Sunday, 8 April 2012

County Championship Round Up Week 1

Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Somerset were the winners as all three Division One games finished with a positive result in the earliest County Championship start in history, whilst in Division Two there were wins for Essex, and outsiders Derbyshire and a Lazarus style win from Leicestershire.

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Dockrell...a fine display

Notts beat Worcestershire on a green top at Trent Bridge after an opening day where twenty wickets fell, no doubt bringing forth attention from the pitch inspectors. Riki Wessels then helped himself to a Good Friday hundred as he crucified the Worcester bowling, and despite Daryl Mitchell answering back with a hundred of his own, four wickets apiece from Luke Fletcher and Andre Adams saw the demise of the Pears by 92 runs.

At the Oval, Surrey won the fixture against Sussex, thanks to runs from skipper Rory Hamilton Brown, and Middle Stump interviewee Tom Maynard. With the Oval floodlights allowed to be on at more or less any time of day, this gives the Brown Hatters a huge advantage, and a Luke Wells hundred wasn't enough to stop the quicks of Surrey from getting home by 86 runs.

At Taunton, despite some gloomy West Country weather, the home ground was lit up by the debut of South African, Vernon Philander. The seamer picked up a fivefer on his debut, before 99 from Nick Compton against his old county gave the Cidermen a hundred innings lead. Middlesex looked as if they were holding out for a draw, but 19 year old slow left armer, George Dockrell with 6-27 off of 20 overs, meant that they only required 72. Gareth Berg gave them a fright with three quick wickets, breaking the hearts of Fantasy Leaguers all round the country with Trescothick dismissed for a duck, but they won in the end by six wickets.

In Division Two, Derbyshire and Leicestershire were the bookies favourites to finish in the bottom two places, but Derby thrashed Northamptonshire by a massive 202 runs thanks to 6-33 from David Wainwright and a 137 from Martin Guptill.

Leicester fans must have been thinking deja vu after being 0-2 after two balls of their game versus Glamorgan, but their Easter weekend resurrection was completed by Robbie Joseph on his debut with twelve wickets as they won by 52 runs. Both sides were docked points for a slow over rate.

Essex, looking for redemption after the Westfield/Kaneria affair atoned for their sins, by thrashing Gloucestershire by a massive innings and 38 runs, as Billy Godleman stroked a classy 130.

In the only game of the weekend to end in a draw, Kent and Yorkshire shared the spoils as Matt Coles got a debut ton, along with a Rob Key 97. Jonny Bairstow replied with a hundred of his own, before a combination of Joe Root and bad light ensured a draw was the outcome.

Finally, in other news Durham UCCE were dismissed for 18, yes 18, by their professional counterparts from the Riverside.

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