doeschate are both believed to be of interest to Ashley Giles, despite the fact that both are contracted to their clubs until the end of 2012.

While there's nothing underhand about Warwickshire's approach – they've simply written to the clubs and asked if they can buy out the players' contracts – it's fair to say that the clubs concerned are, if not underwhelmed, certainly not whelmed. I did notice the enormous 'Basildon' sign. It made me chuckle. Which, after 150 miles on the M1 and M25 was a welcome change.

12.19pm: Glamorgan's annual pilgrimage to St Helen's this week, where they are taking on the second division leaders, Northamptonshire, heralds two rare appearances: the sun and veteran off-spinner Robert Croft, who over the years has harvested a square that, unusually these days, is bounteous for slow bowlers, writes Paul Rees.

Croft will form a two-prong attack with the slow left armer Dean Cosker when Glamorgan bowl and they will have the advantage of bowling last - if they score enough runs - after winning the toss this morning and having little hesitation in batting. It is a significant game for Glamorgan, whose championship campaign has faded after a promising start. They started the day in seventh place, with only Kent having lost more matches, and with their failure in the t20 tournament and mixed results in the 40-over format, last year's revolution, which saw the head coach, Matthew Maynard, and the captain, Jamie Dalrymple, depart, along with Tom Maynard, has yet to yield the promised improvement.

The first hour was dominated by the Sri Lankan bowler, Chaminda Vaas. Gareth Rees and Alviro Petersen started boldly and were scoring at four an over before Vaas, generating movement and giving the batsmen little width, slowed the rate. He trapped Rees leg before for 11 and his eight overs yielded a mere 12 runs. He was replaced by David Lucas, whose first spell of four overs had been expensive, and he struck immediately by removing Will Bragg for a duck to leave Glamorgan wobbling on 44-2. It got worse the next ball, bowled by Andrew Hall. Petersen was given out leg before for 33, three wickets falling for a mere four runs.

12.21pm: Lancashire are 154-8 and Glen Chapple would give a great deal for any sort of first-innings lead now, writes Paul Edwards.

Keedy departed to Pattinson having hit three sweet boundaries this morning. His work as nightwatchman was done. Andre Adams, however, continues to prove his worth and completed a five-wicket return with the wickets of Tom Smith and Gareth Cross in the space of three balls. Smith got the thinnest of inside edges onto his stumps and Cross was lbw. The batsman appeared aggrieved at Trevor Jesty's decision and may have nicked the ball onto his pad.

Steven Croft was batting well, though, until he edged Adams to first slip where Alex Hales pouched a very slippery catch high to his right. Glen Chapple, who rather owes Lancashire some runs, has been joined by Kyle Hogg, who is having a summer to remember.

The atmosphere in the ground has changed markedly in the last hour. Instead of the festival mood which predominated at the start of play, the crowd is now intent and anxious, cheering every run. The PA is now announcing that spectators are continuing to come into the ground. Will the "house full" notices be put up soon? This is a wonderful occasion and the game may yet turn out to be another thriller.

1.29pm: Stewart Walters, given his chance because of Glamorgan's poor form, started watchfully but grew in authority as he and Mike Powell started to repair the innings, writes Paul Rees.

Lucas's wicket maiden only made him briefly less expensive. His next two overs cost 22 runs and Northamptonshire turned to their spinners, James Middlebrook and Paul Best, who is on a short-term loan from Warwickshire, before lunch.

Powell and the Australian Walters, whose four boundaries included a six, were still together at the break having put on an unbroken 49 for the fourth wicket.

1.37pm: Essex are 67 for two at Southend, writes George Dobell. After losing Tom Westley, half forward and leg before to one that nipped back from the impressive Nathan Buck, Billy Godleman simply missed an expansive drive in off spinner Jigar Naik's second over.

Maybe it could have been a bit better for Leicestershire. Nadeem Malik didn't make the best of use of the new ball, over pitching often, though Owais Shah, in particular, has looked in good form and has unleashed a series of typically elegant cover drives. Earlier I asked some locals why the Samaritans would have a tent here. They just gave me a knowing look and said "You'll see".

1.59pm: My greetings to my colleague George Dobell, writes Paul Edwards, although I'm sure he will understand if I do not commiserate with him too deeply regarding his posting to Southend. Outground cricket is a wonderful spectacle on days such as this.

That said, the atmosphere at Southport at the moment encourages such a benevolent opinion. The mood at Trafalgar Road is much less Chernobyl than Chatsworth – and I'm thinking of the Duke of Devonshire rather than Frank Gallagher here. Swansea has many attractions too, of course. I do hope that the sea is still a cheat to the eye when viewed from the top of the hill top pavilion.

As to the cricket, 20 wickets have fallen in four sessions here but there is no question of the Pitch Inspector being called in. The view of Pitch Liaison Officer Jack Birkenshaw is that the track has got a little quicker today and there is very good carry for an outground. "It's a good cricket wicket and the bowlers have dominated the batsmen," he said.

There's been action in the press facility too, where Graham Hardcastle's prediction of Lancashire's first innings score was only seven runs wide of the mark. He then stopped a ball as it entered the tent and told me that I could use the word "swooped" in reporting the incident. I think "slumped" does the needful rather more accurately.

This will be a key session: Notts are 29 runs on with all their second innings wickets in hand. Having taken the last six Lancashire wickets for just 67 runs this morning, the visitors have something of a psychological advantage and Lancashire need to hit back hard early this afternoon. Glen Chapple's team are currently two points behind Division One leaders Durham and some smart money is being put on that deficit being unchanged at the end of this game. The second session has just begin; I return to nirvana.

3.17pm: The stand was broken by Best when he bowled Powell for 39, writes Paul Rees. The pair had put on 84 in 23 overs but the ball was already turning. Jim Allenby decided that defending was as risky as attacking and immediately went on the offensive.

He hit six fours in 20 deliveries before finding Best off Middlebrook, who then removed Mark Wallace and James Harris to leave Glamorgan precariously placed on 201-7.

The home side look on a first innings score of 300 at St Helen's as a winning foundation but their prospects of reaching the total rested largely with Walters. He reached his half-century off 91 deliveries and quickly added a second six.

3.34pm: When Leicestershire inserted Essex, it was surely in the belief that the seam bowlers would do the damage, writes George Dobell. Instead, however, four of the six wickets to fall have gone to spinners. Claude Henderson has proved particularly dangerous, claiming three wickets for nine runs, including those of Shah, edging a forward push at one that turned sharply, with just his second delivery, and Ryan ten Doeschate, who nibbled tentatively at his first ball and edged to the keeper. Jaik Mickleburgh, scoreless for half-an-hour, finally tried to thrash Henderson for six and just lofted a catch to mid-off instead.
In all Essex have now lost three wickets for two runs in 19 balls. Malik took the most recent wicket, bowling Wheater through the gate as the batsman aimed a lavish drive through the covers. The only cloud on the horizon for Leicestershire may be the prospect of batting fourth. You'd think the pitch would provide more assistance to the spinner, though Essex's decision to include only one specialist – Tom Craddock – may come back to haunt them. Tom Westley also bowls off-spin and may have a part to play.

Hello to Paul, too. I think Southend aims more for the worthy than the wonderful. I'm not absolutely sure, but I'm pretty sure that Joseph Conrad was thinking of Garon Park when he wrote "The horror, the horror."

3.42pm: Poor Ryan ten Doeschate really isn't having much of a season, writes George Dobell. His first ball dismissal today leaves him with a batting average of just nine in the Championship campaign and, of the 54 runs he's scored in six innings, 44 of them came in one go. Perhaps that explains the rumours suggesting he may be looking for a new start? Meanwhile Ravi Bopara has just pulled a boundary off Buck. It was the first boundary for 110 balls. Essex are 101 for six.

4.25pm: Graham Wagg joined Walters but the tail did not wag, writes Paul Rees. Glamorgan did succeed in gathering a second bonus point, but after Middlebrook had taken his fourth wicket after getting Wagg stumped by Niall O'Brien, Vaas returned to claim the tail.

Vaas removed Croft and Cosker to leave Walters unbeaten on 81 off 132 balls. Glamorgan scored 140 of their 252 runs in boundaries and their run-rate was 3.76 per over, only Walters showing a survival instinct on a wicket that offered succour to seamers and spinners.

5.10pm: The wheels have fallen off for Essex since lunch, writes George Dobell, as they've somehow contrived to lose seven wickets for 54 runs in 25 overs. A glance at the scoreboard might convince you that the pitch is a minefield, but it's not. There's a bit of help in the pitch, certainly, but perhaps only Ravi Bopara, trapped lbw by one that kept
low, can count himself unlucky. Some of the others Essex batsmen played shots that will provide them with little cause for pleasure. Chambers, attempting to slog-sweep against the spin, will have particular cause to rue his shot. The final total – 144 – is Essex's second lowest in the Championship this season.

The timing may prove unfortunate, too. The Essex hierarchy – the captain, coach, chief executive and chairman of cricket– are in deep discussion in a quiet corner of the ground. It's the time of year when contracts are discussed and few of these players have done their prospects much good.

Still, Leicestershire will be delighted. It was a risk to insert Essex with an attack containing just three seamers, but Nathan Buck has bowled an excellent line and length, while Claude Henderson, utilising the conditions expertly, finished with his best figures of the season.