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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Tanya Aldred

County cricket: Davies hits double century as Warwickshire pummel Durham

Alex Davies leathers a shot on the way to his double century
Alex Davies leathers a shot on the way to his double century. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Davies hits double century as Warwickshire pummel Durham

It was a day for batting as the sun came out and the Kookaburra ball was placated as it likes to. There were eight centuries around the grounds, one a magnificent 226 by Alex Davies as Warwickshire pinballed 490 for one by stumps at Edgbaston. Davies’s swashbuckling knock was his first double century, and he and Rob Yates pounded 343 for the first wicket until Yates was caught for 191. It was a chastening return to Division One for Durham and for their new overseas recruit Scott Boland, an expert with the Kookaburra. There was one bright spot for Durham, Ben Stokes bowling two practice spells. The hope is that he might return for their match on 24 May.

At the Oval, 3,000 people pushed through the turnstiles to watch Somerset gallop through the morning session against Surrey before tumbling into a batting black hole after lunch. While the ice-cream van did a good trade, Tom Lammonby reached his seventh career century, a promising early sign from a man who usually makes his hundreds in September.

He and Matt Renshaw had skipped along to 178 for the second wicket before Lammonby called for a quick single on 99. Renshaw was run out from a direct hit and from there they concertinaed, losing seven for 20. It was only some big hitting from Lewis Gregory that dragged Somerset towards a batting point. There was time for four overs from Shoaib Bashir as Surrey made smooth evening progress.

Elsewhere, there was a century for the Yorkshire captain, Shan Masood, against Gloucestershire at Bristol, as Joe Root and Harry Brook fell cheaply to Zaman Akhter (five for 89).

There were centuries too for Dean Elgar and Matt Critchley as Essex made hay against Kent; Joe Clarke as Worcestershire plugged away against Nottinghamshire; and Emilio Gay, whose 165 against Middlesex was his highest first-class score and helped Northamptonshire gather home batting points, something they didn’t achieve until 26 September last year.


What a day for the Kookaburra ball – and Alex Davies. His bombastic 226 not out one of eight centuries, as batters made hay round the grounds.

Thanks for all your comments today, my very talented colleague Taha will be here tomorrow on his CCLive! debut. Enjoy your Friday night. Bye!


Close of play scores


Chelmsford: Essex 421-6 v Kent

The Rosebowl: Hampshire 305-6 v Lancashire

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 305-6 v Worcestershire

The Oval: Surrey 42-0 v Somerset 285

Edgbaston: Warwickshire 490-1 v Durham


Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 237 v Derbyshire 18-1

Bristol: Gloucestershire 28-2 v Yorkshire 326

Grace Road: Leicestershire 326-8 v Sussex

Northampton: Northamptonshire 311-3 v Middlesex

Before the Warwickshire bamboozling, Ali interviewed Scott Boland

As Masood goes for 140, Lewis Gregory has some fun in the middle, Tom Prest misses out on a hundred, time for me to write up for the paper. BTL though, is always open.

Stretch my legs at tea and spot: one green three-piece suit, three Mr Whippies, two of them double, two games of cricket, one year eleven leavers’ sweatshirt, two pairs of shorts and three people refilling their water bottles. And a wicket – Pretorius a third for Steel. But, from the ashes, a batting point. Applause at 250-9.

Cricket meets the repair cafe . So much love for this scheme which combines combatting the cost of living with upcycling and reusing.

A heart-gladdening sight at The Oval as a good pepperpot full of the nearly 3000 people who have come through the turnstiles wander onto the field and stand and stare at the pitch. There be dragons.

Tea time scores


Chelmsford: Essex 272-4 v Kent

The Rosebowl: Hampshire 216-4v Lancashire

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 223-4 v Worcestershire

The Oval: Surrey v Somerset 231-8

Edgbaston: Warwickshire 346-1 v Durham


Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 172-4 v Derbyshire

Bristol: Gloucestershire v Yorkshire 243-6

Grace Road: Leicestershire 227-5 v Sussex

Northampton: Northamptonshire 183-6 v Middlesex


A wicket, a wicket!

A wicket at Edgbaston! Rob Yates, who looked to be crashing his way to a double century, finally holes out off Colin Ackermann’s part-time spin nine short of his latest milestone. Still, at 343 for one from just 61.5 overs it’s been some start for Warwickshire and, as mentioned, a record partnership - any wicket - for them against Durham.

Elsewhere in Division One, more runs for Joe Clarke (87) in Nottinghamshire’s 207-4, three wickets for Nathan Smith. Three fifties (Gubbins, Vince, Prest) but no cigar in Hampshire’ s 209-4 – a couple of wickets for Nathan Lyon in his first (proper) bowl for Lancs. And Dean Elgar has gone for 120 at Chelmsford, a wicket for Matt Parkinson.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

Somerset trying on last season’s clothes and finding they fit just fine. Now 218-8, Overton bowled Steel for a duck.


“How is Atkinson looking” asks Ali, seconds before he snaffles two in two. Atkinson was the one unused seamer in India and was name-checked for a possible Test debut this summer by McCullum at the end of the tour. Somerset 213-7.

Hmmm, Somerset going to have to resort to the back of the sofa in the search for batting bonus points. Now 211-6 as Rew departs, caught behind off Atkinson, not long after Jamie Overton at slip swallowed a catch off Goldsworthy in Cameron Steel’s first over.

A hundred for Shan Masood!

Now Ali has whetted the knife, time to go round the grounds. To Division Two first, where Kiran Carlson’s nice start to the season continues, 68 not out. Glamorgan 147-3, a couple of wickets for Tickner.

Shan Masood has pulled Yorkshire up by the collar with 103 off 142 balls after an attack of the middle order collywobbles, mostly induced by Zaman Akhter (3-53).

No hundred for Rishi Patel (87), but Handscomb (51) and Trevaskis helping Leicestershire build nicely. 206-4.

And Gay and Procter still going great guns at Wantage Road – Northants 154-1.

Just applying the jinxing knife to the whetstone by looking up record partnerships for Warwickshire against Durham. Davies and Yates have long since surpassed Nick Knight and Mark Wagh making 207 for the first wicket at the Riverside in 1997, currently sitting on 272, and now sit 50 short of the unbroken 322 made by Brian Lara and Keith Piper in the old world record 501* for the former. Warwickshire’s all time best for the first wicket is 377* made by Norman Horner & Khalid Ibadulla versus Surrey at the Oval in 1960. Dennis Amiss, to my right in the press box, points out that was his first-class debut, with his one contribution in the match being the wicket of Eric Bedser. And he’s not wrong.

A hundred for Dean Elgar!

Hundreds, hundreds everywhere , Elgar doing exactly what Essex hoped he’d do and out-Alastair Cook Alastair Cook. A partnership of 159 with Critchley (67). Essex 219-3, a couple of wickets for Garrett.

Somerset now slipping into more familiar territory – 199-4, having lost three for three. This time Banton for one. Enter James Rew.


A hundred for Tom Lammoby... and out!

And with a little tuck of a single, Lammonby – star, as noted wisely BTL, of the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy – gets his hundred off just 132 balls. Lovely to see him back looking so effortlessly fluent. Ah, and 100 is all he’ll get, lbw to Clark.

A century for Rob Yates!

And now Rob Yates has joined Alex Davies on three figures at Edgbaston, launching Callum Parkinson down the ground for his first six and sparking a crackle of applause and cheers from the members beneath us. He’s looked as good as he’s ever been here, a lovely compact left-hander’s innings of 15 fours and one six. Warwickshire 224 for no loss, already a record opening stand in this particular fixture. Brydon Carse, who has been mucking about with peroxide recently, is currently charging in with purpose but the Kookaburra ball is doing very little now and fresh plans are being deployed.


A run-out at The Oval – a scramble and then a direct hit brings an end to the second wicket partnership of 178. Lammonby eager for the run but Renshaw the man to go, for 87. Somerset still rolling around in verdant pastures at 196-2.

Also, I forgot to mention – Shoaib Bashir playing for Somerset today, but not Ollie Robinson.


And as Lammnonby waits on 99 not out…

”An anecdote,” writes Gary Moors.
“You Bears, you Bears!’ I don’t remember which year or which match it was when Warwickshire’s new mascot was paraded around the ground. There was a ballot to name him. When the winning name was announced, even though it was the most popular choice, a universal groan went up, something unique in its Brummy resonance. The name: ‘HUGH BEAR.’”

Very good.

I just followed Caesar (?) the Surrey mascot round the ground and his tail fell off, if that counts as a follow-up anecdote.

A hundred for Alex Davies!

A wonderful century for Alex Davies at Edgbaston, who drives Matty Potts through the covers to get there in just 102 balls and celebrates with a passionate punch of the air. A strong statement from the new Warwickshire club captain - 16 fours, one six - on what is turning out to be a tricky first day for Durham back in Division One. I reckon there was one chance on 74, a possible edge off Callum Parkinson that deflected off Ollie Robinson’s gloves (?) only to wrong-foot first slip.Otherwise he’s been maddening to bowl at for what is his first hundred since the opening round of last season and eighth overall. Warwickshire 186 for none...

Vegan cauliflower pie and salad and a walk round the sunny and actually warm Oval with Wisden editor Lawrence Booth. He wouldn’t tell me any of the Five Cricketers of the Year, so feel free to have your best guess BTL. Judged on the English summer and mustn’t have been chosen before. Wisden published on April 18.

Time for some lunch.

Lunchtime scores


Chelmsford: Essex 123-2 v Kent

The Rosebowl: Hampshire 98-2 v Lancashire

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 83-2 v Worcestershire

The Oval: Surrey v Somerset 131-1

Edgbaston: Warwickshire 146-0 v Durham


Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 60-2 v Derbyshire

Bristol: Gloucestershire v Yorkshire 90-5

Grace Road: Leicestershire 133-3 v Sussex

Northampton: Northamptonshire 106-1 v Middlesex

With ten minutes left, Tom Lammonby is making Surrey look relatively tame – though he did get hit by Jamie Overton, in between two lovely fours. Incidentally, I learn from Huw that Lammonby’s dad is Ryan Campbell’s cousin.

And in a continuation of the keep-it-in-the family theme, Jaydn Denly makes his first-class debut today for Kent, playing alongside uncle Joe. Good luck!

Also debuts for Nathan Fernandes and Scott Boland, whose Durham debut so far has been tricky (7 overs, 0-34) as Warwicks continue to play clap-happy cricket.


“Do you think Joe Root will take a bath after being out for two?” asks Gary Moors. Hmm Gary, I don’t know but I’ve asked those with more knowledge at The Oval and although there are still a couple of single baths in dressing rooms here, there are no longer any troughs. The shower is the washing place of choice for the 2024 player.

It’s quickfire half-century for Alex Davies at Edgbaston, having punched his way there in 57 balls, with nine fours and six. Not a huge amount of early juice in the pitch for Durham’s seamers and Warwickshire’s new skipper has tucked in nicely (one short boundary notwithstanding). Inauspicious start from Scott Boland after I sounded the bugle yesterday, first ball driven down the ground and, despite a spot of beat-beatage, a few loose ones in his opening burst. Durham were last year’s quickest scorers at 4.39 an over .. the Bears, with Roy Yates starting to cut loose at the other end on 36, are currently taking them for 5.8 to sit 94-0 after 16 overs.

An early bath for both Roots

In Division Two, Joe Root’s return to runs has drizzled away, out for two to Zaman Akhter. Yorkshire not enjoying the Bristol sponge one bit, 46-3 – though Masood (31) and Brook (5) are both in.

Leicestershire were whizzing along at Grace Road, till Hudson-Prentice took two in two. Now 73-3, Rishi Patel still there on 35.

Billy Root also un-velcroeing his pads in the Glamorgan dressing room, caught for 17 against Derbyshire. Glamorgan 39-1, that hungry Northeast in.

And Northants, who lost Broad to the seventh ball, sailing along nicely now against Middelsex, 60-1.


In Division One:

Feroze Khushi, shorn of his big bat, lasted one ball at Chelmsford. Westley also out cheaply. Wickets for Wes Agar and George Garrett. Essex 56-2.

Fletcha Middleton run out for six at the Rose Bowl … and there goes Ali Orr for 10, to Tom Bailey in his 100th Lancs game. Hants 25-2.

Both openers gone cheaply again for Notts, both wickets to New Zealand’s Nathan Smith. Notts 46-2.

Fifty up for Somerset here at The Oval, as a warbler at third man hops towards a discarded jumper, while Yates and Davies giving Scott Boland a bip on the nose as they do their own Bazballing – Warwicks 72-0 off 13.

With Renshaw looking good with a delightful punch through mid-off, Somerset 43-1, time to look round the grounds.


"It's a bit like conquering Everest"

Sitting next to Huw Turbervill, The Cricketer mag’s editor, at The Oval who has thrust in front of me the new issue of the mag. A great-looking feature on what Surrey have to do to make it three in a row, speaking to others who have managed two in a row – Chris Adams, Dermot Reeve and Phil Neale.

“It is a bit like conquering the summit of Everest,” says Adams. “You don’t have very long to enjoy it, before the hard work starts again (getting back down!)“


And Ken’s stats reach across from Rose Bowl, where Tom Bailey is playing his 100th game for Lancashire and has sent down four overs in Hampshire’s 17-0.


(qualification: 350 wickets)


JB Statham 1816 41.9

JM Anderson 368 45.9

Wasim Akram 374 46.0

TE Bailey 358 50.0

Overall Tom is 15th on the all-time list of strike rates by Lancs bowlers who have taken 350+ f-c wickets.

This was lovely at The Oval this morning. A minute’s applause for Keith Booth, the legendary Surrey scorer, who died in January :

Morning from Edgbaston, where I’m hoping the “sniffer” nickname doesn’t stick. Bonus to see Ben Stokes having a trundle before play though, with a big team of England physios and bowling coaches looking on. There’s talk he might have a bat in the nets at some point but he’s not in the XI to face Warwickshire, Durham having won the toss and opted for a bowl on a dry, slightly chilly day (with blue starting to creep on to the canvas overhead). Championship debut for Scott Boland, who seemed a friendly, do my talking with the ball kinda guy when chatting from the team bus yesterday, Matthew Potts and Brydon Carse also in the attack, and it’s a chance for the visitors to announce their return to Division One after last week’s quagmire at the Riverside.

A thin edge, a juggle, and that’s the end of Sean Dickson . Sibley with the magic, Jordan Clark with the wicket. Somerset 18-1.

There is play at Bristol:

but a delayed start at Sophia Gardens.

Time for a quick stroll round the ground, back in ten.

And a great spot from Daddy Pig, who has seen signs of a Lancashire dynasty, with two Flintoffs and one Chapple on the Lancashire second XI card.

Lots of warming up going on at The Oval, though surprised to hear Eurythmics Sweet Dreams on the speaker. Flags bustling in the breeze and extremely good coffee in the media room.

Stokes spotted

Ali “sniffer” Martin always where the story is at.

Struck by how wet and without good drainage a lot of the Division two counties are. Big advantage for Sussex and Middlesex there if they can get more play. at home.

Division Two table

1 Sussex 15

2 Glamorgan 13

3 Northamptonshire 13

4 Leicestershire 13

5 Yorkshire 12

6 Middlesex 11

7 Derbyshire 8

8 Gloucestershire 8

Too early? Division One table

1 Essex 20

2 Somerset 15

3 Worcestershire 14

4 Warwickshire 13

5 Kent 12

6 Surrey 11

7 Lancashire 8

8 Durham 8

9 Hampshire 8

10 Nottinghamshire 4



Chelmsford: Essex v Kent

The Rosebowl: Hampshire v Lancashire

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire

The Oval: Surrey v Somerset

Edgbaston: Warwickshire v Durham


Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan v Derbyshire

Bristol: Gloucestershire v Yorkshire

Grace Road: Leicestershire v Sussex

Northampton: Northamptonshire v Middlesex


Good morning from The Oval where the sun is shining and hello from Ali soon- to-be at Edgbaston where it may not be.

Firstly, the weather: The met office reports “mostly dry with warm sunshine” round the grounds, though we wait to see whether things have dried out everywhere, particularly Bristol.

News in brief: assistant coach Azhar Mahmood has left Surrey to join Pakistan – Jade Dernbach to step into his shoes for now; Somerset have signed South African quick Migael Pretorius for six red-ball matches starting today against Surrey; while Derbyshire have signed another South African quick Daryn Dupavillon from the start of May till mid September. And in a bitter blow, Warwickshire’s Liam Norwell is out of action again after missing the whole of 2023. His last bowl in anger was his 9-62 to keep Warwickshire up at the end of the 2022 season.

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