/Bailey bulldozes Middlesex top-order as Lancashire seal Div. 2 title

Bailey bulldozes Middlesex top-order as Lancashire seal Div. 2 title


Tom Bailey's five-wicket haul reduced Middlesex to 36 for 6

Tom Bailey’s five-wicket haul reduced Middlesex to 36 for 6 © Getty

Lancashire vs Middlesex, Manchester

Middlesex slumped to 39 for 6, courtesy Tom Bailey’s fifer in the final session, after Lancashire were bowled out for 259 earlier on Day 1.

Put in to bat, fifties by Liam Livingstone and Steven Croft helped the hosts to a decent total, in what was an ordinary day for the batsmen otherwise. Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies provided a steady start but both departed in quick succession. Livingstone’s quickfire 84 included 13 boundaries and a six but he lacked a stable partner till Croft provided support as the duo stitched a 53-run stand for the sixth wicket. James Harris and Nathan Sowter bagged three wickets apiece.

In response, Middlesex lost the plot when they came out to bat. None of their eight batsmen who occupied the crease in the 18 overs of play on Monday evening managed to cross the double-digit mark. Graham Onions provided the first breakthrough in the eighth over and Bailey took over the carnage from thereon.

Meanwhile, Lancashire also sealed the top spot in Division Two thanks to two bonus points in their game combined with the solitary bonus point that Northamptonshire managed in their match against Durham, with the mathematics confirming the table topper despite a game remaining for each team after this round.

Brief scores: Lancashire 259 (Liam Livingstone 84, Steven Croft 55*; Nathan Sowter 3-42, James Harris 3-59) lead Middlesex 39/6 (Tom Bailey 6/15) by 220 runs.

Worcestershire vs Gloucestershire, Worcester

Gloucestershire’s new-ball pair – Ryan Higgins and David Payne – combined to bag seven wickets and dismantled Worcestershire for 221 on the opening day.

After the first hour of play witnessed four wickets fall, Riki Wessels bailed the hosts out with a breezy 72, a knock which included 10 fours and a six. However, barring him, none of the top six batsmen managed to score more than 10. The lower order, especially Ed Barnard (30) and Joe Leach (26) made useful contributions to help the hosts past the 200-run mark.

In response, Gloucestershire got off to a watchful start before Barnard struck thrice in six overs to disturb the visitors’ progress, and reduce them to 56 for 4. Gareth Roderick and Ben Charlesworth batted through safely for the last 11 overs of the day and stretched the total to 87.

Brief scores: Worcestershire 221 (Riki Wessels 72, Ed Barnard 30; Ryan Higgins 4-55, David Payne 3-57) lead Gloucestershire 87/4 (James Bracey 23; Ed Barnard 3-16) by 134 runs.

Derbyshire vs Sussex, Derby

On a 13-wicket day in Derby, Sussex took a commanding position in the contest, courtesy a four-fer by David Wiese. The visitors went to stumps on 116 for 3 after bundling out Derbyshire for 138.

Put in to bat, Derbyshire lost Luis Reece for a duck. Billy Godleman, Wayne Madsen and Leus du Plooy managed to get starts before falling to the Sussex pacers. However, it was the introduction of Wiese’s medium pace that rattled their middle order. In a period of less than five overs, they were reduced from 75 for 4 to 83 for 7, which included wickets off successive deliveries in the 26th over. Despite Anuj Dal’s handy 35 lower down the order, Derbyshire were bundled out for a below-par score. Chris Jordan and Reece Topley – who had dismissed the top four – returned with a brace each.

In response, Sussex too found themselves in trouble early, losing their top three with only 25 on the board. However, Stiaan van Zyl and Delray Rawlins bailed them out with an unbeaten 91-run stnd for the fourth wicket.

Brief scores: Derbyshire 138 (Anuj Dal 35; David Wiese 4-18, Reece Topley 2-23) lead Sussex 116/3 (Stiaan van Zyl 49*; Luis Reece 2-27) by 22 runs.

Northamptonshire vs Durham, Northampton

Ben Sanderson’s early carnage left Durham reeling at 37 for 4 after Chris Rushworth’s fifer had bundled out Northamptonshire for 217 earlier in the day.

Put in to bat, the hosts got off to a steady start, with the openers stitching a half-century stand, and the second wicket pair of Ben Curran Alex Wakely adding 49 more. However, Rushworth’s spell early in the second session reduced the hosts from 99 for 1 to 103 for 4.

Even as the lower order didn’t contribute significantly, with the last five falling for single-digit scores, Adam Rossington’s 70-ball 82, a knock which included seven sixes, helped the hosts go past the 200-run mark. Ben Raine returned with a three-fer.

In response, Durham’s innings struggled to get going. They lost three wickets in the last three overs of the day, and were left trailing the hosts by 180 runs at Stumps.

Brief scores: Northamptonshire 217 (Adam Rossington 82, Ben Curran 36; Chris Rushworth 5-68, Ben Raine 3-53) lead Durham 37/4 (Ben Sanderson 3-20) by 180 runs.

Glamorgan vs Leicestershire, Cardiff

Half-centuries by David Lloyd and Samit Patel powered Glamorgan to 300 for 4 on the opening day of their County Championship clash against Leicestershire.

Put in to bat, the hosts got a steady start, courtesy a half-century stand between Kraigg Brathwaite and Nicholas Selman. Even after Selman fell late in the morning session, the West Indian opener held the innings firmly and followed it up with another half-century stand in company of Lloyd. Every subsequent partnership from thereon witnessed a similar pattern, even as none of the batsmen managed to register a century despite getting starts.

Unlike Lloyd’s cautious approach, Samit Patel’s 66 was more entertaining, studded with 10 boundaries and a six. Ben Mike, who dismissed the all-rounder, was the most successful bowler on a day when little went in favour of the visitors after winning the toss.

Brief scores: Glamorgan 300/4 (Samit Patel 66, David Lloyd 66; Ben Mike 2-68) vs Leicestershire.

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