In Group 1, Warwickshire’s trip to Derby ended in a convincing victory. Put in to bat, they made 274, with Sam Conners picking up four for 46. Then Craig Miles took five for 30, his best figures for Warwickshire to bowl out Derbyshire for just 121. Michael Cohen then hit back with his best figures for the county, five for 43, to nip the visitors out for 155 and give his side a chance, with a target of 309. But the hosts’ batting again fell short and they were rolled over for 117, beaten by 191 runs.
Durham chose to field first on their visit to New Road, and the decision was vindicated when Matty Potts picked up a career-best four for 32, supported by four wickets from Brydon Carse, to bowl out Worcestershire for 131. Then David Bedingham, the season’s leading runscorer, who had made just 101 runs in his last six innings, returned to form with 121 to help his side up to 381 all out and his season’s total to 787. Jake Libby scored 126 as his side tried to save the match, taking him to 776 runs for the summer, and Worcestershire scored 336. Chris Rushworth took three wickets to take him up to 40 for the season, two ahead of Essex’s Simon Harmer. Durham faced a target of just 87, which was achieved without loss.
At Chelmsford, Nottinghamshire chose to bat and made slow progress to 293 in their first innings, with Harmer taking four wickets. With the second day lost to the weather, it meant their innings wasn’t concluded until the third day. Essex’s reply was led by 71 from Tom Westley, but they could reach only 210 thanks to Brett Hutton taking five for 65. After that there was only time for the visitors to reach 44 for two as the game ended in a draw. The result meant that Warwickshire moved into top place on 120 points after eight games, with Essex two points behind them having played one game more, then Nottinghamshire on 115 after eight.
In Group 2, leaders Gloucestershire suffered an innings defeat at Leicester, after Marcus Harris hit 148. With 54 extras in the mix, the home side made 451 all out. Then Callum Parkinson took five for 45 to dismiss the away side for 158. Gloucestershire had to follow on, and again found Parkinson in irresistible form as he took five for 63 to give him career-best match figures of 10 for 108. The visitors made only 200 and so lost by an innings and 93 runs.
At Taunton, Hampshire chose to field first, and with Somerset on 113 for seven the decision seemed fully justified, but then Lewis Gregory (107) and Roelof van der Merwe (88) put on 171 for the eighth wicket to help them up to a final score of 360 all out. Keith Barker took six for 72, his best figures for Hampshire. Josh Davey led the attack for Somerset, taking five for 78, but the away side still made it up to 311 in reply. Wickets were hard to come by for Hampshire in the second innings, as Somerset eventually declared on 409 for seven. There was only time for the visitors to reach 88 for two before the game ended in a draw, which left Somerset top of the table on 119 points after eight games, followed by Gloucestershire on 109 and Hampshire on 108.
In Group 3, there was a surprise defeat for leaders Lancashire at Cardiff. Put in to bat, the Red Rose were bowled out for 173. However, that score was put into context when Glamorgan replied with just 150. The low scores continued in the third innings, as Lancashire made 164 to set a target of 188. Marnus Labuschagne is a useful man to have in your side in such circumstances, and his unbeaten 63 was the highest score of the match and helped his team to a six-wicket win.
Northamptonshire chose to bat first at Canterbury, and were still going on day three after the second day was lost to rain. They were finally bowled out for 392, after Emilio Gay made his maiden century (101). Darren Stevens proved the main threat, taking five for 73, his second five-fer of the summer. Ollie Robinson did his best to moved things forward, making 120 off 119 balls, as Kent replied with 330 for five. Northamptonshire then batted out the rest of the match, finishing on 184 for eight, as the game was drawn.
At Headingley, Sussex named two debutants who would both end with some reasons for joy. The South Coast outfit batted first, and Eastbourne CC star Ali Orr opened the batting and made 15 on his debut. His captain, Ben Brown, also played for the Saffrons outfit, and he top-scored with 127, but the real history-maker was the second debutant, former Eastbourne College pupil Danial Ibrahim, who reached his half-century early on day two, becoming, at 16 years and 299 days, the youngest ever to reach the landmark in the County Championship, beating the record set by Bilal Shafayat of Nottinghamshire, who was 16 years and 360 days old at the time. Ibrahim didn’t go much further, falling for 55. Sussex were eventually dismissed for 313.
Ibrahim’s great debut continued when he took the first wicket, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, with his 15th delivery. Dawid Malan was unfortunate to fall for 199 as Yorkshire replied with 558. Another Sussex teenager and ex-Eastbourne College pupil, Jamie Atkins, had a day to remember as he took five for 98, his maiden five-wicket haul. Trailing by 245 runs, Sussex were grateful to Orr for making 67 in four-and-a-half hours as they tried to save the match. At 164 for three into the 83rd over, they seemed on track to do so, but four wickets for Dom Bess and three in seven balls for David Willey saw them crumble to nine down. The final pair, Brown and Atkins, held out for 52 minutes, but it wasn’t quite enough, and they were dismissed for 215 to lose by an innings and 30 runs. The win took Yorkshire to 122 points, just four behind Lancashire, with both sides having played eight games.