Start delayed also at the Rose Bowl to thwart Hampshire’s tilt at the title. Whatever happens there – and please check this by doing the maths yourself – we don’t think Surrey can clinch the pennant in the next round – which takes us to The Oval against Yorkshire in the penultimate round. Also rain at Canterbury, which won’t help Kent’s mood.
Play here at Old Trafford – where the umpires are already changing the ball four deliveries in – and rain at Taunton.
As widely predicted, Alex Hales has been called up to England’s T20 World Cup squad to replace Jonny Bairstow, who had to withdraw after breaking his leg in a freak golfing accident. It will mark the first time Hales had played for England since being effectively black-balled before the 2019 World Cup after failing a drugs test.
Rose Bowl: Hampshire 400-9dec v Northants 77-1
Canterbury: Kent 74-4 v Essex 573
Old Trafford: Lancashire 276 v Yorkshire 130-4
Taunton: Somerset 209-8 v Gloucestershire 343
Derby: Derbyshire 306 all out v Durham 222-9
Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 111-2 v Worcestershire 454-9 dec
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 201 and 390-7 v Leicestershire 93 and 20-0
Durham face a possible points deduction after their overseas player Nic Maddinson came to the crease carrying a bat that was too big. The umpire Hassan Adnan tried, and failed, to squeeze the bat through his measurement guage, and it was duly confiscated by the match referee. If the bat fails a second test after play, it will be packed off and sent to the ECB. It topped a disappointing day for Durham, who lost five wickets for 26 in the final session to give the promotion hopefuls Derbyshire a spring in their step.
In the Roses match, 20-year old Fin Bean, who lit up Yorkshire’s second XI in June with a record 441 against Nottinghamshire, made an assured 42 on first-class debut at Old Trafford. A studious player, he took 19 balls to get off the mark, but found his feet, driving smartly and quick-stepping between the wickets with George Hill. With 50 beckoning he was trapped like a toddling faun by a Tom Bailey yorker. It has been a second coming for Bean, who in 2020 turned down an academy contract to work as a mechanic.
Feroze Khushi’s maiden first-class century lit up a grizzly Canterbury and slotted Essex into a dominant position. Khushi kissed the ground after reaching his century and later lifted Denly over his head for six to tot up 500. Kent’s reply began with Ben Compton’s stumps spreadeagled by Jamie Porter, and did not get much better.
Hampshire dashed to maximum batting points as they eyed up the title, thanks to a swashbuckling 94 from Aneurin Donald and a frisky cameo from Kyle Abbott. Sensibly-shod Northamptonshire reached 77 for one at the close.
At the top of Division Two, Nottinghamshire set Leicestershire an implausible 499 to win, after knocking up 390, thanks to half centuries from Haseeb Hameed, Lyndon James and Joe Clarke.
A career-best 172 by Gareth Roderick put Worcestershire in a strong position on a soggy day at Sophia Gardens, while Imam-ul-Haq’s 90 on Championship debut helped Somerset avoid the follow-on against Gloucestershire.
Good morning! A delicious autumn crunch to day three, all sunshine and smoky sandwiches. At Old Trafford both teams are going through their skips and stretches in t-shirts, shorts and leggings (Keaton Jennings) while the groundsman pulls along the roller. Play starts at 10.30am, weather round the country is slightly better than yesterday – with scattered showers floating about.