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Recent Match Report – Lancashire vs Kent Group 3 2021




Pair put on 187 for eighth wicket before Wood’s three wickets leave Kent battling to avoid follow-on

Kent 85 for 4 (Crawley 60*, Wood 3-23) trail Lancashire 525 (Lamb 125, Wood 119, Bohannon 87, Vilas 53) by 440 runs

A record-breaking eighth-wicket stand by centurions Danny Lamb and Luke Wood put Lancashire in a dominant position at stumps on day two of their LV= Insurance County Championship match with Kent at Canterbury.

Both batsmen hit career-best innings before the visitors were finally dismissed for 525. Lamb made a flamboyant 125 and Wood produced a composed and almost chanceless 119 as they put on 187 for the eighth wicket, a Lancashire record and a record for the St Lawrence ground.

Wood then took 3 for 23 as Kent slumped to 85 for 4 in reply and they trail by 440 in their Group Three fixture, despite an aggressive 60 not out from England’s Zak Crawley.

A day from purgatory for the hosts began when the first ball, from Matt Milnes, thumped into Lamb’s pads. A loud shout for lbw was turned down and it all was downhill from there for Kent as Wood and Lamb were largely untroubled, adding 90 runs before lunch.

Lancashire’s dominance continued through the afternoon session, Wood cutting Joe Denly for four to bring up his second red-ball century and Lamb reverse-sweeping the same bowler for boundaries twice in an over.

When Milnes did draw an edge from Wood he was dropped by Crawley at slip, but he finally had him caught behind in his next over. Lamb then brought up his century with a six over long on but he was eventually bowled by Fred Klaassen.

Tom Bailey added a quickfire 47 before he was caught by Crawley off Jack Leaning, leaving Matt Parkinson unbeaten on one.

Kent’s reply started in gruesome fashion when Bailey had Jordan Cox caught behind for nought off the fifth legitimate ball of the innings and Wood then removed Daniel Bell-Drummond, who was caught for three by a diving Luke Wells at third slip.

Four overs later Wells caught Denly for four off Wood, leaving Kent reeling on 23 for 3 and, despite a partial recovery with a stand of 53 by Crawley and Leaning, Wood had the latter caught for 12 at square leg by the sub, Jack Blatherwick.

Heino Kuhn joined Crawley and survived a dicey 35 balls to reach one not out at the close of play, but Kent will have to improve drastically to avoid following on.

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Recent Match Report – Essex vs Notts Group 1 2021



Essex 99 and 129 for 3 (Browne 60*) trail Nottinghamshire 323 (Mullaney 117, James 51, Snater 7-98) by 95 runs

When Alastair Cook finally retires for good, and let’s hope in county cricket it will be a good while yet, he might well look upon Trent Bridge without too many pangs of regret.

Cook only managed three half-centuries for England on this ground in 24 attempts, although he might find consolation that his only Test half-century came against Australia in 2013 in a thrilling Ashes encounter which fell to England by only 14 runs. Memory jog: Ian Bell’s sumptuous century, Jimmy Anderson’s 10-wicket match and, after a last-wicket partnership of 65, Brad Haddin given out after the thinnest of inside edges. Cue pandemonium.

His record against Nottinghamshire, not a long list because of his international success, is nevertheless even less rewarding: he has never passed 50. In farming terms, which is how much of his life now plays out, every time he comes to Nottingham he must feel as forlorn as Tess of the d’Urbervilles, hacking at swedes at Flintcomb Ash.

Cook has made 3 and 35 for Essex here, bowled by his old mucker, Stuart Broad in the first innings, and lbw to Lyndon James second time around. It looked plumb, although did he hint at the possibility that there might have been the slightest inside edge?

If he was aggrieved then a brief cross-legged pause at the crease, followed by the tiniest glance at his bat, was a response of the utmost decorum. It was not about to bring demands for him to relinquish his knighthood in disgrace. There again, Sir Alastair, no need to worry about that, nobody resigns for anything these days.

Two days into this match, Nottinghamshire are well enough ahead to be able to survive a potential third-day washout before pushing for victory on the final day that is forecast to be dry but cloudy. Essex followed up their 99 all out in the first innings with a painstaking 129 for 3 from 59 overs, and clearly have draw points on their mind, but they still trail by 95. Notts need a good Sunday morning.

Steven Mullaney‘s 117 was the ballast behind Notts’ first-innings lead of 224, and he passed 8,000 first-class runs in the process. All that he said could not be faulted: “I thought we bowled really well. The scoreboard’s not really gone anywhere. After two days we couldn’t hope to be in a better position against arguably the best side in the country.”

After three days, though, their advantage won’t feel quite as good. The forecast looks terminal around the country, and local clubs would be wondering whether to skip pitch preparation even as they fielded premature drop-outs from players who suddenly realised they had to be in all day for a vital delivery from Amazon.

Mullaney’s century had two moods. He had feasted on some ordinary Essex bowling in reaching 63 overnight, but the loss of James and Tom Moores to Shane Snater in successive balls persuaded him that he must adopt a more watchful approach. He did just that against the seamers, although he had a couple of risky moments against Simon Harmer, not least the shot that brough up his hundred, an under-edged slog sweep which whistled to long leg. He fell to a good nip-backer from Siddle which so impressed him he depicted its course to the bowler like a budding artist before departing.

Snater, a Zimbabwe-born Netherlands seamer, took a career-best 7 for 98 in only his sixth first-class appearance, as he removed James and Tom Moores in successive balls before adding two late wickets. His fast-medium possessed impressive energy and he has been the best Essex pace bowler on show.

But Mullaney, who offered a difficult chance to gully before adding to his overnight 63, completed a stand of 123 with James, a home-produced allrounder of promise, and 66 with Broad, who Leicestershire supporters will forever insist is not homegrown, even though he was born in Nottingham, and whose 41 from 42 balls was a recognisable stand-and-deliver affair which climaxed with a step-away six over midwicket against Snater and an emphatic pull in the same direction against the veteran Australian Siddle in the following over; Siddle was collared so easily he must have felt his age. It’s 36.

Nottinghamshire had to labour for their wickets in Essex’s second innings, with Luke Fletcher bowling well enough without reward, after his first-innings 6 for 24, to reflect that fortune had soon deserted him. The removal of Tom Westley (who might have left it) and Dan Lawrence (who played down the wrong line) left Notts in the ascendancy but Nick Browne, who has played solidly throughout, found an ally in Paul Walter as Essex batted out the last 24 overs, pining for rain.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

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The Hundred – India Women players formalising deals, Shafali Verma emerges as replacement option




Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma have been given NOCs by BCCI

India Women players Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues are set to represent Manchester Originals, Southern Brave, London Spirit and Northern Superchargers respectively in the inaugural edition of the Hundred. A fifth Indian player, the ICC’s No. 1-ranked T20I batter Shafali Verma, is also on the radar of at least one team as a potential replacement player in the event of any last-minute withdrawals.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the four players – Kaur, Mandhana, Sharma, and Rodrigues – are likely to complete contract formalities imminently, with the BCCI already having sent the ECB No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) for each of them. It is expected that the ECB will announce the signings soon.

Verma, 17, is understood to be on the radar of at least one team, and would be a front-runner to fill a spot in the event of the unavailability of any other overseas players.

Five South Africa players – Chloe Tryon (Spirit), Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee (Originals), Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp (Oval Invincibles) – are contracted to play in the tournament, and direct flights between the two countries have been suspended since December 2020, though some players have travelled via other countries to fulfil contracts in men’s county cricket.

Travel concerns face the Indians, too, as it remains unclear how or when the men’s and women’s national teams, who have international assignments scheduled through mid-June to August in England, will fly to the UK, where India is among the government’s ‘red list’ of countries.

While India men are due to play the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton in June and a five-Test series against England starting in August, the women’s teams play against each other in a one-off Test, in Bristol, starting June 16, followed by three ODIs and three T20Is from June 27 to July 15.

The Indian contingent at the Women’s Hundred will extend their stay following the completion of that tour, with the 100-ball competition starting on July 21 with the match between the Invincibles and the Originals at The Oval before their respective men’s sides meet the following day.

Kaur, Mandhana, Rodrigues and Sharma completed the Indian contingent at the now-defunct Kia Super League (KSL), the ECB’s domestic T20 tournament that made way for the Women’s Hundred.

No male Indian players will be involved in the tournament’s inaugural season. Harbhajan Singh, the veteran offspinner, registered for the Hundred’s initial draft in 2019 but withdrew after it became clear he would have to sacrifice his IPL contract and retire from international duty to appear in the competition.

If Verma, India’s youngest T20I debutant in men’s or women’s cricket, gets a contract at the Hundred, it would be her first in any overseas T20 competition. In her nascent 22-match international career, Verma, who is capped only in the T20I format, has established herself as one of the most fearless strikers in world cricket, with her 163 runs a strike rate of 158.25 – the highest among players with 100 runs or more – at the 2020 T20 World Cup pivotal to India’s run to the final.

Twenty of the 24 overseas signings for the Women’s Hundred have already been announced, with confirmation of Ellyse Perry’s involvement in March making her the 11th Australian player to sign on, in addition to the five South Africans, two New Zealanders, and two West Indies players.

@ghosh_annesha and @mroller98

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Recent Match Report – Hampshire vs Somerset Group 2 2021




Overton top-scores with 74 before claiming 3-24 as visitors hold 165-run lead at close of second day

Hampshire 79 and 92 for 3 (Overton 3-24) trail Somerset 336 (Overton 74, Abell 64) by 165 runs

A Craig Overton-inspired Somerset assumed full control against Hampshire as the visitors dominated the second day at the Ageas Bowl.

Overton – the leading wicket-taker in the LV=County Championship – demonstrated his batting credentials by top-scoring with 74, then starred with the ball as his side opened up a 165-run lead, Hampshire closing on 92 for 3 in their second innings.

Overton struck 10 fours on the way to his 13th first-class fifty, before he removed opener Ian Holland, Tom Alsop and nightwatchman Kyle Abbott during a hostile spell of bowling late in the final session.

Alsop and Weatherley had dug in admirably in a 56-run stand before Alsop fell for 32 five overs from the close when he lobbed an easy catch to Josh Davey.

Overton struck again in the penultimate over of the evening when he trapped Abbot lbw for a duck for his 30th wicket of the campaign.

Weatherley was unbeaten on 31 alongside new batsman Sam Northeast, with the pair to resume their innings at some stage on Saturday with heavy rain forecast in Southampton.

Somerset started the day on 142 for 5 and added another 47 before skipper Tom Abell’s stubborn innings was ended on 62 by a ball that nipped back into the top of his off-stump from Abbott.

Nightwatchman Jack Leach, dropped when on three in the final over of the first day, made the hosts pay for that mistake with an entertaining 34. But the England spinner perished after trying to lift Keith Barker over the slips cordon only to find the hands of Liam Dawson.

Somerset’s deep batting line-up then proved its worth as 143 runs were put on for the last three wickets, spearheaded by Overton. He was ably supported by Steve Davies and Lewis Gregory, who each scored 33, as Somerset, who sit in second spot in Group Two, one place above Hampshire, built up a handsome 257-run lead after recovering from 36 for 3 to be 336 all out.

Left-arm veteran Barker was the pick of the home bowlers finishing with 4 for 67 alongside South African quick Abbott who took three wickets.

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