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Burns the Toast of Surrey


Surrey maintained their narrow lead at the top of Division One after a hard-fought win over Somerset at Taunton. Despite choosing to bat first, the hosts could make only 180. A score of 113 from Rory Burns set the tone for Surrey who replied with a score of 382 to establish complete control, but that was before Lewis Gregory hit back with a fine unbeaten 110 to help the home side up to 394, with Peter Siddle making 42, his highest score for the county. A middle-order wobble saw Surrey go from a comfortable 137 for three to a more worrying 175 for seven, but Jordan Clark and Jamie Overton saw them home. Kasey Aldridge, who replaced Josh Davey during the match, took his first four Championship wickets, beginning with the prize scalp of Burns.


Things were even tighter at Southampton, where Hampshire edged home by two wickets, keeping them three points adrift of Surrey at the top of the table. Yorkshire chose to bat first, and George Hill made his second century of the summer (131) to lead his side up to 428 all out, with Harry Brook continuing his fine summer by making 76; Brad Wheal took four for 59. Dominic Drakes took the wicket of top scorer Ben Brown (83) on his Championship debut for Yorkshire, but Hampshire ensured they remained in the mix with a reply of 410. It was in their second innings that the away side messed up, falling for 178 to set a target of 197. At 103 for six, Yorkshire were favourites until a partnership of 67 between Liam Dawson (67) and Keith Barker took them to the verge of victory. Despite the defeat, Yorkshire remained in third place, albeit 28 points adrift of Hampshire.


A mid-table clash at Edgbaston saw Lancashire emerge victorious by four wickets in an impressive run chase. Warwickshire decided to bat first, and Sam Hain hit a vital 130 to see them up to 292 all out; Steven Croft’s 90 was the most significant score in the visitors’ reply of 291, leaving the game finely balanced. Former Lancashire star Alex Davies chose this time to make his maiden century for the hosts, eventually falling for 121, but he needed help from the lower order after the top order struggled. Will Williams, on his debut for Lancashire, took four for 70 as Warwickshire declared on 327 for nine, setting a target of 329. At 93 for four, the Red Rose was wilting, but Luke Wells was still there and his unbeaten 175 was both his best score for Lancashire and a match-winning innings.


Finally in the division, bottom side Gloucestershire were beaten by eight wickets by Kent at Canterbury. Put in to bat, the visitors were grateful to Glenn Phillips, who hit his maiden century for the county (125) to help them up to a hefty total of 438. Oliver Price (51) made his first fifty. Kent’s new recruit Jacob Duffy took three wickets on his debut. Ben Compton continued his fine season, scoring 80, but it was a 254 fourth-wicket partnership between Jack Leaning (128) and Jordan Cox (158) that took the game the way of the hosts. When the latter fell, he became the first of a hat-trick of victims for Tom Price, who finished with career-best figures of five for 58, despite which Kent still scored 564 in reply. Duffy did even better in the second innings, taking five for 66, and that ensured the away side fell away to 213 all out, leaving Kent to chase 88 for their win.


Nottinghamshire went top of Division Two when they beat local rivals Leicestershire by an innings at Grace Road. Put in to bat, the home side appeared to have made the visitors pay when they hit 440, thanks to centuries from Lewis Hill (104) and Colin Ackermann (116). Ben Duckett’s 145 had ample support enabling Notts to reply with 548. It was then that the wheels came off, as Leicestershire were bundled out for just 99, Liam Patterson-White taking four for 15.


Meanwhile, leaders Middlesex were beaten inside three days by Derbyshire, who moved into third, at Chesterfield. Middlesex chose to bat first and made a modest 251, new recruit Toby Pettman taking three for 40. With Toby Roland-Jones taking five for 45 that proved a decent enough total as the home side could manage only 229 in reply. He finished the match with 35 wickets for the summer, ten behind Matty Potts, who leads the way. Middlesex were then bowled out for 196, leaving Derbyshire to chase 219, and almost inevitably Shan Masood was the man for the job. The only surprise was when he was out for 98, two short of a fourth century of the summer and nine short of becoming the first to 1000 runs this summer, but his side still won by six wickets.


A career-best 185 from Oliver Carter saw Sussex up to 376 all out when they visited Cardiff. Loan signing Jack Brooks made a useful contribution of 36 at the end. But Sussex’s attack struggled as Eddie Byrom (176, the best score of his career) and Colin Ingram (178, his highest score for the county) put on a record second-wicket partnership of 328. Henry Crocombe took a career-best four for 84, but it wasn’t enough to stop Glamorgan from reaching a formidable 494 in reply. Carter’s fine match continued, as he scored 83 in the second innings, but a total of 258 left the home side needing 141 for victory, and they got there with five wickets in hand.


Finally, a batter’s paradise at Chester-le-Street ensured the match against Worcestershire ended in a draw. First of all, new signing Rachin Ravindra hit a career-best 217 in his maiden innings in England, before Ben Raine (a career-best 103 not out) and Paul Coughlin (a career-best 100 not out) added a county record unbeaten 213 for the eighth wicket to take Durham up to 642 for seven declared, just six runs short of the highest ever score for the county. On his debut, Jonathan Bushnell scored 66. Gareth Roderick did not concede a single bye in that time. After that, Taylor Cornall, on his first-class debut for the county, must have felt somewhat embarrassed to be dismissed for a duck in the second ball of the reply. Fortunately for Worcestershire, Brett D’Oliveira (100) and Ed Barnard (128) saw them up to 550 in reply, helped by a remarkable 81 extras – the joint fourth highest in English first-class history. There was enough time for Durham to make 102 without loss in their second innings, completing a match aggregate of 1294 runs that had come at an average of 76.11 per wicket.