2005 English cricket season (8-30 April)

2005 English cricket season (8-30 April)

"See also: 2005 English cricket season for a full summary of the season"

The 2005 English cricket season started early, on 8 April, with MCC playing the Champion County, or at least it would have done if the rain hadn't delayed the start till the next day. The other games played were all between the first-class counties and university sides. The first matches showed a bumper crop of centuries, with little joy for bowlers, but there were no surprises. The MCC ended up beating Warwickshire.

Away from the cricket field, on 8 April the ECB announced that triangular One Day International tournaments would no longer be played in England. On 11 April Kevin Pietersen, England's South African-born all-rounder was reported to have a foot injury that could see him miss the start of the season, and Chris Schofield began his case for unfair dismissal against Lancashire, which he eventually won.

The first round of the Frizzell County Championship saw Warwickshire gain maximum points, with Hampshire also winning in Division Two. Durham replicated Warwickshire's feat in Division Two, where Worcestershire also won.

The first round of the totesport National Cricket League was held on 17 April, though most of the games were affected by the rain. 5 results were possible in the 8 matches. Rain continued to bedevil the second round of the County Championship, with only Yorkshire and Durham securing wins. In the MCC University matches, Bradford/Leeds UCCE shocked an injury-weakened Surrey by beating them at the Oval.

The second round of the totesport League saw a heavy defeat for Surrey away to Durham, with other wins for Northamptonshire, Middlesex, Kent and Sussex, which left Middlesex and Durham at the top of the tables at the end of April.

In the third round of the Championship, Surrey thrashed what already appear to be Division One whipping boys Glamorgan to go third, with Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire also recording big wins to go second and first respectively. In the second division, Essex and Lancashire beat Somerset and Worcestershire respectively. However, Durham, who sat this round out, led the table at the end of April, from Essex and Worcestershire, with Derbyshire and Leicestershire propping the table up.

MCC v Champion county

MCC v Warwickshire (8-11 April)

"MCC beat Warwickshire by 7 wickets"

Warwickshire were the Champion County in 2004, and therefore they kicked off the 2005 season with the traditional match against the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's on 8 April. The MCC side was effectively an "England A" team, with the match being the closest thing to a Test trial this season. It rained on and off throughout the first day. Just before 5pm, the captains tossed. Nick Knight of Warwickshire won the toss and elected to bat. However, more rain came down and at around 5pm play was abandoned - the first day of the 2005 cricket season would see no play.

The second day saw 87 overs of play before bad light ended the day's play. Warwickshire put on 347 for 5 declared. Nick Knight's 115 was the first century of the season. Wagh contributed 66 and Trott 75. The third day started with a confident and chanceless first wicket partnership of 109 between Alastair Cook and Matthew Prior. Then Cook, who grafted out his innings with careful footwork and plenty of off-side shots, and Owais Shah, who got off to a difficult start, put on 166 runs for the second wicket, before Cook fell for 120. The MCC declared soon after at 275 for 2, 70 runs behind. Warwickshire started their second innings confidently, and were 70 for 3 at close on the third day.

On the fourth and last day, Warwickshire powered on to 225 for 4 before declaring, with Tony Frost top scoring with 91. This set the MCC a target of 296 to win. On a wicket that held up well, Cook added 97 to his first innings century. By the time he was third out at 235, Andy Flower was well set. He scored an undefeated 110 as the hosts won by 7 wickets with eight overs to spare. The MCC remain undefeated in the traditional game against the previous season's traditional county since the fixture was re-established in 1970. The match leaves Prior and Cook in contention for possible future England call-ups. [http://uk.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/OTHER/MCC_WARWICKS_08-11APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

MCC Universities matches

Cambridge UCCE v Essex (9-11 April)

"Essex beat Cambridge UCCE by 4 wickets"

Cambridge UCCE and Essex started the season at Fenner's Ground in Cambridge. For the first time the Cambridge UCCE team was dominated by players from Anglia Polytechnic University rather than Cambridge University. The first day was a successful one for Cambridge UCCE, who completed an innings of 321. This was quite a recovery from 7 down for 139, when Friedlander (81), who has represented Boland in South Africa, and Wright (76) got together. James Middlebrook took 5 for 54 for Essex. On the second day, Essex put together 307 for 4 declared, although no player scored more than Ravinder Bopara, with 69. Cambridge UCCE scored 64 for 3 by close of play. On the third and final day, Cambridge UCCE piled on more runs, finally declaring on 255 for 4, the highlight of which being 129 not out from Adnan Akram.

This left Essex 270 to win. They lost wickets in doing so, with Palladino taking four wickets, and the students gamely going for a win. However, an all-round performance by Essex finally saw them home with four wickets left. [http://uk.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/CAMB-UCCE_ESSEX_MCC-UNIV_09-11APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Glamorgan v Cardiff UCCE (9-11 April)

"Match drawn"

On the first day of this match at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, Glamorgan ran riot, notching up 516 for 7, with David Hemp (120), Matthew Maynard (105) and Ian Thomas (133) all making centuries. They continued on the second day, adding 87 for the last three wickets, until Cardiff UCCE finally dismissed them. The match didn't improve for Cardiff UCCE, as they made only 152 in reply. However, Glamorgan chose not to enforce the follow-on and elected for more batting practice. By close of play they were 134 for no loss. On the third and final day, Mark Wallace and Jonathan Hughes both completed their centuries, making 117 and 109 (retired hurt) respectively. Glamorgan finally declared on 381 for 3, leaving Cardiff UCCE an impossible 833 to win. At 57 for 2, an early capitulation looked likely. However, Rhodri Lloyd and Simon Butler got together and proved difficult to dismiss. By the time Lloyd was out for 102, Butler was on 104, Cardiff UCCE 257 for 3, and the game ended in a draw. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/GLAM_CARDIFF-UCCE_MCC-UNIV_09-11APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Oxford UCCE v Gloucestershire (9-11 April)

"Match drawn"

Oxford Universities Cricketing Centre of Excellence and Gloucestershire started their 2005 first-class season at the Parks in Oxford on 9 April. Gloucestershire won the toss and chose to bat. They made 305 for 9 declared off 89.2 overs, Phil Weston's 103 making him the first Gloucestershire centurion of the season. The declaration left 9 overs for Oxford to bat through until the end of the first day. They were 21 for 2 at the close.

On the second day, Oxford UCCE collapsed to 116 all out. Gloucestershire chose batting practice rather than to enforce the follow-on. At close they were 262 for 1, with Craig Spearman undefeated on 170. In the final over, which was the first one Stephen Moreton had bowled in first-class cricket, Spearman scored 6,6,6,6,4 and 6, with Spearman being dropped twice. The innings continued on the third and last day, and Gloucestershire closed on 490 for 4 declared from 101 overs. Spearman had made 216 before he retired out. There were few overs in the day left, but victory for Gloucestershire looked on the cards when they reduced Oxford UCCE to 24 for 6. Then a rearguard undefeated 64 from Knappett and 22 from Woods rescued some pride for Oxford UCCE and saw them through for the draw. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/OX-UCCE_GLOUCS_MCC-UNIV_09-11APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Northamptonshire v Bradford/Leeds UCCE (9-10 April)

"Northamptonshire beat Bradford/Leeds UCCE by an innings and 62 runs"

The first day of this game at Northampton saw Northamptonshire progress to 373 for 7 declared off only 69 overs. Kevin Innes top-scored with 80 off only 59 balls. The declaration left time for 23 more overs on the first day, in which Bradford/Leeds UCCE slumped to 60 for 5. The second day, Bradford/Leeds UCCE fared equally badly, being dismissed for 137. Northamptonshire chose to enforce the follow-on rather than opt for batting practice, and saw off Bradford/Leeds UCCE for 174 to win by an innings and 62 runs in two days. Spinners Monty Panesar and Jason Brown both got five wickets each in the match. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/NORTHANTS_BRAD-LEEDS-UCCE_MCC-UNIV_09-11APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

omerset v Durham UCCE (9-11 April)

"Match drawn"

At Taunton, the first day of the season for these two teams made up Somerset's first innings. In 105 overs Somerset made a mammoth 580 for 5 declared. Ian Blackwell contributed 191, John Francis 123 and Matthew Wood 95 as Durham UCCE struggled. Francis and Wood's partnership is a new record fifth-wicket partnership for Somerset, beating the 235 put on by Box Case and Jack White in 1927. Somerset declared on their overnight total. However, on a good pitch, Durham UCCE fared well, making a mammoth 304 for the first wicket, and were 327 for 1 at close on the second day. Will Smith scored 156 and Alistair Maiden 211 not out before Durham UCCE were able to declare on 433 for 4, 147 behind. Also, this was against a first-class attack including Andrew Caddick and Nixon McLean. Somerset chose to bat out the rest of the day for a draw, finishing on 211 for 2 declared, with John Francis scoring 112. [http://uk.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/SOMERSET_DURHAM-UCCE_MCC-UNIV_09-11APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

ussex v Loughborough UCCE (9-11 April)

"Match drawn"

The first day of this match, which was played at Hove, saw Loughborough dismissed for 237. Sussex then reached 15 for no loss at close. Sussex batted through the second day, adding 352 in the 105 overs available, after both Ian Ward and Richard Montgomery both got centuries. Sussex were finally dismissed for 490 on the third and last day. This didn't leave them enough time to dismiss Loughborough UCCE a second time, and they were 103 for 5 at the end of the match. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/SUSSEX_L-BOROUGH-UCCE_MCC-UNIV_09-11APR2005.html (Cricifno scorecard)]

The Championship starts

Wednesday 13 April saw the start of the County Championship season.

Frizzell County Championship - Division One

Hampshire v Gloucestershire (13-16 April)

"Hampshire (17pts) beat Gloucestershire (4pts) by 48 runs"

Hampshire won the toss and elected to bat. There were 1,200 at the Rose Bowl to watch Simon Katich's flawless 72 not out, as he was the only one able to cope with the conditions as Hampshire were all out for 197 before tea. Katich's innings was one of defence coupled with the odd drive, hook and pull. Hampshire's meagre total suggests they miss Kevin Pietersen, who performed so well for England in the one-dayers against Zimbabwe and South Africa over the winter. Pietersen said of his foot injury, "If I got a ball on my foot or I slipped I could be out for six to eight weeks. It's a bit tender and it's just a case of biding my time," he said. However, they did have to face good, fast-medium-pace bowling from Gloucestershire. Gloucestershire fared well in reply, and Shane Warne brought himself into the attack after only 18 overs. He took Craig Spearman's wicket when Spearman tried to sweep him, but Gloucestershire were sitting pretty at close on 118 for 2, 79 behind with 8 first innings wickets remaining.

On the second day, Hampshire's bowlers, led by Warne, battled hard to get them back into the game. Except for Jon Lewis, who scored 40 off 61 balls batting at number ten, no-one after the first three Gloucester batsmen scored more than ten. Their first innings ended for 221, just 24 ahead. Hampshire also struggled, and scored only 94 for their first 6 wickets. Warne and Sean Ervine survived the last six overs to push the score to 111 for 6 at close.

The third day saw yet another change in fortunes, which just about left Hampshire on top. The bowlers dominated the first two days, but the start of the third day was dominated by Hampshire's bowlers batting. Warne increased his score to 62, Chris Tremlett got 64 and Richard Logan 28 through aggressive batting as Hampshire closed their second innings on 275. This left Gloucestershire a challenging target of 252. Spearman and Phil Weston then put on 129 for the first wicket, only for five wickets to fall in quick succession before bad light stopped play, with the visitors on 149 for 5, needing 103 for victory.

It took only 18.4 overs on the fourth day for the match to be settled. With Billy Taylor finishing on 6 for 45 as Gloucester were all out for 203. After the game Hampshire's captain, Shane Warne, said, "We believe we can win from any position and it's so important to win your first few games. It was a tremendous team effort and everyone pulled their weight. This is the type of game you never forget. We found ourselves behind the eight ball at the start of every day but I always felt we were in with a chance if we could remove their openers." [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC1/SCORECARDS/13-16APR2005/HANTS_GLOUCS_CC1_13-16APR2005.html Cricinfo scorecard]

urrey v Sussex (13-16 April)

"Surrey (12pts) drew with Sussex (9pts)"

Sussex won the toss at the Oval and elected to bat. Mark Ramprakash captained Surrey as Mark Butcher has still not recovered from the injury that saw him miss England's winter tour. Only 49 overs could be bowled on the first day, as rain delayed the start till after lunch, and bad light brought an early conclusion. Cloud cover helped the bowlers, but Sussex, thanks to Michael Yardy's 44 not out, finished the day on 171 for 4. The second day saw 61 overs. Yardy, again under cloud-covered skies, progressed to 111, which will have gone a long way to helping him cement a regular first team place. Rikki Clarke, who took 4 for 91, appears a yard quicker than last season, and to have improved after his poor season last year. Sussex finished the second day on 370, and Surrey on 6 for 1.

Only 13.3 overs were possible on a rain-affected third day, as Surrey moved to 33 for 1, with a draw a virtual certainty. The day was enlivened by the sight of a fox on top of one of the famous gasholders. It presumably went onto the top when the gasholder was low, and was trapped as the level rose. On the fourth day, Surrey's stand-in captain Ramprakash made an impressive 152, as Surrey elected to prolong their first innings until they reached 402 for 5 declared, to claim maximum batting points. The game ended there as a draw. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC1/SCORECARDS/13-16APR2005/SURREY_SUSSEX_CC1_13-16APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Warwickshire v Glamorgan (13-16 April)

"Warwickshire (22pts) beat Glamorgan (1pt) by an innings and 43 runs"

Glamorgan won the toss at a cold Edgbaston and chose to bat. The pitch hade been roughed up to encourage turn for the benefit of Ashley Giles. The England selectors will have been pleased that he made the most of it, taking 6 for 44, the third-best figures of his career. First, however, Matthew Elliott, Glamorgan's Australian batsman scored 84 to take his team to a comfortable looking 157 for 3. However, Glamorgan then lost their final seven wickets for just 41 runs. Warwickshire's catching was excellent, as they restricted their opposition to 198 off 63.3 overs, two short of their first bonus point. Nick Knight and Mark Wagh then saw Warwickshire through to 68 for no loss, before bad light stopped play.

After losing Knight and Wagh with only 4 added to the overnight score, the Champion county showed their class. After the start of the day, the pitch calmed down, and England hopeful, Ian Bell, who scored 96, and Michael Powell put on 153 for the fourth wicket. Dougie Brown then helped himself to a half-century being unbeaten on 85 at close, with Powell on 144 not out and Warwickshire on 415 for 4, 217 ahead. Alex Wharf and Simon Jones bowled enthusiastically, but without much to show for it.

The bat dominated on a cold third day, with runs coming at around 5 an over, though this was aided by there being short boundaries. This allowed 362 runs to be scored, even though almost all the third session was lost to bad light. In the morning, Warwickshire's runs flowed freely. Although Powell only add 2, Brown moved on to 122, and Heath Streak had time to score 41 not out before Warwickshire declared on 564 for 8, 366 ahead. Elliott and David Hemp put on 162 for the second wicket. However, Matthew Maynard went for a duck, leaving Glamorgan on 213 for 4 at close. On the fourth day, Robert Croft and Darren Thomas held Warwickshire briefly at bay with a partnership of 75, but this wasn't enough as Glamorgan succumbed for 323. Warwickshire captain, Nick Knight, said, "Once they were bowled out for 198 on that pitch they were always going to struggle. They then put down three catches, which proved to be decisive. We had a bit of luck so we are not going to start going around saying that we are going to win the Championship just because we have won one match." John Derrick, Glamorgan's coach, said, "Although we batted much better second time around, we made it difficult for ourselves by not scoring enough first innings runs. Warwickshire showed what playing pressure cricket is all about. They bowled with a lot of discipline. They piled up a big score to make sure that we didn't get back into the game." [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC1/SCORECARDS/13-16APR2005/WARWICKS_GLAM_CC1_13-16APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Frizzell County Championship - Division Two

Derbyshire v Worcestershire (13-16 April)

"Worcestershire (21pts) beat Derbyshire (3pts) by 10 wickets"

At Derby, Worcestershire won the toss and chose to bat. Stephen Moore was run out early for 19. He held his pose, showing off his defensive shot during an appeal for leg before wicket, as Moss came in on the blind side and threw the ball at the stumps. The other opener, Stephen Peters, stayed around though, and made 55. Once Moore was out, Peters was joined by Graeme Hick, who was given lives on 8 and 57, and made 80 off 119 balls before finally being lbw for 80 off one that kept low. Vikram Solanki then went for a duck, but Worcestershire were never in trouble, finishing on 305 for 6 at close.

Worcestershire kept batting on the second day, before declaring after winning their fourth bonus point on 350 for 9. Derbyshire's batting was woeful, with no-one scoring more than 30 as their first innings ended on 135 all out, 215 behind. Matthew Mason, who took two wickets and a bowling analysis of 10-6-6-2, Alamgir Sheriyar and David Wigley, who took three each, were the main contributors with ball in hand for Worcester. The follow-on was enforced, and Derbyshire were 10 for 0 when stumps were drawn.

Only 74 overs were bowled on the third day, with rain ending play at tea. Michael di Venuto put up the Derbyshire resistance, scoring 111 in an innings that included 12 fours and 1 six before finally being stumped off Gareth Batty. Steve Stubbings played the anchor role, and had made only 33 when the first wicket fell for 150. Batty bowled unchanged for a 32 over spell as Sheriyar and Wigley tried, and failed, to get di Venuto. Once he was gone, there was a flurry of wickets to 175 for 4. At close Derbyshire were within sight of a draw, being 11 runs behind with six wickets remaining.

Gareth Batty increased his second innings tally to 5 for 87 to dismiss Derbyshire early on the fourth day, as Stubbings' innings ended with just 10 added to the previous day's score for a total of 58. By the time they were all out for 285, Derbyshire had set a target of just 71 in 68 overs. It took them only 14 as Peters and Moore won the match for them by 10 wickets. It was an easy victory for Worcestershire in the end, helped by Derbyshire dropping 6 catches along the way. Worcester coach Tom Moody said, "We haven't got our overseas players here but this was a good example of the depth of our squad. To have a successful season, you need players who can come in and stand up and be counted and they've done that. The game proved that catches win matches with Derbyshire dropping six while Worcestershire hardly missed an opportunity. We were let off the hook a bit in the first innings with some dropped chances but our catching was exceptional, particularly with the conditions being so cold. I think the cold weather was the hardest thing for Gareth [Batty] because it's difficult for a spinner to get his hands warm and grip the ball." [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC2/SCORECARDS/13-16APR2005/DERBY_WORCS_CC2_13-16APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Essex v Yorkshire (13-16 April)

"Essex (12pts) drew with Yorkshire (5.5pts)"

At Chelmsford, Yorkshire won the toss and put Essex in to bat. Essex never looked by, as Will Jefferson, Essex' 6'10" opener put on 149 before being out leg before just before the end of the first day's play. Essex captain, Ronnie Irani, said, "People think his height is a weakness, they try and over-test it — they try and pitch it up too much or bowl short too much." Jefferson could have been run out for 0 after a mix-up with Cook, and was dropped on 6. Alastair Cook, hero for the MCC at Lord's fell early for 11. However, Jefferson was given admirable support by Zimbabwean Grant Flower, who was 55 not out at close, with Essex on 224 fo 2, after 26 overs were lost to rain. Seven Yorkshire bowlers were used, but few had any success, and England bowler Matthew Hoggard went wicketless on the first day.

A total of 47 overs were possible in the next two days, as Essex moved on to 394 for 4 - losing two men to Hoggard. Andy Flower, Grant's brother, and Ronnie Irani were on unbeaten half-centuries at the close of the third day's play, a draw a virtual certainty.

After adding only 7 in 11 balls on the fourth and final day, Essex declared on 401 for 4, batting on to score the extra bonus point before putting Yorkshire in. Yorkshire found it difficult on a pitch that must have been affected by the rain. Whilst Yorkshire's captain, Craig White, resisted with 59 not out, the team disintegrated to 205, 196 behind. Essex enforced the follow-on, but in yet another rain-affected day, Yorkshire held on. Jaques scored 67 not out from 88 balls out of his team's 105 for 2. Essex scored maximum bonus points, but were denied by the weather. Yorkshire escaped with the draw, but were fined 0.5 points for a slow over rate during Essex' innings. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC2/SCORECARDS/13-16APR2005/ESSEX_YORKS_CC2_13-16APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Lancashire v Somerset (13-16 April)

"Lancashire (10pts) drew with Somerset (9pts)"

At Old Trafford, Somerset won the toss and elected to field on a seaming pitch after a delayed start. Mal Loye was the only Lancastrian to score a half-century, as Somerset made the most of the conditions. Ian Sutcliffe, Stuart Law and Mark Chilton all worked themselves into the 30s, but failed to progress. Lancashire finished the first day on 235 for 7.

Second day honours went to Lancashire. First their not out batsmen, Dominic Cork and Sajid Mahmood, took the eighth wicket partnership to 94, and Lancashire finished on 323. Andrew Caddick took 4 for 78. James Anderson and Dominic Cork then set about damaging Somerset's batting. Only Ian Blackwell, who was dropped by Law at slip when on 17, put up much resistance, with captain and England opener Marcus Trescothick making only 11. At one stage Somerset were 53 for 4, and they finished the day on 193 for 7, with Blackwell not out on 74.

Just as Lancashire's tail had pushed on at the end of their innings, so did Somerset's on the third day. Blackwell made his second century in two innings, finally surrendering on 122. The second-highest scorer was Richard Johnson with 40. Blackwell explained, "I've changed a few things this year and started to bat on off stump. A lot of bowlers have been going across me because they know that I go at widish balls. The ball's now closer to me if it's slanted across and I'm backing my hand-eye co-ordination to avoid being lbw." The day itself was very cold, with Blackwell saying, "It was absolutely perishing out there. I think play should be abandoned if it gets that cold." After Somerset were dismissed for 272, six Somerset men came out to field sporting woollen hats. Bad light and rain meant the day ended at 2.07pm, with Lancashire on 33 for 1, 84 runs ahead. Whilst a Lancashire victory was not out of the question, the most likely result was the draw.

Lancashire batted on for another 49 overs, scoring 195 for 6 declared, and setting Somerset a target of 247 runs in 31 overs. Paul Horton and Loye put on 94 for the first wicket. But all in all, taking 61 overs to score 195 was hardly declaration batting. Somerset did not go for the win (which would have meant scoring at well over 7 an over), and made 69 for 3 off 22.3 overs before play ended because of bad light. Lancashire's Mal Loye, who fell just short of his century on 92 in the second innings to go with his 53 in the first said, "To get a couple of fifties against a pretty good attack is a good start. It was a pretty difficult pitch to bat on during the first day but it got easier as the match wore on and I was disappointed to miss out. Getting a century is a psychological thing for a batsman. I don't set myself goals or anything like that, but it's always nice to get a hundred." [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC2/SCORECARDS/13-16APR2005/LANCS_SOMERSET_CC2_13-16APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Leicestershire v Durham (13-15 April)

"Durham (22pts) beat Leicestershire (1pt) by an innings and 216 runs"

Durham won the toss against Leicestershire and elected to bat first at Grace Road, Leicester. The first day was dominated by Durham's Australian left-handed opener, Mike Hussey. Hussey may not be good enough to make the Australian Test squad, but he was good to make an undefeated 165 off 290 balls on a flat pitch on the first day. Former England Under-19 batsman Gordon Muchall helped Hussey add 166 for the third-wicket partnership, before being run out for 82. Durham finished day one on 325 for 3.

On the second day, Hussey powered on, and was seventh man out for 253, an innings that included 3 sixes and 33 fours. Durham finally declared on a mammoth 523 for 8 declared off 161 overs. It didn't get much better for Leicestershire when they finally did get to bat on a pitch was much less placid than on the first day. Liam Plunkett soon took their first four wickets, and also had one dropped as Leicestershire struggled to 49 for 4. Leicestershire went on to finish their first innings on 123 all out. Plunkett finished on 5 for 43. Leicestershire were then forced to follow-on exactly 400 behind. They made 10 without loss by the end of the day. Stephen Harmison, England's out of form fast bowler, performed well, but could still not take a wicket and was upstaged by Plunkett.

Durham spent 70.3 third-day overs on the process of finishing off Leicestershire. The good news for England fans will be the return to form of Harmison, who took 4 for 30 as Leicestershire were dismissed for 184. At one stage, Harmison had taken three wickets in a 15-ball spell without conceding a run. Plunkett continued to unsettle the batsmen and finished on 3 for 55. Only one Leicestershire batsman, John Maunders, was able to score a 50. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC2/SCORECARDS/13-16APR2005/LEICS_DURHAM_CC2_13-16APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

MCC Universities matches

Kent v Cardiff UCCE (13-15 April)

"Match drawn"

Kent had a tough rain-affected first day at the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury. They struggled against the bowling of Dai Rushbrook, who took 3 for 25 in 8 overs, and Luke Sellers, who took 2 for 23 in 7. At one point they were reduced to 86 for 6, before recovering to 104 for 6 in the 30 overs the weather allowed them before close of play on the first day. The next two days of this three day match were then both abandoned because of rain. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/KENT_CARDIFF-UCCE_MCC-UNIV_13-15APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Nottinghamshire v Loughborough UCCE (13-15 April)

"Match drawn"

At Trent Bridge Loughborough UCCE won the toss and elected to bat. This allowed Nottinghamshire's Greg Smith to show off his left arm fast-medium bowling that Loughborough's inexperienced students could not cope with. Smith took 5 for 19 as Loughborough UCCE made only 164 to be bowled out before tea. After tea, Darren Bicknell and Jason Gallian scored at a steady 3 runs an over to leave Notts 67 without loss at close on the first day.

The Nottinghamshire innings continued and took up all the second day, and the batsmen got useful match practice before their Championship season started. The highlight was Anurag Singh's 131 from 176 balls with 23 fours and a six. Three other batsmen made half-centuries, including Darren Bicknell, whose 91 took up five minutes short of five hours. The pick of the bowling came from Loughborough UCCE's left-arm spinner David Wainwright. Nottinghamshire were 467 for 8 at close on the second day.

Nottinghamshire continued their innings on the third and final day, allowing Graeme Swann to make his half-century, finishing with 63 off 59 balls. They were finally all out for 532 off 130 overs. Wainwright finished on 4 for 109. This did not leave enough time for Loughborough UCCE to be dismissed a second time. They only needed to survive 47 overs. That seemed in doubt when they tumbled to 38 for 3, before the ship was steadied, and they scored 185 for 4 to claim the draw. Wicket-keeper Paul Harrison scored 54. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/MCC-UNIV/SCORECARDS/NOTTS_L-BOROUGH-UCCE_MCC-UNIV_13-15APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

National Cricket League - Round One

National Cricket League - Division One

Hampshire v Essex (17 April)

"Essex (4pts) beat Hampshire (0pts) by 16 runs (D/L method)"

At the Rose Bowl, Hampshire Hawks batted first, scoring 175 for 9, as Tim Phillips took 3 for 31. It was a good day for spin, with Grant Flower also taking 2 wickets. In reply, Essex Eagles' Will Jefferson was 44 not out, and Essex 69 for 2 off 16 overs when rain put an end to play, leaving Essex the winners on the Duckworth-Lewis method. England's star one-day player of the winter, Kevin Pietersen, managed only 5 off 14 balls for Hampshire before being bowled. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11516/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Lancashire v Glamorgan (17 April)

"Match abandoned - Lancashire (2pts), Glamorgan (2pts)"

Simon Jones took 3 for 19 for the defending champions Glamorgan Dragons took on Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford. Afterwards he said, "The older I've got the easier I've found bowling. My control has got better over the last couple of years and that showed today." Alex Wharf and Robert Croft also both took 2 wickets as Lancashire moved to 160 for 8 off 41.2 overs, with Hogg top-scoring with 41 not out. Rain then brought proceedings to a close. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11513/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Northamptonshire v Worcestershire (17 April)

"Worcestershire (4pts) beat Northamptonshire (0pts) by 31 runs (D/L method)"

At Northampton, Worcestershire Royals captain Vikram Solanki led from the front, scoring 119 off 137 balls, including 13 fours and 1 six. Support from his colleagues took the visitors up to 211 fo 4 off their 45 overs. Worcestershire director of cricket Tom Moody said of Solanki: "I can't see why he won't be in the mix for England section this summer. It depends how the selectors shuffle the deck, but I would imagine he will be in their minds for consideration at the very least. We were very confident he was ready for the challenge of captaincy and he has had a great start."

When Northampstonshire Steelbacks batted, Australian Matt Mason took 3 for 20, to leave Northamptonshire on 137 for 7 off 32.5 overs when rain prevented further play. Worcestershire won easily on the Duckworth-Lewis method. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11514/html/scorecard.stm /BBC scorecard)]

Nottinghamshire v Middlesex (17 April)

"Middlesex (4pts) beat Nottinghamshire (0pts) by 35 runs (D/L method)"

At Trent Bridge, Chad Keegan took career best figures of 6 for 33 as Nottinghamshire Outlaws were bowled out for 173. By the time Keegan had finished they were 75 for 6, but the tail wagged. Middlesex Crusaders scored 91 for 0 off 21.3 overs, thanks to a half-century from Paul Weekes, when rain brought an end to the match. Middlesex were comfortable winners on the Duckworth-Lewis method. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11515/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

National Cricket League - Division Two

Derbyshire v Kent (17 April)

"Match abandoned - Derbyshire (2pts), Kent (2pts)"

Derbyshire, playing for the first time as the "Phantoms" lost the toss and were put in to bat at Derby. Opener Jonathan Moss made free at the start of the innings with 79 off 81 balls before he was bowled by Robert Ferley. His team-mates struggled, with only captain Luke Sutton, with 46, adding much to the score. Derbyshire scored 197 for 8 in their 45 overs. Only 5 overs of Kent Spitfires' innings were possible, in which time they made 9 for no loss. Rain then meant the match was abandoned. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11519/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Leicestershire v Durham (17 April)

"Durham (4pts) beat Leicestershire (0pts) by 9 runs (D/L method)"

Leicestershire Foxes won the toss at Grace Road, Leicester and elected to bat. Liam Plunkett continued his good form, dismissing John Maunders and Aftab Habib early, as the Foxes faltered to 4 for 2. Darren Maddy and HD Ackerman then put on 98 for the third wicket, which helped Leicestershire to 175 for 8 off their 45 overs. Durham Dynamos edged to 85 for 3 from 33 overs, when rain prevented further play, leaving Durham the winners on the Duckworth-Lewis method. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11518/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

urrey v Yorkshire (17 April)

"Yorkshire (4pts) beat Surrey (0pts) by 43 runs"

At the Oval, Yorkshire Phoenix won the toss and batted. Matthew Wood anchored the innings with 111 off 127 balls, Australian Ian Harvey plundered 69 from 48, and Harvey's compatriot Phil Jaques took 49 from 39. Yorkshire ended on 334 for 5, a record score for them in the Sunday League against Surrey Lions. In reply Surrey tried to knock off their target in sixes, with 9 coming in their innings. Ali Brown scored 5 of them as he plundered 86 off 46. But wickets fell, and Surrey's specialist bowlers were not renowned for their batting abilities. When Brown was out, Surrey were 261 for 6, and still leading on Duckworth-Lewis. However, with no recognised batsmen left, only a Yorkshire victory was likely. When Mohammad Akram was stumped off a no ball, Surrey were 291 all out, 43 runs in arrears. The pick of the Yorkshire bowling was captain Craig White with 4 for 14 in 4 overs. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11520/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Warwickshire v Somerset (17 April)

"Match abandoned - Warwickshire (2pts), Somerset (2pts)"

Warwickshire won the toss at Edgbaston and put Somerset in to bat. Michael Burns dominated proceedings with his 107 from 134 balls, supported by Keith Parsons' 51 and James Hildreth's 54, as Somerset scored 254 for 5 in their 45 overs. However, then bad weather put an end to the day's play before Warwickshire had a chance to bat. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11517/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

County Championship - Round Two

Frizzell County Championship - Division One

Kent v Warwickshire (20-23 April)

"Kent (10pts) drew with Warwickshire (10pts)"

The first day at the St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury saw Warwickshire and England left arm spin bowler Ashley Giles take 5 for 86, and Martin van Jaarsveld 118 as Kent finished on 342 for 9. At the end of a second day, Kent took their score to 347. Nick Knight, who scored 100, and Ian Bell, with 63, got Warwickshire off to a good start. But from 179 for 1, Min Patel and Amjad Khan bowled Kent into the match. Warwickshire finished the day on 288 for 7 off 100 overs.

On the third day, Warwickshire were soon finished off for 309, 38 behind Kent. The Dane Khan did the brunt of the damage, finishing with on 6 for 73. Then van Jaarsveld and David Fulton played with great determination and put together their second century stand of the game with 155. At close, Kent were 308 for 6, 346 ahead, and they declared overnight.

On a fourth-day pitch favouring the spinners, Warwickshire found themselves in deep trouble on 73 for 5. If Kent were to finish champions, they really should have won from that position, but Tony Frost and Alex Loudon had different ideas when they batted throughout the whole afternoon session. After tea, Patel took three quick wickets, and Kent again looked on course for the win. But Frost, who scored 82, survived throughout the entire evening session, and after the ninth wicket fell, last man Neil Warren survived for 15 balls to earn Warwickshire the draw. They were 233 for 9 at stumps. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11521/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Middlesex v Nottinghamshire (20-23 April)

"Middlesex (9pts) drew with Nottinghamshire (12pts)"

The first day at Lord's saw Nottinghamshire, who were put in to bat, progress to 399 for 6, thanks to 117 not out from Australian David Hussey. Alan Richardson starred for Middlesex, taking 5 wickets on his county debut.

Nottinghamshire batted on to 546 all out on the second day, despite losing Hussey for just one more added run. Paul Franks scored a century, and Richardson increased his tally to 7 for 113. In response to this, Middlesex fared poorly, whilst fast-medium bowler Greg Smith removed the top order. The home side finished on 167 for 6, but were rescued on the third day when Irishman Ed Joyce took his score up to 192. Middlesex finished on 345, 201 behind. Stephen Fleming chose not to enforce the follow-on, and amassed a lead of 413 when they declared on 212 for 5. Maybe the Notts bowlers were tired, but it seemed like negative play with rain predicted for the fourth day.

And the rain did come, with only 57 overs possible. Middlesex had progressed to 158 for 2 before play was abandoned, which suggested Notts might have struggled to win anyway. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC1/SCORECARDS/20-23APR2005/MIDDX_NOTTS_CC1_20-23APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

ussex v Hampshire (20-23 April)

"Sussex (9pts) drew with Hampshire (9pts)"

Hampshire finished the first day on top at Hove. Sussex, despite a century from Michael Yardy, were all out for 252, with Chris Tremlett taking 6 for 44. In reply, the visitors reached 67 for 1. Only for the position to be reversed on the second day, as they were dismissed for 280, with James Kirtley claiming 4 and Robin Martin-Jenkins 3 wickets. Sussex finished on 101 for 2.

The game remained evenly poised on the third day, but with Sussex slightly in the lead, with rain predicted for the fourth. Sussex took their score on to 312, thereby setting a target of 285. Hampshire were on 89 for 3 at the end of day three. With rain predicted on the fourth day, the game could have gone any one of four ways. Kevin Pietersen (61), assisted by Sean Ervine (57), took the challenge to Sussex - and the game was always in the balance. When the eighth wicket fell, the score was on 256 for 8. And with 29 required off 34 balls, the game looked set for one of those exciting finishes that only the longer form of the game can provide. Disappointingly for the crowd, Hampshire captain Shane Warne ordered his batsmen to shut up shop. Sussex were unable to take the final two wickets, and on 267 for 8, the game was drawn. Hampshire finished the day second behind Warwickshire, but the ten points given up here had crucial repercussions later on in the season. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC1/SCORECARDS/20-23APR2005/SUSSEX_HANTS_CC1_20-23APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Frizzell County Championship - Division Two

Durham v Worcestershire (20-21 April)

"Durham (19pts) beat Worcestershire (3pts) by 7 wickets"

Worcestershire won the toss at Chester-le-Street and chose to bat first. Stephen Peters and Stephen Moore started them off well as they moved to 75 without loss. Then Mark Davies, who is fighting for his first-team place, took six wickets to reduce them to 120, before Steve Harmison (3 wickets) and Paul Collingwood (1 wicket) finished off the tail to reduce Worcestershire to 171 all out. Collingwood then returned with the bat and got to 88 not out, to leave Durham well-placed on 139 for 2 at close.

On the second day, Collingwood completed his century, finally falling for 129 when Durham were 229 for 4. The Durham tail did not back up the start given to them by the specialist batsmen, however, and they were all out for 286, a lead of 115. Liam Plunkett, who had a good first game but a quiet first innings in this second game, then returned to knock out three top-order wickets. The rest of the bowling unit performed well, and Steve Harmison took a hat-trick on his way to 5 for 61. Harmison later said, "The way I was feeling, my tail was up and I felt I could go through them. The position they were in I don’t think they were too keen to hang around. Before the last ball [of the hat-trick] , I felt confident. It was a decent ball in a decent area and I was glad when he [David Wigley] chopped it on."

Chaminda Vaas top-scored with 42 not out, as Worcester were all out for 146. This left Durham a target of only 32 to win, which they got for the loss of 3 wickets to win with two days spare. [http://www.cricinfo.com/link_to_database/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC2/SCORECARDS/20-23APR2005/DURHAM_WORCS_CC2_20-23APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Northamptonshire v Leicestershire (20-23 April)

"Northamptonshire (12pts) drew with Leicestershire (9pts)"

The first day at Northampton saw only 26.2 overs, during which Northamptonshire progressed to 90 for no loss. On the second day Bilal Shafayat (59), Martin Love (50), David Sales (113), Damien Wright (95) and Gerard Brophy (52) all contributed with the bat, as the hosts moved to 433 for 6 declared. However, Northamptonshire bowled without luck, allowing Leicestershire to score 69 for 0 at close.

On the third day, Leicestershire progressed to 339 all out, with Darren Robinson scoring 100. However, the innings was controversial, with three debatable decisions going against the visitors. First Robinson was given out caught, when the ball probably hit his forearm. Then HD Ackerman was out leg before to a delivery that looked high. Then, at 220 for 5 Aftab Habib edged Jason Brown low to Martin Love at first slip. Habib thought it had not carried, and Love and one umpire were not sure. The other umpire said he was out, so off Habib went. But he returned to confront Shafayat who taunted Habib on the dismissal. Northamptonshire progressed to 45 for 0 at close.

The fourth day saw the game peter out to a draw, as a late declaration, with the score on 238 for 3, left Northamptonshire just less than two session to dismiss Leicestershire, who were set an unrealistic target of 333 to win in 58 overs. Leicestershire were 115 for 4 when the draw was agreed with 11 overs still available. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11524/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Yorkshire v Somerset (20-23 April)

"Yorkshire (22pts) beat Somerset (3pts) by an innings and 44 runs"

Rain meant no play was possible on the first day at Headingley. The second day was dominated by Ian Harvey, who, at close, was on a career-best 161 not out after being dropped by Andrew Caddick on 96. Yorkshire were on 401 for 7. Matthew Wood had added 95 in 174 balls earlier in the day.

The third day Somerset acting captain, Marcus Trescothick, was away, as his first child was born in the night. On the field Yorkshire declared on 501 for 9, after Harvey got 209 not out, and Tim Bresnan 74. Their eighth-wicket partnership of 238 is the second-highest for Yorkshire after the 292 put on by Lord Hawke and Bobby Peel in 1896. Somerset, batting with 10 men, lost opener Sanath Jayasuriya for 0 after 3 balls, and were all out for 182. Following on Somerset plummeted to 10 for 3, and then 37 for 4 (which, given Trescothick's absence, meant that they only had five batsmen left). However, they avoided losing further wickets on the third day, finishing on 109 for 4 at close, still 310 runs behind.

Somerset clung on for 66 overs on the fourth and final day, with John Francis carrying his bat for 125 as they recovered to 275. This left Yorkshire with their first win of the campaign, and a comprehensive victory. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11525/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

MCC Universities matches

Oxford UCCE v Derbyshire (20-22 April)

"Match drawn"

The first day at the Parks left Derbyshire at 225 for 8 at close. After recent rain in Oxford, and with a swinging ball in hand, the Oxford UCCE bowlers were commendably accurate. If 2 or 3 more catches had been taken, the scoreline would have looked even more impressive for the students.

On the second day, after Derbyshire moved to 246 all out, Luke Parker, a Warwickshire signing, scored 89 to help Oxford to 245 for 5, just one run behind Derbyshire. The third day saw Oxford UCCE consolidate their lead, and they were finally all out for 372, a lead of 126. The student bowlers were not up to the task of dismissing Derbyshire a second time in the 53 overs that remained. Indeed, they fared poorly, as Jonathan Moss scored 109 not out, with the game ending when the visitors declared on 226 for 2. [http://uk.cricinfo.com/link_to_database/NEW/LIVE/frames/OX-UCCE_DERBY_MCC-UNIV_20-22APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

urrey v Bradford/Leeds UCCE (20-22 April)

"Bradford/Leeds UCCE beat Surrey by 4 wickets"

The first day at the Oval went according to the script. Surrey piled on 433 for 7 declared, with Richard Clinton scoring a century, and then Bradford/Leeds UCCE got to 31 for 2 by stumps. Rikki Clarke twisted his ankle, and would not bowl again in the match.On the second day, the match changed. Bradford/Leeds UCCE, thanks to Adam Patel (54), James Duffy (64) and a defiant last wicket partnership of 86 between Tom Glover (42*) and Simon Crampton (42), took their score to 333, a deficit of 100. Even worse news for Surrey was a tear to Ian Salisbury's intercostal muscle which put him out of the rest of the game, and a re-aggravated hamstring injury to Martin Bicknell that stopped him bowling further in the match. Surrey then faltered with the bat, finishing the game on 132 for 6.

On the last day, Surrey were dismissed for 217 (although Ian Salisbury was absent hurt), with Glover taking 4 for 47. This left the students with a target of 318 runs off 70 overs. Very much to their credit, they went for it. Thomas Merilaht (56), Duffy (49 in 41 balls), Ryan Bradshaw (89* in 95 balls) and Mohammad Ali (27* off 22 balls) treated the sparse crowd to the sight of a UCCE team consistently finding the boundaries against a spread out field. Bradshaw hit 5 sixes and 8 fours in a match-winning innings. Whilst it was against a second-string Surrey attack (Clarke, Salisbury and Bicknell did not bowl) Bradford/Leeds UCCE were delighted to win with 2.1 overs remaining. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11528/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

National League - Division One

Floodlit game - 22 April

Glamorgan v Essex (22 April)

"Match abandoned - Glamorgan (2pts), Essex (2pts)"

This match, which was scheduled to be played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff was abandoned without a ball being bowled. It was the first time for almost eight years a one-day league match at Cardiff has ended as a no-result. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/counties/4472279.stm (BBC scorecard)]

National Cricket League - Round Two

National Cricket League - Division One

Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire (24 April)

"Northamptonshire (4pts) beat Gloucestershire (0pts) by 9 runs"

Northamptonshire Steelbacks batted first at Bristol. Two quick wickets reduced them to 14 for 2. It was a slow pitch that was not conducive to a high score, but they made their way to 202 for 7 off their 45 overs, thanks in part to Damien Wright smashing three sixes in four balls in the penultimate over, and thanks to Gloucestershire Gladiators dropping three catches.

In reply Northamptonshire took wickets regularly leaving the hosts on 111 for 5. There was a recovery of sorts after that, led by Alex Gidman's 71, but the hosts were always on the back foot from there. Eventually they finished on 193 for 8, a deficit of 9 runs. Four Northamptonshire bowlers got two wickets each, Welshman Steffan Jones getting them for the fewest runs, as he conceded only 29. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/NLF/SCORECARDS/22-24APR2005/GLOUCS_NORTHANTS_NLF_24APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Middlesex v Lancashire (24 April)

"Middlesex (4pts) beat Lancashire (0pts) by 69 runs"

Lancashire Lightning won the toss at Lord's and put Middlesex Crusaders in. This looked the right decision as Lancashire's seam and swing bowling attack saw Middlesex fall to 6 for 3, and then 37 for 6. The Crusaders were then rescued by James Dalrymple, who took 81 off 82 balls to take them to 210 for 9 in their 45 overs.

Lancashire's reply started to come unstuck when both openers, Stuart Law and Ian Sutcliffe, fell in successive balls with the score on 23. The game saw the return of Andrew Flintoff, back after his operation and playing just as a batsman. But he couldn't stop the rot and made only 17 before falling lbw to Scott Styris. The Lightning were finally all out for 141 and Middlesex completed their second win in two matches. All eleven bowlers used in the match got at least one wicket, but the most prolific wicket-taker, Kyle Hogg, also conceded the most runs. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/NLF/SCORECARDS/22-24APR2005/MIDDX_LANCS_NLF_24APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

National Cricket League - Division Two

Durham v Surrey (24 April)

"Durham (4pts) beat Surrey (0pts) by 138 runs"

Durham Dynamos continued their perfect start to the season with an emphatic win at Chester-le-Street. Surrey Lions chose to bowl first, and Tim Murtagh with 3 for 12 performed well. But Dale Benkenstein and Gordon Muchall put on 100 together to help the Dynamos to 224 for 8. For the Lions it all went wrong between the sixth and eighth overs, during which they lost four wickets for two runs to plummet to 27 for 4. Liam Plunkett and Benkenstein took 4 wickets each as Surrey were dismissed for 86 in 30.1 overs. It's early in the season, but already Surrey are looking weak after their fourth successive match without a victory. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/NLS/SCORECARDS/24APR2005/DURHAM_SURREY_NLS_24APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Kent v Leicestershire (24 April)

"Kent (4pts) beat Leicestershire (0pts) by 6 runs (D/L method)"

At Canterbury Leicestershire Foxes scored 214 from their 45 overs, with Dinesh Mongia contributing 62. Martin Saggers, who is not yet fully fit, took 3 for 46 for the Kent Spitfires. In reply, England openers Robert Key and Geraint Jones both failed, before South Africa's Martin van Jaarsveld continued his great start to the season with an unbeaten 69. Kent were 150 for 4 after 33.5 overs when rain and bad light brought an end to a closely-fought game, which Kent took after being ahead according to the Duckworth-Lewis method. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/NLS/SCORECARDS/24APR2005/KENT_LEICS_NLS_24APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

ussex v Derbyshire (24 April)

"Sussex (4pts) beat Derbyshire (0pts) by 2 runs (D/L method)"A close game at Hove saw the Sharks defeat the Phantoms by 2 runs, after Tom Lungley went for, and failed to get, a six of the last ball to win the game. It was a high scoring affair, and halfway through their overs Sussex looked on target for a big total approaching 300. However, Derbyshire did well to peg them back to 254 to 8.

Rain delayed the restart, and left the Phantoms with 205 to win off 32 overs. They were always behind par, but never quite gave up. Indeed Graeme Welch nearly won it for them with 42 off 24 balls, which included three huge sixes. However, wickets tumbled, leaving Tom Lungley with the last ball to score six. To his credit, he went for it and could have won, but fell short and was run out. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/NLS/SCORECARDS/24APR2005/SUSSEX_DERBY_NLS_24APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Yorkshire v Somerset (24 April)

"Yorkshire (4pts) beat Somerset (0pts) by 5 wickets"

The home side won easily at Headingley. The Sabres batted first and made 209 for 9 in their 45 overs, with four batsmen out with scores between 25 and 40. Former England Under-19 player Tim Bresnan took four for 25 for Yorkshire Phoenix. Yorkshire were always in control, thanks to a third-wicket partnership of 84 in 15 overs between Phil Jaques, who scored 84 off 78 balls, and Michael Lumb. Despite two late wickets, Yorkshire finished in style to win by 5 wickets with 32 balls remaining. [http://live.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/NLS/SCORECARDS/24APR2005/YORKS_SOMERSET_NLS_24APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

County Championship - Round Three

Frizzell County Championship -Division One

Glamorgan v Surrey (27-30 April)

"Surrey (18pts) beat Glamorgan (5pts) by five wickets"

Glamorgan batted first at Cardiff, coming out finally at 2.30pm as rain delayed the start. Matthew Elliott was then dismissed first ball. It did get better for the Welsh side though, as Mark Wallace put on 86 from 107 and was still there at the close of play. Surrey probably had the best of the day, which ended with the Dragons on 238 for 9. However, it could have been a lot worse for Glamorgan, as David Hemp was dropped three times. Mohammad Akram got good rewards for his bowling, taking four wickets.

Glamorgan picked up 12 more runs to finish on 250. Then, on another rain affected day, Surrey moved to 162 for 4. The day's highlight was an innings by Mark Ramprakash, Surrey's stand-in captain, who became the second man still playing to pass 25,000 runs. He finished the day on 72 not out. The second day ended with Surrey on 162 for 4.

Ramprakash completed his century on the third day, but only Rikki Clarke (35) gave him any sort of support, and Surrey were bowled out for 248. Surrey had a two-run deficit to catch up with, but they did it, mainly thanks to Jimmy Ormond. Ormond swung his way to 7 for 63, helping Surrey on their way to victory. Ormond reduced Glamorgan to 15 for 2 by lunch and 87 for 7 in the 19th over. Glamorgan recovered, but only to 173, setting a target of 176. Surrey sped towards their target and were 122 for 4 off 26 overs at close, Ramprakash on 49.

It didn't take Surrey long on the final day to wrap up victory, and they only lost one wicket in the 10 overs it took. Ramprakash again was the mainstay of the innings and was not out for 68 when the winning runs came. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11537/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Gloucestershire v Kent (27-30 April)

"Gloucestershire (8pts) drew with Kent (11pts)"

Play started at 4.30pm on the first day at Bristol. Kent progressed to 66 for 2 at close, with Robert Key (26) and Matthew Walker (22) the not out batsmen. On the second day, Key and Walker proceeded to their centuries. Key top-scored with 164, an innings which gave him a good shout for the No.3 spot in the England national team. When Walker was third man out with the score on 260, it precipitated a minor collapse, and Kent finished the second day on 339 for 6.

On the third day Kent lost their last four wickets in 40 minutes, finishing on 359. Gloucestershire, however, lost wickets steadily, and would have lost more had Kent not dropped four chances. Chris Taylor, the Gloucester captain, was the mainstay of the innings with a painstaking 66 from 173 balls. They finished the day on 208 for 7, 2 away from saving the follow-on, and most probably the match as well.

Gloucestershire added 40 runs on the last day, and then Kent batted out the day for a draw, finishing on 229 for 5 declared. Walker and Stevens had time to score half-centuries, and Geraint Jones had some useful batting practice in getting to 36 not out, but there was never much prospect of a result once the follow-on was saved. Kent captain David Fulton said, "If there had been any realistic chance of a result we would have been happy to go for it. But the pitch has just got flatter, and it was obvious we couldn't really hope to bowl them out quickly." [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11536/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Nottinghamshire v Sussex (27-30 April)

"Nottinghamshire (22pts) beat Sussex (6pts) by ten wickets"

Only 36.3 overs were possible on the first day at Trent Bridge. Sussex batted first and, despite losing 2 early wickets, were 116 for 2 at close, with Michael Yardy (38) and Murray Goodwin (33) the not out batsmen. Yardy went on to make a half-century, as did wicket-keeper Matthew Prior and Robin Martin-Jenkins, but no-one went further than 66 on the second day, as Sussex were dismissed for 379. Nottinghamshire progressed slowly, and were 32 for no loss off 15 overs at close.

The third day was all Nottinghamshire's. Jason Gallian made his highest score for the county, 199, while Stephen Fleming, who took over as captain from Gallian this season, made 111. Both were run out by precise throws from Ian Ward and Mushtaq Ahmed respectively. David Hussey (89) and Chris Read (45 not out) gave good support as Notts reached 488 for 6 at close.

On the fourth day, Nottinghamshire declared after 5.5 overs on 509 for 8, a lead of 130. If they were to win, they'd have to dismiss Sussex quickly. This they did. Ryan Sidebottom took 4 for 15 as Sussex were dismissed for 159, despite a two-hour 49 from Martin-Jenkins. Darren Bicknell and Jason Gallian only needed 5.5 overs to knock off the 30 runs needed to win. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC1/SCORECARDS/27-30APR2005/NOTTS_SUSSEX_CC1_27-30APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Warwickshire v Middlesex (27-30 April)

"Warwickshire (22pts) beat Middlesex (5pts) by seven wickets"

Middlesex batted first at Edgbaston. Their Irish left-hander, Ed Joyce, was the anchor of the innings making 92 as he took his side from 56 for 4 to 253 for 7. He was assisted by a quick-fire half-century from Scott Styris, an innings somewhat out of pace with his team-mates' innings. They were finally all out for 298. Warwickshire lost 2 wickets in scoring 18 by the close. Only 68 overs were possible on the second day. Ian Bell dominated, setting out his case for an England call-up, with 143 not out. He said, "If I was to play for England, I'd bat anywhere I was told to bat. Just to play would be great. I'm batting at three for Warwickshire and enjoying it. I know there’s some competition [for Test places] and there's a lot being talked about it. I've just got to concentrate on scoring as many runs as I can for Warwickshire." No other player scored so freely though, and Warwickshire ended the day on 277 for 6.

On the third day, England spin bowler Ashley Giles, who notched up 62, stayed with him. Bell was finally run out for a seven-hour 231 as Warwickshire closed on 430. Giles then starred with the ball, taking two wickets as Middlesex finished on 137 for 3 at stumps. On the fourth day, Giles tripled his tally to end with 6, as Middlesex faltered to 246 despite 63 from Joyce. That left Warwickshire needing only 115 to win, and despite Paul Hutchison taking two wickets, Bell led his team to a seven-wicket victory by scoring 47. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/ENG_LOCAL/CC1/SCORECARDS/27-30APR2005/WARWICKS_MIDDX_CC1_27-30APR2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

Frizzell County Championship - Division Two

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire (27-30 April)

"Northamptonshire (12pts) drew with Derbyshire (6pts)"

Northamptonshire batted first at Derby, and openers Bilal Shafayat and Martin Love took them to the sword, though Derbyshire dropped them both. Shafayat finished the first day unbeaten on a career-best 156 from 267 balls; Love was on 129 off 233 balls; Northants were on 292.

Shafayat added only 5 to his overnight score before being lbw, but Love went on to 168. Northamptonshire finally declared on 451 for 7. In reply, Derbyshire regularly lost wickets, finishing the second day on 135 for 4. On the third day, Johann Louw took 6 for 71 to force Derbyshire to follow on 210 in arrears. However, Derbyshire fared much better in their second innings - with both openers undefeated and their score on 119, 91 behind with one day to play. Rain then wiped out the final day's play. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11541/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

omerset v Essex (27-30 April)

"Essex (22pts) beat Somerset (2pts) by nine wickets"

On 35 overs were possible on the first day. On a green Taunton pitch, Somerset fared poorly against Essex's seam attack. Alex Tudor, who had moved from Surrey, took the first two wickets, including Marcus Trescothick for 4. Somerset were on 119 for 5 at stumps.

Somerset were soon dismissed on the Thursday for 190. Essex's youngsters, Alastair Cook, who looked to be headed for an England call-up before long, and Ravinder Bopara, aged 20 and 19 respectively, made merry with the bat. Although the pitch did not seam as much as the first day, they put on 181 together. Cook was finally out bowled for 111, and Bopara not out for 71 at close, with Essex on 224 for 3, 34 runs ahead.

Bopara could not add to his overnight total on the third day, as he was caught off Richard Johnson's bowling. But Essex were able to take control, finally declaring on 427 for 8 when Tudor was run out for 57. Somerset's fast bowlers, Johnson and Andrew Caddick had picked up three wickets each, but had not been able to stop the flow of runs. Foster was not out on 78 when the declaration came. In reply, Somerset fared okay till Trescothick went with the score on 57, and then, at 65 for 1, Andre Adams, Essex's New Zealand import took a hat-trick. Michael Burns edged an outswinger, and Sanath Jayasuriya and James Hildreth were both leg before. With Adams picking up one more wicket before the close of play, Somerset finished on 128 for 5, still 109 runs off making Essex bat again.

On the Saturday, Somerset's tail was quickly reduced to 180 for 8. There was then something of a rearguard action with 63 put on by Caddick and Robert Turner for the ninth wicket, and Turner and Nixon McLean putting on 70 for the tenth. This left Essex with a target of 77 to win, which they did easily with the loss of just one wicket. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11540/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Worcestershire v Lancashire (27-30 April)

"Lancashire (17pts) beat Worcestershire (6pts) by 76 runs"

Lancashire batted first after losing the toss at Worcester, and were soon in trouble. At 81 for 3, Andrew Flintoff, playing his first first-class match after returning from injury, came to the crease. However, after facing 5 balls he was back in the Pavilion without scoring. It got worse for Lancashire as they fell to 97 for 6 and 196 all out, mostly thanks to an unbeaten 69 from wicket-keeper Warren Hegg. In reply, Worcestershire lost Stephen Moore early, but Graeme Hick and Stephen Peters were there at close, with Worcestershire on 59 for 1.

Hick dominated the second day's play as he moved from 32 not out to 176 in 231 balls, his 127th first-class century and his 97th for Worcestershire. This now puts him tenth in the list of all-time century makers, just ahead of WG Grace. However, no other Worcester player scored more than 27 as Muttiah Muralitharan picked up 5 wickets, and they finished on 306, 110 ahead. Lancashire were 47 for 1 in reply at stumps.

There was cheer for England fans on the third day, as the England regular Flintoff was back to his belligerent best, scoring 83 from 101 balls. Stuart Law also made 83, but was slower, taking 152 balls. With support from Dominic Cork (57), Lancashire were able to set a fair target. Their 377 left Worcestershire 268 to win. They lost Peters first ball, and Moore also fell, but with Lancashire pitching short to Hick, it was 58 for 2 at close.

On the final day, 3 wickets from each of Dominic Cork and Muttiah Muralitharan helped dismiss Worcestershire for 191 runs, with David Wigley unable to bat because of a broken hand sustained when James Anderson bowled a beamer at him in the first innings. After the match Cork talking about his match performance of 7 for 115 said, "The ball is coming out well at the moment. I've worked hard with Mike Watkinson over the winter with it. It's early season and these sort of conditions suit a bowler like myself." Watkinson, in response, spoke of Lancashire's determination to get straight back into the first Division after the disappointment of relegation last season, ""We talked about the start of the season and the need to start well and to get a positive number in the wins column is a good feeling. We have two home games now coming up against Derbyshire and Durham and maybe we can kick on from here." [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11539/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

MCC Universities matches

Hampshire v Cardiff UCCE (27-29 April)

"Hampshire beat Cardiff UCCE by 95 runs"

On the first, rain-affected day Hampshire progressed to 299 for 4 off 76 overs, with Michael Brown putting on 93 at the Rose Bowl. On day 2, Hampshire declared on their overnight score and bowled out Cardiff UCCE. Cardiff UCCE's Christopher Salmons scored 84 not out, an innings that included six fours and five sixes, which made up nearly half of the students' total of 169. Hampshire were 80 for 3, 210 runs ahead, at close. On the third and final day Hampshire declared on 146 for 6, setting a target of 277. Wickets fell at regular intervals, and there was just enough time for Cardiff UCCE to be bowled out for a second time for 181. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11543/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

Leicestershire v Durham UCCE (27-29 April)

"Match drawn"

Leicestershire batted first at Grace Road, and Darren Maddy made the most of his chance against the students. He has scored only one Championship ton in the last two seasons, but got to 124 on the first day. At close, Leicestershire were on 288 for 3. On the second day, they declared on 384 for 4. Durham UCCE went slowly. David Brown finished the day, having batted for over 4 hours and through 237 balls to get an undefeated 68. But after being reduced to 12 for 3, that's exactly what the students needed. They finished on 169 for 6 off 79 overs, 216 behind, but well on the way towards saving the game. On the third day, Durham UCCE went on to score 255 thanks to 73 from David Balcombe, avoiding the follow-on and saving the game. It was only batting practice from there with Leicestershire ending on 187 for 4. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/4/11542/html/scorecard.stm (BBC scorecard)]

References

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk BBC.co.uk]
* [http://www.cricinfo.com Cricinfo]
*"The Times"


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