County Round-Up: Carberry hits season’s first ton

The 2015 county season is officially underway, with day one of the opening round of MCC university matches having kicked off around the country.

Michael Carberry hit the season’s first century as he made 146 off just 132 balls to help Hampshire rack up 474 for four on day one in Southampton. The ton came up off 104 balls during a second-wicket stand of exactly 200 with Will Smith (89). James Vince, who was recently announced as the Hampshire limited-overs captain, then also raced to three figures, taking just 93 balls to reach the milestone and adding 182 for the fourth-wicket with a more circumspect Liam Dawson prior to being dismissed for 140. Dawson reached stumps on 58, with debutants Stu Whittingham and Bobby Gamble, along with Canadian international Nitish Kumar the Loughborough MCCU wicket-takers.

Jack Shantry took the season’s first five-wicket haul with a typically disciplined display against Oxford MCCU at The Parks. He ended with figures of 18-10-18-5 as Oxford were all out for 124 with Lloyd Paternott (40), Steve Leach (22) and Luke Webb (23) the only batsmen to reach douible figures. Gareth Andrew (1-44), Charlie Morris (2-22) - a former Oxford-Brookes University student himself who played in the MCCU matches last season - and Brett D’Olivera (2-23) were the other wicket-takers.

Worcestershire wasted little time in overhauling the modest total and closed on 155 for two in the 32nd over. Openers Daryl Mitchell and Richard Oliver - who recently spoke to Cricket Badger about his aspirations for the season ahead - put on 65, with Tom Fell then making 43. New signing Alex Gidman joined Mitchell prior to stumps; the pair finishing on four and 51 respectively.

Ben Duckett bounced back from the disappointment at missing Northamptonshire‘s pre-season tour of Barbados on fitness grounds by hitting an unbeaten 101 against Cambridge MCCU at Fenner’s. County struggled in the first session after being asked to bat, finding themselves 71 for four following an Adil Arif double-strike.

Rob Newton and Adam Rossington (38) began the recovery by adding 73 before Duckett joined Newton to add a further 124 for the sixth-wicket. Newton was dismissed six short of his hundred by Josh Arksey, but Duckett made no such mistake and ended on 101 off 94 balls as Northamptonshire declared on 357 for seven in the 73rd over. The students then closed strongly on 56 with one, with Jamie Abbott dismissed by Steven Crook off the final ball of the day for 18 and Philip Hughes unbeaten on 35.

Leeds/Bradford MCCU closed on 27 for none shortly after a fighting performance with the ball had restricted Sussex to 283 for six at Hove. Michael Yardy, home skipper Ed Joyce, and Craig Cachopa all made half-centuries, but the bowling from the students was tidy. Former Yorkshire left-arm seamer Alex Lilley and Joe Ellis-Grewal collected a wicket apiece, while Doug Pratt and George Scott picked up two each.

Only 11 overs were bowled at Tauton Vale as rain delayed the start and then brought forward the finish. Somerset overcame the early loss of Tom Abell to Jack Wood to close on 49 for one against Durham MCCU.

There was no play at all on a dank day in Cardiff where Glamorgan are due to entertain Cardiff MCCU.

News In Brief:
Interim Northamptonshire CCC chief executive Ray Payne has been appointed on a permanent basis. Payne took up the role follwing the departure of David Smith in November and inherits a club in a perilous financial position.

Somerset limited-overs captain Alfonso Thomas has signed a short-term coaching deal with IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils. Thomas was always likely to miss the club’s opening LV= County Championship match in any event due to a broken ankle but should be back in time for their second match on 26th April.

The Guardian is reporting that Australia’s World Cup winning all-rounder James Faulkner is in talks with Lancashire about becoming their overseas player for the 2015 season. Faulkner was left out of the recently announced Australian Ashes squad, while the Red Roses’ existing overseas signing Peter Siddle was selected.

Surrey have signed Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques as their second overseas player for the Natwest T20 Blast. Henriques should be available for the the entire campaign and could provide cover for main overseas player Kumar Sangakkara, if required, in other forms of the game.

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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