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Author Archive for Graham Hardcastle at The Oval

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County cricket: Surrey v Yorkshire, Notts v Lancs and more – live!

All the action across the County ChampionshipUpdates on Ireland’s first Test against PakistanKeep up with all today’s cricket news 10.36am BST Saturday was a day for two centurions who are very much in the category of England hopefuls; Keaton Jennings …

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Championship round-up: Ollie Pope century helps Surrey keep faith

• Young batsman turned match round against Yorkshire• Lancashire dismiss Division One leaders Notts for 133In the youngster Ollie Pope Surrey have a batsman to watch. The 20-year-old scored his third hundred in 10 first-class matches to turn day one ag…

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Kevin Pietersen leaves Surrey to focus on Twenty20 game in Caribbean

• Surrey 448 and 186-0 dec; Lancashire 429 (match drawn)
• Pietersen will now concentrate on crash, bang, wallop of Twenty20

Kevin Pietersen has played his last first-class match before heading to the Caribbean Premier League, and quite possibly the last of his career. The 34-year-old has opted not to play in Surrey’s next Championship fixture against Leicestershire at Grace Road on Sunday, though he will play in a T20 Blast game against Sussex at Arundel a week later.

With chances of a Test recall gone, Pietersen will concentrate on the crash, bang, wallop of Twenty20 having played in this weather-affected draw against the Division Two leaders Lancashire, who would have been the happier of the two teams with the outcome. Pietersen will start his second spell with St Lucia Zouks on 21 June, six days before his 35th birthday, and will sit down with Surrey for talks in late July. It would be a shock to see him batting against a red ball again, however.

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Lancashire’s James Faulkner relishes his century against Surrey

• Surrey 448; Lancashire 342-8
• Faulkner and Jordan Clark put on seventh-wicket stand of 183

James Faulkner has maintained a strict diet of Twenty20 and one-day cricket in recent times, with the Australian all-rounder only making a dozen first-class appearances, including a solitary Test, in the last two years. His most recent assignments have included a successful World Cup campaign on home soil and time at the Indian Premier League. For the next three months, his focus is very much on red ball cricket as he bids to help Lancashire out of Division Two and further his Test ambitions. So a debut 121 off 152 balls, his first in first-class cricket, was not a bad way to start.

The Tasmanian, 25, strikes you as the sort to relish a challenge such as the one he faced upon his arrival at the crease after lunch. Lancashire were 102 for five and in the midst of a loss of three for 17. They soon slipped to 108 for six. Key batsman Ashwell Prince had been dismissed, as had Alviro Petersen, and they were two of four wickets to fall during a nervy afternoon. Lancashire needed to reach 299 to avoid having to follow on, and they did so late in the day on the back of a seventh-wicket stand of 183 inside 47 overs between Faulkner and Jordan Clark, another man whose short career has been white ball heavy.

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Surrey’s Jason Roy helps international cause with ton off Lancashire

• Surrey 435-8 v Lancashire
• Roy could be named in one-day squad to face New Zealand

If Jason Roy is selected in England’s squad for their one-day series against New Zealand, this was not a bad way to prepare. A different coloured ball, yes. Different coloured clothing, yes. But a sixth first-class career hundred was scored with a freedom that would not compare unfavourably to Brendon McCullum’s swashbucklers.

Roy will hope to add to his one T20 and one one-day international cap during the next few weeks, though that is not the extent of his international ambition. He wants to play Test cricket. A few more innings such as this 143 off 166 balls, including 19 fours and two sixes, and he will be very much on the right path to a middle-order position.

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Lancashire make promising start to shackle Surrey and Kevin Pietersen

• Surrey 145-4 v Lancashire
• Pietersen dismissed for two as Lancashire dominate first day

It is a funny old game. The last time Kevin Pietersen batted, he hit 36 fours and 15 sixes off 396 balls in scoring 355 runs against Leicestershire here in early May. Having recovered from a calf injury, he strode to the crease on Sunday and made two off three, edging a beauty from Kyle Jarvis to first slip.

Pietersen could do little about his dismissal during a day badly affected by weather. Three balls into the evening, he was undone by a rising delivery which left him off the pitch and was comfortably taken by Paul Horton, leaving Surrey at 52 for three in the 26th over.

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