Chelmsoford: Essex 107 v Lancashire 131 and 25-6
Bristol: Gloucestershire v Warwickshire 255-8
The Rosebowl: Hampshire 57 v Kent 165 and 20-3
Taunton: Somerset 271-4 v Northants
The Oval: Surrey 292-6 v Yorkshire
The Riverside: Durham 54-1 v Sussex 162
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 380-3 v Derbyshire
Grace Road: Leicestershire v Middlesex 293-8
New Road: Worcestershire 297-7 v Nottinghamshire
A pinch-yourself 96 wickets fell in a cap-gun day in the County Championship. On a ropey Chelmsford pitch 26 batters came and went, Lancashire finishing the day 25 for six in their second innings – a bold improvement on seven for six, thanks to a nerveless 18 from debutant George Bell, and a lead of 49 over Essex. The only man to pass 24 in the whole bewildering day was Alastair Cook, who scrambled 40 in Essex’s 107.
At the Rose Bowl, where a mere 23 wickets fell, second-placed Hampshire were dismissed for 57, with Matthew Quinn grabbing six for 23. Kent lost three wickets in the eight balls before stumps, to give them a lead of 128 to take into what will surely be the final day.
With Hampshire’s season in danger of being flushed away in a few hours leaders Surrey strode onwards, Ollie Pope making a touch-perfect 136 at the specially renamed Micky Stewart Oval. It was as tactile as the fur of his favourite fox-red Labradors, and he moved through the 90s and on to a hundred with a ramp for six with bent knees and a reverse-sweep for four. He was out, for a 131-ball 136, bowled by Yorkshire’s departing former captain Steven Patterson, who finished with four wickets.
At Sophia Gardens, the Glamorgan captain, David Lloyd, was strolling to his highest first‑class score, 203 not out, and at Bristol Dom Sibley was propping up doom‑ladened Warwickshire with an unbeaten 105, a dug-in affair that hauled the 2021 champions from the doldrums of 138 for six. Gloucestershire’s Zafar Gohar bowled 32 overs to take four for 59.
A century for Tom Abell helped Somerset build a respectable 271 for four against Northamptonshire, on the day James Hildreth opened the new James Hildreth Stand.
Matthew Potts and Paul Coughlin bowled Sussex out for 162 under lights at the Riverside; a sixth‑wicket stand of 169 between Brett D’Oliveira and Gareth Roderick delayed Nottinghamshire’s promotion party at New Road and at Grace Road, promotion-chasing Middlesex stashed 293.
Hello! It’s an overcast London morning, a touch of cigar smoke and a dab of leaf mulch rising from the pavements. I’m hot-footing it from north London to The Oval where Ollie Pope reigned supreme yesterday – while at Chelmsford and The Rose Bowl the world turned upside down.
While I run for the tube – here is Lancashire’s head coach Glen Chapple on yesterday’s wicket-fest which left them temporarily seven for six: