More and more rain affected draws, although summer does appear to be just around the corner. A good week for both leaders, even if it was only in the scramble for bonus points in Div 1.
Starting at the top, where poor weather and a flat Scarborough wicket meant another draw was always likely. Kent batted first scoring 486 with the impressive Joe Denly getting another ton. Adil Rashid took 5-fer on the ground where it all started last year, with Tim Bresnan taking 4. Kent used ten bowlers in the Yorkshire reply of 550 for 9 declared, Anthony McGrath continuing his recent run of good form with a ton and Younus Khan getting an unbeaten double hundred. Kent managed 17 in the time that was left and it finished in a tame draw
Sussex’s charge towards the top of the table came to an abrupt halt at Hampshire as they were bowled out for just 145, James Bruce taking 5-fer. John Crawley carried the reply scoring an unbeaten 113 in the Hants total of 250 with Rana Naved taking 5 wickets. Second time round, Sussex had seen off the deficit for the loss of four wickets. However, too much time was lost out of the game and it ended in a draw.
The bottom two teams clashed at Guildford in Worcestershire’s first match for quite some time. Surrey batted first an reached 369 largely due to yet another Mark Ramprakash ton. Worcester couldn’t quite reach the follow on target scoring 217, but batted much better second time round and the game finished with them on 307 for 5, Phil Jaques scoring a ton and Harbajan Singh taking all five of the wickets to fall.
The only positive result came at the top of the table as Somerset and Derbyshire contrived a rather one sided result. Somerset opened up scoring 340, despite Ant Botha getting 6 wickets. Derby then declared on 94 for 2 and with Somerset declaring in return on 84 for 3, Derby were set 330 to win. However, with Charl Willoughby taking 4 for 12, Derby were bowled out for just 52 and Somerset are well clear at the top of the table.
Northamptonshire opened up with 366 against Nottinghamshire, four players getting to 50, but no-one above 60. In reply Notts took a big lead, with Stephen Fleming and Mark Wagh getting tons as they declared on 526 for 9. Then having reduced Northants to 18 for 3, Notts must have thought they had a chance. However, no more wickets fell and the match was drawn. Notts remain comfortably 2nd, even if Somerset are beginning to pull away at the top.
Just a day’s play was possible at Gloucestershire, with Essex making sure of maximum bowling points as they dismissed the home team for 184, despite a ton for Chris Taylor, Andy Bichel taking 5-fer. In reply Essex had made just 129 for 7 as time ran out.
At least Gloucester and Essex got some play in. Glamorgan and Leicestershire just had to watch as the rain game down and the Welshmen remained stranded at the bottom of the table.
Player of the Week
The weather was the main factor again this week. However, bearing in mind that he could have won the award in week 3, for his second double hundred of the season, this week’s Player of the Week is Younus Khan.