England stars out cheaply as Dukes ball returns to County Championship

By Sports Desk April 19, 2024

England trio Zak Crawley, Joe Root and Harry Brook were all out for single-figure scores as bowlers across the Vitality County Championship had more success following the return of the Dukes ball.

The trial of the Kookaburra ball, which has a flatter seam than its Dukes counterpart and tends to go softer earlier, in the opening two rounds has proved divisive and led to much higher scores than expected in the early season.

Warwickshire captain Alex Davies’ fantastic 149 underpinned his side’s 340 for four in their Division One clash against Hampshire at the Utilita Bowl – but the opener was the only batter in the country to reach three figures on Friday.

Crawley edged to third slip for five in his first appearance of the season for Kent, who ended a rain-affected opening day on 111 for three after 39 overs against defending champions Surrey at Canterbury.

Daniel Bell-Drummond registered 70 before he was trapped in front by Tom Lawes and Daniel Worrall accounted for Crawley and fellow opener Ben Compton.

Four wickets for Shane Snater and three for England hopeful Sam Cook helped Essex skittle Lancashire for 146 at Chelmsford, where the hosts went to stumps on 68 for one with just 54 overs possible.

England off-spinner Shoaib Bashir snared the in-form Joe Clarke as Nottinghamshire were all out for 193 against Somerset at Taunton.

Craig Overton was the pick of the attack with three for 57 before a classy 70 not out from Sean Dickson led Somerset to 116 for one at the close.

Durham’s Ollie Robinson thrashed six fours and three sixes in a belligerent 55 off 43 balls but his side were all out for 244 against Worcestershire in a clash between the two promoted sides at Kidderminster.

Former West Indies captain Jason Holder took three wickets for Worcestershire, who reached 78 for four in reply.

In Division Two, Yorkshire were dismissed for 159 by Middlesex at Lord’s, where Root steered to gully for five while Brook made just three before nicking to second slip.

Middlesex slipped to 37 for two in reply but Mark Stoneman’s unbeaten 38 and Leus du Plooy’s 23 not out led the hosts to 84 without further loss, with 55.4 overs bowled in the day.

Half-centuries for Ben Charlesworth (62), Miles Hammond (56) and James Bracey (69) ushered Gloucestershire to 319 for eight against Sussex at Hove. Danny Lamb took three for 49 for the hosts.

Colin Ingram’s 69 not out rescued Glamorgan from 27 for four against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. Ben Sanderson’s third wicket left the Welsh side on 96 for five but Ingram’s efforts and 50 from Dan Douthwaite helped them close on 203 for seven after 56.1 overs.

Leicestershire opener Marcus Harris’ unbeaten 77 got his side to 168 for two after 46 overs against Derbyshire at Derby.

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