There was more squelch than bounce around the country as rain, both steady and torrential but definitely dismal, wiped out most matches on the first day of the third round of the County Championship.
Five games were called off without a ball being bowled: Northamptonshire v Durham, Leicestershire v Derbyshire, Lancashire v Surrey, Somerset v Yorkshire and Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire. At New Road, where Stuart Broad was due to play his first match for Nottinghamshire this season, the flood waters had receded only 18 days previously. Volunteers and staff spent much of the past two and a half weeks mopping and tidying and getting the ground fit for purpose.
There was play but in only three games. At the Ageas Bowl, where Alastair Cook was making his first appearance in an Essex pullover since last June, Hampshire were 41 without loss from 15 overs before play was abandoned. There was no time in the middle for Sam Northeast, scorer of a wonderful 129 against Surrey in the last round. He broke his little finger during fielding practice on Thursday, will miss the next few weeks of cricket and may need surgery, potentially scuppering any hopes of an England call-up.
There was time for 21 overs at Hove before the clouds turned from ominous to darkly churning. Philip Salt made a rapid 54, only his second first-class fifty, against Gloucestershire as Sussex rattled up 86 without loss.
At Lord’s there was no fairytale return for the captain, Dawid Malan, who was caught at slip in the shadows for five as Middlesex hobbled to 64 for three in 16.1 overs, with two wickets for the Glamorgan captain, Michael Hogan. The stress fracture that is going to keep Toby Roland-Jones out for the season had one beneficiary: the 22-year-old left-arm quick Tom Barber, who is making his first-class debut.
Round-up day 1
Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire: No play
Somerset v Yorkshire: No play
Lancashire v Surrey: No play
Hampshire v Essex: Hampshire 41/0. Weatherly 22, Adams 19.
Sussex v Gloucestershire: Sussex 86/0. Salt 54, Wells 25
Northants v Durham: no play.
Middlesex v Glamorgan: Middx 64/3 Eskinazi 31, Cartwright 0.
Leicestershire v Derbyshire: no play
And that’s it folks – play called off for the day at Lord’s too, with Middlesex 64 for 3.
At Lord’s the umpires will inspect at 4.40.
Just been handed a delicious flapjack from the Lancashire kitchen. Cuboid, crunchy round the edges, well raisin-ed, moist with just enough crunch.
Still no play anywhere. They’ve called it off at Hove now, with Sussex 86 for 0. Just Lord’s holding out and we’ve got the full set.
And it’s a good moment for some housekeeping. Three players, Joe Clarke, Rilee Rossouw and Sam Pearce, have received penalties under the ECB’s Fixed Penalty Directives for Level 1 breaches.
Joe Clarke was reported by umpires during Worcestershire’s Championship match against Somerset on 20 – 23 April 2018 for “wilfully mistreating any part of the cricket ground, equipment or implements used in the match.” He previously breached regulations in the last two years so gets three penalty points.
Rilee Rossouw was reported by umpires during Hampshire’s Championship match against Surrey on 20 – 23 April 2018 for “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action.”
Sam Pearce was reported during Cardiff MCCU’s match against Gloucestershire on 1 – 3 April 2018 for the circumlocutory “bowling a dangerous or unfair short pitched delivery and/or accidental non-pitching delivery that results in the bowler being disallowed from bowling any further in that innings in accordance with Laws 41.6 and 41.7 and Specsavers County Championship Playing Conditions 41.3 and 41.4.”
They both get a reprimand.
And it is looking grim on the south coast too…
? TEA: The umpires have called an early tea. Prospects for a resumption today pretty bleak, we’re afraid. The rain continues to fall #gosbts
April 27, 2018
The squelch-factor at New Road must be high.
Blackfinch New Road weather frustration for Worcestershire CCC https://t.co/EYbayWpQ2k pic.twitter.com/cRTrghMZHO
April 27, 2018
I love the hope in this tweet
CLOSE: Unfortunately persistent rain after lunch has meant no further play will be possible today, with the umpires calling proceedings to a close on day one.
We’ll be hoping for better luck with the weather tomorrow! ? pic.twitter.com/fXj6Z5pgBb
April 27, 2018
Just to recap there is currently no play in any of the eight games.
Five have been abandoned for the day without a ball bowled: Northants v Durham, Leicester v Derby, Lancashire v Surrey, Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire, Somerset v Yorks. Another, Hampshire v Essex has been abandoned for the day with Hampshire 41/0. Weatherly 22, Adams 19.
The two games with possible signs of life are at Lord’s and Hove.
Sussex 86/0. Salt 54, Wells 25
Middx 64/3 Eskinazi 31, Cartwright 0.
It will be May in four days.
The all-weather suggestions are raining in..
From Chris Murphy: Jim Lake-r, Raymond Flood, and from Romeo: Ben Raine
And btl: Ollie Rainer, John Snow, Alex Hales, Andrew Gale, Adam Hose, James Wainman , Parky, C. Old, Chris Gayle, arhghg, there are too many now … will someone please put them in batting-order?
Play abandoned for the day at Somerset too.
Somerset Cricket ?
PLAY ABANDONED FOR THE DAY#SOMvYOR pic.twitter.com/fV7AkfSmUH
April 27, 2018
Rob Kaye, thank you, thank you!
“for you all-weather XI:
John Snow, Andrew Gale.”
So, a wet-weather XI:
Jesse Boot (Derbyshire 1895)
Mac Wright (NSW)
I need help.
Also, some sartorial advice for those BTL thinking about their outfit for tomorrow.
An inspection is happening at Old Trafford – I can’t honestly see that there is any chance of play, the rain is chucking down, big puddles are expanding at the bowlers’s run-ups and the covers haven’t moved since this morning. Ah, it’s been called off.
Here are some seasons of equally dreadful weather 1879 and 2012
And rain has stopped play at Lord’s.
Worcestershire v Notts has been abandoned for the day.
Inspection at Taunton at 3.
I’m sure this man reads the County Blog.
On the Stansted Express, man in front of me is wearing cricket pads. Always be prepared to head out to the middle I suppose. pic.twitter.com/3q3fG1Ne8N
April 26, 2018
Right, I’ve come back from lunch to find that even less cricket is happening than before. So, let’s go to Lord’s, where Middlesex have lost another wicket. Oh, it’s Malan – c Selman b Hogan 5. Middx 60/3.
Scores on the doors at lunch:
Hampshire 41/0. Weatherly 22, Adams 19
Sussex 86/0. Salt 54, Wells 25
Middlesex 46/2. Eskinazi 4, Malan 4.
Worcestershire v Notts, Somerset v Yorkshire, Lancashire v Surrey: no play before lunch.
Northants v Durham, Leicester v Derby: no play today
And some lovely words from Vic, who hasn’t changed out of his slippers yet:
“Let me confirm that it’s still wet in the west country. The Quantocks? I can’t see them, always a bad sign, though I have to admit that I’ve not ventured out of Devon to Taunton since the weather is so dire. Can’t see Dartmoor either.
“ can tell you that Somerset will be changing their side from the one that beat Worcestershire since Eddie Byrom, the young opener, is not fit. So expect Matt Renshaw to join forces with Marcus Trescothick at the top of order whenever the game starts (Yorkshire are surely bound to put Somerset in).
“Byrom must be a plucky cricketer. In the last match he dived on the boundary, falling awkwardly and he was obviously in severe pain. Out came the physio who immediately put his dislocated shoulder back in place, whereupon Byrom promptly trotted back to the middle fully intent on going back to short leg for the start of the next over. Only the intervention of Umpire Ian Gould and the odd suggestion from his fellow players persuaded Byrom to leave the field for some proper treatment.
My guess is that we may have to wait until tomorrow for some action.”
And some breaking news for those itching for material BTL: ABBA are reforming. It’s the name of the game etc…And at Lord’s another wicket falls: Robson b Hogan 17. Middlesex 41/2
Breaking news from Ali Martin, and bad news for Surrey:
Reports from India that the BCCI will ask Virat Kohli to play the one-off Test with Afghanistan in June and thus would be unavailable for a short stint in county cricket (Surrey having been the club floated)
April 27, 2018
A wicket! At Lord’s: Holden b Cooke b Carey 7. Middlesex 14/1
Hampshire 37/0. Weatherly 18, Adams 19
Sussex 66/0. Salt 38, Wells 21
Middlesex 9/0. Robson 7, Holden 2. Just re-started.
Leicestershire v Derby, Worcestershire v Notts, Somerset v Yorkshire, Lancashire v Surrey: no play before lunch.
Northants v Durham: no play today
The water is pooled in the run-ups and more bad news for Lanky, beaten on the line.
April 27, 2018
As Philip Salt shakes his way to 34, Sussex are the latest first-class county to announce a live streaming service, free to members, and on a pay-per-view basis for non members.
At Lancashire a giant panda, a damp dog, Lanky the giraffe, and a Star are lining up for a mascot race, to great excitement.
Incidentally I was at a cricket breakfast club yesterday where the kids played diamond cricket. The teams had to pick a name and the group with the four boys who actively followed cricket didn’t chose England or India but Royal Challengers Bangalore. Sad? Inevitable? Progress? I wonder, does the IPL have the glamour that Italian football had on C4 back in the terrestrial days of legwarmers and monster munch? Thing is, of course, only kids with satellite can watch the IPL.
A lovely picture of Mr County Cricket – and no wickets have yet fallen in the Championship this morning.
What a thrill for our tourists to meet @Trescricket @SomersetCCC whilst visiting this morning, thank you for taking the time. #crickettour pic.twitter.com/R6LI65U23z
April 27, 2018
Northeast digit update: it is his little finger, he did it in fielding practise yesterday, and he’ll be out for a few weeks and might need surgery.
And we’ve got a start at the Ageas Bowl as well. Hampshire are batting 3/0. Detailed team news, as we’ve got the time … with a broken finger for Sam Northeast – god, the gods are cruel sometimes – putting him on the sidelines
TEAM | Here is the team for the @CountyChamp match against @hantscricket. Play due to get underway in 10 minutes. Alastair Cook & @samcook09 come into the side. #HAMvESS pic.twitter.com/SI791Q8bem
April 27, 2018
The teams are in!
? Hampshire XI: Abbott, Adams, Amla, Dawson, Edwards, McManus+, Vince*, Rossouw, Weatherley, Wheal, Wood. https://t.co/pnLQWZSI7N
April 27, 2018
Sussex are 15-0 after 6, but more intriguingly I read in the Cricketer that the catering had gone vegan when Jason Gillespie joined as coach. Is anyone at Hove sunning themselves in the bonny weather of the south able to confirm this? And is it any good? And if so is it the first cricket vegan cricket ground in England? i don’t know if there are any cricket clubs out there like Forest Green Rovers?
Rain has delayed the start everywhere except Lord’s (cancel that, they’re off after one over) and Hove. Play is due to start at 11.30 at the Ageas Bowl. At Northants they’ve already called off play for the day.
At Old Trafford fistfulls of soggy children are having an All Star cricket day, in the rain, accompanied by a soggy felt giraffe, a fire-engine and an RAF stand. But they are still squealing obligedly and having fun – it’s not school after all.
Good morning from Old Trafford! Hope you’ve got your brollies up and thermals on for this the third round of County Championship fixtures. The weather forecast for today in various spots around the country is awful, but there is only a splattering of rain at Old Trafford… at the moment. We’ve got a intriguing group of games ahead , with England returns for three players: Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan and Stuart Broad, all with different things to prove, bread to butter, runs and wickets to chalk on the wall (which leaves Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Jimmy Anderson as the three remaining England players yet to return to action.)
Here’s a quick round-up of the games over the next four days. Will a game last the distance? Who will get closest to 50 wickets in 3 rounds? Can the batsmen fare any better now that April is to segue into May?
Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire
It is only 18 days since the last of the floodwater ebbed away from New Road where Worcestershire host Nottinghamshire today. Worcester have had a tough baptism back in Division one, losing their first two encounters, to Hampshire and then Somerset. Nottinghamshire, who beat Lancashire in the ridiculous wicket-fest on the final day at Old Trafford, and then lost to Yorkshire, are emboldened by Stuart Broad’s return.
Somerset v Yorkshire
Both sides come into the game fresh from victory in the last round – with ten wickets for Yorkshire’s Ben Coad and centuries for Somerset’s Matt Renshaw and James Hildreth. Steve Patterson and Matthew Fisher have recovered from injury and are available for selection for the Yorkies,with Karl Karver also in the squad. Somerset are still without Jamie Overton
Lancashire v Surrey
With two defeats in two games – to Nottinghamshire and Essex – runs are a big issue for Lancashire with a scattering of fifties but no centuries yet and precious few for their fancied top four. Surrey, on the other hand, are flying, after victory over Hampshire at The Kia Oval. Ollie Pope, at just 20, already has a smashing hundred under his belt, with runs also for Ben Foakes and last-innings wickets for Amar Virdi.
Hampshire v Essex
Alastair Cook returns for the champions, and who wouldn’t wish him well after that winter. Essex have a win under their belt after the washout at Headingley; Hampshire are fresh from defeat against Surrey. Batsmen to keep an eye on: England rivals Tom Westley and James Vince, also Sam Northeast, who made his first century for Hampshire against Surrey last week. Jamie Porter has started the season where he left off last year.
Sussex v Gloucestershire
Sussex have played in the two least dramatic matches of the season so far, managing two draws. Gloucestershire beat Kent but lost to Glamorgan last week, Liam Norwell, last year’s leading wicket taker is out with a hamstring injury. The weather should be kinder here than elsewhere.
Northants v Durham
This match could be over very quickly, with both sides batting looking egg-shell fragile in the first two rounds. Durham lost in two days against Kent, and Northants first innings lasted 21.2 overs against Middlesex and 48.4 against Warwickshire. Steady on there, chaps.
Middlesex v Glamorgan
Middlesex have endured a rather a miserable week after defeat by Derbyshire and then the news that Toby Roland-Jones is out for the season with a stress-fracture. Dawid Malan plays his first match of the season and replaces Sam Robson as captain. Glamorgan come fresh from victory against Gloucestershire. The Met-office have issued a yellow rain warning here.
Leicestershire v Derbyshire
There were huge celebrations at Derby last week after they defeated Middlesex to win their first home Championship match since September 2014, with Duanne Olivier taking the best bowling figures on debut for Derby since 1900. Leicestershire have had a quieter start, with a draw against Sussex, including a painstaking 186 for Colin Ackermann.