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Robinson Lays Down Ashes Marker as Smith Looks on

Hampshire were well and truly outplayed at the Ageas Bowl by Warwickshire, who won by an innings and 84 runs. The hosts chose to bat first and relied on skipper James Vince’s unbeaten 75 to see them up to 229. The away side responded by making 410 for eight declared, with half-centuries from four players, Ed Barnard top-scoring with 95, his highest score since joining the county. Hampshire’s batting was ripped to shreds by Chris Rushworth, who took seven for 38 to finish with match figures of ten for 76, crumbling to 35 for nine inside 17 overs. Mohammad Abbas was yet to score a run this season when he joined Vince, but he battled away for 73 minutes for his Hampshire best score of 9 as his side was all out for 97.


There was a tense draw at Trent Bridge as James Anderson and Stuart Broad lined up against each other. Lancashire were put in to bat and were quickly all out for 214, with Brett Hutton taking five for 66. The home side took a handy first-innings lead of 35 runs thanks to a steady knock of 97 by Haseeb Hameed, but then the visitors took charge in the second innings as George Balderson (91) and Josh Bohannon (92) put on 188 for the second wicket. Lancashire were able to declare on 329 for eight, setting a target of 295. Nottinghamshire collapsed to 55 for six inside 20 overs, before Joe Clarke and Hutton steadied things for them, seeing off more than 33 overs. When Clarke fell it brought in Broad to play the unaccustomed role of blocker, which he did for 55 minutes, scoring 3 not out, to see out the match as his side finished on 138 for nine, with Olly Stone coming in to play out the last four deliveries against Tom Hartley.


At Taunton, some weather interruptions were sufficient to ensure that Northamptonshire were able to emerge with a draw. The away side was asked to bat first and made 255, with young South Australian paceman Jordan Buckingham making his debut for the side. Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s first century for Somerset, 130, was the key component of their reply of 412; Jack White took five for 103. The visitors needed to bat out the match and succeeded thanks to an unbeaten 130 from skipper Sam Whiteman, his first century for the county. Buckingham equalled his career-best score of 17. Northamptonshire finished on 311 for eight.


Champions Surrey earned a draw at Chelmsford after Essex chose to bat first and made 314, with Gus Atkinson taking a career-best six for 68. Surrey replied with 240, before the hosts were all out for 198 in their second innings, leaving the away side 54 overs to chase 273. After falling to 103 for six, Surrey called off any idea of trying to reach the target and batted out time, losing one more wicket in the last 25 overs, finishing on 153 for seven. The result left Surrey joint top with Warwickshire on 60 points, both ten points clear of Essex, with all sides having played four games.


In the Second Division, the whole of the third day was lost to the weather at Worcester and so the game against Sussex ended in a draw. While all the focus before the game had been on the arrival of Steven Smith for his County Championship debut, it was his Ashes rival Ollie Robinson who ended up stealing the limelight. Worcestershire batted first and made 264, with Robinson taking seven for 59. Sussex replied with 373, but it was Cheteshwar Pujara who led the way with his second successive century, 136, rather than Smith, who scored 30. Robinson was again the main threat in the home side’s second innings, taking seven for 58 to finish with match figures of 14 for 117 – the best of the summer to date and the best for Sussex since Norman Thomson took 15 for 75 in a losing cause in 1964 against Warwickshire at Worthing. Azhar Ali battled his way to an unbeaten 103 to see his side up to 251 for eight and safety.


Derby hosted Leicestershire in a return fixture, but the weather meant a draw was always the most likely result. The visitors were put in to bat and on-loan Henry Brookes took a career-best six for 20 to bowl them out for just 122. Derbyshire replied with 350 for seven, declaring immediately the extra batting point was secured; Wiaan Mulder finished with five for 67, his best figures for the county. The away side did better in the second innings, making 281, with Chris Wright’s unbeaten 49 in 138 minutes proving vital in saving the match. That meant there was just enough time for one over to chase the target of 54, though the umpires initially thought it would be three overs before remembering they had to deduct two overs for the innings change. The result left Leicestershire joint second with Sussex, 12 points behind Durham on 64 points.


Yorkshire fought back to earn a draw against Glamorgan in a fascinating game at Headingley. The hosts asked Glamorgan to bat first and were rewarded by bowling them out for 245. However that total soon took on daunting proportions as Michael Neser took a career-best seven for 32, including a superb hat-trick that ended with Dominic Bess having his stumps rearranged. Jonny Bairstow, on his return to action, was left stranded on 20 not out as Yorkshire were all out for 106. Marnus Labuschagne sped to 170 not out as the visitors declared on 352 for four, setting a target of 492. Adam Lyth set off as though he felt it was in reach, making 174 in 220 balls, but in the end it was left to Jordan Thompson to see out the final over, with Ben Coad watching on from the other end. Yorkshire finished on 412 for nine, the second highest fourth-innings total in the county’s history, behind the 433 they’d made against Warwickshire in 2006.