Roundup: Harmer regains groove to leave Lancs in a spin
Simon Harmer re-oiled his rusty shoulders, and spun Essex towards victory on a day when 14 wickets fell at Old Trafford. Harmer, who has had an uncharacteristically spartan spring, taking six wickets at an average of just under 60 before this game, teased and poked at Lancashire, forced to follow on after a disastrous Friday evening had left them 24 for five.
As Lancashire tried again, Harmer had Josh Bohannon and Steven Croft caught, before a partnership of 55 between Dane Vilas and Phil Salt gave them some breathing space. Salt then got a bottom edge to Matt Critchley and Vilas took a huge step forward to Harmer, but was hit on the back pad. The nightwatchman, Matt Parkinson, followed soon afterwards and Essex took the extra half-hour.
They nearly wrapped it up as Tom Bailey took a fancy to the new ball and hooked Sam Cook to where Paul Walter was waiting, and Hassan Ali followed with a dodgy slog sweep. Jimmy Anderson, who has eye-rolling experience of such situations with England, saw out the final overs with a 15-ball nought. Harmer walked off with five for 85. Earlier, Lancashire had been bowled out for 103 in their first innings. Salt top scored with a valiant 44, Sam Cook finished with four for 18.
Keith Barker was the man of the moment at Taunton, first swiping 36, then running through Somerset as they toppled to a crushing defeat. With a first-innings lead of 69, Hampshire then bowled Somerset out for 69. Barker swung the ball like a yo-yo, rattling through the card, pocketing six for 27, and bowling unchanged for 13 overs.
He had classy support from Mohammad Abbas and Kyle Abbot, but Somerset suffered a rash of unfortunate shots, topped when Josh Davey shouldered arms and was bowled. Felix Organ then nipped the single needed to win the match.
Leicestershire’s first block of County Championship games finished in another thumping defeat, this time by an innings and 259 runs. Their task, made difficult after being bowled out for 148 on the first day, and more difficult again after Azhar Ali made 225, only worsened when Worcestershire scored quickly in the morning session, finally declaring half an hour before lunch. It was the first time they had made more than 500 in nine years.
Rishi Patel was lbw to Dillon Pennington for one and wickets fell then like cherry blossom, with only Lewis Hill, who made fifty, and the debutant Rehan Ahmed, staying at the crease for long enough to frustrate. Pennington grabbed three for 30, loan signing Matthew Waite four for 35. “It hurts and this is the lowest point,” said the Leicestershire head coach, Paul Nixon, “We have to do some soul searching.”
Northamptonshire put in a plucky performance in the face of Kent’s 519 for nine declared, recovering from 20 for two, thanks to seventies from Ricardo Vasconcelos and Luke Procter and late middle-order stoicism from Rob Keogh and Josh Cobb. They need 23 to avoid the follow on.
It was a Saturday of the all-rounders at Headingley, where Matthew Revis jigged to a career-best 53 to help Yorkshire to a hearty lead and Jordan Thompson whisked through the Warwickshire top order. Toby Roland-Jones did the same to Durham at Lord’s, removing Alex Lees, Michael Jones and Keegan Petersen. Middlesex had built a tidy first-innings lead of 72, with 84 from Sam Robson leading the way. Ben Stokes finished with four for 72.
And at Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire must chase 165 after Derbyshire’s tail wagged. Stuart Broad spoilt Shan Masood’s quest for a thousand runs, fixing him lbw for a duck.
Time to go, it’s been a long day. Essex need a solitary wicket in the morning to put this match to bed. Thanks for your company, good night!
Just popping back to say the Old Trafford floodlights are giving the ground an unnatural light - spin from both ends, Critchley has just dropped Salt off his own bowling.
Worcestershire beat Leicestershire
Worcestershire 577-6dec beat Leicestershire 148 and 170 by an innings and 259 runs.
Middlesex having an excellent day at Lord’s, Holden and Simpson both gone, but at 311-7 they’re creeping towards parity. Stokes 14-4-41-2. I’m going to concentrate on writing up for tomorrow, as it darkens here at Old Trafford and Vilas swings and misses. Keep an eye on things for me.
Young Rehan Ahmed, whose debut for Leicestershire had thus far consisted of a duck and no wickets, is out for 16, but he lasted 64 balls, which is more than everyone apart from Lewis Hill. Leics 132-9, a lifetime behind.
Oh Warwickshire, things just aren’t clicking this season: Sibley follows Yates who followed Davies, 26-3. All three to Yorkshire’s Jordan Thompson.
Essex distraught that Vilas isn’t given out caught off his pad; umpire shakes his head with a barely repressed eye roll. Vilas then smashes him through the covers for four to bring up the hundred.
Vilas smacks Harmer for six - and it is all getting a bit overcast here in Manchester.
Four Charlotte Edwards Cup matches today: South East Stars have already thrashed Western Storm by seven wickets. In the other games, Sunrisers are chasing 154 against Central Sparks, 12 overs left, Lightning need 79 in 11 overs to beat Thunder, and the Northern Diamonds need another 78 in 13 overs against Southern Vipers.
In the New Zealand v Sussex game, New Zealand are settling in nicely, numbers one and two retired out, otherwise 220-1. Ollie Robinson bowled 11 overs, but hasn’t come back out after tea. The Sussex media man has told reporters that it was to “manage his workload.” Something seems awry, before his England selection he seemed to run in forever and consume county batters like inconsequential small snacks. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the historic racist tweets saga, I wonder how it affected him. Or maybe it is “just” a fitness issue.
Old Trafford: Lancs 103 and 65-3 v Essex 391
The County Ground: Northants 212-4 v Kent 519-9dec
Taunton: Somerset 211 and 69-0 BEAT Hants 280 and 1-0 by ten wickets
Headingley: Yorks 450 v Warwicks 244 and 20-2
Lord’s: Middx 286-6 v Durham 350
Trent Bridge: Notts 358 v Derby 260 and 138-6
New Road: Worcs 577-6dec v Leics 148 and 125-6
And that’s tea! Scores to follow.
Barker finishes things off, six for 27 in 13 overs, Hampshire need one to win.
I’ve hit the mid-afternoon lull, not helped by the game of enormous scary Essex cat and tiny little Lancashire mouse going on in the middle.
Scores are level at Taunton. Unfortunately, Somerset only have one wicket left.
Warwickshire’s innings has started with a typical malfunction, Alex Davies gone for 8, a helping hand into Fraine’s hands. Warwicks 15-1. While Procter and Keogh have put together 60 for the fifth wicket at Northants, 195-4, still trailing by 324 mind.
Make that 65-8.
To Barker, the spoils. Five for 23. Somerset 61-7.
Enter the Dane as Wells, from nowhere, swings Cook to square leg where Walter does well to get low and scoop it up. Lancs 45-3.
Yorkshire all out at last, with a first-innings lead of 206 over Warwicks. An unbeaten 53 from Matthew Revis, and a toily 4-111 from Nathan McAndrew. Leicester in trouble I’m afraid, 92-4, with Lewis Hill a third wicket for Pennington, caught for exactly 50. Still 337 behind.
Somerset’s day is nearly over: Barker 4-18, Somerset 42-6, still 27 behind.
The Essex regulars think Harmer has got his mojo back.
It isn’t Bohannon’s day. He prods forward to Harmer, gets an inside edge onto the pad and is snatched gratefully at short leg. Lancs 35-2.
Lancashire cross the rope for the first time in the innings, twice actually - is this Bohannon’s day? Somerset are having one of their wilting days, 24-4, with two wickets each for Abbas and Barker. Still 45 runs behind.
So if Harry Brook doesn’t bat again tomorrow (Yorks 397-8), and doesn’t play in the New Zealand Tests (assuming Pope and YJB are picked) he won’t play red-ball cricket again for Yorkshire until July, v Surrey at Scarborough, unless they release him from Test duty. Hope he can keep his velveteen run of form up with the white ball stuff.
That unstoppable Hampshire attack is at it again - Somerset 15-2, wickets for Keith Barker and Mohammad Abbas. Somerset still train Hampshire by 54.
Leicestershire lose a second, and it is Azad, 38-2.. And at Lord’s, Sam Robson doesn’t make a century, Middx 190-5. And on his day, Darren Stevens has dismissed Vasconcelos for 71 - which doesn’t bode well for Northants - 134-4. And at Derby, Guest has joined Masood back in the pavilion, 59-2. Somerset have started their second innings, 8 without loss.
Hello, Michael Keane. “Greetings from Lord’s, where I’ve just realised/worked out that tomorrow is the last day of Championship cricket until July 19th. Then there’s nothing until September 12th. I’m not even a Middlesex fan, but 1 Championship match in nearly 4 months at the home of cricket!!!??? I know it’s been said plenty already but dammit that’s ridiculous!
Enjoy your chips I guess.”
Yes, it is white ball cricket all the way from now on- though Lord’s does host a couple of Tests - Jennings loses his off stump. Lancs 2-1 - I suspect there’s a few grounds in the same situation.
A cry of “oh my god” comes from the direction of the Lancs dressing room, as Bohannon makes his distinctive bandy-legged cowboy approach.
Harmer drops another, Wells on 0, second ball after lunch.
Old Trafford: Lancs 103 and 0-0 v Essex 391
The County Ground: Northants 110-3 v Kent 519-9dec
Taunton: Somerset 211 v Hants 280-9
Headingley: Yorks 369-7 v Warwicks 244
Lord’s: Middx 174-4 v Durham 350
Trent Bridge: Notts 358 v Derby 260
New Road: Worcs577-6dec v Leics 148 and 26-1
They do, and that’s lunch. Scores to follow.
One last over before lunch, can Wells and Jennings survive Harmer’s first? Lancs 0-0 following on.
Three slips and a gully await a Jennings feather.
Here we go again, this time hand in hand with a retro Old Trafford lunch of chips and mayonnaise.
Essex enforce the follow-on.
And that is that! Harmer’s first wicket as Parky sweeps optimistically and is taken for 14. Lancs 103 all out and the groundsmen come out with their brooms. We assume a follow-on but no news yet.
In Division One:
At Old Trafford a wicket for Critchley, Salt pinned on the back pad for 44 - he’s not happy but that’s another decent innings in what has been a nice start for Lancs. So, what can Parky and Anderson do? Lancs 103-9.
Northants having a decent enough stab at Kent’s 519-9, Vasconcelos not out 48, Northants 100-3.
Hampshire have sneaked a lead at Taunton, thanks to Aneurin Donald, unbeaten on 49. 243-7, a lead of 32.
Lyth has gone, for a 330 ball 145, but Duke picking up the baton with five fours in his 37 not out. Yorks 356-6, a lead of 112 over Warwicks.
In Division Two:
Worcestershire have declared, with a lead of 429. Cox 52 not out. Mulder four for 125. Come on Leicestershire, let’s see what you can do under new leadership.
Derbyshire are 18-1, still in shock after the loss of Masood for a fat duck.
And a second wicket for Stokes at Lord’s, de Cairnes for four. Robson, who is batting beautifully this season by all accounts, 65 not out. Middx 145-4.
Harmer drops Salt on 38. Siralastair gives him a consolation pat.
Right, time for a spy round the grounds...
An email whooshes in and lands with a gentle hello “Was pleased with Durham’s performance yesterday & hoping of more of the same from Mr Stokes and Mr Potts,” writes Em Jackson.
“But - and there’s always a but isn’t there - we’re two weeks from the four-day Bank Hol weekend and about to put the County C’ship to bed for weeks, couldn’t the Counties have played T20 with their non-CC players plus the best of the local clubs called up, the way the Aussies did for the Big Bash?! Then start the T20 in earnest after the BH weekend?!”
And Lancs pass their lowest score against Essex.
Just wondering if a jinx can work by proxy - Paul Edwards saying how much better Parky’s batting (and fielding) has got.
That net practise ...forget it. Hassan out for a duck , nicely picked up by Simon Harmer at second slip. Lancs 60-8.
Wicket number seven at Old Trafford, a beauty from Sam Cook who currently has 4-15. Hassan Ali was sent to the nets yesterday evening - let’s see what he can do.
Shan Masood has done a Bradman, a three-ball duck. You bastard, Broady. Derbys 3-1.
Azhar Ali finally goes for 225, D’Oliveira was a fourth wicket for Mulder, lbw for 54: time for Barnard to swing the bat and Leicestershire to pray for rain. Worcs 497-5, a lead of 349.
Wood takes one drive too many and is caught by Rossington - but a useful half an hour at the crease and some morale-boosting boundaries. Lancs 57-6.
Notts are all out, losing their last three wickets for 24, both Conners and Potts (a different one) picking up four wickets. Let’s see if new look Derbyshire can bat this one out against the Division Two favourites. Shan Masood needs another 156 in this innings to reach the thousand barrier.
Apparently in that game in 2012, which Lancs lost by 205 runs, Lancs only escaped having their pitch reported by a whisker. It was the first year of the turned pitch and it turned out to be, how shall we put this, quite conducive to spin. Steven Croft took six for 41 in the second innings but Moeen Ali trumped him with six for 29.
Lancashire’s lowest total this century is 63 against Worcestershire, in 2012. And their lowest score against Essex is 70.
Jamie Porter is looking tricky in his first game of the season. Can anyone enlighten me BTL - has he been injured? Wood loses a ball into the building site.
“Morning Tanya,”. Good morning, Brian.
“Can you remember what you were doing on 21st May 2021, instead of hosting CCLive, and was it worth it?”
Oh dear, did I miss St Stevens day? My phone doesn’t give me any clue but I’m sure it was important.
At the gate, one of the stewards, Steve, offered humbug or eclair. You don’t get that kind of service everywhere. On the pitch, Lancashire are standing in an earnest circle listening to Glenn Chapple; Essex are playing football.
The Blast games at Old Trafford on 1 June will be the first known double-header to have a women’s match, Thunder v Vipers, in the prestige evening slot and the men’s, Lancashire Lightning v Derbyshire Falcons, in the afternoon.
Lancashire, who this spring were the first county to take the women’s and men’s teams away together on a pre-season training trip, have recently converted the men’s away dressing room to the Thunder home dressing room. The women previously had to change in the cricket centre.
On the field Lancashire suffered a spectacular afternoon collapse against Essex. They were 32 for five when the rain saved them, the rot starting when Keaton Jennings was lbw for four and continuing as Josh Bohannon fell lbw without scoring. Steven Croft was sent on his way for a golden duck, Luke Wells shouldered arms ill advisedly, giving Sam Cook a second wicket, and Dane Vilas played on to Shane Snater’s fourth ball.
Earlier Essex were eventually dismissed for 391, thanks to an attacking 72 from Snater, which delighted an audience of 1,700 cheerful school children making the best of the overcast weather and attempting to pet Lanky the giraffe. Dan Lawrence, who had to call for a runner after tweaking his right hamstring again, went on to make 120.
Rain interrupted play all round the grounds but Kent passed 500, rather than conceding it. Ben Compton was eventually out for 140 and there were fifties for Jack Leaning and a fly-by-night Grant Stewart, who then took one of two quick Northamptonshire wickets to fall before stumps.
At Headingley Adam Lyth, 118 not out, and Harry Brook, passing 50 charmingly for the eighth time in nine innings, gave Yorkshire a lead against Warwickshire with a partnership of 157. Joe Root was out for just eight.
A clearly thrilled Azhar Ali jigged to an unbeaten 202 for Worcestershire at New Road against Leicestershire, joined by Jack Haynes, 21, who made his third hundred in three matches in a third-wicket partnership of 281. Toby Roland-Jones finished with four for 72 as Durham were bowled out for 350 at Lord’s, Ben Stokes dismissing Middlesex’s Mark Stoneman just before bad light stopped play.
Ben Duckett’s 86, supported by runs from down the order, ensured Nottinghamshire a first-innings lead against Derbyshire and at Taunton an inspired Craig Overton took three for 21 from 18 overs to leave Hampshire wobbling at 144 for five against Somerset.
Start of play score
Good morning! The sun is peeping over the rooftops and it looks as if we’ll have a full day’s play at Old Trafford, where Lancashire are in deep trouble at 32-5, with Phil Salt and Luke Wood charged with trying to assemble a defence out of a few old sticks and a mud patch. Elsewhere, Northants are also in the mire, Hampshire have to keep out a rampaging Craig Overton and Lyth and Brook have put Yorkshire in a good position at Headingley. In Division Two, Azhar Ali resumes on a triumphant double century at New Road, Derby need to take the remaining Notts wickets quickly and there’s all to play for at Lord’s.