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Category: Middlesex

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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 Championship roundup: Ballance struggles to hold Yorkshire together

• Samit Patel and James Pattinson puts Notts on top at Trent Bridge
• Ravi Bopara makes first Championship ton since 2014 for Essex

Gary Ballance made runs, of course he did, but his was a lone hand, and Yorkshire are in deep trouble at Lord’s, where they have lost their last three games in remarkable fashion. Closing nine down and 260 behind, a remarkable effort is required to avoid a fourth loss.

Throughout Middlesex’s first innings of 446, the nagging sense was that a little more lay in the track than the total suggested. Adil Rashid had taken two wickets, including the last, Steven Finn, with balls that stayed low, and scoring had only been totally simple under the baking sun on Monday afternoon, with the centurions, Sam Robson and Paul Stirling, flying along. From the moment Robson fell caught behind to Ben Coad for 159, their batting on the second morning lacked fluency, in the face of improved Yorkshire bowling.

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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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Lancashire’s Stephen Parry takes five as Middlesex’s 21-game unbeaten run ends

• Middlesex 180 & 236; Lancashire 309 & 111 for 2
• Eight-wicket win secured by Haseeb Hameed and Steven Croft

A first five-wicket Championship haul for Stephen Parry and a timely knock from the England opener Haseeb Hameed ensured there were no scares for Lancashire as they wrapped up an eight-wicket win against the title holders Middlesex at Southport.

Related: County cricket: Surrey v Essex, Somerset v Yorkshire and more – live!

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County Championship: Kyle Abbott ensures Hampshire top Division One

• Abbott takes four wickets to sink Warwickshire to bottom of table
• Somerset and Middlesex draw. Sussex cause Division Two upset

Hampshire lead the County Championship by 14 points and showed their clinical quality by taking Warwickshire’s last eight wickets for 65 to win by an innings and 94 runs. The contrast with the side whose relegation led to their reprieve last season is stark and unavoidable: Durham are bottom of Division Two on minus 21 points after their fourth defeat in five.

When, early on, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, having shared 93 for the third wicket, fell in consecutive overs, Warwickshire were left at the mercy of the weather. The rain came but not early enough or for long enough to save them – they were eight down and off the field for only minutes.

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County Championship: Kyle Abbott ensures Hampshire top Division One

• Abbott takes four wickets to sink Warwickshire to bottom of table
• Somerset and Middlesex draw. Sussex cause Division Two upset

Hampshire lead the County Championship by 14 points and showed their clinical quality by taking Warwickshire’s last eight wickets for 65 to win by an innings and 94 runs. The contrast with the side whose relegation led to their reprieve last season is stark and unavoidable: Durham are bottom of Division Two on minus 21 points after their fourth defeat in five.

When, early on, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, having shared 93 for the third wicket, fell in consecutive overs, Warwickshire were left at the mercy of the weather. The rain came but not early enough or for long enough to save them – they were eight down and off the field for only minutes.

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County cricket: Yorkshire v Lancashire, Middlesex v Somerset and more – live!

1.01pm BST

No play at Headingley or Durham (both 1.10 starts) and off for rain at Derby. But here are your scores.

Division One:

12.57pm BST

I said restart at that last post, which suggests we are starting again. We are not. We are starting for the first time. Apologies.

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County cricket: Lancashire v Yorkshire, Middlesex v Surrey – live!

11.50am BST

Mason Crane took the catch!

11.49am BST

Wicket! At Chelmsford. Fidel Edwards gets Browne. Caught at midwicket, which sounds a bit careless. They’re not even an over in!

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County cricket: Lancashire v Yorkshire, Middlesex v Surrey – live!

11.50am BST

Mason Crane took the catch!

11.49am BST

Wicket! At Chelmsford. Fidel Edwards gets Browne. Caught at midwicket, which sounds a bit careless. They’re not even an over in!

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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: the schedule for the season is daft

Just as momentum and interest were building, the County Championship season took a break – and missed out on big crowds over the bank holiday

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

Just when the County Championship narrative began to build with a logjam at the top of Division One, with Gary Ballance and Darren Stevens adding personal stories to colour the picture, cricket shifts to its white ball format – of course it does. At least the Royal London One-Day Cup got off to a spectacular start with an early contender for innings of the season. After Ben Foakes’s 92 had lifted Surrey to a competitive 290, Somerset collapsed to 22-5, the swing of Jade Dernbach (remember him?) and Sam Curran too much for the experienced top order. Dean Elgar – a very classy operator these days – was joined by fellow South African, Roelof van der Merwe and the long reconstruction job began. While the Test man dug in, the all-rounder chanced his arm and the runs kept coming, but the wickets didn’t. Elgar departed with the stand worth 213, but Van der Merwe only walked off when the job was done, his share 165.

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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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County cricket roundup: Ryan McLaren sparks Lancashire comeback

• Heroics with bat and ball help secure stunning victory over Somerset
• Gary Ballance saves Yorkshire against Hampshire with twin centuries

Lancashire skittled Somerset to pull off a remarkable heist at Old Trafford, having been dismissed for 109 on the first day and after conceding a 169-run first‑innings deficit.

Lancashire’s grizzled, unglamorous overseas pro, Ryan McLaren – who balances their side from No7 and offers a steady first change option – was the star of the fourth day. His eighth-wicket stand of 77, which began on the third evening, with Stephen Parry built on Alex Davies and Liam Livingstone’s extraordinary partnership of 245, to haul Lancashire to 463 and set Somerset 295 in 77 overs.

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County cricket round-up: Alastair Cook’s return powers Essex past Somerset

• Cook hits century in first match since resigning England captaincy
• Yorkshire’s Ben Coad takes 10 wickets against Warwickshire

Essex and Alastair Cook are back, and mean business. In his first competitive match since resigning the England captaincy in February, Cook’s 110 – his 57th first-class century – provided the backbone of Essex’s remarkable chase of 255 against Somerset at Taunton, their first win since returning to the top flight after a six-summer absence. For Somerset, runners-up last year and brimming with youthful, local talent, this represented a disappointing start to a season they are highly fancied for.

Cook’s was an untroubled, unfussy innings in a cruise of a chase, a surprise given 18 wickets had fallen on the second day. All it took, it turned out, was some better batting, because the surface – unlike last season – offered no great help to bowlers, fast or slow. Having brought up his century with a nudged 202nd ball to leg for four, Cook fell before tea, heaving Dean Elgar to midwicket but an authoritative chase was just 39 from completion.

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Hampshire’s Michael Carberry leads by composed example against Middlesex

• Middlesex 356; Hampshire 209-4
• Michael Carberry’s unbeaten 84 gives hosts promising foundation

Hampshire are a team short on public goodwill. They are packed with non-English qualified players, and cannot find space for two exciting prospects, Mason Crane and Tom Alsop, while they were also the slightly noisy beneficiaries of Durham’s divisional demotion. But there is one regard in which Hampshire success is supremely popular: runs, by the bucketload, for Michael Carberry.

By reaching stumps unbeaten on 84, weathering the champions Middlesex’s formidable attack, Carberry is in sight of his 36th first-class century, and has carved a strong position for his team too. This is the backbone that was so badly missed when he was absent undergoing treatment for a cancerous tumour in the second half of last summer. This is an ordeal about which he has not spoken publicly but from which he has returned brilliantly; he made a century against Cardiff MCCU, and his 41 set the tone for Hampshire’s surprise chase of more than 300 in their opening win over Yorkshire.

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Leicestershire docked 16 points on eve of new County Championship season

• Punishment relates to incident involving bowler Charlie Shreck
• County also fined £5,000 after match against Loughborough University

Leicestershire will start their County Championship campaign on minus 16 points and with their captain, Mark Cosgrove, banned for one match after they were dramatically punished on the eve of the new season following an incident last week against Loughborough University involving their seam bowler Charlie Shreck.

The club’s punishment, which also includes a £5,000 fine and a further eight points suspended for one year, was handed down for chalking up five such incidents in the space of 12 months. They now become the second side in Division Two to start the summer with a deficit against their name after Durham were relegated for financial reasons last October and docked 48 points.

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