Specsavers County Championship – Division 1 – Detailed Report and Dream Team (Round 2)

A day after the second round of County Championship matches were wrapped up, it is a delight to be in the camp of Somerset. The team that missed out on winning championship last year had done everything almost perfect so far. Two games into the season and they are undoubtedly the best side from both the divisions. They secured 43 of the potential 48 points and they lead the championship 11 points ahead of Yorkshire.

Results:

Yorkshire vs. Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl | Yorkshire won by an innings and 44 runs

Yorkshire: Inns 1: 554/7 (164 overs) | Hampshire: Inns 2: 302/10 (94.3 overs) | Hampshire: Inns 3-following on: 208/10 (71.4 overs) ||

Yorkshire would be delighted that they could put the win together, after fighting to survive in the first round. It is wonderful if you are Steve Patterson though. 14 years for a single club. An innings win in the top league would be a great place to be as a captain. To top it off with a 6-for in the match leading the attack is a delight.

“In games like this you have to be very patient. You can go a couple of hours without any success. Then it can come in a hurry. We continued to believe that if we put the hard yards in, we’d get success.

Hampshire, on the other hand, would have believed that they are a better side than having to be following on. After a wonderful win on the opening day, the team would be shattered. They were forced to utilize the concussion rule. Lewis McManus, who was brought in as a replacement to Tom Alsop owing to injury, had been struck twice on the helmet.

Most Runs: Liam Dawson (Hampshire)- 149 runs | Gary Balance (Yorkshire)- 148 runs ||

Most Wickets: Steven Patterson (Yorkshire)- 6/83 | Liam Dawson (Hampshire)- 3/184 ||

Nottinghamshire vs. Somerset at Trent Bridge | Somerset won by an innings and 14 runs

Nottinghamshire: Inns 1: 263/10 (66.4 overs) | Somerset: Inns 2: 403/10 (108.1 overs) | Nottinghamshire: Inns 3: 126/10 (59.1 overs) ||

Somerset does know how to wrap things up and tie the ends super quick. Twice in two games, they wrapped the opposition teams for less than 150 runs in the second innings. Nottinghamshire at one point were 66 for 2 and were just 74 runs away to force Somerset to bat again. But what followed was magical spell of bowling as Jack Brooks and Jack Leach sent the batsmen packing one after another. At the end of the innings, they were still 14 runs short.

Things looked positive for Nottinghamshire until Chris Nash was out hooking just before the lunch and it never looked like they were going to make a comeback barring two 50+ partnerships among Samit Patel, Tom Moores and Luke Wood.

On the other end, what a season George Bartlett is having. He scored 133 off 223 balls and in partnership with the skipper Tom Abell, who scored a century for himself (101 off 198), they ensured that the same mistake is not committed twice in the game. 223 runs partnership pretty much sealed up the game for Somerset.

Most Runs: George Bartlett (Somerset)- 133 runs | Ben Slater and Chris Nash (Nottinghamshire)- 58 runs ||

Most Wickets: Jack Leach and Lewis Gregory (Somerset)- 6/36 and 6/101 | Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)- 5/73 ||

Kent vs. Warwickshire at Edgbaston | Kent won by 8 wickets

Kent: Inns 1: 504/10 (136.5 overs) | Warwickshire: Inns 2: 346/10 (120 overs) | Warwickshire: Inns 3-following on: 280/10 (93.1 overs) | Kent: Inns 4: 124/2 (19.4 overs) ||

Kent will be the most delighted side among the eight teams. First win Division One since 2010. Bit of a scare from Warwickshire but 124 runs was not always going to be a tricky target to chase.

After losing to Somerset in the first round comprehensively, the team needed a regrouping and they did. 503 runs they managed in the first innings is 160 runs more than what they managed in both the innings against Somerset. It also ensured that they earned the maximum batting points and secure the buffer to second innings. A very important innings for Kent as they intend to stay in Division One. Harry Podmore, Darren Stevens, and Matthew Milnes trio picked 18 of 20 wickets among them to ensure that Warwickshire do not run away with their 16 points.

Warwickshire would be disappointed with their performance. Not because they did not do right things in each of the departments, they managed it well. Two hundreds’ scored and a 3-wicket haul for Jeetan Patel. The biggest loss for them is losing on the key moments of the game. They would have more positives to take as pushed Kent to their backs for the longest they possibly can.

Most Runs: Zak Crawley (Kent)- 153 runs | Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire)- 151 runs ||

Most Wickets: Harry Podmore (Kent)- 8/123 | Jeetan Patel (Warwickshire)- 4/138 ||

Surrey vs. Essex at The Oval | Match Drawn

Surrey: Inns 1: 395/10 (114.1 overs) | Essex: Inns 2: 448/10 (119.4 overs) | Surrey: Inns 3: 324/6 dec (103 overs) | Essex: Inns 4: 0/0 (1 overs) ||

The defending champions are the last to arrive to the scene. They play out a draw with Essex shaking hands one hour ahead of scheduled close might not be the way they would have visualized the match to end. But, nevertheless, a draw is not a bad result either when almost 1,200 runs were scored in a four-day match. The biggest positive for Surrey is that their batsmen are among runs right away. It is always good to grind a few as you start a new season. Unbeaten 100 for Ryan Patel and five fifties in both the innings combined is something to cheer about.

Essex will be the side happier of the duo. After losing the first game to Hampshire by an innings, it is a wonderful comeback for the side. They are playing a champion side and they kept themselves clean. 448 runs in the first innings is 10 more than the runs scored in both the innings combined in the first match. The batsmen stepped up for the game. 130 of 166 for skipper Ryan ten Doeschate and 93 of 164 runs from Dan Lawrence ensured that they take decent lead over Surrey. Peter Siddle and Simon Harmer each packed a five-for. Lot to look forward for Essex.

Most Runs: Will Jacks (Surrey)- 142 runs | Ryan ten Doeschate (Essex)- 130 runs ||

Most Wickets: Simon Harmer (Essex)- 8/160 | Morne Morkel (Surrey)- 3/97 ||

Dream Team:

Zak CrawleyKent
Tim Ambrose (Wicket Keeper)Warwickshire
Liam DawsonHampshire
Gary BallanceYorkshire
Ollie RobinsonKent
Simon HarmerEssex
Harry PodmoreKent
Peter SiddleEssex
Lewis GregorySomerset
Steven Patterson (Captain)Yorkshire
Jack LeachSomerset

Points Table:

The teams break for the Royal London ODI Cup, which starts from Wednesday for 2 weeks. When they regroup on 14th May 2019, England would be buzzing with all the World Cup preparations.

(c) Images and statistics from the respective clubs and ECB

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