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Category: Worcestershire

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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: 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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Worcestershire’s Alex Hepburn charged with two counts of rape

• Australian-born all-rounder due in court of December 7• Worcester also dealing with Steve Rhodes’ disciplinary matterWorcestershire’s Alex Hepburn has been charged with raping a woman after an investigation by West Mercia police. The county said the …

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Peter Moores turns sights to treble after Nottinghamshire’s T20 triumph

• Division Two leaders face second-placed Worcestershire from Tuesday
• ‘We work hard and have found a way to deliver when it counts’

“Bloody right I would!” said Peter Moores when asked if he would consider the treble his Nottinghamshire side are two-thirds of the way to completing – after Saturday’s Finals Day triumph – to be “proper”, given that the unfinished business is merely the Division Two title. From Tuesday they host their nearest rivals, Worcestershire, who are 32 points behind. Promotion could be sealed in a hurry.

For Moores this is success at a third county, after ending Sussex’s 164-year wait for a Championship win in 2003 and winning the title with a homegrown Lancashire side in 2011, and the second time he has succeeded after the crushingly disappointing spells as England coach. Lesser characters would have been broken by one of them; Moores has overcome both. Paul Downton’s infamous soundbite – “the outstanding coach of his generation” – was an unbearable weight and merely provided a stick with which to beat Moores. But at domestic level Downton was not remotely incorrect.

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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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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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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 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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Jason Roy returns to form as Surrey surge into Royal London Cup final

• Surrey 363-7; Worcestershire 210 all out
• Surrey win by 153 runs to reach final for third year in succession

Jason Roy recaptured his form with a vengeance as Surrey overwhelmed Worcestershire by 153 runs to reach the Royal London Cup final for a third consecutive year.

Roy top scored with 92 as Surrey amassed 363 for seven in their 50 overs after electing to bat at New Road. It was in sharp contrast to his struggles in recent weeks with England which culminated in him being dropped from the Champions Trophy semi-final setback against Pakistan at Cardiff.

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Jason Roy returns to form as Surrey surge into Royal London Cup final

• Surrey 363-7; Worcestershire 210 all out
• Surrey win by 153 runs to reach final for third year in succession

Jason Roy recaptured his form with a vengeance as Surrey overwhelmed Worcestershire by 153 runs to reach the Royal London Cup final for a third consecutive year.

Roy top scored with 92 as Surrey amassed 363 for seven in their 50 overs after electing to bat at New Road. It was in sharp contrast to his struggles in recent weeks with England which culminated in him being dropped from the Champions Trophy semi-final setback against Pakistan at Cardiff.

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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’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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FCC cricket podcast: with Jack Shantry, the figure of fun who became a folk hero

Will and Vish meet Jack Shantry to talk about his unusual bowling action, the way he deals with fans and the day he took 10 wickets and scored a century

By Will and Vish, for Freelance Cricket Club, part of the Guardian Sport Network

As a wannabe professional cricketer aged 14 or 15, Jack Shantry was “diagnosed with a mixed bowling action.” “It sounds terminal, doesn’t it?” he laughs. As a canny and unorthodox left-arm swing bowler for Worcestershire, Shantry has developed a reputation as one of cricket’s most interesting and quirky characters, for both his peculiar bowling action and the way he engages wittily with fans – and detractors – on social media.

Shantry joins us as we return to the podcast after a rather accidental six-month absence. Artistic differences behind us, we travelled to Worcester to meet Shantry. “I’m sure you’ll bring up my lack of pace…” he says, as first up on the agenda is Shantry’s slightly unusual route into the game and how he developed that bowling action.

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FCC cricket podcast: with Jack Shantry, the figure of fun who became a folk hero

Will and Vish meet Jack Shantry to talk about his unusual bowling action, the way he deals with fans and the day he took 10 wickets and scored a century

By Will and Vish, for Freelance Cricket Club, part of the Guardian Sport Network

As a wannabe professional cricketer aged 14 or 15, Jack Shantry was “diagnosed with a mixed bowling action.” “It sounds terminal, doesn’t it?” he laughs. As a canny and unorthodox left-arm swing bowler for Worcestershire, Shantry has developed a reputation as one of cricket’s most interesting and quirky characters, for both his peculiar bowling action and the way he engages wittily with fans – and detractors – on social media.

Shantry joins us as we return to the podcast after a rather accidental six-month absence. Artistic differences behind us, we travelled to Worcester to meet Shantry. “I’m sure you’ll bring up my lack of pace…” he says, as first up on the agenda is Shantry’s slightly unusual route into the game and how he developed that bowling action.

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Essex beat Somerset to close in on Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final spot

• Tom Westley was the mainstay of victory, making 100 from 98 balls
• Gloucestershire dented Sussex’s hopes of reaching knockout stages

Essex moved close to a home semi-final in the Royal London One-Day Cup with a 72-run win over the previous South Group leaders, Somerset.

Tom Westley was the mainstay of Essex’s 50-over total of 334 for six at Taunton, making exactly 100 from 98 balls. Ravi Bopara (92 not out) and Alastair Cook (65) also shone with the bat and Somerset fell well short, despite Johann Myburgh hitting 57 out of a 64-run opening stand with Jim Allenby.

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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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