COUNTY ROUND-UP: Wins for Yorkshire and Durham, while Willey stars for Northants

There were wins for Yorkshire and Durham on a gloriously sunny day of LV= County Championship action.

Defending champions Yorkshire showed their class against Worcestershire at New Road. Despite missing as many as eight of their first choice eleven, and with just four runs separating the sides on first innings, they romped to a 10-wicket win inside three days. Steven Patterson and Jack Brooks made up for the unavailability of Ryan Sidebottom due to a calf injury to bowl Worcestershire out for just 100 in their second innings. Brooks did the early damage and finished with four for 28, while Patterson took five for 11.

Openers Alex Lees and Will Rhodes then took just 17 overs to knock off the runs to leave head coach Jason Gillespie delighted.

A spirited ninth-wicket stand of 99 between Peter Trego and Abdur Rehman wasn’t able to prevent Somerset from slipping to a seven-wicket defeat to Durham. They had found themselves 96 for eight in their second innings as Chris Rushworth took six wickets before Trego and Rehman rescued things somewhat by hitting half-centuries. Nonetheless, this still left Durham requiring only 150 to win and they were hardly troubled; Scott Borthwick following an opening stand of 53 with an unbeaten 60-ball 51.

Chris Read put Nottinghamshire firmly in the driving seat in their contest against Middlesex. The Notts skipper smashed 101 off only 77 balls before declaring his side’s second innings at 401 for eight to leave Middlesex needing 519 in the fourth innings. They lost Sam Robson in Jake Ball’s first over for a duck but rallied to close on 57 for one. Earlier, Nottinghamshire’s middle-order had set up Read’s onslaught. James Taylor hit 61, Samit Patel 33 and Riki Wessels 38.

A potentially tense final day is in store at Southampton. Hampshire closed on 172 for four - needing a further 206 runs to beat Sussex. Michael Carberry made an important 79 but his dismissal triggered a mini-collapse of three for 13 late on which appears to have given Sussex the edge. Sussex had earlier managed just 164 in their second innings in spite of a counter-attacking 61 from Luke Wright. James Tomlinson (4-37) and Danny Briggs (3-27) were the hosts’ most successful bowlers.

In Division Two, Leicestershire fought back late on against Glamorgan at Grace Road. Charlie Shreck struck twice to leave the visitors 125 runs ahead at stumps on 47 for three. Leicestershire had earlier failed to match Glamorgan’s first innings total of 513 by being bowled out for 435. Angus Robson fell early for 83, although Ned Eckersley did go on to complete his century before falling for 147. There was little from the middle-order, however, besides an unbeaten 70 from Niall O’Brien, as Andy Carter wrapped up the innings to end with four for 95.

Gloucestershire have it all to do at Wantage Road, closing on 35 without loss in pursuit of an unlikely 454 to win. That was after David Willey had followed up his first innings 62 with a maiden first-class century to allow Northamptonshire to declare at 416 for eight in their second. The hosts had been in trouble at 110 for five, but Rob Keogh and Josh Cobb (58) began the fightback by adding 101. Willey and Rory Kleinveldt took over following Keogh’s dismissal for 81 to put on 115 for the eighth-wicket in little more than 15 overs. Kleinveldt was eventually bowled by Matt Taylor for 48. with Willey then going on to notch three figures.

The remaining five MCC University matches all ended in draws. Nick Browne hit a second innings century as Essex set Cardiff MCCU an impossible 626 to win. A century from Darren Stevens saw Kent declare their second innings at 364 for eight against Loughborough MCCU. Simon Kerrigan took five for 52 as Leeds/Bradford MCCU mustered 278 in reply to Lancashire‘s 482 - opener Steve Bullen making 97. Oxford MCCU opener Steve Leach hit an unbeaten 110 as they ended on 212 for two after being set 532 by Surrey. Warwickshire opted for batting practice against Durham MCCU. Rikki Clarke made 102, while Tim Ambrose, William Porterfield and Sam Hain each passed 80.

News in brief:
Leicestershire youngsters Atif Sheikh, Aadil Ali and Lewis Hill have all agreed contract extensions. Wicket-keeper Hill has signed until the end of 2016, while batsman Ali and bowler Sheikh have agreed terms until the end of the 2017 season.

Middlesex have signed Joe Burns as cover for Adam Voges, who will depart following the opening NatWest T20 Blast fixture in May to tour West Indies with Australia. Burns will then be available until mid July. Middlesex have said that they will reveal plans for another overseas player in the coming weeks.

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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