Lancashire beat Durham, Somerset see off Kent, and more: county cricket day four – live

Key events

Division Two Drama

There’s been a wicket at Derby – Chappell for 72. Northants need two wicket

At Sophia Gardens, Middlesex need just 32 but it is in the hands of Helm and Davies, with just Ethan Bamber to come. Mason Crane – 5-78 – dervishly wheeling in.

Leicestershire have a lead (one run) but only three wickets left, Handscomb and Rehan Ahmed back in the pavilion. Can they hold out?

Somerset beat Kent by eight wickets!

Taunton: Somerset 554 and 194-2 BEAT Kent 178 and 564 by eight wickets

Crawley’s double ton in vain as Renshaw and Umeed do the business!

Somerset 24 points; Kent 2


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While at Taunton, Renshaw (87) and Umeed (20) have Somerset safe, for now. 87 needed. I’m going to start to write up now – will pop back.

Three wickets for Mason Crane on a Sophia Gardens dustbowl – Middlesex, five down, need 64.

And it looks like Leicestershire, in the careful hands of Handscomb and the carefree hands of Rehan Ahmed, will see the day out. Currently 270-4, trail by 64.

Rob Keogh (4-45) bowling Northants towards victory wasn’t on my hit list. So disown me. Derby, 200-7, still 171 short of victory. Anuj Dal (13 off 51) nice cop; Zak Chappell (37 off 40) nasty cop. Or the other way round.

Saqib Mahmood update

A very relieved Dale Benkenstein confirmed that Saqib was being rested because he felt a twinge in his hip flexor.

On Balderson, “Makes things happen, quiet but determined, intelligent with a good cricket brain.”

On Aspinwall. “He doesn’t complicated his game, great that he took his opportunity.”

On the team: “Character is what it is all about and for young players to be part of this win [after the last three losses] is a huge step in their careers.”

Tea-timeish scores


Chelmsford: Essex 162 and 331-6 BEAT Warwickshire 397 and 94 BY FOUR WICKETS

Stanley Park: Lancashire 357 and 353-9-dec BEAT Durham 236 and 414 BY 60 RUNS

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 235 and 209 LOSE TO Hampshire 276 and 171-5 BY FIVE WICKETS

Taunton: Somerset 554 and 60-2 v Kent 178 and 564 Somerset need 129 runs to win

The Oval: Surrey 213 and 427 BEAT Worcestershire 128 and 231 BY 281 RUNS


Derby: Derbyshire 362 and 149-7 v Northamptonshire 422 and 310-3dec – Derbyshire need 222 to win with three wickets remaining

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 183 and 372 v Middlesex 343 and 120-4 Middlesex need 93 to win

Grace Road: Leicestershire 371 and 221-4 v Gloucestershire 706-6 dec – Leics trail by 114 with 6 wickets remaining

Hove: Sussex 150 and 227 BEAT Yorkshire 195 and 161 BY 21 RUNS

Lancashire beat Durham by 60 runs!

A fourth for Balderson! Jennings swallows the catch at slip.

Ollie Robinson, helmet under his right arm, 171 not out, leads the players off. A delighted Lancashire follow – their first win of the season, at last.

Stanley Park: Lancashire 357 and 353-9-dec BEAT Durham 236 and 414 BY 60 RUNS

Lancashire points, Durham

Ah, and Middlesex are not making this easy for themselves.. They’ve just lost three for 12 and at 120-4, require another 93.

It’s tea at Taunton, where Somerset need another 129. Lammonby out on the stroke of tea, Dickson caught for 6.

Robinson picks up and flicks Lyon up and over – goes to his career best score with a four. 61 needed.

An excellent 0 not out here by Parky C.

Oh Durham. Now a run-out. Potts gone for two. The only sniff of good news for Durham that Robinson is still there, a forlorn figure at the non-striker’s end. Nine wickets down, the target still 87.

And a third for Balderson! An inside edge from Raine billows skywards and Balderson captures it in his follow through, sprinting and sliding on his belly. Is enveloped by hugs. Durham down and nearly out. 91 needed, 2 wickets left.

Elsewhere: Mark Stoneman (39) is inching Middlesex towards a win at Sophia Gardens, though he’s just lost Max Holden for 28 to Mason Crane. 108 needed, eight wickets left.

Derbyshire need 243, but have just lost their third wicket – Wayne Madsen for 27. Reece still there on 44.

And Hill and Handscomb have put on a stubbon 72 at Grace Road. Still trail by 154 but minutes ticking away for Gloucestershire.

And another! Jennings takes the catch at first slip. Coughlin gone for 0. Robinson, puts his hand on his hip, 144 not out! New ball magic from Balderson.

The Durham target drops under 100, but – and I actually look up at the right moment – a gorgeous lifter from Balderson, Clark edges behind and must go! Robinson at the non-striker’s end takes off his gloves and helmet and has a towel down. Durham 380-6, and the pendulum swings back towards Lancashire.

Somerset need 189 to win!

Time to zip round the grounds: Div One

Kent finally out, for 564 – increasing their lead from 33 overnight to 189, thanks to 67 from last man out Joe Denly and some great gathering by the tail, including a slap happy 37 from Grant Stewart. Kent’s profligate bowlers against Somerset’s collapse-prone batters? Could be quite the chase. Somerset have safely negotiated the first two overs, 4-0.

A stress fracture rules Jamie Overton out for the Test summer

Rotten luck for J Overton, who was ruled out of the Ashes last year with a stress fracture, and picks up another just before the T20 World Cup.

And further worry for England who are putting Anderson out to grass after the Lord’s Test, but find some of their up and coming quick bowlers struggling with injuries, with Saqib Mahmood playing in just his second game back for Lancashire (and currently off the field after struggling during his run-up) and Josh Tongue suffering from muscle injury.


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Stokes bowled for 18!

Tries the reverse-sweep again, perhaps playing for the turn (there wasn’t any), and the ball clips the stumps. Luke Wells, take a bow! Now it gets interesting. Durham need 125, with five wickets left.

And a four through the diving Aspinwall, in the deep, then a slog sweep for six. Bowler Luke Wells earnestly polishes the ball on his shirt. Perhaps a genie might appear.

And that’s the first Stokes boundary, a reverse-sweep off Lyon, off the mark to his 22nd ball.

“Demutualision the answer”: Colin Graves

Despite promises to the contrary prior to members accepting his rescue bid for Yorkshire, Colin Graves has told the Yorkshire website that he has changed his mind. Yorkshire lost £2.7m last year, he said, with total losses over £9m.

“Unfortunately, there is no doubt that without swift and decisive action, YCCC [Yorkshire County Cricket Club] will be fighting for its survival during 2024.

“A demutualisation – thereby converting the club to a private structure, which unlocks potential private investment – appears at this point essential for the club’s future.

“My firm intention is that members’ current rights are protected and that a demutualisation would represent no change to their current interaction with YCCC.

“The club would be better structured to be self-sustaining, still in existence, and to capture maximum value for YCCC from any processes such as The Hundred.

“Other county clubs, including Hampshire and Northamptonshire, have successfully demutualised and are realising the benefits of this structure.”

Stokes in

Misses a reverse-sweep against Wells. Watchful. The ball occassionally keeping low. At the non strikers’s end he leans on his bat, hand on his hip.

A hundred for David Bedingham! And out for David Bedingham!

After a nervy few minutes, four through the covers, and Bedingham brings up a fabulous hundred. Gets a fond hug from his teammate! Two in match. And now Lyon gets his man!Bedingham throws his head back in despair and trudges off. On walks Ben Stokes.

99 and all that

Matt Critchley: “When I was 99 not out, the chat between me and Harmy was just let’s get the game done. I tried to hit the next ball for four but it didn’t happen and then he faced the start of the next over. I think when he hit the winning runs, he was actually trying to get me the strike but it went for four and he had a little laugh. But we won and that was the important thing.”

A turn of the ground at lunch. Spectators sitting in rapt attention (or, possibly, a post-prandially doze). A dad changes a baby’s nappy in the shade of the wall. A man sits with a red bowler hat perched on his head. Nearly a mix-up between the batters, a slightly nervous restart. Bedingham just one short of his second century in the match.

Saqib Mahmood update

Although Mahmood is still off the field, his injury is not back related, ie, not a recurrence of the stress fractures that have kept him out of cricket for much the last two seasons. No decision has yet been made on whether he will bowl again.

Lunchtime scores


Chelmsford: Essex 162 and 331-6 BEAT Warwickshire 397 and 94 BY FOUR WICKETS

Stanley Park: Lancashire 357 and 353-9-dec v Durham 236 and 284-3 – Durham require 191 runs to win

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 235 and 209 LOSE TO Hampshire 276 and 171-5 BY FIVE WICKETS

Taunton: Somerset 554 v Kent 178 and 494-8 Kent lead by 118 runs

The Oval: Surrey 213 and 427 BEAT Worcestershire 128 and 231 BY 281 RUNS


Derby: Derbyshire 362 and 52-1 v Northamptonshire 422 and 310-3dec – Derbyshire need 319 to win

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 183 and 372 v Middlesex 343 – Middlesex need 213 to win

Grace Road: Leicestershire 371 and 109-3 v Gloucestershire 706-6 dec – Leics trail by 226 with 7 wickets remaining

Hove: Sussex 150 and 227 BEAT Yorkshire 195 and 161 BY 21 RUNS

A hundred for Ollie Robinson!

Super, super innings: a sweep for four off Lyon brings up his first hundred of the season, off 132 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes. Lyon joins in the applause as he takes off his helmet and raises his bat to the dressing room. And that is lunch – Durham have reduced the deficit to 191.

Essex BEAT Warwickshire win by four wickets!

Critchley unbeaten on 99, cracking innings, and Harmer (14*) take Essex home. What a win from a seemingly hopeless position after the first innings. Some chin scratching in order for Warwickshire.

Chelmsford: Essex 162 and 331-6 BEAT Warwickshire 397 and 94 BY FOUR WICKETS

Essex 18 points, Warwickshire 6.


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In the sun of the Durham balcony, Ben Stokes rubs his tattoos and bakes in the sun, two bats leaning on the wall in front of him.

Hampshire beat Nottinghamshire by five wickets!

Well played Middleton (59) and Fuller (77)! Took Hampshire safely home with nary a scare. That’s a first win of the season for Hampshire. (Worcs, Warwicks and Lancs now the only teams without a win in Div One)

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 235 and 209 LOSE TO Hampshire 276 and 171-5 BY FIVE WICKETS

Hampshire 20 points; Nottinghamshire 3.


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Deliciously warm day in Blackpool, almost indecently so. Lyon tempting, cajoling. Bedingham twice nearly cuts him into his stumps.

A stat, courtesy of Paul Edwards: 13 years ago, Ben Stokes and Dale Benkenstein put together Durham’s current record fourth wicket-partnership, At Chester le street. Against Lancashire.


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A hundred and out for Jordan Cox!

His second hundred for Essex, and a vital one if Essex go on to win, holding onto Surrey’s coat-tails with their teeth. But. But. He falls to Che Simmons first ball of the day, a man quite capable of doing an Ollie Robinson. And though Essex only need 37, they’ve just lost Pepper too with only five more added to the total. Four wickets left.

And the first maiden of the day at Blackpool, from the wily Nathan Lyon. Seagulls overhead, heat slowly rising, lots of energy in the Lancashire fielding.

A cakewalk for Hampshire and Essex as it turns out: Hants need just 43 (five wickets in hand); Essex 63 (six wickets in hand).

Oh dear, Luke Wells can’t hold onto a flash from David Bedingham at slip. Not easy.

Saqib has retreated back in the pavilion.

And now fifty for Robinson (87 balls); and now the hundred partnership. Durham need another 278 to win. Lyon continues to wheel in…

Here at Blackpool, Aspinwall’s zippy little spell is over. Cooler today, definitely a long-sleeved shirt morning. Saqib Mahmood reappears on the pitch, the Lancashire physio, arms folded, watchful, stands behind him, looking as if hes holding a tea-towel.

And that’s fifty for Bedingham off 72 balls, definitely Durham’s first 45 minutes.


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In the Chelmsford nail-biter, Cox and Critchley are so far seeing off the new ball: 80 needed, six wickets in hand.

Good morning to Mike Daniels, in the Grace Road score box (with sandwiches?).

”Here at Grace Road for the Big Block. One slip, two men short at cover and one short midwicket shows what they think of the wicket. And Harris goes flirting outside the off stump, disappointingly.” Leicestershire 43-1, Josh Shaw the bowler.

Elsewhere in Div 2:

At Sophia Gardens, Crane and ul Hassan have squeezed the Glamorgan lead to 164 this morning; and Emilio Gay has safely pocketed his second hundred of the season, and is going for broke. The Northants lead 308.

At the South End, Lyon replaces Saqib, who has gone off. The first ball is another of those dramatic lbw appeals, all one-kneed supplication. Not out.


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Injury scare for Saqib Mahmood

The first, probably not the last, ball is lost over the wall, Robinson the man to pull Saqib into the park. In the tent, people are remembering the game against Essex last year, where Lancashire just fell short.

Oh no, Saqib stops in his run up. And again. Jennings and Bohannon run over to check he’s ok. He tries again. Manages to bowl. Please don’t overdo it.


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Jennings leads Lancs out, and it looks as if it might be man of the moment Aspinwall starting off – this time from the North End. Saqib Mahmood stands next to him, polishing the ball on his shirt before handing it over.

Sunny skies in Blackpool, a few feathery clouds billowing about and a scattering of spectators.

Jim Wallace’s Sunday round-up

On a sunshine‑soaked May Sunday, the cricket season got moving for the first time for England and Kent’s Zak Crawley. The willowy opener’s batting is often feast or famine and after a string of low scores – 67 runs from his first seven innings including a duck in the first innings against Somerset – he looked hungry during his second innings at Taunton. Kent needed him, following on after being bundled out for 178 in response to Somerset’s 554. Crawley departed before the close after making 238 off 267 balls, and somewhere Rob Key was smiling.

Yorkshire fell to a Sussex ram raid at Hove, a nervy fourth innings chase in search of a first victory in six games saw them lose their last four wickets for three runs. Ollie Robinson took three wickets without conceding a run at the death, including the key wicket of Adam Lyth, scraped from the crease for 73 fending off a ball that threatened to whisper sweet nothings to his jugular. Sussex sit atop Division Two.

Ben Stokes got through plenty of graft for Durham and took five second innings wickets at Blackpool but Lancashire are in command thanks to 155 from Keaton Jennings. The Surrey juggernaut rumbled on ominously as they bruised the Worcestershire “Pears” to win by 281 runs inside three days, Dan Worrall continuing his eye-catching season with a 10-wicket match haul.

Essex need 106 more runs against Warwickshire with six wickets left, Jordan Cox (77) and Matt Critchley (46) undefeated overnight. Emilio Gay’s unbeaten 89 has put Northamptonshire in control against Derbyshire and a Marnus Labuschagne century sees Glamorgan lead Middlesex by 134 runs with three wickets remaining.

Scores on the doors


Chelmsford: Essex 162 and 224-4 v Warwickshire 397 and 94 Essex require 106 runs to win with 6 wickets remaining

Stanley Park: Lancashire 357 and 353-9-dec v Durham 236 and 134-3 – Durham require 341 runs to win

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 235 and 209 v Hampshire 276 and 84-5– Hampshire require 85 runs to win with 5 wickets remaining

Taunton: Somerset 554 v Kent 128 and 409-5 Kent lead by 33 runs

The Oval: Surrey 213 and 427 BEAT Worcestershire 128 and 231 BY 281 RUNS


Derby: Derbyshire 362 v Northamptonshire 422 and 195-2 – Northants lead by 255 runs with 8 wickets remaining

Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 183 and 294-7 v Middlesex 343 – Glamorgan lead by 134 runs with 3 wickets remaining

Grace Road: Leicestershire 371 and 24-0 v Gloucestershire 706-6 dec – Leics trail by 311 with 10 wickets remaining

Hove: Sussex 150 and 227 BEAT Yorkshire 195 and 161 BY 21 RUNS


Hello! Monday morning, mid May, county cricket opening up like a peony, suddenly glorious and beautiful.

Thanks so much to Jim for helming the blog on Sunday – what an amazing day’s cricket: Crawley’s double century, Robinson (that one)‘s three for 0, Labuschagne’s hundred, Stokes’ five-fer, Surrey’s juggernauting, a first summer century for Rishi Patel, and great intrigue in store today at Chelmsford and Trent Bridge. The weather, from this northern train at least, looks good to go.

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