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Category: Kent

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All-round brilliance of James Harris drives Middlesex to win over Northants

• Former champions demoted in 2017 are first to triumph this season• Harris takes most wickets and makes highest score in gameAnd so the first spoils of the 2018 Specsavers County Championship went to Middlesex, champions of 2016 but demoted to Divisio…

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County Championship roundup: Kent and Northants suffer stunning collapses

• Kent bowled out for 64 in 18.5 overs by Gloucestershire• Middlesex’s James Harris takes five-for against NorthantsAnd so within 48 hours the County Championship swung from the damply ridiculous to the calamitously camp. A combination of pitches sweat…

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James Vince back to frustrating best as rain hits County Championship return

• Hampshire batsman hits rapid 75 before missing straight ball• Four games are washed out without a ball being bowledIt is not supposed to start with a whimper. Six Championship games: four called off without a ball bowled, at Headingley, Old Trafford,…

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County Championship: fans of all 18 counties preview the cricket season

How is your team shaping up? Fans give their verdicts on the season aheadI thought we’d narrowly avoid relegation before last season, so found our Championship win quite astonishing. But Simon Harmer won’t be the same unknown quantity this season and J…

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County Championship 2018: how will your team perform this season?

With the new county cricket season beginning next week, we’d like to hear your hopes for the summer aheadThe weather is looking a bit kinder than in recent weeks and soon cricket grounds around the country will be hosting domestic games. Friday 13 Apri…

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From Catford to the Caribbean: a young cricketer’s good news story | Barney Ronay

This is a tale from beyond finishing schools of inner-city talent, passion and dedication being rewarded with an opportunityA few years back I wrote in these pages about the death, or rather enforced euthanasia, of Lewisham cricket, another minor stage…

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Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone hits double century against Warwickshire

• England prospect scores unbeaten 215 to build massive lead
• Essex bowlers bring leaders back into the game against Somerset

The sense that Liam Livingstone is a rare talent who will end up playing all three formats for England was emphatically strengthened by his brilliant maiden double-century for Lancashire against Warwickshire at Old Trafford.

Livingstone’s unbeaten 215 (from 318 balls with 25 fours and three sixes, one of which – a pull off Olly Stone – brought up his century) leaves Lancashire 284 runs ahead with four first-innings wickets in hand at the game’s halfway stage. A golden opportunity awaits to close the gap on the Division One leaders Essex before their visit to Old Trafford next week. Lancashire will go into that game second, and look the team best placed to haul Essex down.

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County cricket talking points: Imran Tahir proves worth and Adam Lyth revitalised by record

Derbyshire reach T20 Blast quarter-finals while Yorkshire miss out despite a milestone but can separation by net run rate be made less opaque?

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Fifteen of 18 counties eyed scoreboards anxiously on the last day of the T20 Blast group stages as, after all those weeks of matches, only three (including Durham) had no chance of making the quarter-finals. Is that a testimony to the competitiveness of the format or a condemnation of the foolishness of hijacking high summer for a lot of sound and fury that ultimately signified nothing? Soon we will have two chances to consider that conundrum. Leicestershire won’t be too bothered about such musings as they secured their spot in the last eight with a victory over the team of the season (so far) Nottinghamshire, who had already topped the North Group. The most fantastic Mr Foxes proved to be Cameron Delport and Matt Pillans, the former making a century, the latter defending seven off the last over. Both are South African-born, somewhat nondescript (for this level) players, whose faces will not be screaming out of the knockout stages marketing posters. Good on them but also, I’m afraid, as the young people say, meh.

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County cricket talking points: Ross Whiteley hits six sixes … and loses

Ross Whiteley scored 37 in one over for Worcestershire but David Willey’s 118 helped Yorkshire win the match and climb to the top of their T20 Blast group

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Kevin Pietersen’s Surrey (see what I did there) top the South Group after a couple of strange matches at The Oval. On Wednesday, a raucous (but not too raucous) capacity crowd saw him almost single-handedly get Surrey up to 150, a score that proved good enough on a slow pitch exploited with Yorkshire nous by Gareth Batty, whose four overs brought him 2-19. But back to Pietersen, as always seems to be the case. Having been badly dropped at cow corner by Dan Lawrence and “running” like a stiff Alastair Cook, he appeared to decide to hit sixes and five of the match’s eight flew off his bat. In more ways than one, he played like a right-handed version of Chris Gayle – whether that is a good look these days remains to be seen. It worked in this match, no other batsman crossing 30, as Essex fell 11 short of their target.

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County Championship roundup: George Bailey helps Hampshire take revenge

• Hants post fifth highest score of 648-7 declared; Surrey 113-1
• Stevie Eskinazi hits 178no in Middlesex’s 302-6 v Warwickshire

Hampshire have not forgotten about the two days last July when, at a sweltering Ageas Bowl, Surrey posted 637 for seven declared to set up a dramatic win. It was, for Hampshire’s attack, filthy toil and, as one Surrey player admitted, they had continued batting after tea on the second day “just to piss them off”.

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County cricket: Jimmy Adams in awe of James Vince as they gang up on Surrey

• Vince catches the eye while Hampshire duo both make centuries
• Somerset fight back against Yorkshire after captain drops himself

“He’s nice to bat with but you can stand at the other end and feel a little inadequate,” said one Hampshire centurion, Jimmy Adams, of another, James Vince, at the end of a day dominated by the pair. They had put on 161, bullying Surrey after they had worked hard to dismiss Lewis McManus, bowled by a snorting, swinging Sam Curran yorker, and Rilee Rossouw, caught at second slip off Curran’s brother, Tom.

Related: County cricket: James Vince pushes England case with Hampshire century

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Simon Harmer grabs nine wickets for Essex and they do for Middlesex

• Compton hits first century since August but to no avail
• Derbyshire end tortuous two-year wait for a victory

These are heady days for Essex cricket. After defeating Middlesex by an innings and 34 runs, despite losing a day to rain, they sit proudly top of the County Championship by 28 points, after seven years out of the top flight. They have won three in succession and, whisper it, in turning over the title winners so emphatically, have the look of champions themselves.

Related: County cricket: Essex thrash Middlesex to go 29 points clear – as it happened!

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County Championship roundup: Cook and Browne pile on pain for Middlesex

• Middlesex 246 & 27-0; Essex 542-3dec
• Essex in control after openers put on 373

Essex have the champions on the rack thanks to a remarkable opening stand of 373 between Alastair Cook and Nick Browne.

By the time Cook edged a turner from Ollie Rayner to slip for 193, two shy of his highest Championship score, the record books were dog-eared and relieved: this was Essex’s largest ever opening stand (surpassing Graham Gooch and Paul Prichard’s 316 against Kent here in 1994), and the largest partnership in any game between them and Middlesex.

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County cricket talking points: Essex lead Lancashire as season hits halfway point

Six observations from the week’s action, including praise for Simon Harmer, Dane Vilas, Paul Stirling, Samit Patel, Joe Clarke and Barry McCarthy

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

At the halfway point of the season, Essex are top of Division One. Even with Alastair Cook available, few expected that sentence to be written when Ryan ten Doeschate’s side planned this season, back in the top flight and without the services of old pros Graham Napier and David Masters. But the batting keeps coming at you – nine centuries shared between six batsmen in seven matches, the latest from Ravi Bopara (192) and James Foster (121) setting up the win over sorry Warwickshire, rock bottom and 40 points from safety. It’s a different story among the bowlers though, with just three crossing double figures for wickets in 2017: Jamie Porter (31); Neil Wagner (23) and Simon Harmer (33). The South African off-spinner relished the heat at Chelmsford, setting records with match figures of 66–24–128–14, proving that not every Kolpak is focused on the pound-rand exchange rate.

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County Championship roundup: Simon Harmer spins Essex to victory

• Essex 14 points clear after condemning Warwickshire to innings defeat
• Lancashire move into second and Durham beat Glamorgan

Having played half their games, promoted Essex sit 14 points clear atop the County Championship after Simon Harmer, perhaps the signing of the season, spun them to victory against Warwickshire, who were skittled for 94, by an innings and 164 runs. Harmer took seven consecutive wickets to finish the job and end with eight in the innings and 14 for 126 in the match, a career best.

Holding up early in the season, Harmer had been waiting for a wicket such as this. He catches flies at second slip and provides handy late runs, too. On a track turning sharply, his were classic off-spinner’s wickets, lbws and close catches with hoards round the bat. The only other wicket to fall was the first and most important, Ian Bell, done by the angle of Neil Wagner, playing his final game for Essex. Mohammad Amir, who confidently said he could help Essex win the Championship as he was unveiled, will replace him from Monday.

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Sam Robson jogs a few memories as Middlesex make merry against Yorkshire

• Middlesex 337-4 v Yorkshire
• Hampshire frustrate Lancashire, Essex go slow against Warks

The first five games of Middlesex’s title defence have not exactly gone to plan. Some of their cricket has been passive, and injuries and call-ups have been disruptive, not least for this game, with the batting backbone of Nick Gubbins, Dawid Malan and Adam Voges all absent. The impressive unbeaten run is gone, too, and they are winless.

But they like playing Yorkshire – who have lost their past three at Lord’s, and their last three against Middlesex, all in remarkable fashion – and through centuries from Sam Robson (152 not out) and Paul Stirling (111), the latter’s long overdue first in Championship cricket, they have carved a strong position on a pitch that appears green but largely played true (save for a couple that stayed low) under a beating sun. As they tend to when Stirling is in town, runs flowed freely throughout.

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County cricket talking points: Kumar Sangakkara’s season average hits 109.50

Sangakkara has now hit 876 runs this season; Somerset need to wake up; Kent have to be more ruthless; and Paul Collingwood’s declaration deserves an ovation

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Essex and Surrey started their match separated by one point at the top of Division One and finished it in identical shape, the draw not really helping either in a tight race for the pennant. Inevitably, Surrey were indebted to Kumar Sangakkara, who “failed” in his bid for six consecutive centuries, falling for 86 as the match meandered to a draw on the last afternoon. Having registered a round 200 in the first dig, the ageless Sir Lankan scored 47% of Surrey’s runs off the bat, but will have to wait for that hundredth senior hundred. He has now scored 876 runs for Surrey this season at an average of 109.50 – so one suspects he will not be waiting for very long. Contributions were more spread among the Essex players, but teenager Dan Lawrence caught the eye again with a ton. He, like fellow teen Sam Curran (who made 90 in Surrey’s first dig), can only learn from the honour of sharing a cricket field with an all-time great of the game.

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County cricket: Essex v Surrey, Kent v Sussex and Glamorgan v Durham – live!

• All the final day action from Chelmsford plus news from around the grounds
• Join in below the line or you can email and tweet Will Macpherson

11.40am BST

Wicket at Tunbridge Wells! Harris bowls Wiese and Kent are three away from victory over Sussex. 211 for seven. Still 293 adrift…

11.37am BST

Grievous Bodily Harmer on here. About time that one of these got out so that Sanga can have a shot at his sixth straight ton.

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James Vince makes Hampshire history with 178 but Glamorgan stun hosts

• Worcestershire beat Warwickshire despite century from Ian Bell
• Alastair Cook in the runs again for Essex as they see off Middlesex

James Vince scored Hampshire’s highest ever List A score but Colin Ingram and Chris Cooke pulled off a stunning run-chase to steal a three-wicket Royal London One-Day Cup victory for Glamorgan. The captain Vince struck a career-best 178 off 138 balls at the Ageas Bowl, including 18 fours and five sixes, to beat Gordon Greenidge’s previous best of 177 in 1975. Vince was eventually bowled by Marchant de Lange – one of the South African’s five wickets – as Hampshire posted 332 for six after losing the toss. But Ingram then crashed 115 off 78 deliveries before Cooke got the hosts over the line at the death with an unbeaten 59 from 27 balls.

Adam Hose hit his maiden Somerset century as the South Group leaders made it five wins from six matches with an 81-run Duckworth/Lewis victory over Gloucestershire in a match reduced to 46 overs per side. Hose’s unbeaten 101 and 90 from Jim Allenby helped the visitors make 294 for six at Bristol. Needing 297 to win under the Duckworth-Lewis method, Gloucestershire offered some resistance through Jack Taylor’s 68 and 33 from George Hankins but they could only manage 215 all out.

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County cricket talking points: early form suggests we are in for a cracking season

Five of the eight teams in Division One have won one of their three matches so far. With teams taking points off each other, we may see another final-day thriller

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Five of Division One’s eight teams have “played three, won one” in what is shaping up to be a tight race for the pennant after last year’s final-day thriller. Surrey lead due to bonus points, having run into a Warwickshire side displaying more backbone that has hitherto been discernible this season. After Ian Westwood’s first dig of the season saw him anchor a competitive total of 332, the home side looked on as Mark Stoneman and Kumar Sangakkara made centuries to secure a handy lead of 105 for Surrey. But Warwickshire were in no mood to capitulate and, building on the morale fostered by taking the last five wickets for 43 runs, Ian Bell’s men batted out 123 overs for the draw, the captain making 99, Tim Ambrose 85 and the always admirable Keith Barker adding 70*. It’s a start for Warwickshire, but Surrey will worry that without Mark Footitt’s cutting edge – he was hampered by injury and out of sorts on the fourth day – they lack the firepower required to turn draws into wins.

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