Will Macpherson at The Oval and Ali Martin

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Name: Will Macpherson at The Oval and Ali Martin
Date registered: September 12, 2017
URL: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/series/county-cricket-live-blog

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  1. Essex close in on title while Sangakkara scores seventh century — September 13, 2017

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Sep 13

Essex close in on title while Sangakkara scores seventh century

  • If Essex win, and Lancashire do not, Essex win Championship title for first time in 25 years
  • Kumar Sangakkara scores brilliant century for Surrey against Yorkshire

8.06pm BST

We now know this much: if Essex beat Warwickshire and Lancashire fail to beat Somerset, Essex – after 25 years, and having been promoted last year – will be the county champions, and with two games to spare. Both outcomes are likely, and would have ramifications at the foot of Division One, too: Somerset would take their greatest step yet to a memorable escape, and render Warwickshire’s drawn-out relegation inevitable.

The major movement took place at Taunton, where the estimable Jack Leach took five for 47 as Somerset skittled Lancashire for 133, and enforced the follow-on with a lead of 202. Lancashire’s openers, Alex Davies and Haseeb Hameed, negotiated 12 overs to reach stumps 174 behind.

7.07pm BST

Wow, what a day. A big mover, a big shaker. Will it all be decided tomorrow? If Essex win, and Lancashire don’t, Essex win the title. Both those outcomes are likely, and I’ll be at Edgbaston to see if it comes to pass. It would be an extraordinary title win should Essex do it.

This is where we are:

6.17pm BST

Stumps at Edgbaston! Warwickshire seven without loss, 161 behind…

6.16pm BST

Right, Warwickshire are 162 behind and have two balls to survive tonight.

6.01pm BST

Essex have declared! Two overs remain tonight, I believe.

6.01pm BST

So Lancs’ openers have made it through those eight overs at Taunton. They are 28 without loss.

At stumps, they are 178 behind.

5.59pm BST

Foster is gone at Edgbaston, for 68, and Essex are 369 for nine, leading by 168.

5.55pm BST

Well we have stumps an over early at the Oval, because the light’s poor. Yorkshire 171 for one, with Marsh on 77.

5.38pm BST

Wicket! Oh my god a wicket! Van den Bergh has his first in the Championship, and how he’s loving it. TKC miscues to point, and Yorkshire are 162 for one! Lees, the nightwatchman (just kidding, guys), in ay No3. Five overs left.

5.35pm BST

Sure is Stuie!

@willis_macp go on glos great effort!

5.26pm BST

Northants lead by 103 on first innings!

5.24pm BST

Davies survives a maiden from Craig Overton.

5.18pm BST

OMGGGG

5.18pm BST

Woakes gets Harmer lbw, but Essex have four batting points!

5.15pm BST

That means that an Essex win would mean they win, should Lancs lose…!

5.13pm BST

Leach gets McLaren lbw and Somerset lead by 202 on first innings! Will they? Eight overs left tonight.

5.00pm BST

More good news for @EssexCricket with Alastair Cook made available for last 2 rounds of matcheshttps://t.co/Gqb3mqrndn pic.twitter.com/aV50ickg9A

4.57pm BST

Gloucestershire 385 all out! Bancroft carries his bat. Grim for Kent.

4.52pm BST

Lancashire are nine down! Leach has four! They trail by 223…

4.51pm BST

Cameron Bancroft has a double ton, and Kent’s promotion hopes are all but done. He has put on 108 for the last wicket and Gloucestershire are 382 for nine.

4.48pm BST

Lancashire 111 for eight. Bess gets Bailey!

4.44pm BST

Sussex all out for 271! Two in two balls for Viljoen, who finishes with seven. Wright left stranded on 70 not out. They trail Derbyshire by 67 on first innings.

4.38pm BST

Lancs are seven down!

4.28pm BST

Fifty for Tom Kohler-Cadmore! All very easy going at the moment.

4.23pm BST

Well Surrey are just wheeling away with a bit of spin, but Yorkshire are 88 for none.

4.19pm BST

A third batting point for Essex, who from 220 for two had stumbled slightly but thanks to James Foster (26*) now sit 303 for six and with a lead of 102. Keith Barker struck immediately after the tea interval with the second new ball to see Ravi Bopara on his way lbw for 20 – Hawkeye suggested it was going over – but Foster has found a bit of support from Simon Harmer (15) in a stand of 32. Chris Woakes has bowled some beauties in this spell for no reward. Warwickshire, having roared back into it, are no doubt reeling from the news that the Birmingham bin strike could spill into next year.

4.17pm BST

Lancashire are six down … Groenewald gets Vilas. They are looking like missing out on plenty of bonus points…

4.11pm BST

Right, so covers coming off. Players five minutes from coming back.

4.08pm BST

REPLAYS: Here are those last two wickets!! Somerset pumped up here at the CACG!#SOMvLAN pic.twitter.com/hMg54wHsG4

4.00pm BST

And now Lancs are five down as Overton gets Croft! 86 for five, needing every point they can muster, and still 249 behind. All sorts of concerns.

3.59pm BST

Covers coming off at the Oval, 4.15 restart.

3.53pm BST

Leach gets Chanderpaul and Lancs are in trouble at 82 for four!

3.52pm BST

Still just mizzling away at the Oval, so the umpires have taken their business elsewhere.

3.45pm BST

Essex six down, Barker gets Ravi. The lead is just 70.

3.45pm BST

Luke Wright and the tail have hauled Sussex to 256 for eight, 82 behind Derbyshire. They need many more…

3.44pm BST

Umpires having a look at the Oval, where the bowlers run-ups are currently covered.

3.34pm BST

About to get going at Taunton, with 38 overs left in the day.

3.33pm BST

During the tea break, some actual rain, and some actual covers.

3.26pm BST

Tea at the Oval! Surrey brought on spin at both ends to shore things up, and it did a touch. But Yorkshire are 78 without loss after 20. Very tidy start. Big session in the match coming up. With big clouds forming, the covers are coming on during the break.

3.24pm BST

Levi is gone, and Northants are 241 for four…

3.20pm BST

Richard Levi has a 91-ball ton at Cardiff, and Northants are flying. 240 for three, lead by 33.

3.18pm BST

More rain at Taunton, and at New Road. Great.

3.11pm BST

Restart at 3.20 at Taunton.

3.02pm BST

And another as Ryan Ten Doeschate chops Sidebottom onto his stumps for a duck … Essex in danger of blowing full batting points here, maybe, possibly etc 256 for five, new ball due in just under five overs.

2.59pm BST

At Cardiff, Northants have parity, three down…

2.58pm BST

Just absolutely abysmal scheduling.

Middlesex players, support staff & Gus Fraser helping sort out the covers.

Rubbish circumstances but can’t fault the will of the hosts pic.twitter.com/h3M6v54KoW

2.56pm BST

Wicket at Edgbaston as Dan Lawrence, on 78, chops Ryan Sidebottom to Ian Bell gully and walks off in bereft fashion. Think he was just trying to guide it square. Had just been baten outside off by Sidebottom and then promptly gave it away next ball. Lovely innings nonetheless, full of wristy flicks through mid-wicket and some sweet drives. Essex 252 for four from 73.5 overs.

2.53pm BST

And now the sun’s out again.

2.51pm BST

Possibly just a little bit of rain in the air at the Oval. Still 9 overs til tea.

2.50pm BST

50 up for Yorkshire, off the first ball of the 11th over. Lead by stumps, I imagine.

2.44pm BST

Inspection at Taunton at 3.

2.43pm BST

Worcestershire have lost their first! Mitchell gone – surprisingly – for 58. Callum Parkinson the bowler. 119 for one.

2.39pm BST

Tidy start from Yorkshire. 30 without loss; TKC, particularly, has played some very fine shots.

2.39pm BST

Well Sussex have avoided the follow on against Derbyshire. 190 for seven.

2.37pm BST

Play abandoned at Uxbridge. Rain stopped, but outfield wet. Oh dear. Middlesex 76 for three. How frustrating.

2.26pm BST

Another half-century for Daryl Mitchell… Worcestershire 100 without loss.

2.21pm BST

Now here’s an ATL jinx … Varun Chopra has just been pinned lbw by the part-time right-arm medium of Matt Lamb on 98. Had just nudged a couple backward of square to get within two runs of a 21st first-class hundred … and then Lamb just got one to nip in off the seam, Chopra played outside it and up went the finger from Martin Saggers. Essex 224 for three.

2.20pm BST

Varun Chopra out for 98, lbw to Matt Lamb, at Edgbaston. Looked like he hit it. Ravi in. 224 for three.

2.16pm BST

Kent have Gloucestershire nine down! Bancroft still there on 137, but 274 for nine is a good fightback from Kent, given Glos were 180 for one.

2.06pm BST

Half-century up here for Dan Lawrence from 91 balls and has looked very organised in the process. Some nice work on the leg side, especially against Henry Brookes (there was one tangle when he dug out a yorker but otherwise everything speared into him has been whipped away). Essex now in credit too, leading by seven runs and just the two wickets down. Varun Chopra is on 95, eyeing what would be a second century in Division One this summer.

2.05pm BST

So, as we ascertained yesterday, this is the first time since May 2012 that neither Lyth and Lees have opened the batting for Yorkshire. Kohler-Cadmore and Marsh doing the job, with Lees at No3. They need 443 to avoid the follow-on.

1.57pm BST

Surrey all out for 592!

Clarke goes to Patterson, caught at midwicket pulling. Surrey all out for 592. Represents a bit of a comeback for Yorkshire but it’s been a torrid four-and-a-bit sessions for them. Another tough one coming up.

1.50pm BST

Meh.

Rah, absolutely slashing it down now at Uxbridge pic.twitter.com/JAomY2iFNY

1.44pm BST

There will be an inspection in Taunton at 2:15pm.

We’ll keep you updated.

1.43pm BST

Successive sixes for Rikki Clarke off Bres. 569 for nine.

1.39pm BST

Two wickets in two balls again here, on quintuple-nelson. Freddie vdB, then Meaker, both to Patterson. Batty in with Clarke now. Suspect a dart is incoming.

1.36pm BST

The 18-year-old debutant Henry Brookes is getting a fast-tracked education here at Edgbaston, with his first over in the afternoon session taken for 11 runs. Wristy punch through mid-wicket for the first four by Dan Lawrence, before a sumptuous straight drive back past the bowler. Decent speeds from Brookes but line and length wavering a touch. Varun Chopra earned a life on 80 a couple of overs ago (half a life, maybe) when Sam Hain couldn’t cling on to a sharp chance at short-leg off the bowling of Jeetan Patel. Hain maybe didn’t stay down long enough and the ball clanged off his ankle on the full. Chopra onto 85 now.

12.58pm BST

News

PLAY : Play now set to start at 1.30 (tea 3.35) and an allocation of 67 overs play today. @Gloscricket to resume at 242-5 (Bancroft 124*) pic.twitter.com/AK4Q33U9kX

12.55pm BST

Glorious sunshine at Edgbaston now, where play is about to resume. Chris Woakes has five balls of his over to complete and Dan Lawrence, 10 not out, is the man on strike. Varun Chopra is unbeaten on 79 and Essex are 146 for two…

12.53pm BST

Covers on at Taunton. Pesky.

12.34pm BST

That there is luncheon to conclude a very fine morning session, lit up by that man Mr Sangakkara. Scores are these:

Division One:

12.31pm BST

Lunch at the Oval! Surrey 543 for seven. Be amazed if they declare now.

12.27pm BST

As lunch approaches, some clouds are gathering to my right, which is where the weather comes in from. Lee, the groundsman, is hovering, as if he thinks it might rain.

12.26pm BST

Ben Foakes is gone! He nibbled behind for 110 to become Brooks’s fifth wicket. Well done him. Yorkshire waited 85 minutes for a wicket this morning, and now he has four in half an hour. Looks like Freddie van den Bergh in on his Surrey debut now, with Surrey 540 for seven. Not the worst time to bat. Lunch in five, and I reckon Surrey will just remorselessly plough on until they are bowled out, because Gareth Batty is a hard bastard.

12.24pm BST

So Worcestershire finally bowled Gloucestershire out for 404, I see. They are 1 for 0 and it’s lunch, because of a little shower.

12.18pm BST

Leach’s 150th first-class wicket.

REPLAY: Here is a look at that last wicket with Lancashire now 49/3

-> https://t.co/VZutC46yWf#SOMvLAN pic.twitter.com/66JYCk0be8

12.15pm BST

Now Brooks has bowled Scurran for five. He was slogging. It doesn’t really matter. He has three wickets today though. Surrey are 531 for six, and Rikki Clarke is coming out to bat. Suspect they will continue slogging a bit after lunch too.

12.12pm BST

Lancashire are in a bit of bother! Leach gets Livi and they are 39 for three…

And at Uxbridge, as soon as Edwards gets Eskinazi, they are off for rain with Middlesex 62 for three.

12.09pm BST

A ton for Ben Foakes! Somehow his first of the Champo summer. The third of the innings. 166 balls, and reached with his 19th four. Hits his 167th for four, too.

Surrey 530 for five.

12.03pm BST

Foakes to 99…

12.02pm BST

Has…

REPLAY: Great wicket to get! Lancashire 27/2 in the 21st over#SOMvLAN pic.twitter.com/0zhfrM77rq

12.01pm BST

Hat-trick ball survived at the start of Brooks’s next over, by Sam Curran. 513 for five, Foakes on 96.

11.58am BST

Middlesex are 58 for two as Robson is caught at second slip off Ian Holland…

11.58am BST

Hameed gone at Taunton! Caught at, err, fine-leg off Trego for four off 56. Lancs 26 for two.

11.57am BST

They are off for rain at Edgbaston, it seems. Essex 146 for two.

11.56am BST

Sangakkara is out! The first chance he’s offered and he’s gone. He’s gone hooking, caught at fine-leg (Brooks the bowler), and gets a handshake from all the Yorkies and a standing ovation from the Oval faithful.

Remarkable innings: 164 off 187, with 21 fours and three sixes. Surrey are 513 for four, as Pope comes in.

11.52am BST

Play at midday in Cardiff!

11.48am BST

500 up…

11.46am BST

150 for Sanga! His third of the season, by my count. 180 balls, reached with his 19th four, to go with three sixes. Think the third 50 has come in 53 balls.

498 for three, and Surrey have scored 100 runs in 75 minutes this morning.

11.45am BST

Middlesex 40 for one! Fidel bowls Compo!

11.42am BST

Two short covers, so Sanga drives Bressie between them.

11.41am BST

Six, four. Sangakkara right in the mood. He has 140.

11.40am BST

Hameed is doing his thing! He has three off 40. Lancs are 20 for one.

11.35am BST

Nimble footwork to match the timing from @KumarSanga2

WATCH LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/5OsHKWNmqS pic.twitter.com/t2XwqdfE8d

11.34am BST

Middlesex have made a steady start at Uxbridge, where I hear there’s no carry at all. 36 for none.

11.33am BST

In fact, replay shows it wasn’t so much squaring Tom Westley up as a nibble at a ball that nipped away a touch. Still, lovely bit of bowling from Chris Woakes.

11.30am BST

Change of ends for Chris Woakes works immediately as Tom Westley is squared up and feathers behind for 28 … lovely bit of bowling.

11.29am BST

Varun Chopra appears a batsman with a point to prove at Edgbaston and is in pretty silken touch against his former county with some lovely cover drives and now a classy late dab to third man for four. All ended a a bit sourly for him here last year, such that he was allowed to move on mid-season. He’s moved to 71 with Tom Westley, who is himself growing in confidence by adding a lovely on drive off Brookes for four, on 27. Essex 128 for one.

11.28am BST

And the next over brings the second six of the match. Bressie hoicked into the Pavilion…

11.27am BST

As if to rub in the fact that Yorkshire are in the 110th over and have just one bowling point, Sanga skips down to Rafiq and hits the first six of the match. 465 for three. Could see Surrey batting very deep into the afternoon session here…

11.23am BST

200 stand, then…

11.16am BST

Foakes is joining in again now. He’s on 81, and Surrey are 447 for three…

11.15am BST

As someone has pointed out on twitter: the bowler’s Holden, the batsman’s ….

Congrats to Felix Organ who is making his debut for @hantscricket v @Middlesex_CCC at @UxbridgeCC. Welcome to the PCA pic.twitter.com/spFGFTIm6w

11.11am BST

Morning Stuie!

@willis_macp morning will! Out all day so cmon glos

11.10am BST

Sanga to 110 with a brutal swipe to leg off Patterson, who I think it’s fair to say he has fairly minimal respect for. 440 for three.

11.06am BST

Beauty…

REPLAY: Decent bowler this Craig Overton!#SOMvLAN pic.twitter.com/bCM2rU50h9

11.05am BST

First appearance of the Tom Westley whip here, with Keith Barker slotted through midwicket off the back foot by the Essex man, who has moved to 13 with three boundaries – the first four of which was controlled through third man, the second less so when Chris Woakes squared him up. Now for a spot of Henry Brookes on his Championship debut, having replaced Woakes from the Birmingham End. Right-armer, England Under-19, has an easy action – slightly Jake Ball-ish, albeit goes slightly wider at the crease. Essex 97 for one in the 29th.

11.02am BST

Lancashire are one down… Al Davies gone to Coverton! Tres with the catch, and Lancs are 6 for 1.

10.52am BST

50 for Varun Chopra at Edgbaston…

10.49am BST

This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. He wants to go out while he’s still at the top of his game. Which he most certainly is. This, by the way, is his third century of the season against Yorkshire: one against the pink, white and now red ball…

@willis_macp phew! Just in time to watch @KumarSanga2 get to 100.
Why is he retiring?! Still the best in the CC

10.45am BST

Sanga has his seventh ton of the summer! Flicks through midwicket to move to 98, then runs hard to third man – where he’s spotted Sidebottom – and gets the two he needs! 127 balls, 15 fours. Surrey 414 for three.

10.44am BST

Sangakkara to 98…

10.42am BST

Derbyshire all out for 338 – Sussex’s replay has begun.

10.42am BST

Delayed start in Bristol too – only just noticed that.

10.41am BST

Early wicket at Edgbaston … at least I think there is … yes … Nick Browne has been caught at first slip by Jeetan Patel off the bowling of Keith Barker in the third over of the day. Some question of whether it carried but replays looked clean to me. Now then, Essex 72 for one … and Tom Westley is striding out to the middle

10.40am BST

Somerset all out for 335! Bailey gets Leach…

10.34am BST

And Surrey bring up their fifth batting point in the opening over of the day! Foakes moves to 65, Sanga to 87. They are 401 for three.

10.32am BST

Stream news. You can watch Warwickshire v Essex on Sky. But there are other options!

10.28am BST

Delayed start at Cardiff. Shame.

Players on their way out at the Oval. Sanga has 85, Foakes – who batted beautifully last night – has 64. Surrey need two for full batting points.

10.24am BST

About eight minutes to go until we start here, which is lovely.

I’ve just noticed that Middlesex have left out RoJo. Stoneman didn’t have to play in this game, but wanted to. Bit different for a fast bowler, mind.

10.14am BST

A debut for Maxy Holden for Middlesex too!

10.13am BST

News from Uxbridge: no toss, Hampshire to bowl first against Middlesex. Teams:

Middlesex: Robson, Compton, Eskinazi, Voges, Holden, Simpson+, Franklin*, Harris, Rayner, Helm, Finn

9.29am BST

Welcome to the Oval, where it’s beautifully sunny and, in about 30 minutes, Kumar Sangakkara will resume on 85. All, you’ll sense, is right with the world. I’m Will Macpherson and I’m going to guide you through the action from here and round the grounds, with a little help from my friend Ali Martin at Edgbaston.

Tuesday at the Oval was a triumphant one for Surrey, with a ton for Stoneman and runs to all corners of this oval-shaped ground. Eh? There was no play at Uxbridge, but a toss is imminent there, so that’s good.

Related: Imperious Mark Stoneman eases Surrey fears and strengthens Ashes case

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