Will Macpherson

Author's posts

Nov 18

Ashes 2017-18: player-by-player guide to the Australia squad

England can expect a feisty sledge or two from opener David Warner, Steve Smith will need to win the captaincy battle with Joe Root while paceman Mitchell Starc is sure to supply a dose of hooping, blasting yorkersDAVID WARNERBullies bowlers and loves …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/18/australia-england-first-test-ashes-player-guide

Oct 02

England Lions opt for a mixed bag of Test hopefuls and youthful promise | Will Macpherson

The Lions squad to shadow the England team in Australia contains typical mix of talents but there are some notable and baffling outcasts

England Lions squad announcements, in their own little way, provoke as much fury as the senior squad, with focus as much on who is out than in. This time, for the flight (economy class, so their heads don’t swell too much) to Australia to shadow the Ashes squad – which may yet find it has a large hole in it – the story was the same, with the selectors choosing a mixed bag of Test cricketers (namely Tom Westley, Keaton Jennings, Mark Wood and Ben Duckett), those who have pushed on this year, those who have stalled but have credit in the bank, and those who barely register with their counties but are all the rage at Loughborough.

Ostensibly this is a training camp, but they play a three-day game against a Queensland XI, as well as three T20s against Perth Scorchers, too. The real business takes place after Christmas in the Caribbean, with three “Tests” and three one-dayers against West Indies A. Selection will be revisited in December, when the squads for North-South will also be picked. Those supporting coach Andy Flower are as interesting as the squad; Chris Silverwood, mastermind of Essex’s title win, will look after the bowlers, while Adam Hollioake, the former Surrey and England captain, is fielding coach.

Related: County cricket talking points: Hampshire stay up as Middlesex (probably) go down

Related: It’s the Wills 2017! The complete review of the county cricket season

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/02/england-lions-squad-test-hopefuls-young-promise-ashes-cricket

Sep 29

It’s the Wills 2017! The complete review of the county cricket season

Worcestershire and Essex will remember the 2017 season for ever while Middlesex and Yorkshire cannot forget it soon enough

• Fans from all 18 countries look back on the season

With a word for Worcestershire, another of the little guys whose overachievement has been fostered at home, this has to be Essex. Well supported from east London to East Anglia, brilliantly coached and captained, and with the best spinner, seamer and eight blokes who scored a ton. Little wonder they won.

Related: County Championship: fans from all 18 counties look back on the season

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/29/county-championship-cricket-season-review-2017-wills

Sep 06

County cricket: Lancashire v Essex, Surrey v Hampshire and more – live!

Haseeb Hameed dug in for a fine 85 against Essex at Old Trafford, and all the other action from around the grounds

6.27pm BST

Thanks for joining me on an enjoyable day’s cricket, both here at Old Trafford and elsewhere. Cross those fingers and toes for good conditions tomorrow. Here’s where we are:

Division One:

6.02pm BST

And stumps at Edgbaston, where Somerset are 75 for two, leading by 211.

6.02pm BST

Bad light at Headingley too. Yorkshire 317 for seven.

5.59pm BST

Off for bad light here at Old Trafford. After one over of the new ball, Lancashire are 222 for eight, with Hameed 85 not out. Well played that man.

5.58pm BST

Bad light at Grace Road, where Gloucestershire are three down and four behind Leicestershire’s 222.

5.54pm BST

And it does the trick first ball! Parry nicks off to Porter, who has four. Left him – beauty. 222 for eight. Parry made a very fine 35.

5.53pm BST

Essex have taken the new ball. Lancs 222 for seven.

5.41pm BST

Haseeb Hameed to his highest score of the season…

5.39pm BST

Sussex in deep strife! Following on against Northants, they are 12 for one.

5.23pm BST

Hameed is playing very nicely now, but Parry is playing his shots too. Just drove Walter beautifully through cover.

5.23pm BST

Hampshire are 70 for six.

5.17pm BST

Sussex all out for 172! Big Rory takes five and Northants lead by 254 on first innings. Follow on enforced.

5.15pm BST

Kent all out for 206! Northeast goes to Weighell for a brilliant 110, and as a result the first innings deficit of 11.

5.12pm BST

Hope your passport’s up to date bro! https://t.co/Tj0rl6gce3

5.06pm BST

Ooph Yorkshire now 270 for seven as Rash goes first ball!

5.06pm BST

Kent have a batting point and are 17 behind Durham. Northeast on 104.

5.06pm BST

Leaning gone for 85 at Headingley. Still, Yorkshire 270 for six as Rash joins Bressielad.

5.04pm BST

Somerset 17 for two! Bartlett gone first ball after Sidebottom got Byrom. Their lead is 154.

5.02pm BST

And Northeast has a 102-ball century, with 17 fours and a six! What an effort. Kent are 196 for nine…

5.01pm BST

Northeast has 99… Kent are 195 for nine.

5.00pm BST

Hampshire are 50 for five and have avoided the follow on.

4.58pm BST

Hameed just hit a six down the ground. This is not a drill.

4.52pm BST

Notts are in the lead, but they are four down.

4.49pm BST

Drop! A chance flies quickly to Collingwood at first slip but Northeast (92*) survives. 186/9 #DURvKEN

4.48pm BST

50 for Hameed! 188 balls, seven fours, and Lancs are 188 for seven.

4.48pm BST

Sussex dug themselves into a right old hole at 146 for eight.

4.44pm BST

Northeast goes 4, •, 6 to move to 91…

4.42pm BST

Onions has six! Kent are 175 for nine, with Northeast on 81. They are 42 behind and you imagine he might tee off.

4.37pm BST

Notts 43 for four! Hales gone. Leach with his third. They are still seven behind.

4.35pm BST

Hampshire 31 for five! Ervine goes to Tom Curran with Foakes taking a brilliant diving catch. 20 required to avoid the follow-on…

4.33pm BST

Tom Curran gets Vince for 10! Hampshire 31 for four.

4.32pm BST

Wicket! Clark put on 50 for Hameed but has become Cook’s second. Cook has dropped his pace right down and brought Foster up to the stumps. He’s nicked it onto Foster’s pad, it’s looped up, and the catch has been taken by Lawrence at gully. 145 for seven, with Hameed on 48 off 175. Back comes Porter.

4.30pm BST

Warwickshire 146 all out! That’s 146 behind Somerset. Leach ends with five, Overton four.

4.25pm BST

Hameed to 48 with a lovely cover drive off Harmer… Lancs 141 for six.

4.23pm BST

Hampshire are 20 for three as CurranT gets Adams…

4.22pm BST

Billings gone first ball! Onions has five! Kent 147 for eight and he’s on a hat-trick!

4.19pm BST

Billings, avec migraine, is in at No9 at Durham. He joins Northeast with Kent 147 for seven. Onions has four-fer.

4.18pm BST

Hodd reached 50 but is gone now. Franklin gets him, and Bresnan is in to join Leaning. It’s 230 for five at Headingley.

4.16pm BST

Notts are in deep strife. Three down, still 23 behind. Hales in.

4.09pm BST

Dernbach has got Alsop now…

4.03pm BST

Warwickshire have avoided the follow on!

4.02pm BST

Sam Billings has a migraine. Hope he’s ok.

4.02pm BST

Serious nut.

WICKET: What a ball from Jade Dernbach to remove Weatherley for 1.

Hants – 7/1 (4 overs) pic.twitter.com/vZsKL9Ko3a

4.00pm BST

Still not Billings! Haggett. Something must be up with Billings. Anyone know where he is?

3.59pm BST

Hampshire have lost their first. Weatherley goes to Dernbach, and they are 7 for 1.

3.58pm BST

Notts are 12 for one and still 38 behind. Mullaney gone to Leach.

3.57pm BST

Stevens didn’t last long! He’s gone and Kent are 134 for five. Caught behind off Wood – second in the over for him – and now Billings comes in…

3.55pm BST

Mmm it’s Stevens not Billings in at No6. Bit odd.

3.53pm BST

Wood in the wickets again! He gets Crawley and Kent are 134 for four. Wood’s mate Billings in now…

3.41pm BST

Here you go. Lancs are 115 for six as Hameed, in the company of Clark, resist Essex, who have been superb.

Division One:

3.38pm BST

Couple of minutes until tea here. Hameed has started to put the bad ball away and is 29 off 142 in a total of 114 for six. Has faced more than 100 balls more than anyone else and is now the top scorer.

3.35pm BST

Tea at Edgbaston. 13 wickets so far there today, and Warks still haven’t avoided the follow on. They are 159 behind with three wickets in hand. Barker and Wright’s stand is worth 27.

3.33pm BST

Tea at Durham, where Kent are 134 for three, 83 behind.

3.32pm BST

Leaning and Hodd have put on 86 at Headingley. Very handy, and Yorkshire have a first batting point four down.

3.32pm BST

Worcestershire 243 all out! That’s a lead of 50, and tea on day two. Good game, good game. Mullaney got Shantry for the last.

3.28pm BST

Shantry is teeing off! He has 20 off 17. Strap in.

3.25pm BST

Kent look on a mission, and are just 87 behind. Crawley has 20 off 21…

A quick 50 for Sam Northeast; he gets there in 45 balls with 10x4s. 120/3 #DURvKEN

3.21pm BST

Surrey 200 all out! Tea there now. Dawson got four on a good day for Hampshire.

3.18pm BST

Worcestershire are nine down, leading by 30 as Leach goes.

3.15pm BST

Wicket! McLaren drives loosely at Harmer and is gone for 22, playing on. Lancashire are 92 for six. Big lolz at Hameed’s score (15 off 122), and he’s on to carry his bat for about 20, but without him Lancs may already be all out.

3.11pm BST

I am hard to tame.

Good jinxing from @willis_macp as Ed Barnard goes lbw to @Mull05 pic.twitter.com/a0MsB2HkqF

3.04pm BST

Kent three down. Wood gets DBD! Kent 78 for three…

2.59pm BST

So Surrey are 188 for eight. Bit of a collapse that. Can Hampshire keep the pressure up on Essex?

2.54pm BST

Worcestershire lead at Trent Bridge! Ed Barnard – what a cricketer he is becoming – goes to 50 and they are 208 for seven AND Shantry hasn’t even batted yet.

2.53pm BST

Bess gets in on the act – he’s got his fellow offie Jeetan. Warks 98 for seven and needing 35 to avoid the follow on. It’s a beauty.

GONE!!! What a delivery from Dom Bess, completely deceiving Jeetan Patel!! Warwickshire 96/7!!!#WARvSOM pic.twitter.com/UwJOqqWY9j

2.47pm BST

Jack Leach has four at Edgbaston – Warwickshire are 93 for six and still 40 from avoiding the follow-on.

2.46pm BST

Yorkshire are 144 for four. I wonder how Yorks and Middlesex will make it a belter this time…

@willis_macp Proper Cricket, moody Yorkshire skies, Top class bowling and Batsmen (trying) to dig in. Nothing better pal

2.43pm BST

Hameed moved to 10 from his 54th ball. He’s now faced 98, and has 11… Lancs 74 for five and need it.

2.38pm BST

Proper nut.

WICKET: An absolute peach of delivery from @EdwardsFidel sees the back of the impressive Patel (81) who is clean bowled – 171-6. & pic.twitter.com/yWmQtUbOdo

2.33pm BST

Hitman Hutton has a third at Trent Bridge, Cox for a quick 47. Worcs are 171 for seven.

2.31pm BST

Ryan Patel gone for 81! Fidel bowled him and Surrey are 171 for six.

2.23pm BST

Some suggestion in the press box that Lancs should declare…

2.19pm BST

Surrey 163 for five as Pope goes to Dawson. Patel has 80/

2.17pm BST

Wicket! Jos Buttler’s not convinced, but he’s got to go! Porter has another. He’s driven, got an edge and it’s been brilliantly take low at gully. Porter has three, Lancs are 65 for five. Buttler made 13. Hameed has 11.

2.12pm BST

Now Onions gets Denly! 14 for two are Kent.

2.10pm BST

Yorkshire 116 for four. Lees goes to Franklin…

2.04pm BST

Sussex have lost their first, Gussy Robson to Big Rory. 47 for one.

And so have Kent! What a day Onions is having. 10 for one as he gets Dickson.

2.03pm BST


| Shiv won’t want to watch this back but Paul Walter & the Essex supporters will, as a 4th wicket falls. #LANvESS pic.twitter.com/gsZEsoTyoN

1.57pm BST

Warwickshire are now 40 for five. Already 11 wickets at Edgbaston today. They need 93 more to avoid the follow on.

1.52pm BST

Hameed’s just doubled his score in two balls. Lovely four, his first of the day off his 53rd ball, straight down the ground off Porter brings up the Lancs 50, and then a tip and run into the offside brings one.

1.51pm BST

Leach bowling better again.

OUT!!!! Jack Leach picks up the wicket of Ian Bell!! Flighted, on leg stump, leading edge to Trescothick!! Warwickshire 36/4!!!#WARvSOM pic.twitter.com/HaoCnyPN57

1.48pm BST

Warwickshire are 36 for four. Bell gone to Leach. Could be following on at this rate.

1.47pm BST

Yorkshire 100 for three! Ballance gone to Finn.

1.46pm BST

Wicket! Chanderpaul is gone! Walter, in his first over, digs it in down the legside and Chanderpaul had a swish and is caught behind! lancs 46 for four.

1.40pm BST

Porter starting the afternoon session by swapping ends.

1.39pm BST

Red ball criggiters are on their way out to play some red ball criggit at Old Trafford. Lancs 45 for three.

1.37pm BST

Ashwin gone to Ball! Worcs 89 for six. Not long til Shantry bats.

1.34pm BST

Right, Warwickshire. What are you made of? 21 for three, Trotty gone to Leach…

1.31pm BST

Harris gets Lyth: Yorkshire are 79 for two.

1.29pm BST

Worcestershire are 85 for five, as Ball gets Rhodes. Ashwin still there. Good game.

1.27pm BST

Craigo is properly good now.

GONE!!! Craig Overton again!! Sibley edges a full ball to third slip and Warwickshire 17/2 in the 11th!!#WARvSOM pic.twitter.com/7W34Ou7aGZ

1.23pm BST

Well a few games are back underway, which is nice. No rain in the lunchbreak (yet) here either.

1.16pm BST

Mark Wood STRANDED on 72 as Durham all out for 217. Claydon took five.

1.15pm BST

Well that was a great session for Essex. A point, and Lancashire reach lunch on 45 for three. Hameed has five of them.

1.02pm BST

Late lunch here so thought I’d wait til the break to give the full lowdown.

Division One:

12.54pm BST

Harmer having a bowl here.

Meanwhile Durham are nine down (with a bonus point on the board and Wood on 68) so they are taking the extra half-hour.

12.45pm BST

Warwickshire 17 for one at lunch at Edgbaston…

12.44pm BST

Yorkshire 77 for one at lunch at Headingley. They’d take that having been stuck in.

12.44pm BST

It’s lunch at Grace Road too, where Leicestershire are 203 for eight against the Glosters.

12.43pm BST

Northants all our for 426. And it’s lunch at Wantage Road.

12.35pm BST

Surrey are 113 for four and I’m very pleased to say that Ryan Patel has his maiden first-class 50. He’s at the crease with another 19-year-old, Ollie Pope. Just two of them this time.

12.33pm BST

Wickets! For Coverton and Finn.

WICKET!! Craig Overton strikes!! Good catch from Hildreth low down sees the end of Umeed! Warwickshire 12/1#WARvSOM pic.twitter.com/Fa8o5azHIS

FINNY STRIKES: Here’s @finnysteve picking up the first wicket of the day earlier as he traps Marsh lbw ☝️ pic.twitter.com/e9iE4EDadJ

12.32pm BST

Warks are 12 for one as Coverton gets Umeed.

12.32pm BST

Wicket! Typical, isn’t it? The rain is falling but they stay on. Porter and Cook have bowled beautifully today and Porter has just got one to nip back at Vilas, and up goes the finger. 22 for three, and the rain has stopped in the time it’s taken Chanderpaul to wander out. Porter is top of the wicket-taking charts now, with 54.

12.30pm BST

5️⃣0️⃣! @MAWood33‘s third first-class fifty & first since May 2015 comes off 64 balls with 9x4s 183/7 #DURvKEN pic.twitter.com/O15YwtpaP9

12.23pm BST

Wicket at the Ageas, and Surrey are 109 for four. Foakes pulls Dawson to Vince at midwicket.

12.18pm BST

Northants are 407 for eight.

3 wickets for 6 runs in 18 balls. Richard Gleeson is Northants’ No. 10.#GOSBTS #SussexFamily

12.17pm BST

Here’s your first look at Cook. He’s got quicker as the spell’s gone on…

| We did warn you about @samcook09… he sends Liam Livingstone’s off-stump flying & gets his first Championship wicket! #LANvESS pic.twitter.com/hSGsGLPWQP

12.14pm BST

Sam Cook has his maiden first-class wicket! And it’s a good one! Liam Livingstone, and the stumps sent flying! Lancs nine for two off 7.2.

12.08pm BST

Joe Clarke gone for a first-baller to Mullaney! Woosters 55 for three.

12.07pm BST

Durham’s eighth wicket is now worth 83!

12.02pm BST

Worcestershire are two down as Fell goes to Mullaney.

12.01pm BST

Somerset 282 all out!

Abell goes to Sunny Singh for 82. Singh has five! Well bowled that man.

11.58am BST

Hameed’s been dropped, at gully off Porter. Lawrence dived low to his left and it was so sharp it was more of a stop.

11.56am BST

38th ball and Harris concedes a run as Lyth gets one away on the drive in front of point. Cracking spell and deserves wickets. #bbccricket

11.50am BST


| Who else… @jamieporter93 strikes with the game’s third ball, straight in to those giants hands of @SimonHarmerRSA! #LANvESS pic.twitter.com/nab6WddCEF

11.49am BST

An all-run four in the opening over of the match for Livi! 4 for 1.

Sam Cook on at the other end, on first-class debut.

11.46am BST

Wicket! Third ball of the match, Al Davies throws the hands at Porter and nicks off to Harmer at second. Porter has 53 for the season, and Lancs are 0 for 1.

11.41am BST

I think we are very close to some cricket here.

11.37am BST

Bess didn’t last long. Somerset 256 for eight.

11.28am BST

Sunny Singh has a third wicket at Edgbaston. Craig Overton the man to go. Dom Bess in. Somerset 250 for seven.

And they are off for rain at Old Trafford.

11.27am BST

Start at 11.45, with 84 overs in the day. Start now!!!

11.26am BST

Mark Wood is 37 not out. Stick him in at No3 for England?

11.25am BST

Covers coming off at Old Trafford!

11.21am BST

Jeetan gets Trego and Somerset are 242 for six. I’m sort of wondering why I’m not still there.

11.18am BST

Oh dear.

Off for the day at Derby, no play on Day 2 because of a wet outfield

11.17am BST

It’s raining again. I have a bad feeling about this.

11.13am BST

There’s an inspection happening, but I don’t quite understand why we’re not starting.

11.09am BST

And now Surrey are 40 for three! Roy gone for a duck to Abbott and Foakes joins Ryan Patel.

11.00am BST

50 for Tom Abell! Somerset are 227 for five.

10.59am BST

Surrey are 34 for two, as Fidel gets Borthwick for a globe…

10.58am BST

It’s bright and light, don’t wait 10 minutes – get ‘em on!

10.56am BST

Due to start at 10 past here, but there really are no guarantees.

10.55am BST

Graham Clark bowled by Stevens and Durham are 77 for seven…

10.54am BST

Steve Davies is gone at Edgbaston, caught at short leg off Jeetan. 216 for five. He made 46.

10.53am BST

Morning Stuie! Still 14 days of the season after this…

@willis_macp morning will not many more times to say this 🙁 cmon glos!

10.44am BST

Rory Burns’ brilliant run against Hampshire ends as Abbott gets him caught in the cordon. Surrey 25 for one.

10.44am BST

Durham are 69 for six… Pringle shoulders arms and somehow plays on to Milne.

10.42am BST

Some news!

Kraigg Brathwaite is joining Yorkshire for the last couple of Champo games. They need an opener.

10.41am BST

Raining again, and the covers are coming on… What a shame.

10.35am BST

Notts all out for 193!

So Worcestershire close the gap by three points in the first innings of the match. Ball goes to Leach.

10.33am BST

Kent have a wicket with the fourth ball of the day! Richardson gone, to Milne. Durham 61 for five.

10.32am BST

Eurgh. Hover cover just slipped back on…

10.26am BST

We are actually starting at 10.45 with a minimum of 100 overs today.

Lancashire: Davies, Hameed, Livingstone, Vilas, Chanderpaul, Buttler (w), McLaren (c), Clark, Jarvis, Parry, Bailey

10.18am BST

Uncontested toss here at Old Trafford. Starting on time.

Lancashire batting first. Interestingly, Buttler is keeping instead of Al Davies, who picked up a wee injury last week. Tom Bailey in for Matt Parkinson.

10.14am BST

There’s a toss – or maybe not – about to happen here at Old Trafford.

Here are the teams from Headingely, where Middlesex are bowling first…

10.06am BST

Uncontested toss at Headingley! Middlesex will bowl first.

Umpires out having a look at Old Trafford.

9.59am BST

That room in the picture ATL is the one that I’m sat in. It’s brightened a touch – wouldn’t think the covers’ll be on for that much longer.

9.58am BST

Good news from Headingley!

Captains out there for the toss.

9.54am BST

Looking at the radar, the rain here seems very localised, which is just typical. A bit in Leeds, possibly, but we should start on time everywhere else.

9.51am BST

It’s properly lashing it down now, which is very frustrating.

9.15am BST

Good morning, from Old Trafford! I’ve come here to watch the top two teams do battle. I wasn’t here yesterday because of rain. When I woke up a couple of hours ago, the sun was shining brightly. Now I’m at Old Trafford and … it’s raining! For pete’s sake. The covers are being dragged on. Only a shower, but with play due to start in 40 minutes or so, it’s very frustrating. We probably won’t toss on time. How’s the weather where you are?

I was at Edgbaston yesterday, watching the bottom sides. Decent day, with Tom Abell and Steve Davies batting nicely on a deck that’s already turning. The only other Div One action was five overs worth at the Ageas. Surrey are batting. The forecast for Yorkshire v Middlesex is better today so hopefully there’ll be a full day there.

Related: Somerset make soggy progress as rain wrecks County Championship day

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/sep/06/county-cricket-lancashire-v-essex-somerset-v-warwickshire-and-more-live

Aug 31

Crossbow bolt fired at the Oval ‘could very easily have killed someone’

• Play abandoned in Championship game between Surrey and Middlesex
• ‘If it had hit someone it would have caused some serious damage’

The usually serene world of County Championship cricket was jolted on Thursday when Surrey’s match with Middlesex at the Oval was abandoned because a crossbow bolt was fired onto the field of play. The arrow, which measured around 12 to 18 inches, is thought to have been fired from outside the ground and landed within feet of the players. No one was injured but the Surrey chief executive, Richard Gould, said “it could very easily have killed someone”.

At 4.20pm with the match meandering to a draw on the final day (of four), the projectile (which was red and yellow in colour) landed about 10 metres from the pitch, and close to the Surrey fielder, Rory Burns. It had a pointed metal tip. The umpires swiftly took the concerned players from the field and spectators were encouraged to take cover inside.

Related: County cricket: Essex beat Somerset to top table by 36 points – as it happened!

Play suspended at the Oval on advice of security. Players have left the field after a crossbow bolt landed on the square….. pic.twitter.com/V5fJADvuKK

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/31/surrey-middlesex-suspended-arrow-fired-oval-pitch

Aug 24

Paul Collingwood named in World XI squad to play Pakistan in Lahore

• 14-man squad captained by Faf du Plessis and includes Morkel and Amla
• Three-match T20 series due to start on 12 September

The former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood has been named in a World XI squad to face Pakistan in Lahore next month. The side will be led by the South Africa captain, Faf du Plessis, and coached by Andy Flower.

Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla will also play in a team that contains players from seven international sides – England, Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies. Darren Sammy, the former West Indies captain, is included, having played in the Pakistan Super League Final in Lahore in February alongside England’s Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/24/paul-collingwood-world-xi-pakistan-lahore-faf-du-plessis

Aug 23

West Indies coach hits back at Curtly Ambrose for Edgbaston slating

• ‘It would have been nice if he had come into the dressing room’
• Stuart Law cites a won second Test against Pakistan last year

West Indies’ feeble capitulation at Edgbaston in the first Investec Test, where they lost 19 wickets on the third day, drew condemnation from all corners but their straight-talking coach Stuart Law has fired back at some of the most forthright criticism – from the great fast bowler Curtly Ambrose.

Law acknowledged his side’s obvious shortcomings, but expressed regret that Ambrose, who was involved in coaching the side until May 2016, chose to voice his dismay in a column in the Daily Mail, rather than privately to the team. Ambrose called the performance “pathetic”, “embarrassing”, and “painful to watch”.

Related: England’s search for batting balance moves to second Test against West Indies | Vic Marks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/23/west-indies-coach-stuart-law-curtly-ambrose-edgbaston-england

Aug 23

The Joy of Six: county cricket cult heroes

From the overweight to the utterly inept via the unfairly uncapped, a celebration of six of county cricket’s most-loved figures from past and present

Don Shepherd died on Friday, less than a week after turning 90, thus ending a lifelong love affair with Glamorgan cricket. The feeling was very much reciprocated.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/aug/23/the-joy-of-six-county-cricket-cult-heroes

Aug 16

Pink balls and a witching hour: what to expect at England’s first day-night Test | Will Macpherson

West Indies provide the opposition at Edgbaston and, though they have played a day-nighter before, it will be a voyage of discovery for most fans and players

There are few certainties before the first Test against West Indies on Thursday; the ball is pink and has barely been tried out, and never at this level in this country; the floodlights will be switched on for the final session (and before if required, but sunset on day one is not due until around 8.30pm); there will be quibbling – lunch at 4pm? – over the names of sessions and breaks. The rest, as Stuart Broad observed on Monday, is a mystery.

There is a small sample of evidence to educate guesses. Four Tests (all played in totally different climates: three in Australia, one in Dubai), a few one-off games (such as the Champion County game in Abu Dhabi over the past eight years), and nine County Championship matches in late June. The last are the most instructive, in that the Dukes ball was used, and actually happened in this country, even if the proximity to the solstice made the night side of the day-night bargain pretty slim.

Related: Edgbaston does its homework before England’s first day-night Test | The Spin

Related: If the ball is anything to go by we could be tickled pink by cricket day-nighters | The Spin

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/16/england-first-day-night-test-west-indies-edgbaston

Aug 06

County cricket: 53 wickets tumble across Division One – as it happened

Runs were hard to come by as ball dominated bat on the County Championship’s return

7.06pm BST

Right, that curtains on an absurd day’s cricket. 15 wickets here, 18 at Scarborough, and 20 at Lord’s! Batting points easier to get hold of in Division Two. Here’s the scores on the doors at stumps:

Division One:

6.45pm BST

Stumps at the Ageas. A remarkable day. Hampshire trail by two runs, on 147 for five.

6.41pm BST

That’s the close at Scarbados. Essex are 188 for eight, with Tendo on 61, and their lead worth 75.

6.39pm BST

Wow. Franklin goes for 55. The New Ryan Sidebottom ends with four wickets. Middlesex lead by 35. Three overs remain tonight. Ludicrous.

6.36pm BST

Into the final two overs of the day at Scarbados, where Essex are 180 for eight, and Tendo has 57.

6.29pm BST

Stumps at New Road: Sussex 342 for seven. Ton for Nash, 85 for Wells and an unbeaten 57 for Chris Jordan.

6.28pm BST

Middlesex nine down!

6.23pm BST

Five overs remain at Scarborough. Will Yorkshire be batting again?

Harmer gone! Caught at second slip by @lythy09 off @BrooksyFerret, 7. 164-8 in the 53rd.

6.20pm BST

Stumps at Derby, where Notts are 92 for two in response to Derbyshire’s 220.

6.19pm BST

There are still eight overs to come at the Ageas. Who knows where this game will be by stumps. 119 for five.

6.17pm BST

Middlesex have lost their seventh, Higgins for 38, but Franklin has 50 and their lead is 26.

6.16pm BST

Wicket! Parkinson’s struck in his first over! He started poorly and had just been walloped for four through square-leg, but he’s got Bailey caught at first slip. 119 for five, 30 behind.

6.13pm BST

And to think that we thought one was enough, eh.

What’s better than one Ryan Sidebottom? Two Ryan Sidebottoms

A. from @WarwickshireCCC
B. from @YorkshireCCC pic.twitter.com/28gfyyOGoL

6.12pm BST

Stumps at Grace Road! Durham are 324 for four, after tons from Tom Latham and Cameron Steel, the latter’s unbeaten.

6.08pm BST

Yep – a good comeback for Stuie’s mob, who will be batting first thing tomorrow after Northants were bowled out for 343.

@willis_macp great fightback by glosters!

6.06pm BST

Bad light delays proceedings at Derby, where Notts are 93 for two in response to Derbyshire 220.

5.57pm BST

Northants are all out for 343 by Gloucestershire! Bit of a collapse, that. They were 269 for four. And that’s stumps there.

5.53pm BST

Wicket! Vince has gone for 40, which feels like a very Vince thing to do. Jarvis returned, he tried to pull, got a top edge, and was caught at midwicket. Hampshire are 93 for four, and trail by 56.

5.48pm BST

Middlesex lead! They are six down.

5.42pm BST

Essex have lost two in an over! Coad again, Foster gone, their lead is 23 and they are six down.

5.38pm BST

And a wicket at Scarborough: Coad gets Wheater. Essex 139 for five. Lead is 26.

5.36pm BST

Wicket! McLaren has nicked off Ervine. Good diving catch from Davies, Ervine pushing forward. 85 for three.

5.26pm BST

Middlesex have humped their way to 102 for six, with Franklin and Higgins hoicking it about. They are 24 behind Warwickshire.

5.23pm BST

Here’s a Doug Insole obituary.

Related: Doug Insole obituary

5.21pm BST

Essex lead at Scarborough! They are four down.

5.20pm BST

So James Vince has raced to 26 off 23. He has six boundaries. Hampshire have raced to 68 for two.

5.08pm BST

Jealous of anyone at New Road. Nash is so good to watch.

100: Chris Nash moves to his 1st @CountyChamp ton of the season, from 175 balls, with a lovely 4 pulled through square leg. #GOSBTS pic.twitter.com/glBDYRhlvV

5.00pm BST

Doesn’t that look lovely.

Best view in the world pal…. pic.twitter.com/o4JZwM01M7

4.57pm BST

Notts have lost their first in response to Derbyshire’s 220; Libby gone to Hardus Nails. 41 for one.

4.53pm BST

Middlesex are 59 for six, and have had Higgins retire hurt. They are still 67 behind.

4.49pm BST

That’s not what Middlesex needed at 56 for five. They are right in trouble.

Higgins retires hurt after being struck on the helmet by a Wright bouncer – #TeamMiddlesex 56-5. Franklin 0* and Sowter the new batsman.

4.47pm BST

Wicket! That’s wicket number 41 in Division One today, then. Jarvis gets McManus caught well low down at first slip by Livingstone. 27 for two. Vince in.

4.43pm BST

Compton’s gone, and Middlesex have lost their fifth. Choppy waters for the champions at Lord’s: they bowled Warwickshire out for 126, but may not get a first innings lead. Remarkable.

4.42pm BST

Yorkshire have Essex four down! Ravi B has gone caught at square-leg off Brooks. 81 for four in response to 113.

4.38pm BST

Middlesex are 46 for four, which isn’t much use after you’ve bowled a team out for 126. Ryan Sidebottom – no, not that one – has got Simpson. Compton, who looked rather culpable in the run out of Eskinazi, is still there, and he’s been joined by his skipper, Franklin.

4.34pm BST

Wicket! Jimmy Adams is gone and he’s furious with himself! He’s had a wild slash at McLaren and has to go. Really poor shot. 21 for one, as Ervine comes in.

4.27pm BST

And a 100 for Cameron Steel, his second of the season! Durham are right in charge.

4.25pm BST

Durham have finally lost a wicket! They are 239 for one as Latham goes to Dexter for 124. Decent debut.

4.23pm BST

Boundaries flowing early in Hampshire’s innings, and they are 21 for none in the fourth over.

4.18pm BST

Some tea scores from the two other Division One games:

4.14pm BST

Notts have bowled Derbyshire out for 220. Hitman Hutton took five for 52.

4.13pm BST

Middlesex are 44 for three, as Eskinazi has been run out by Barker… Warwickshire made just 126.

4.10pm BST

Jarvis kicking us off, with Jimmy Adams and Lewis McManus opening for Hampshire.

4.06pm BST

Nearly time to resume, then.

3.52pm BST

Tea is being taken here at the Ageas.

3.50pm BST

Woakes has two at Lord’s! Gubbins gone for 14, Middlesex 31 for two.

3.49pm BST

And Crane gets Parkinson first ball, caught at slip. He’s mopped up the tail nicely, Crane, and finishes with three for 26.

3.47pm BST

Wicket! Clark had given Crane a bit of long handle – fours over long-on and on the cut – but he’s try to cut again and been caught behind! Leggie held his nerve. Hants have three bowling points, and Lancs are 149 for nine.

3.41pm BST

Wicket! Lancashire are 141 for eight, as Parry wafts at Berg and is caught at first slip.

3.38pm BST

48 for three at Scarbrough! Bressie gets Lawrence.

3.37pm BST

Essex are two down. Browne goes to Coad, and they are 46 for two in response to 113.

3.25pm BST

Gareth Berg has managed to hurt himself fielding at midwicket. Physio out. No idea what’s up.

3.24pm BST

A ton for Tom Latham at Leicester! Durham are 205 without loss. Steel has 89.

3.18pm BST

Yeah, that’s nicely bowled.

Five balls into @chriswoakes‘return and he dismisses Sam Robson

**cough** @englandcricket **cough** pic.twitter.com/NHrqw0QItN

3.15pm BST

Chris Woakes has a wicket in his first over back! He gets Robson for three, caught at third slip, and Middlesex are 4 for 1 in response to Warwickshire’s 126.

3.10pm BST

Two wickets in two balls at Derby for Hitman Hutton! Derbyshire are 157 for eight.

3.07pm BST

Wicket! Crane has one! McLaren has just plopped a full ball straight back to him off the leading edge, and Lancashire are 114 for seven! May well be that the three teams batting first in Division One today don’t manage a single batting point between them.

3.04pm BST

Murtagh gets the other Ryan Sidebottom and Middlesex have skittled Warwickshire for 126!

2.55pm BST

Mason Crane is on! Dawson had bowled 17 very tidy overs, but it’s time for some legspin.

2.54pm BST

And a wicket at Lord’s, where Warwickshire are nine down.

MURTS GETS PATEL: @tjmurtagh gets the wicket of Patel who knicks it through to @JohnSimpson_88 pic.twitter.com/kJr0spsFRd

2.53pm BST

Wicket! Edwards beat Buttler for pace and he goes for 17! Curious innings, never totally comfy. Lancashire are 106 for six.

2.50pm BST

Notts have two bowling points and Derbyshire are in a bit of trouble at 146 for six. Three for Hitman Hutton, two for Ball and one for Footitt.

2.45pm BST

Yorkshire have a wicket! They needed one. Essex have lost Chopra to Brooks and are 13 for one, 100 behind.

2.39pm BST

Sad news.

It’s with regret that the Club announces the passing of former player, Captain, Chairman & President, Doug Insole – https://t.co/CcEcu4zB26 pic.twitter.com/AiJ8KeK8IT

2.29pm BST

Wicket! That’s careless from Lancashire. Buttler has knocked Dawson into the offside and assumed his partner is as quick as he is. His partner, though, is Shiv, and Shiv is not as quick as him. The fielding from backward point is superb, and the throw is right over the stumps, and McManus does the rest. 88 for five. Crane the fielder apparently.

2.27pm BST

Lovely to hear.

Finn has bowled superbly today for Middlesex. Pace, aggression, and a constant nagging line – great to see him in this kind of rhythm

2.23pm BST

I’m watching Fidel Edwards bowl to Shiv Chanderpaul. What a time to be alive.

2.21pm BST

Straight after the late lunch, Lyth is caught at slip off Amir – who ends with five – and goes for 68. Yorkshire 113 all out.

2.19pm BST

Finn has a fourth at Lord’s! Barker gone, 98 for eight. Warwickshire in strife.

2.19pm BST

Always in the runs, is Clarkey.

Joe Clarke is off the field with a stomach upset and Ollie Westbury is deputising as 12th man

2.06pm BST

Woakes is gone at Lord’s and Warwickshire are 81 for seven! Finn has three.

2.01pm BST

Kyle Abbott is bowling one of those spells.

1.54pm BST

50 for Tom Latham on Durham dayboo. Steel has one too and they 106 without loss.

1.49pm BST

Wicket! Abbott gets Livingstone! He’s furious with himself, but he’s plumb. Looked to have nipped back a bit and he was playing across the line and has to go for 16. Looked a bit jumpy, which is odd. Lancs are 67 for four as Joseph Buttler walks in.

1.44pm BST

Warwickshire are 68 for six. Steven Finn, rather encouragingly, has a second, Tim Ambrose.

1.39pm BST

As the players go off at Scarborough, they come back at the Ageas! Lancs 65 for three.

1.39pm BST

Great tweet.

That’s lunch: Encouraging end to a nightmare session for @YorkshireCCC. Gone from 74-9 to 111-9 from 34. @lythy09 superb with 66.

1.29pm BST

Yorkshire are hanging on in there … 108 for nine. Lyth has 64.

1.12pm BST

Adam Lyth has 50, and Yorkshire are 93 for nine. I wonder how many times he’s batted with Sidebottom.

1.04pm BST

Here’s where we are at.

Division One:

1.02pm BST

That’s lunch here at the Ageas. Hampshire on top, with Lancashire 65 for three. Ball turning already; no Crane yet though.

12.45pm BST

Wicket! Holland has nicked off Vilas for three. Here’s Shiv. 58 for three, and a very good session for Hampshire. 15 mins until lunch.

12.43pm BST

Make that Warwickshire 61 for five! Higgins gets Matt Lamb, and in comes Woakes.

12.42pm BST

And now Warwickshire four down! Murtagh gets Bell. Woakes is in next. 61 for four.

12.41pm BST

Yorkshire are 74 for nine. Amir has returned and got Brooks and Coad in consecutive balls! Lyth is still there, on 39. He’s on a hat-trick!

12.29pm BST

Wicket! Now Alex Davies is gone. He was dropped at second slip off Dawson, but five runs later he’s been caught at first off the same bowler. Turn and bounce, edge taken. 49 for two, and out comes Vilas, not Buttler.

12.25pm BST

Yorkshire seven down!

Hodd gone this time, also to Ravi. 63 for seven.

12.22pm BST

Here’s the Hameed wicket…

WICKET: @EdwardsFidel makes the breakthrough! Hameed (6) drives & edges to @Jhkadams who takes a good catch at slip – 39-1. & pic.twitter.com/Y3cxIww0qo

12.20pm BST

Middlesex have Warwickshire three down! Trott goes to Helm and it’s 42 for three.

12.19pm BST

I think you should, Jim.

@willis_macp I’m on the rattler to Scarbados Will, should I just go straight to the pub?!

12.09pm BST

Dom Sibley’s first champo innings for Warwickshire is over. He made 20 and has been caught at second slip off Finn. Warks are 34 for two.

12.07pm BST

Dropped! Al Davies has been shelled at second slip by Vince off Dawson. He has 31. Turned and flew fast, but should have been taken. He’s with Livingstone. Buttler in next.

12.03pm BST

Yorkshire are 49 for six! Rashid has gone to Ravi, and they are in trouble. Will Lyth carry his bat?

12.03pm BST

Hameed out! He batted for an hour for his six, hadn’t played a shot in anger and was looking very methodical and tidy. But he’s driven hard at Fidel and been caught at second slip. Lancs are 39 for one.

11.54am BST

Haha I absolutely love Ben Duckett.

50 for Ben Duckett within the opening hour of play in 46 balls #bbccricket

11.50am BST

I think Bressie thinks he’s middled this.

| Struggling to keep up here… Yorkshire skipper, Tim Bresnan trapped lbw is the 5th to go in the opening 45 minutes. #YORvESS pic.twitter.com/SfBhlLW3LC

11.49am BST

An email from Lee Smith!

You may or may not be aware that regular anitipodean commenter on these here boards AiX is visiting these shores in September.

There has already been some discussion of a BTL get-together and for those that are interested, inclined, available or just plain nosey there will be a quickening at Lords on day 3 of Middle Saxons versus Lanky – Thursday 21st September – with potential for drinky poos after the cricket

11.43am BST

25 for five!

Bresnan has gone to Porter for a duck!!

11.40am BST

Play that.

| The Pakistan ‘King of Swing’ strikes again! @iamamirofficial bowling Kohler-Cadmore for 4. #YORvESS pic.twitter.com/rpq8IeRFR8

11.40am BST

And now Yorkshire are four down! Leaning gone to Porter and Essex have em 25 for four.

11.31am BST

It takes exactly 30 mins for Hameed to get off the mark. There’s been no alarms, and he guided his 21st ball wide of gully for a couple. Davies is looking in lovely touch, and has raced to 22.

11.30am BST

Yorkshire are three down! TKC goes to Amir and they are 24 for three…

11.24am BST

Essex have picked up two quick wickets! Amir gets Lees, then Porter does for Harry Brook. 19 for two. Liked this stat…

The winners of the last four county championships (Dur, Yor, Yor, Mid), won that year at Scarborough. Portent for @EssexCricket ? #yorvess

11.20am BST

Middlesex have their first! Umeed is caught by Franklin at third slip off Helm. 5 for 1 are Warwickshire.

11.18am BST

Mark Footitt is opening the bowling with Jake Ball for Notts. No Pattinson or Broad (or Fletcher for that matter), but still a very handy side.

11.16am BST

Worcestershire are on the move! Josh Tongue gets Harry Finch and Sussex are 7 for 2.

11.03am BST

A wicket already at New Road! And Gus Robson the man to go. Joe Leach gets him caught behind third ball for a duck on dayboo. 0 for 1.

10.56am BST

Play is around about four minutes away here at the Ageas.

10.55am BST

Finally! Gus Robson makes his Sussex debut at New Road. Good to see. That looks a pretty decent side to me.

SUSSEX: Nash, Wells, Robson, Van Zyl, Finch, Brown+*, Wiese, Jordan, Archer, Briggs, Whittingham.

10.52am BST

This explains the Voges situation:

VOGES MISSES OUT: Unfortunately @acvoges will play no part in the game after pulling up in warm-ups with calf soreness ☹️

10.48am BST

Couple of interesting moves:

10.47am BST

Yorkshire champo debut for Tom Kohler-Cadmore at Scarborough… Ballance still unfit so Bres skips. Leaning back too.

10.46am BST

Interesting Middlesex team at Lord’s. I wonder if Voges is unfit? Debut for Sowter, Gubbins back. They field first against Warwickshire, who give a debut to Dom Sibley and (the other) Ryan Sidebottom. Woakes in too.

Middlesex: Robson, Gubbins, Compton, Eskinazi, Simpson (wk), Franklin (c), Higgins, Helm, Sowter, Murtagh, Finn

10.44am BST

Our teams here at the Ageas are as follows:

Hampshire: Adams, McManus (wk), Vince, Bailey (c), Dawson, Ervine, Holland, Berg, Abbott, Crane, Edwards

10.41am BST

Here’s what happened at the toss around the grounds.

Division One:

10.34am BST

Lancashire have won the toss and will bat first!

10.32am BST

Morning Stuie! The Glosters are off to Northampton!

@willis_macp morning will! Cmon the glosters!

10.28am BST

Some happy news to report: Luke Fletcher is here at the Ageas, shadowing the inimitable Dave Fulton of Sky Sports News. Fletch, of course, is out for the season, but he’s in fine spirits and is putting a brave face on things. He can’t drive for six months and everything is being taken slowly, but he’s a tough lad and looks happy enough.

10.15am BST

Hello and welcome to weird and rather random round of County Cricket – live! as the T20 Blast offers the Championship a moment in the midsummer sun. I’m Will Macpherson and I’m at the Ageas Bowl on a beautiful August morning to tell you all about what’s happening in Division One’s second v third clash between Hampshire and Lancashire. It should be a very fine day indeed, and it’s very good to be back.

Of course there’s plenty going on besides, across all manner of competitions. Later, Surrey travel to Somerset in the Blast, and Sam Billings is captaining a Kent side against the Caribbean tourists.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/aug/06/county-cricket-hampshire-v-lancashire-yorkshire-v-essex-and-more-live

Jul 06

County cricket: Somerset off the mark, Middlesex win thriller – as it happened!

Surrey’s Rory Burns put in an incredible performance with the bat at the Oval, while Somerset thrashed Yorkshire

6.24pm BST

That seems as good a time as any to wrap things up. Thanks for much for your company, it’s been a brilliant four days, again full of great cricket. Hat tip to Rory Burns and Sean Dickson for their batting feats, and Middlesex, Somerset (particularly Somerset) and Durham on their remarkable wins. Here’s the scores:

Division One:

6.10pm BST

With four overs remaining on the second day, Sussex are 54 for one, having lost Chris Nash to Clint McKay, and lead Leicestershire by 35.

5.26pm BST

I will leave the blog whirring away as Sussex are currently batting against Leicestershire. Looks like comments are still down unfortunately.

5.25pm BST

Well Rory Burns is a tired boy. What an effort from him.

4.55pm BST

Right, off to talk to Burns! Speak shortly…

4.52pm BST

Wahoo! Take a bow Rory Burns. Surrey’s lead means they can shake hands. That is that. Pitch was very boring, Burns was very good. Hampshire take 12 points to Surrey’s 10.

4.51pm BST

Surrey lead! We can finish very soon.

4.50pm BST

Thank the lord for that. I mean even Ben Duckett got a wicket.

4.49pm BST

Yep, these updates are coming through. Massive apologies for the technical problems we are having: they are nothing to do with me or, for that matter, county cricket.

4.48pm BST

Leicestershire all out for 281, a lead of 19.

4.46pm BST

We’ve been having technical difficulties across the site. Apologies for this – looks like we might be back.

4.45pm BST

Sounds like Ben Duckett has a wicket at Beckenham! Northeast the unfortunate/embarrassed batsman.

4.40pm BST

There’s six of them! Roy tracks Crane and we are not far off..

4.39pm BST

Surrey need 20 runs in the next 10 minutes and then we can all shake hands and go home.

4.32pm BST

So Surrey are 28 behind. I would suggest they want to get 29 in the next 20 minutes, because then they can shake hands 10 minutes earlier.

4.28pm BST

The ball that got Burns was rancid: an offie from round the wicket that pitched outside his leg stump turned a bit and took his pad on the way through to bowling him, by the looks of things.

4.27pm BST

Scores level at Arundel, where Leicestershire are nine down.

4.21pm BST

So he’s been bowled by Ervine’s offies! Faced 535 balls acros 12.5 hours and has surely saved the game for Surrey. A quite extraordinary effort.

4.17pm BST

Rory Burns is out!

4.12pm BST

Seldom seen lower key Championship cricket than what’s happening at the Oval right now.

4.02pm BST

Players are on their way back out for the final 50 minutes or hour or whatever at the Oval. Burns has 68, Surrey are 39 behind.

3.58pm BST

Probably worth mentioning that Leicestershire are 240 for eight, and 22 behind Sussex, at tea at Arundel.

3.57pm BST

Looks like there are some issues with comments, and looks like it might be site-wide. Apologies for that. Perhaps Rory Burns has broken the Guardian?

3.52pm BST

Aggghhhh what a game! Rankin bowls a half-volley to Murtagh and he drills him through cover and they get back for the three they need! Middlesex win by one wicket! They take 22 points, Warwickshire get six. That’s Middlesex’s second win of the season. Extraordinary. Warwickshire are starting to look a long way adrift at the bottom… 17 points (I think) the margin between them and Somerset.

3.48pm BST

End of Clarke’s over, Middlesex need three.

3.47pm BST

Middlesex need 4.

3.43pm BST

Rikki Clarke to Helm – single through the offside. Murtagh on strike. Six to win…

3.42pm BST

Wicket! Rayner. Is. Gone. He was plumb to Rankin for15. Middlesex still need seven… Murtagh in, but Helm on strike.

3.41pm BST

Tea! Without me even noticing, they are going off for tea. They will return in 20 minutes for either 50 minutes, or an hour’s play, depending on whether Surrey lead. Burns has 68, Surrey are 126 for two and Surrey trail by 39.

3.40pm BST

Single. Middlesex need 7…

3.38pm BST

Four for Helm! Middlesex need eight…

3.36pm BST

Two from Clarke’s over, and Middlesex need 12…

3.32pm BST

Helm has just cut Jeets for a delightful four and Middlesex need 14!

3.29pm BST

Farce of final day at Beckenham complete as Adam Rossington comes onto bowl and Alex Wakely takes the gloves #bbccricket

3.28pm BST

19 required for Middlesex. It looks tense. Very tense.

3.26pm BST

For those of a west country disposition.

Bowlers were on today!#WeAreSomerset #YORvSOM pic.twitter.com/vfhRozvmPZ

3.25pm BST

15 minutes until tea here at the Oval, and Burns has been at the crease for 12 hours. He has 61 and is batting with his great mate Roy now.

3.23pm BST

They have done it. What a chase! They are off the bottom! Pringle finishes the job with a six (he made 62), while Burnham ends 93 not out.

3.21pm BST

Patel gets Higgins caught at short leg! 24 to win and it’s numbers 9, 10 and 11 who have to do it!

3.20pm BST

One from the over, and Middlesex need 24.

3.17pm BST

Holland has gone bang, bang! Borthwick leaves one and is bowled! must have nipped back. Odd. Surrey 109 for two, still 56 behind. This game isn’t getting interesting, is it?

3.16pm BST

So another over done at Edgbaston, where Middlesex need 25 to win.

3.15pm BST

Wicket! Stoneman has gone for 47, lbw to Holland. Looked out. It’s largely irrelevant. Burns has 61.

3.12pm BST

Durham need just 30 more…

3.10pm BST

Another over down at Edgbaston, where Middlesex are seven down and need 30 to win.

3.06pm BST

Rayner’s just guided Rankin down to third man for four and Middlesex are 203 for seven, requiring 31 more

3.04pm BST

500 deliveries in the match for Burns… Approaching 12 hours at the crease. Still not left the field.

3.03pm BST

Trouble at Yorkshire.

Andrew Gale has revealed Harry Brook has a suspected broken right hand suffered in nets this morning. Plunkett and Sidebottom scans in am

3.01pm BST

Durham require 59 to win, with six wickets in hand.

3.00pm BST

Sean Dickson made it 60, but is out now. Holden got ‘im. Not much else on that game now, and there hasn’t been for some hours. Kent are 108 for two.

2.56pm BST

Middlesex lose Harris with 41 required. Rayner joins Higgins… Three wickets stand.

2.50pm BST

Here’s the end up at Scarborough.

An unbelievable effort from Somerset today!!#YORvSOM #WeAreSomerset pic.twitter.com/ZaH6hlPPCH

2.45pm BST

Oh wow. Dickson is 49, by the way.

BOTH BATTERS ENJOYING AN ICE CREAM at drinks! What flavour lads? @CountyChamp #KENvNOR

2.43pm BST

Fifty for Rory Burns! Cries of catch, but it lands safe and Burns rolls on. The #BansteadWall: 64 balls, eight fours. Since lunch, he’s been as fluent as at any stage in the match so far.

2.41pm BST

Somerset are off the mark! They have finally won. All it took was Lewis Gregory captaining them. Leach gets the last (Plunkett who’d been slogging), to finish with four, just like Coverton, who took nine in the match!

They take 21 points to Yorkshire’s four.

2.37pm BST

Middlesex need 49 to win. They have four wickets in hand…

2.35pm BST

Burns to 44, splitting the gap on the legside with precision. Lovely stuff. 68 for none.

2.28pm BST

Trescothick is doing short leg!

WICKET!!! Leach has 3!!! Coad hoists him to Adam Hose at cover and Yorkshire are 133/9!!#YORvSOM pic.twitter.com/oOr6OgXvdi

2.26pm BST

And after boshing a pair of sixes, Coad goes and Yorkshire are nine down! Somerset on the verge…

2.25pm BST

Big test for Middlesex now: Rikki Clarke gets Simpson, and they are six down, still needing 64. James Harris joins Ryan Higgins.

2.06pm BST

Qadri gets Colly and Durham are four down at Chesterfield. They still need 115…

2.05pm BST

So, I don’t want to alarm you, but Rory Burns nearly got out just now. It was a near miss on a run out, as you might expect, because Hampshire sure as hell have no other options for dismissing him. He nudged into the legside set off, and didn’t bother running his bat in, accepting his fate. The throw missed, and he picked up a pair of overthrows so all’s well that ends well and all that. 38 for none. He has 25.

1.59pm BST

96 for eight! Coverton gets Hodd and Somerset need two more wickets. Coverton has nine in the match…

1.57pm BST

Leach gets Rashid and Yorkshire are seven down!

1.53pm BST

The details of the Shiv Thakor situation are, err, spectacular.

1.50pm BST

Durham are three down, and still need 130…

1.49pm BST

Yorkshire are six down as Bressie goes for 25! Leach with the wicket… Somerset need four more. Yorkshire need loads of runs.

1.49pm BST

We are back underway at the Oval, and Rory Burns is still in. He is now officially the #BansteadWall

So #bansteadwall @willis_macp

1.05pm BST

Couple of scares for Surrey in that mini-session as Stoneman was dropped then edged wide of the slips for four. But Surrey are 11 without loss. 67 overs remain, they are 154 behind, and have plenty of batting to do.

1.03pm BST

So, Surrey are following on, it’s a belter at Edgbaston, Yorkshire are on the ropes at Scarborough, and Durham might snag a win too. It’s all very boring at Beckenham, mind. Here’s your scores on the final day.

Division One:

12.56pm BST

Middlesex are within 100… 98 required, but five down. Great finish in store there.

12.47pm BST

Stoneman’s been dropped second ball! Berg finds the edge, diving to his right first slip has missed him!

12.46pm BST

Yorkshire are 67 for five!

BOWLED HIM!!! Lyth is bowled by the superb Lewis Gregory for 37!! Yorkshire 67/5!!!#YORvSOM pic.twitter.com/hHZ0ZTBldx

12.45pm BST

Burns eases the first ball through point for one.

12.42pm BST

Compo out stumped! Oh dear … Middlesex are 122 for five. They need 112 more.

12.41pm BST

The follow on has indeed been enforced.

12.37pm BST

Mark Footitt, what have you done? He’s drilled Holland straight to midwicket and been caught. No one can quite believe it. 16 shy of the follow-on mark, so they will bat again.

Rory Burns carries his bat for 219 not out, his maiden double ton. He has not missed a ball in this match so far. Superb.

12.34pm BST

Leicestershire are 138 for four as Briggs gets Cosgrove for 41!

12.34pm BST

Middlesex are halfway there, four down…

12.31pm BST

Durham two down as Richardson goes to Tahir for 62. 95 for two, requiring 187 more…

12.31pm BST

Surrey are just 17 shy of avoiding the follow on…

12.29pm BST

Footitt’s just survived five balls from Holland.

12.20pm BST

Durham have lost their first. Qadri gets Steel and Burnham is in. 92 for one, need 191 more.

12.16pm BST

What a knock. He tracks Crane and flicks him through midwicket for four. Superb innings. 424 balls, that’s his 25th four and there was a six too. Still 36 required to avoid the follow-on. If he can do that, with just Footitt for company, then, well, I don’t know what. But it’ll be pretty special.

12.14pm BST

199 … laps fine, runs well. Field comes in now. Still 40 shy of follow-on.

12.14pm BST

Burns to 197! He’s found the gap at midwicket with a sweep…

12.13pm BST

And he’s turning singles down.

12.13pm BST

So Crane to Burns, on 193. Field spread.

12.10pm BST

Bowled him! Holland has left Virdi’s stumps in a right mess and out comes Noted Batsman Mark Footitt. Burns has 193. He has never made a double. Still 46 shy of follow on…

12.05pm BST

Yorkshire are 36 for four!!! Pepsi hooks Coverton for six but has been caught in the slips… Bressie in with a serious job to do.

12.01pm BST

And a wicket here at the Oval! Tom Curran has missed one from Holland has been bowled (stayed low?). Burns is 191 after reverse sweeping Crane for four then pulling him for six last over. 447 for eight and still 52 away from avoiding the follow on. Virdi in with Footitt next…

11.59am BST

Middlesex are four down! Stirling goes to Panayi, and Warwickshire have to favourites. 79 for four… 155 required.

11.57am BST

Northants are all out for 568! They trail by 133, and it doesn’t really matter.

11.51am BST

Wowzer, play that.

GONE!! Another brutal delivery from Craig Overton and a great take by Steve Davies! Brook goes for 0 and Yorkshire are 12/2#YORvSOM pic.twitter.com/G0xLtmJ5gF

11.50am BST

Yorkshire are three down! Coverton gets Brook (a snorter, caught behind) and Handscomb (lbw) in consecutive balls and Yorkshire are 12 for three. They need 337 to win, and Somerset are sniffing their first victory of the season.

11.44am BST

So Durham are 62 without loss and need another 220 for a remarkable win over indecently exposed Derbyshire.

11.39am BST

Oh dear…

Derbyshire CCC’s Shiv Thakor has been questioned by police over report of an indecent exposure. The club has suspended him on full pay #P2bD pic.twitter.com/Q0tDcwhBGb

11.37am BST

50 for Tom Curran! He’s played very nicely – brave last night, canny this morning. Fidel is steaming in at him and he’s taking him on. Gets there with two driven down the ground.

11.36am BST

You may have seen this last night but I feel it’s important to flag it again because Reasons.

The best celebration ever!!! @MattColes_90 @CountyChamp @kentcricket #slug pic.twitter.com/ZlSPOVlTJn

11.34am BST

Middlesex are three down … Barker gets Malan. They still need 180 to win.

11.33am BST

Yorkshire are one down! Gregory gets Lees and they are 3-1.

11.30am BST

One run in the first half-hour for Burns here. He’s not going to haul Lara down with an attitude like that!

11.23am BST

Well, well, well. Nicely done James Hildreth, who reaches his first century of the season. Then Gregory calls them in. 90 overs to do it, so the carrot has well and truly been dangled. Huge day in Somerset’s season.

11.20am BST

Northants have avoided the follow on!

11.18am BST

Hildreth has 97 … Somerset’s lead is 325.

11.14am BST

Here’s that drive I got a bit excited about.

The first boundary of the day and it takes @_TC59 to 1000 first-class runs in his career.

Many more to come, Tom! pic.twitter.com/icDxwispCu

11.14am BST

There are not very many people at the Oval today. Is there some other cricket happening?

11.09am BST

Fidel is bowling from the Vauxhall End and CurranT just played a straight drive that I want to put in a cab to St Pancras and take to Paris for a long weekend. He has 39.

11.07am BST

A wicket at Scarborough! Bressielad gets Hose caught in the cordon. 243 for four, the lead is 298. I wouldnae be batting too much longer if I was Somerset. Bosh 40, pull out.

11.01am BST

Abbott’s going to get us going.

10.58am BST

Here come cricketers at the Oval!

10.58am BST

Broadly, I agree. Contriving is great. I thought the end of last season was superb, and the piss-boiling it brought was even better. But in this instance, I think wouldn’t… A loss would really derail both sides’ promotion hopes and, given the long Champo break that follows this round, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

@willis_macp I prefer “making a game of it” to “contrivance” and I also believe that it’s worth risking 5 points for the reward of 16

@willis_macp To elaborate a little, there’s far too much opprobrium attached to setting up matches. It’s one of proper cricket’s delights!

10.42am BST

Morning Stuie! Thanks for your daily tweets, they are most welcome.

@willis_macp loved the blog so far this season! Morning for last time for a while

10.42am BST

There couldn’t be a contrivance at Beckenham could there? Call me conservative (small c, please) but I don’t see much point: the two teams are too close in the table, and therefore have too much to lose. It’s also the T20 starting tomorrow, and a defeat would be a terrible way to bow out of Championship cricket for a while.

10.31am BST

Good morning and welcome to the final County Cricket – live! for a wee while, by my reckoning. The T20 Blast begins tomorrow, so the Championship disappears from view for a few weeks at about its halfway stage. Don’t worry, I’ll be back, said Macpherson with menace. Seems an apt moment to thank you all for your comments and clicks and all that – it’s been the blog’s busiest year ever.

Anyway, there’s cricket to be played. Here at the Oval, Surrey probably did enough to escape this game against Hampshire with a draw. Rory Burns is playing arguably the best innings I’ve seen this season against a very fine attack in sapping conditions. The pitch is pretty flat, so it’s been a mental and physical challenge, rather than a truly technical one. Still, he’s been superb. He has a way to get yet because the follow-on is yet to be avoided. 89 more runs to score for that. He’s never scored a double… The weather here is very nice right now (little bit muggy, if we’re being picky), but may get a little stormy later on.

Related: Rory Burns turns on the style to keep Surrey in the frame at The Oval

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/06/county-cricket-surrey-v-hampshire-and-more-live

Jun 20

If the ball is anything to go by we could be tickled pink by cricket day-nighters | The Spin

A visit to the Dukes warehouse reveals a lovingly crafted ball that could help light up the spectacle when English cricket steps out into the night

“New ball bowlers will look forward to bowling with this,” grinned Stuart Broad, just after zipping one past his best mate Luke Wright’s outside edge in a live demonstration on Sky last Friday. Broad was referring to is the pink Dukes ball, which he will use at Edgbaston when England play West Indies in a day-night Test in August, and in nine Championship games from Monday.

Related: Hail the Unbelievables! How Pakistan found cricketing redemption

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/20/ball-tickled-pink-cricket-day-nighters-dukes

Apr 21

County cricket: James Vince pushes England case with Hampshire century

• Hampshire 281-4 v Yorkshire
• Middlesex 255-1 v Essex; Lancashire 109; Somerset 153-8

On a day that began with all nine visiting captains opting to forgo the toss and stick the home side in – pre-empting bowlers’ dominance – it was prospective England batsmen making the grandest statements.

The stripling Lancashire captain, Liam Livingstone, impressed the onlooking chairman of selectors, James Whitaker, with his maturity – not to mention the audacity and outrageousness of his strokeplay – as he was last man out for 68 of his side’s 109 against Somerset, on a day when 18 wickets fell at Old Trafford. At Lord’s, Sam Robson and Nick Gubbins made centuries in an opening stand of 241 for Middlesex against Essex, watched by England’s head coach, Trevor Bayliss.

Related: Liam Livingstone: ‘I have always had that confidence that I could make it’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/21/cricket-roundup-liam-livingstone-lancashire-james-whitaker

Feb 06

Joost van der Westhuizen, South Africa rugby great, dies aged 45

• World Cup-winning scrum half had motor neurone disease since 2011
• Van der Westhuizen was admitted to hospital on Saturday

Joost van der Westhuizen, the South African Rugby World Cup winner, has died aged 45. The former scrum-half had been living with motor neurone disease since 2011 and was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital on Saturday morning.

The J9 Foundation, the charity founded by Van der Westhuizen in 2012, confirmed that he had died at home, saying in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Joost. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones. He will be sorely missed.”

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen will be remembered for inspirational spirit and dignity | Robert Kitson

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen obituary

RIP Joost van der Westhuizen. An incredible player and fighter to the end. The first of the new age 9’s.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/06/joost-van-der-westhuizen-south-africa-rugby-great-dies