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Records Tumble for Surrey at Beckenham


Somerset, who had gone almost a year without a win in the Championship, recorded back-to-back victories with a thumping triumph inside three days over West Country neighbours Gloucestershire at Bristol. Put in to bat, Matt Renshaw and Tom Lammonby compiled 172 for the first wicket, setting a great base for Tom Abell to score 142 and eventually enable him to declare on 591 for seven. When George Scott was trapped in front by Peter Siddle in the first ball of the reply, it was clear the hosts were likely to struggle – and so it proved, as they were dismissed for 186, with Jack Leach taking five for 49. Following on with their skipper absent through injury and three loanees making their first appearance for the side, it was always going to be tough to avoid an innings defeat. Warwickshire’s 18-year-old batter Jacob Bethell provided the main resistance, making 61, but the home side were all out for 159, beaten by an innings and 246 runs – Somerset’s second biggest innings victory in their history.


League leaders Surrey made the short journey to Beckenham to take on Kent, and quickly established their dominance. All eleven batters reached double figures, with Hashim Amla (12) the lowest of them. Seven reached fifty, equalling the County Championship record, with three falling in the nineties (including Jamie Overton whose 93 was his highest score for the county), which meant that their total of 671 for nine declared was the highest ever score not to feature a century, beating the previous world record set when Namibia made 609 against Uganda in 2010. It was also Surrey’s highest score against Kent as well as being the third time this season that Kent’s bowlers had conceded 600 or more runs in an innings. Will Jacks took a career-best four for 65 as Kent fell away to 230 all out in reply, leaving them with a day and 32 overs to bat out to save the match. There was one small batting highlight, as Nathan Gilchrist made 5, following on from his six consecutive ducks. Bad weather meant just 9.2 overs were possible on the last day, so the game ended in a draw with Kent on 114 for one.


Edgbaston’s wicket provided the ultimate in batter-friendly pitches, with Northamptonshire given the first use of it. Ricardo Vasconcelos (156) and Will Young (134, his highest score for the county) took full advantage, adding 287 for the first wicket. Luke Procter also made an unbeaten 100, whereupon his side declared on 597 for six. In reply, Warwickshire were at a relatively rocky 113 for three before Sam Hain (202 not out), Will Rhodes (99) and Mathew Lamb (155 not out) saw them up to 568 for four, and the safety of a draw; Hain and Lamb added 254 for the fifth wicket.


The Roses match also ended in a draw after Lancashire were put in to bat and piled up a formidable total of 566 for nine declared at Headingley. Keaton Jennings was the mainstay of the Red Rose innings, making a career-best 238 in 408 balls. In reply, even a knock of 147 by Joe Root was not enough to save Yorkshire from having to follow on, after they were dismissed for 379, Matt Parkinson taking four for 90. In their second innings they held on for a draw, reaching 169 for six, with Harry Brook’s unbeaten 82 the centrepiece of it all, holding off the best that James Anderson and the rest could throw at him. Brook is the leading England-qualified runscorer this summer, with 758 at an average of 151.60.


In Division Two, the match between promotion-chasing Middlesex and Nottinghamshire at Lord’s ended in a draw when much of the last day was washed out, depriving the visitors of a chance of victory. Put in to bat, the visitors were set on their way to a hefty total of 415 by Haseeb Hameed’s 112. There was a curious final-wicket partnership of 63 between Stuart Broad and Luke Fletcher, which saw the latter farming the strike to make 50 while Broad played the anchor role, finishing on 11 not out. John Simpson caught six catches. James Pattinson took four for 49 to bowl out Middlesex for just 195. Steven Mullaney didn’t enforce the follow-on, instead he smashed his way to a 55-ball century, the fastest of the season, as his side declared on 295 for five, setting a target of 516. At the end of the third day, Middlesex were in trouble at 69 for three, but only 21.2 overs were possible on the last day, and they finished on 133 for three, with Sam Robson unbeaten on 101 while Max Holden faced 115 balls for his 18 not out. The draw ensured Middlesex remained five points clear of Nottinghamshire.


The only win in the division came at Chester-le-Street where the hosts edged home by 58 runs. Put in to bat by Glamorgan, they were bowled out for 311, Ben Stokes top-scoring with 82 and Keegan Petersen making 78, his best score for the county. Lower-order runs from Billy Root (88) and Michael Neser (62, his highest score for the county) took the away side up to 365 in reply, despite four for 61 from both Matty Potts and Ben Raine. Skipper Scott Borthwick’s 90 was the vital element of Durham’s second-innings 249, setting a target of just 196. Potts yet again proved too much to handle as his remarkable start to the season continued, taking a career-best seven for 40 to give him match figures of 11 for 101 as Glamorgan were all out for 137. In a summer where the batters have thrived, Potts has been a shining example from among the bowlers, with 35 wickets to date (at 18.57); this was the fourth time he’d taken six or more wickets in an innings – and it helps to do it all in front of the England captain.


At Derby, the home side were unable to see through their advantage as the game ended in a draw. Jack Haynes made a career-best 133 for Worcestershire to help them up to 368 all out, while Sam Conners took five for 109. Shan Masood’s fine summer continued as he hit 113 to get Derbyshire under way (he now has 826 runs this summer, and has one more match to have a chance to reach 1000 runs by the end of May), before Anuj Dal (114 not out) and Alex Thomson (54) both hit career-best scores to take their side up to 565 for eight declared. Worcestershire were then able to bat out the match, reaching 225 for two, with Jake Libby making a patient 105 not out.


An abbreviated final day at Grace Road saved Leicestershire from defeat in the wooden spoon battle with Sussex, a match to which the county opened the gates for free to woo in the spectators. Having chosen to bat first, the home side could make only 210. Tom Clark’s career-best 138 helped the visitors up to 450 in reply, and he was well supported by Oliver Carter (72) and 17-year-old Archie Lenham (48), both of whom made the highest scores of their careers. But some gritty resistance over the last day and a bit saw Leicestershire reach 333 for nine to save the match, despite the best efforts of Lenham, who took a career-best four for 84.