The weather over the last few days has been wetter than Marti Pellow’s mushiest ballad. There was rain. Lots of it. And unfortunately county cricket and rain are about as compatible as the ECB and common sense. The result was a series of washouts and essentially meaningless individual performances that were never likely to influence the game’s result. The weather was always going to be the only winner in most of round 3’s fixtures.
One of the few games that did produce a result was Notts’ innings victory over Worcs. Being a Worcs fan who actually thought the team might be competitive this year – due partly to Essex’s success last year which made the step up from division two look like a walk in The Parks – I thought the game was particularly depressing. Although it’s tempting to pretend that Notts were lucky, it’s pretty obvious that Worcs were steamrolled by a team they competed so well against last season.
The big difference, I suppose, was Notts’ big guns: Jake Ball and some bloke called Stuart Broad. This new ball pairing were simply too good in helpful conditions and Worcs’ young side simply couldn’t cope – although Joe Clarke did muster 42 in the first innings. Ball was particularly impressive by all accounts and finished with 5-59 in the second innings. Has he done enough to earn and England spot? I guess we’ll need to ask Ed Smith’s iMac.
The game between Lancs and Surrey also produced some rare meaningful action. Lancs made a big first innings score thanks to a remarkable rearguard action: Lancs’ last four batsmen all made scores of 60+. I think that’s more than Jennings and Hameed have made collectively all summer. At least Liam Livingstone managed to make some impact with 48.
Although it was promising to see Surrey’s Amar Virdi impress again with 4-80, his team struggled big time thereafter. However, Surrey fans will be delighted that they managed to bat out the last day and salvage a draw. Rory Burns, Ben Foakes, and Ollie Pope all batted for approximately 100 balls to save the day.
The only other game worth talking about saw Somerset blast away Yorkshire at Taunton. Although Ben Coad and Jack Brooks shared 15 wickets in the game, Yorkshire’s batsmen let the side down badly. They were dismissed for 96 in the first innings and 200 in the second. Only Jack Leaning, who made 68 on the last day, offered much resistance.
The stars for Somerset were young captain Tom Abell, who lived up to his surname with an impressive 82, and the bowling unit as a whole. It’s good to see both Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton in the wickets. I wonder whether Ed Smith prefers the latter to Jake Ball?
Unfortunately the rain ruined the other division one fixture between Hants and Essex. There really wasn’t much to talk about. Jimmy Adams made 87 for the home side, and Alastair Cook scored a welcome half-century for the visitors. I could mention that James Vince made a breezy 47 before getting himself out but I guess we all knew that would happen before the game even started.
There was little to report from division two I’m afraid. Most of the grounds were wetter than a mermaid’s nipples. The game between Northants and Durham was abandoned without a ball being bowled, and the other games ended in rain-affected draws too.
The only really eye-catching performances to report were Steve Eskinazi’s 94 for Middlesex and Gary Wilson’s half-century for Derbyshire. Tim Murtagh took an incredibly impressive 4-12 in 8 overs but it wasn’t enough to force a result. The weather put paid to that.