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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Tanya Aldred

County cricket: Brook and Root come up short as Yorkshire labour at Lord’s

Joe Root trudges off after being dismissed for five
Joe Root trudges off after being dismissed for five. Photograph: Matt Impey/Shutterstock

Raman Subba Row - born 29 January 1932; died 17 April 2024

A lovely obit of a fascinating figure.

Weather watch


and the Met office is positive: a mostly dry day with variable cloud and sunny intervals…average temperatures, but feeling warm in the sun.

Brook and Root come up short as Yorkshire labour at Lord’s

Though the rain continued to fall around the country, the Dukes ball returned with a sparkle – taking 72 wickets in the day.

Nottinghamshire (193), Durham (244) and Yorkshire (159) were all bowled out by shortly after tea, Lancashire (146) following soon afterwards.

Harry Brook and Joe Root were two of five single-figure Yorkshire scores, both giving catching practice to the slip fielders against Middlesex at Lord’s. At Kidderminster, Durham’s Ollie Robinson did his England credentials no harm at all with a counter-attacking 55 against Worcestershire; while Sean Dickson and Matt Renshaw reduced Somerset’s deficit to 77 against Nottinghamshire.

It was only at Hampshire that batting really flourished, with Alex Davies, hot on the heels of his 256 last week, the sole centurion of the day. Davies was helped by half centuries from Will Rhodes and Rob Yates – Warwickshire one of only two sides to pick up a batting point. The other was Gloucestershire, who skipped along against Sussex, with half centuries for Miles Hammond, Ben Charlesworth and James Bracey.

In the other games, Lancashire lost their first eight wickets for 92 against Essex, courtesy of four quick wickets for Shane Snater and a first wicket for 19-year-old Noah Thain on his Championship debut. Feroze Khushi then hit a rapid 53 in reply. Glamorgan rebuilt from a dreadful start against Northamptonshire, thanks to an unbeaten 69 from Colin Ingram; while Derbyshire’s butterfingers alongside 77 from Marcus Harris helped Leicestershire along.

At Canterbury, Zac Crawley was dismissed for five before Daniel Bell-Drummond continued his excellent start to the season for Kent with 70 against Surrey. There, and at Wantage Road, the players stood for a minute’s silence in memory of Derek Underwood and England, Northants and Surrey cricketer and administrator Raman Subba Row, who died this week aged 92.

Seventy-two wickets and just the one century. Welcome back, Dukes ball! Congratulations to Al Davies for his 149 - we’ll be back tomorrow to see if anyone else can match him. Thanks for reading, good evening!

Close of play scores


Chelmsford: Essex 68-1 v Lancashire 146

Southampton: Hampshire v Warwickshire 340-4

Canterbury: Kent 111-3 v Surrey rain

Taunton: Somerset 116-1 v Nottinghamshire 193

Kidderminster: Worcestershire 78-4 v Durham 244


Derby: Derbyshire v Leicestershire 168-2

Lord’s: Middlesex 84-2 v Yorkshire 159

Northampton: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan 203-7

Hove: Sussex v Gloucesterhire 319-8

Right, time for me to write up for early Friday deadlines. Plenty of wickets yet to fall today, do knit at the basket BTL.

“Lancs are 71-5,” I tell my son as he walks in from school. “Hang on, make that 71-6.” Cook(2-16) has found his mojo. Kent are making relatively serene progress against the champions, at 44-2. Warwickshire have got zillions. Somerset 32-0, Worcs 2-0 in their replies.

In Div 2: rain at Derby, Middx, whoops, are already one down (18-1), Ingram (43) and Douthwaite holding Glamorgan together -119-5 . And Gloucestershire look likely to make the second highest score today,, currently 213-4.

Durham too all out without a batting point in the bag. Somerset (26-0) and Middlesex (17-0) are making tenatively pleasant progress in their replies. Worcestershire, padding up, may not want to remember what Matthew Potts did with the Dukes ball last year.

Gary Moors is not impressed. “So Woakes is gaining valuable T20 experience to take back to the England team. His fingers curl around the seam (of his trousers) as Rabada runs in to bowl. These IPL squads are huge.”

Yorkshire are all out (159) as are Notts (193). Four wickets for Middx’s Ryan Higgins, three for Somerset’s Coverton. Somerset have eased along to 7-0; Middlesex are buckling up.

Tea time-ish scores


Chelmsford: Essex v Lancashire 55-4

Southampton: Hampshire v Warwickshire 202-1

Canterbury: Kent 2-0 v Surrey rain

Taunton: Somerset v Nottinghamshire 193 all out

Kidderminster: Worcestershire v Durham 225-8


Derby: Derbyshire v Leicestershire 85-1 rain

Lord’s: Middlesex v Yorkshire 146-9

Northampton: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan 93-4

Hove: Sussex v Gloucesterhire 171-4

“Hi Tanya,” hello Tim Maitland!

”I completely forgot that there’d be more County Championship cricket today, so I’ve only just scanned the scores.

”Am I being curmudgeonly or is there something farcical about the change from Kookaburra to Dukes producing such contrasting outcomes (with the exception of Warwickshire) in the space of just a few days? Weren’t we being regaled by stories of a record number of centuries in the last round of matches?”

Tea scores to come….

A hundred for Al Davies!

A big hand to Davies in the one match where bat is dominating ball. Warwickshire 202-1 at tea, Davies’ unbeaten 100 came off 166 balls, 14 sparkling fours. Small beer, I suppose, after his 256 last week, but what a cracking start to the season.

Gloucestershire flourishing before tea at Hove where Charlesworth (61) and Hammond (50) have put on 99 for the second wicket, 160-2. While Coad and Hill have biffed Yorkshire closer to er, semi-respectability, Yorks 136-8.

Robinson reaches his third half century of the season: 41 balls, 4 x 4s, 3 x 6s, edges the next ball from Matt Waite between keeper and vacant slip; then nips the follow up to the keeper. Durham 202-8.

Forget Cook and Porter, all eyes to Shane Snater. Lancs now 35-3, Snater 3-5, Bohannon back in the hutch.

Ali phones in to point out that Ollie Robinson (that one) is showing his England potenial with a six-biffing counter-attacking 47 not out at Kidderminster. Durham 194-7.

Who knew Sam Billings read CCLive!:

Make that 98-7, as Ryan Higgins pockets his second in the over. A two ball duck for Jordan Thompson. Middlesex fans, you get a bat very soon.

Not a good day for Yorkshire either, slow sailing after Brook was out, now 98-6 as Tattersall slopes off, lbw for five. Two for TRJ, two for Bamber.

While I put the kettle on, Notts slipped in a larger puddle when Montgomery was Overtoned for 48 and Harrison out for a duck two balls later. Notts 159-7. Durham are chasing them to oblivion, 142-7, Jason Holder (3-34) enjoying the Dukes.

Enjoyed this, love the image of RSR trotting through his garden gate straight onto a cricket field.

”Bears fan in Mozambique asks where is Chris Woakes?” Hello there Gary Moors. It seems (thank you Ali) that Chris Woakes is a yet unused sub for Kings XI Punjab, coached by Trevor Bayliss, featuring Bairstow, Livingstone and Curran ... and can’t get in the XI ahead of Rabada.


Never mind the type of ball, Al Davies has got his eye in this April. Now 65 not out as Warwickshire whizz along against Hampshire. Warwicks 152-1, Yates the man out for 69.

Still raining at Chelmsford, and Kent managed to reach 2-0 against Surrey before the rain returned.

Meanwhile, Notts and Durham are both five down. Ollie Robinson and de Leede rebuilding from 121-5 at Kiddersminster; and Notts relying on Montgomery (48) at Taunton. Notts 147-5.

Root and Brook both out cheaply

Brook follows where Root led, giving catching practice to the slips. Masood still there but, Yorks 80-4.

Fell into a rabbit hole of listening to Sean Jarvis on youtube on the tier 1 process.“ I’m very disappointed at how this has been handled, that two clubs have been funded and told they will be in tier one status by 2027, that was never communicated to us in the process. Had we known that during the process, it may have changed our approach. .. congratulations to Glamorgan and Yorkshire who will now be funded for 2027 whereas the teams like Leicestershire, Sussex and Kent won’t see any of that.

“The ECB have missed a huge trick here, this was an unbelievable opportunity to widen the appeal of the game, giving clubs like Leicestershire, Sussex and Kent[ a chance] rather than gravitate to the Test venues .”

I’m sure there is some truth in that, though the ECB seemed to have a pretty hot panel making the decision.

Ah, Gary Naylor is on [a different] case at Lord’s: “A minor point at Lord’s. The right length in this match (Duke’s) is at least a yard further up than it was a fortnight ago (Kookaburra). Today, a Test Match length is getting its rewards; last week it was slammed through the V with impunity. I’d rather see an attack at least hint of the World XI rather than be rendered less effective than Ilford Seconds.”

Yorkshire are now 75-3, with Root out cheaply, and Brook yet to score, from two balls. two wickets to TRJ, one to Helm.

From Canterbury this morning,

in memory of Derek Underwood and Raman Subba Row, who has died aged 92. Subba Row played 13 Tests for England and then worked in cricket administration, chairing the TCCB for five years before becoming one of the first match referees after retirement. He was England’s oldest male cricketer. Rest in peace.

In the words of Derek Pringle: “a stolid left hand batter for Surrey, Northants, England and Cambridge…..but also good egg with old school charm and a sense of humour…”

While Richard Thompson, the ECB chair said“He was a great cricket man and his remarkable cricket career saw success both on and off the field - as a player, official, administrator and chair of both Surrey and the Test and County Cricket Board.

“Our sport owes him an enormous debt of gratitude, and on behalf of the ECB, we would like to send our sincere condolences to Raman’s friends and family at this sad time.”

Rob Yates I’m afraid is out, fourth ball after lunch – a wicket for Abbot. And at Wantage Road, Glamorgan are in the soup, 31-4. Ingram and Cooke have been handed the darning needle. Sanderson 2-11.

Lunchtime scores


Chelmsford: Essex v Lancashire 31-2

Southampton: Hampshire v Warwickshire 114-0

Canterbury: Kent v Surrey no play yet today

Taunton: Somerset v Nottinghamshire 72-3

Kidderminster: Worcestershire v Durham 68-2


Derby: Derbyshire v Leicestershire 59-0 rain

Lord’s: Middlesex v Yorkshire 41-1 rain

Northampton: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan no rain yet today

Hove: Sussex v Gloucesterhire 82-2


Not a vintage A vintage Notts start to the year. Bottom of the table and already 64-3, with Coverton and Gregory pawing the ground at Taunton.

I predict a golden Rob Yates year, like 2020. A fine first two games and now he’s raced to 60 not out as Warwicks (95-0) make the most of Hampshire’s (already bowled five bowlers) attack. From Lord’s, my dad reports that the birds are taking cover, alongside everyone else.

Meanwhile, from yesterday’s Times’, Patrick Kidd has actually opened his Almanack.

For the second time in its 160-year history, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack has given an obituary to an animal. Voice of Reason, a Kolkata police horse, died on November 5 last year of traumatic shock when startled by fireworks set off after India’s World Cup win over South Africa. Coincidentally, he died on the same date as the previous animal obituary, Peter the Lord’s cat, known as the Marylebone Mog, whose ninth life ended in 1964.

Horray, another email! Good morning Nat Godden “Love the idea of the slip cauldron! (11.34 i think, Derbyshire, earthquake).

”For boiling underwear? Feeding chilly-handedd fielders?”
Keep up the good work. Especially where Essex are concerned please.

Just checked the score at Chelmsford, and surprised to read that Lancs are yet to lose a wicket against those Dukes balls magicians Porter and Cook. Lancs 11-0.

Andrew Benton, hello!

“With Glos down at Hove, my mind immediately conjured up, generative AI style, snippets of seagulls making off with hats, balls, bails and all sorts.

“I’ve found a seagull getting a wicket, in a manner of speaking, here - are there any other famous seagull incidents?”

Over to you, hive mind.

Re New Road/flooding/move etc, I know that Ali had heard some chat about a possible hotel/golf set up, looking to make it a base for touring sides, IPL sides out of season etc. One problem is that although Gloucestershire are sitting on some very valuable land, New Road’s swamp is not quite so appealing to prospective developers.

But, they’re making inroads against Durham in the battle of the promoted teams: Lees and Borthwick both now gone, one each for Smith and Leach and a cold hand stinging catch for Jason Holder. Durham 22-2.


Hmmm, it seems my weather forecasting was a little optimistic this morning, currently there are only four games in play. In better news, my husband reports the first swallow of the year spotted near Southport.


In Division One:

Mohammad Abbas is wicketless at The Rose Bowl, as is Kyle Abbott. Rob Yates, fresh from his bowling triumph last week, 21 not out.

No play yet at Chelmsford or Canterbury. Notts have recovered from the early loss of HH, 26-1 v Somerset, who are playing Bashir. And Durham lost Borthwick in the first over, 19-1 v Worcestershire.

Round the grounds, no great tumble of wickets. I’m almost disappointed. Division Two:

Leicestershire 30-0 v Derbyshire

Yorkshire, a heady 41-1 at Lord’s, where it is now raining. Lyth the man out, to TRJ.

No play yet at Wantage Road, and Gloucestershire (49-0) racing away against top-of-the-table Sussex.

The weather is easing at Chelmsford where play will begin at 12.15, with the toss shortly.

Meanwhile, a 16 year old was getting stuck in for Lancashire seconds.

My son, doing Georgraphy revision, tells me there was a 2.5 magnitude earthquake in Derbyshire last night. Perhaps that rattled the slip cauldron, as reported BTL. Leicestershire 22-0


Durham have won the toss and will bat. Looks brisk.

Yorkshire are off like the clappers (27-0 off four) against Middlesex; Notts less so – having won the toss and chosen to bat against Somerset, poor old HH was out third ball for 0.

For anyone who missed it, and it was heartening to hear the news covered widely on sports broadcasts, the eight tier one women’s counties are: Durham, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Surrey, Essex, Hampshire and Somerset.

And an interesting point I picked up from Raf on twitter today:


A delayed start at Wantage Road too, and at Chelmsford and at Canterbury.

Rain at Kidderminster. Delayed start

Meanwhile, lots of cricket news this week, including the birth of Wisden number 161. It feels almost nepotistic to plug it but Tim wrote a lovely piece about the Almanack and it’s editor Lawrence Booth.

Just back from a lovely walk in the woods where the sun had decided to come out and everything was that perfect lime green that should be bottled up for November days.

Meanwhile Gary Naylor is at Lord’s: “Greetings from an overcast Lord’s on a ‘bowl first and hope you’re not bowling again before the close’ day.”

“Phalanxes of primary schoolkids were flooding the North Gate as I arrived and they’re now sat shivering in the Grandstand. If a day of Champo cricket in April doesn’t put them off the game for life, nothing will. That said, well played MCC for sorting them out.”

Balls, balls, balls

After two rounds of the Kookaburra, we swap the soggy pile of rags for a shiny Duke. There were some interesting numbers from those first two rounds. In 2023, 427 wickets were taken with seam bowling in the first two rounds at 29; in 2024 it was 233 at 43. By contrast, 4605 balls of spin were bowled in 2023, taking 63 wickets; in 2024 that had increased to 6214 balls and 135 wickets. And there have already been as many double hundreds as there were in the whole of 2023. Thanks to Kevein Howell’s county podcast for these numbers.

Rob Key is a fan of the Kookaburra

Unsurprisingly, Dukes aren’t so keen on the idea.


They’re mostly down south this week:


Chelmsford: Essex v Lancashire

Southampton: Hampshire v Warwickshire

Canterbury: Kent v Surrey

Taunton: Somerset v Nottinghamshire

Kidderminster: Worcestershire v Durham


Derby: Derbyshire v Leicestershire

Lord’s: Middlesex v Yorkshire

Northampton: Northamptonshire v Glamorgan

Hove: Sussex v Gloucesterhire



Good morning and welcome to round three! It’s currently raining in Manchester, and cold, but looks perky elsewhere.

The state of play? Essex top Division One, Notts bring up the rear; while in Division Two, Sussex sit pretty, Derbyshire scrape the barrel. Plenty of time for that to change though, plus the weather to throw a cloudburst into the mix. Also, we await news on Essex’s possible points deduction for the big bat fiasco.

Play starts at 11am BST, the coffee is on, all welcome.

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