Adam Lyth, Craig Cachopa And Derbyshire Impress

We round-up the latest action from the LV= County Championship, including Adam Lyth’s first-day century for Yorkshire, as well as the rest of the county cricket news.

Lyth Keeps Knocking On England’s Door
Adam Lyth, Ryan Sidebottom and Andrew Gale have each starred for Yorkshire on the opening three days of their LV= County Championship match against Middlesex.

Whitby-born Lyth made the most of Yorkshire’s move to the nearby seaside town of Scarborough for this fixture and held their first innings together with a knock of 117. He took his 2014 runs tally past 1000 in Championship cricket in the process - the first to do so in Division One this season - as talk continues to grow about him possibly replacing England captain Alastair Cook for the third Test against India on Sunday.

It was a man with his England career already behind him who then excelled for Yorkshire with the ball. Sidebottom decimated the Middlesex top-order en route to figures of seven for 44. In truth, it was a curious innings for the visitors. The first four wickets fell for 11 runs, with Dawid Malan (78) and talented wicket-keeper John Simpson (110) then adding 168 before the last six wickets subsided for the addition of only 53 runs.

Yorkshire appear to have taken control of the match as a result of today’s proceedings. Alex Lees and Kane Williamson added 134 following Lyth’s departure for nine yesterday evening. Captain Gale then hit the 17th century of his first-class career and put on 182 with Jack Leaning for the fifth-wicket. Leaning fell late on to Malan for 76, but Gale is unbeaten on 126, with the hosts 421 runs ahead and eyeing an overnight declaration.

Andrew Gale plays a shot

Andrew Gale built on the first innings century from Adam Lyth.

New-signing Craig Cachopa marked his Sussex Championship debut with 84 as they closed on 314 for seven after 96 overs against Warwickshire. The South African-born, Auckland-raised, Portuguese passport-holder showed just why he is the holder of a first-class average the right side of 50 by sharing 174 with the in-form Luke Wright for the fourth-wicket.

The pair built on an earlier half-century from Chris Nash, who shared 68 with opening partner Luke Wells (35), prior to falling within spitting distance of three figures. The Bears bowlers then fought back late on, taking four wickets for 20 in all, as Chris Woakes, Keith Barker and Boyd Rankin led a seam-attack that looks likely to be without Chris Wright for the remainder of the season.

Derbyshire Close In On Third Championship Win
Derbyshire are on the brink of a rare victory in Division Two. They should beat Glamorgan tomorrow, meaning that it will have taken them just seven sessions to beat the visitors in what has been a game dominated by the bowlers.

Sixteen wickets fell on Sunday as young all-rounder Alex Hughes returned career-best figures of four for 46 to build on the early work from Tony Palladino (3-14) to dismiss Glamorgan for only 138. Derbyshire the closed on 142 for six and lost two early wickets this morning before David Wainwright and Palladino added a crucial 73 for the ninth-wicket. Michael Hogan was a familiar pick of the Glamorgan bowlers with five for 63.

Left-arm quick Mark Footitt then took all of the first five Glamorgan second innings wickets to fall en route to career-best figures of six for 48 as they were bowled out for 175 to leave Derbyshire requiring a modest 73 in the fourth innings.

In contrast, it is the batsmen who have enjoyed the better of the opening two days at Guildford. Kent racked up 408 from only 110 overs as Sam Northeast and Sam Billings came close to registering centuries and most of the rest of the middle-order made important contributions. Surrey then suffered a poor start, slipping to 44 for three and 105 for five. However, they must be a confident side judging by recent form and Jason Roy and Gary Wilson counter-attacked superbly during a sixth-wicket stand of 121 which spanned little more than 30 overs. Roy fell for 84 to Charlie Hartley, but skipper Wilson remains on 80 as Surrey reached stumps on 303 for six.

Yet another century from skipper Daryl Mitchell helped Worcestershire stave off a middle-order wobble to close on 299 for seven on day one against Gloucestershire. Richard Oliver got the Pears innings off to a remarkable start with 62 off only 49 balls, but his departure was soon followed by those of Tom Fell (24), Alexei Kervezee (7) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (5) as the returning Craig Miles celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday by taking four for 53.

Rapidly-improving wicket-keeper Ben Cox then supported his captain well during a fifth-wicket partnership worth 102 but was caught off left-arm spinner Tom Smith for 56. Shaaiq Choudhry (21) and Jack Shantry (13 not out) then both enjoyed useful stands with Mitchell as Worcestershire ended the day one run short of a third batting bonus point.

Home Quarter-Final At Stake For Visitors
Both Essex and Hampshire have already qualified for the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals - Essex with a home tie despite their surprise defeat to Gloucestershire yesterday - but Hampshire could squeeze into the top two with a win and then it all depends on how Surrey fare in their final two games.

They have named an unchanged 12-man squad, with overseas duties again falling to Australians Nathan Rimmington and Glenn Maxwell in the absence of Kyle Abbott. For Essex, coach Paul Grayson called their defeat to Gloucestershire a “wake-up call” but professed himself delighted with the promise shown by Kishen Velani, who made 34 from number three. He may, however, miss out this time as Jesse Ryder is expected to return after missing the Cheltenham match with a sore knee.

County Cricket News In Brief:
Graeme Smith’s professional playing career appears to be over after he decided not to fulfil the final year of his contract with Surrey on the advice of his doctor. Smith’s 2014 season was curtailed by a knee injury, while 2013 was cut short by an ankle problem.

Warwickshire fast-bowler Chris Wright is likely to miss the remainder of the season after picking up a back injury during the recent LV= County Championship game against Durham.

Nottinghamshire have appointed former Surrey head coach and Sri Lanka assistant coach Chris Adams as a consultant batting coach to work with the second XI and Academy sides.

Gloucestershire batsman Will Tavare has been rewarded for an excellent debut season with a new three-year contract.

Daniel Grummitt

Cricket Writer at World Cricket Badger
Daniel first began writing about cricket in 2011, having been a fan of the game ever since his Grandad introduced him to it at the age of 10.

He worked for for almost three years, leading their county and domestic cricket coverage and contributing to a book about the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, before joining the hugely ambitious World Cricket Badger early in 2014.

The first Test that he remembers watching was on Channel 4 - back before the ECB marginalised potential future fans by selling the TV rights to Sky Sports - when England beat Pakistan by an innings and nine runs at Lord’s.

Besides a passion for domestic cricket, he also has an unexplainable interest in all things Zimbabwe cricket!

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