COUNTY ROUND-UP: Freckingham, Onions, Pinner all prosper

A couple of the MCC University sides continued to fight hard on day two of the second batch of matches, but elsewhere the counties began to assert their dominance.

Nowhere was this more true than in Bristol where Gloucestershire took 11 Cardiff MCCU wickets and scored 180 runs to set the students a stiff fourth innings target of 463. They closed on 59 for two. Earlier, they had resumed on 18 for one in their first innings but collapsed to James Fuller (3-14) and Liam Norwell (4-16) to be all out got just 95. Gloucestershire then rejigged their batting order and allowed Gareth Roderick to reach his century before declaring at 180 for one with Ian Cockbain undefeated on 66.

Leicestershire finished a mammoth 502 runs ahead of Cambridge MCCU at Fenner’s on 339 for four in their second innings. Former Worcestershire batsman Neil Pinner hit his maiden first-class century and ended on 165 off 202 balls. He and Angus Robson (98) added 141 for the third-wicket after Dan Redfern and Ned Eckersley had been dismissed cheaply for the second time in the match. Earlier, the home side had been bowled out for 140 despite a last-wicket partnership of 51 between Adil Arif (39) and Ruari Crichard (11 not out). Ollie Freckingham did the bulk of the damage and ended with five for 39.

Durham closed in an almost identical position against the local university, 505 runs ahead on 216 for five second time around. They bowled Durham MCCU out for 159 at the start of the day as Graham Onions showed that he is still a threat despite his injuries and resultant drop in pace by taking four for 21. There were two wickets apiece for Chris Rushworth and Paul Coughlin.

Hasan Azad fell one run short of a century as Loughborough MCCU matched Nottinghamshire‘s day one total of 308 at Trent Bridge. He and skipper Anish Patel might have had county concerned at one stage as they added 113 for the second-wicket. However, Patel was dismissed for 83 by his namesake Samit and wickets began to fall. Patel ended with four for 51, while Jake Ball and Steven Mullaney finished with a brace of wickets apiece. Nottinghamshire’s opening pair of Brendan Taylor and Riki Wessels then rather took the game away from the students by adding an unbroken 104 in 19 overs prior to stumps.

Middlesex‘s last-wicket pair of Tom Helm and Steven Finn put on 70 to help rescue their side from first innings arrears at The Parks. Middlesex were finally all out for 193 with Finn left unbeaten on 41. Oxford MCCU then struggled in their second innings and closed just 99 runs ahead on 168 for eight. Tim Murtagh picked up three for 41, while James Harris (2-37), Helm (1-23) and Paul Stirling (2-17) were the other wicket-takers.

Yorkshire‘s top-order continued to struggle against Leeds/Bradford MCCU but they still finished 253 runs ahead of the students at Headingley. Joe Ellis-Grewal (3-46) and Harry Rouse (2-23) shared five wickes as Yorkshire slipped to 126 for six in their second innings by stumps. However, they had earlier earnt a three-figure first innings advantage thanks to wickets from Jack Brooks (3-41), Steven Patterson (2-38) and Karl Carver (2-33) that had restricted their opponents to 202.

News In Brief:
2014 Warwickshire trialist Josh Poysden has signed a one-year contract with the club. The leg-spinner will provide another spin option for the Bears besides talisman Jeetan Patel following the recent retirement of Paul Best.

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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