Not sure what Haris Rauf had for tea, but he pulls off a stinging over on the back of it: Higgins is dropped twice, before being caught, Lace lbw first ball to an inswinging yorker.
A lovely email comes in with the tea-break. Hello Oliver and Luca Pearce:
“Dear Tanya, Long time reader, first time emailer. More pertinently, today was my seven year old Luca’s first outing to a live match: Kent against Lancashire. His best bit was Wells hitting Milnes for 9 runs in an over.
Perhaps not quite up there with Tendaulker’s mesmeric 140* against Kenya in 1999- thanks for reminding me of my only visit thus far to cricket in Bristol.”
Bristol: Gloucestershire 155-4 v Yorkshire
Canterbury: Kent v Lancashire 229-3
Taunton: Somerset 109 all out v Essex 40-0
The Oval: Surrey 212-2 v Hampshire
Derby: Derbyshire 237-2 (Masood 146 not out) v Sussex
Chester-le-Street: Durham 227-3 (Bedingham 107) v Leicestershire
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 217-4 v Glamorgan
Fifty for Ollie Pope, who has started the season in sweet touch. A half century too for Hashim Amla: Surrey 212-2.
I’m looking forward to watching Parky turn his arm over after another winter of drinks carrying. This is worth a read.
And the other Stamford School centurion? Joey Evison.
Tom v d Gucht, apologies, I missed your email sent this morning:
“Having watched the manner in which the ECB has ghosted both its core-fanbase during the first rounds of the CC (as criticsed by Jack Russell) alongside its best two bowlers during the winter, it reminds me of the tories’ approach towards public services such as education and the NHS.
“It’s almost like they’re following the Conservative’s blueprint of running things into the ground until they’re no longer sustainable before flogging them off. What’s next? Hiring Nadine Dorries to do a Channel 4 on us and inform everyone that the cricket-loving public and general cricketing community don’t actually like cricket and would prefer to replace the CC and, T20 blast and one-day league with something new and slightly random … Oh, cheers Colin Graves …”
On the second point I completely agree. But the ECB’s lack of coverage on Twitter is weird, because actually they offer a really good service online via the website.
In the depths of Division Two:
Shan Masood closes in on 150-Derbys 221-2 v Sussex ; Durham 184-3 without the injured Alex Lees, Dickson and Bedingham both in the 80s; Ben Duckett 75 not out, the backbone of Notts 183-4 v Glamorgan.
Darren Gough talking to the BBC at lunchtime: “I love the club. I care about the club. It was in a situation that needed someone the players knew and could relate to. And would trust very quickly.
“For the members it was important it was someone they knew and it was difficult for me because I Knew all the people who lost their jobs. I have huge empathy for them because some of them were close friends, still are. But I’ve come in and not had a chance to think about anything other than trying to recruit the right people who would fit in to the environment we’ve got at Yorkshire and the players would feel comfortable around.
“Now we’ve employed, what, 14 people so I’ve been busy doing things I had no experience in. I’ve been doing job descriptions, I’ve been doing interviews, I’ve been sifting through the process and making sure there’s transparency throughout. I’ve also been helping out on the commercial side, I was in India last week when we signed up with Clean Slate which is a fantastic commercial partner for us. So I’ve done lots of things in three months and I spoke to a director of cricket at another club and he said I’ve done more in three months than he’s done in seven years. And he’s probably right.”
BTL: a challenge
“Tanya.” Hello Harry Chapman!
“I am British, trying to follow the CCLB while having to teach a three-hour high school drama class in Massachusetts. Now I work in a very small therapeutic school and due to us having a week off next week I only have two students. I am looking for advice as to how to turn my monologue lesson (please see opening number from Tangled as an example of musical monologue) into one about cricket (I want to put on the Somerset vs Essex live stream – due to being an Essex fan) Any advice? It is hugely appreciated!
Also a note on Anya Shrubsole – as someone there that final in Lord’s she gave me one of my favourite cricketing memories!” [so true!]
Round the Div one grounds: double fifties for Lancashire as Steven Croft and Dane Vilas waft their bats. 174-3.
Harris and Hammond rebuild after losing two quick wickets before lunch and van Buuren this afternoon, Haris Rauf getting a bit of a hiding 0-49. Gloucestershire 125-3.
Somerset 109 all out. Tom Lammonby 48 (dropped twice). Three for Sam Cook, three for Steketee, three for Harmer. Essex 6-0 in reply.
Amla and Pope looking solid at The Oval – 168-2. Rylan Patel continuing to start the season well, out for a pretty 58.
A hundred for Shan Masood!
What an early season! Easy does it, 113 not out. Derbyshire 180-2. Sussex’s young bowlers on a learning curve. Pujara watching and waiting.
An email drifts by from Tim Thompson, “Shan Masood’s century makes that two for Stamford school already this season. Do you know who bagged the first?”
Oooh.. who of last week’s 20 centurions went to Stamford school?
The county champions elect motoring along. Expecting Bohannon to have a tricky one after last year’s breakthrough season; Vilas due a better summer with the bat. Currently 151-3 (Croft 43, Vilas 39).
Somerset. What to say: 75-6. Steven Davies wafts at Snater. Lammonby has survived two chances.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to attend this summons! But please could you send the sun this way.
A lovely walk round the ground. Happy spectators, an ice cream van, grass and daisies left to grow wild, a golden Labrador, electric car charging points, vegan food as well as bacon rolls. Community gardens, six and four cards printed on wild flower embedded paper to plant at home. And Gloucestershire 75-2.
Bracey falls just before lunch, and I’m going to take a stroll round Bristol. I don’t think I’ve been since watching Tendulkar make 140 in a 1999 World Cup game just after returning from his father’s funeral.
Bristol: Gloucestershire 58-2 v Yorkshire
Canterbury: Kent v Lancashire 89-3
Taunton: Somerset 70-5 v Essex
The Oval: Surrey 83-1 v Hampshire
Derby: Derbyshire 108-2 v Sussex
Chester-le-Street: Durham 65-3 v Leicestershire
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 108-2 v Glamorgan
Not an extra in 24 overs for the Yorkies, the tightwads. Marcus Harris starting to look sublime and, ah, Charlesworth nibbles to Fisher and is well caught by Duke for 15. Gloucestershire 50-1.
How do Somerset escape this rip in their batting universe? It is going to be a long, long season.. Head slumps into neck, neck slumps into shoulders: 49-5. Three for Sam Cook, two for Mark Steketee.
Shan Masood makes his third successive fifty!
Have Derbyshire (80-1) made the signing of the season? Yes they have.
“Tanya,” John Burton, Hello! “Why are 4 teams having byes during this round of games, I had assumed that the point of splitting the divisions into even numbers was that all could be playing.Am I missing some meaningful reason for byes?”
There is no reason apart from each team is playing six games in the first seven weeks – so we think everyone gets one week off.
The first seven rounds run Thursday-Sunday in successive weeks. A further five rounds follow in June and July before the finale in September.
Each county plays 14 Championship matches, with seven home matches and seven away matches. So in Div Two, all play all, but in Div one .. they don’t.
Happy Birthday Durham! Thirty years a first-class county today. Last week’s unbeaten centurion Alex Lees not playing today, whispers of an injury.
Writes Gary Naylor:
Oooh, I reckon in the sun, with a bank holiday ahead, people are happy to clap most things! As to whether people are getting less discerning – I don’t know. Does it matter do you think?
Marcus Harris pats Haris Rauf square for four – gorgeous shot – and oooh dropped by Harry Duke next ball. Gloucs 29-0.
Ok, time for a coffee and a sniff round the Division One grounds:
Here at Gloucestershire, it’s been slow stuff: Fisher and Thompson keeping it tight, four slips, a good scattering in the cheap seats. And here comes Haris Rauf.
Lancashire have lost their first wicket of the day, nay the season. Balderson gone for 7, while Wells has smashed six fours in his 30 – a three Weetabix morning.
Somerset’s top order proves as fragile as ever: 25-2, Green and Renshaw gone; while Surrey ease into second gear, Burns and Patel swapping the roles they took at Edgbaston: Burns all bombast and Patel steady.
“How on earth can it be fair for England to drop Anderson for West Indies tests then block Lancashire from using him but without guaranteeing him a place in the next test?” asks Stephen Herzenberg. “They are stopping Anderson from showing up the ECB by decimating Kent.”
Hi Stephen, to the best of my knowledge, Anderson and Broad fix their own schedules in conjunction with physios etc with the aim – as in other years – of getting themselves in the best shape for the first Test. Whether they play or not is another matter…
Still no Jimmy Anderson, no Stuart Broad.
Zak Crawley is back, as are Jack Leach, Craig Overton and Parky.
Simon Harmer returns for Essex, Matt Renshaw for Somerset, Marnus Labuschagne for Glamorgan, Marcus Harris for Gloucestershire, Mohammad Rizwan and Cheteshwar Pujara at Hove
If anyone missed this yesterday: reports of up to 12 ex Yorkshire players to be charged by the ECB on breaching the anti-discrimination code/bringing the game into disrepute, including Gary Ballance, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Gale and Tim Bresnan.
Yorkshire win and will bowl
Lancashire win and will bat
Essex win and will bowl
Hampshire win and will bowl
Derbyshire win and will bat
Leicestershire win and will bowl
Glamorgan win and will bowl
Bristol: Gloucestershire v Yorkshire
Canterbury: Kent v Lancashire
Taunton: Somerset v Essex
The Oval: Surrey v Hampshire
Derby: Derbyshire v Sussex
Chester-le-Street: Durham v Leicestershire
Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire v Glamorgan
Warwickshire, Northants (Div one) and Middlesex and Notts (Div two) get a bye this round
Anya Shrubsole retires
A legend lays down her cap:
Shrubsole, who won two World Cups with England – the iconic player of the match on that fantastic late evening at Lord’s in 2017, taking 6-46 -spanned the amateur and professional game.
She started her domestic career for Somerset before going on to play 173 England games across all formats, winning the Ashes twice, and claiming 227 wickets. She finishes fourth on the list of England’s ODI wicket-takers, and bows out as England’s current top IT20 wicket-taker.
She became the first woman to appear on the front of Wisden, in 2018, and retained her golden arm right to the end, taking two key wickets in the recent World Cup semi-final against South Africa. She will continue to play domestic cricket.
“I feel immensely privileged to have been able to represent my country for the past 14 years,” said Shrubsole. “To have been involved in women’s cricket at a time of such growth has been an honour but it has become clear to me that it is moving forward faster than I can keep up with, so it is time for me to step away.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be lucky enough to play for England for so long, I’d have been happy with one game. There have been many ups and downs along the way but it was all worth it to be able to lift the ICC Women’s World Cup at Lord’s in 2017.
“There have been so many people who have supported me along the way and I want to thank them all for everything they have done, but most of all I couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of my family. They have been with me every step of the way and I simply couldn’t have done it without them.”
Gloucester news: Marcus Harris will make his Gloucestershire debut today – said to be excited about playing Division One cricket after a spell with Leicestershire. Naseem Shah doesn’t play, out with a shoulder injury.