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Category: Northamptonshire

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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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Ben Duckett omitted from England Lions squad to tour West Indies

• Northamptonshire opener will not go on Caribbean trip next February• ECB confirms omission is further punishment for Perth drinking incidentBen Duckett has paid a heavy price for his off-field indiscretions in Australia by being left out of the Engla…

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Sussex see off a green Glamorgan and ask a question of Nottinghamshire

• Sussex 268 & 211/9; Glamorgan 294 & 182
• Sussex won by one wicket

A staggering win for Sussex, a day of rain at Kent and positions of strength for Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire: the race for Division Two’s two promotion spots is bubbling beautifully, and this was a seismic day of action.

Sussex’s was an extraordinary win, against Glamorgan – who picked a green team as their big names rested up for T20 Finals Day. Chris Jordan docked the tail to finish with five for 46 as Glamorgan made 182 at their Colwyn Bay ground. Sussex’s pursuit of 209 got off to the worst possible start as Lukas Carey had Luke Wells caught behind first ball and soon enough they were 10 for two. Stiaan van Zyl and Chris Nash rebuilt, before Andrew Salter dismissed Van Zyl (lbw) and Luke Wright (stumped) with successive deliveries to leave Sussex 100 for four.

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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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Round-up: Toby Roland-Jones does his best to undo patchwork Surrey

• England bowler takes two early wickets for Middlesex at The Oval
• Essex recover after being bowled out for 159 against Somerset

Had you presented this rather patchwork Surrey XI to Alec Stewart, the director of cricket, back in April, he might just have choked on his tea. Zafar Ansari, Dom Sibley and Mark Footitt are off the staff, Kumar Sangakkara and Mark Stoneman are otherwise engaged, and Tom Curran leads the list of the injured. Thus Ollie Pope and Ryan Patel are debuting as two of four 19-year-olds. And is that really Rikki Clarke?

Having been asked to bowl first Surrey’s thrown-together side did very well indeed to bowl Middlesex out for 247. But then their openers ran into Toby Roland-Jones, returning from and emboldened by his England experience. His four overs before stumps saw Patel (whose medium pace had been better than tidy) hurried into turning to leg gully, then Rory Burns – suddenly the senior batsman – caught behind by a beauty that left him.

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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 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: 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 talking points: Kumar Sangakkara eyes a century of centuries

Kumar Sangakkara hit two brilliant centuries for Surrey against Middlesex over the weekend. If he does retire at the end of the season, he is going out in style

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

The early abandonment at Wantage Road handed Nottinghamshire the point they needed to join Worcestershire and Yorkshire in progressing from the North Group of the Royal London One-Day Cup. It also took the wind out of the sails of Durham, Leicestershire and Lancashire, all of whom might have squeaked in as the last round of matches started. It’ll be scant consolation for him, but Lanky’s Jordan Clark ended the group stage with the best strike rate of batsman scoring over 250 runs (143), a sentiment that might be shared by rock-bottom Warwickshire’s veteran spinner, Jeetan Patel, whose economy rate of 5.12 was the lowest among bowlers taking at least 10 wickets.

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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: Surrey top the table but it’s not an even playing field

Pre-season punishments have made the season unnecessarily complicated; Mark Footitt impressed for Surrey; and Dan Lawrence is one to watch at Essex

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

So, eight teams in the top flight, 10 teams in the lower: but 14 matches for each. Durham, having finished fourth in Division One last season, start this season in Division Two on -48 points with Leicestershire on -16 points, a penalty prompted by an offence committed in a university match. This just isn’t acceptable. The game is complicated enough – it’s one reason why we love it – but how is anyone, casual observer or avid fan, supposed to keep up with it all? Durham deserved some punishment (and, by God, did they get it) and Leicestershire’s disciplinary rap sheet is deeply unimpressive, but points should be won and lost on the field by scoring runs and taking wickets. You don’t have to employ the imagination of the Marquis de Sade to find sanctions that retain sporting competitions’ fundamental integrity. But, you know, county cricket, eh? Never easy, is it?

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County Championship 2017: Divisions One and Two – team-by-team guide

Surrey’s signings make them a good bet for the title, though Middlesex and Somerset should challenge again while Sussex have solid promotion credentials Continue reading…