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National Counties Championship week 3 - Day 1 Review

24 Jul 2022

Cumbria slow left-armer Matt Siddall continued his remarkable start to the National Counties Championship season as he returned career-best figures of eight for 88 on an eventful opening day of their Eastern Division Two match against Buckinghamshire at Chesham. 

It maintained Siddall’s record of having taken five or more wickets in each Championship innings this season and took his aggregate figures to 29 wickets for 362 runs in those five innings. 

Despite Siddall’s efforts, Hertfordshire shaded the first day honours thanks to a century from opener Alex Woodland and five wickets from seamer Cameron Parsons. 

Woodland’s 121 was his second Championship century and a career-best and he almost carried his bat, eventually being last man out as Hertfordshire were bowled out for 237 by Siddall. 

Ed Bragg’s 32 was the next highest score in an innings that was dominated by Woodland. 

Parsons then reduced Cumbria to 93 for seven before Sam Dutton (78 not out) and wicketkeeper Finlay Richardson, with 31 not out on his Championship debut, added 56 in an unbroken eighth wicket partnership. 

Former Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lancashire all-rounder Wayne White batted Cambridgeshire into a strong position against Northumberland at Peterborough with his maiden Championship century. 

Cambridgeshire dismissed Northumberland for 164, despite a battling half-century from former Ireland and Durham wicketkeeper/batter Stuart Poynter. 

White then took Cambridgeshire into a lead of 35 for the loss of two wickets by making 111 not out and sharing an unbroken third wicket partnership of 99 with Callum Guest. 

In Eastern Division One, three more former first-class players dominated proceedings at Grantham where Lincolnshire fought back well against Bedfordshire

Aaron Thomason, the former Warwickshire and Sussex all-rounder, made a maiden Championship for Bedfordshire and he added 145 for the fourth wicket with former Northamptonshire and Glamorgan batter James Kettleborough (85). 

But Mark Footitt, the former Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Surrey left-arm quick, limited the damage by taking his first five wicket haul for Lincolnshire. 

Having dismissed Bedfordshire for 313, Lincolnshire made a strong start to their first innings and closed on 149 for one with opener Jaden Fell unbeaten on Leicestershire batter Sam Evans 22 not out. 

Berkshire, who won the Championship four years running between 2016 and 2019, shaded an intriguing first day in Western Division One at Finchampstead against Oxfordshire, who took their Western Division and national crowns last season. 

Oxfordshire were indebted to their captain Jonny Cater for digging them out of hole after they slumped to 97 for nine after he had won the toss. 

Cater missed the Championship wins over Cheshire and Herefordshire because of holiday commitments but marked his first appearance in the competition this season by making a belligerent 77 which included ten fours and two sixes. 

Last man Ollie Currill curbed his attacking instincts to play a valuable supporting role with a restrained innings of 13 not out and helped add 76 for the tenth wicket with Cater. 

Pace bowler Mungo Russell and slow left-armer Luke Beaven shared six wickets for Berkshire. 

Imran Malik, opening in place of the injured Savin Perera, marked his Berkshire debut with a half-century but seamer George Tait and off-spinner Max Mannering checked their progress and Berkshire will start the second day 51 runs behind with five wickets left. 

Rob Sehmi also played a captain’s innings but Cheshire failed to capitalise against Herefordshire at Brockhampton as they lost their last five wickets for 37 in the final session. 

Cheshire were 201 for five at tea but thenlost three wickets without addition in the first two overs after the interval, including Sehmi who was caught behind for a confident 88. 

Opening bowler James Rudge, who has been having trials with Sussex, and Scotland international slow left-armer Ollie Davidson, on his Herefordshire debut, each took four wickets as Cheshire were dismissed for 238. 

Rain affected the two Western Division Two matches but there was enough time at Panteg for Wiltshire captain Ed Young to make a fluent century against Wales NC

The former Gloucestershire all-rounder shared a fifth wicket partnership of 103 with Jake Goodwin before he became a second wicket for Bangor seamer Owen Reilly on his Wales debut. 

Goodwin reached his half-century just before the close with Wiltshire on 268 for five. 

Less than a half-a-day’s play was possible at St Austell where Shropshire reached 155 for five against Cornwall before the rain arrived. 

Shropshire were 17 for three before acting-captain Graham Wagg and Xavier Clarke stabilised the innings with a fourth wicket stand of 55. 

Worcestershire Academy batter Clarke, younger brother of Nottinghamshire’s Joe, made a brisk 41 in his first innings for Shropshire this season before he was bowled by Dan Lello. 

But Wagg remained to supervise further resistance and he was unbeaten on 59 when the weather closed in. 

Heavy rain on the Staffordshire moorlands meant a soggy return to Championship cricket after a 16-year absence for Leek’s Highfield ground. 

The opening day of Staffordshire’s Eastern Division One match against Norfolk was completely washed out. 

National Counties Championship  

First day of three 

Eastern Division One 

Leek: Staffordshire Norfolk. No play - rain. 

Grantham: Bedfordshire 313 (Aaron Thomason116 , James Kettleborough 85, Mark Footitt 5-66), Lincolnshire 143-1 (Jaden Fell 82 not out). 

 

Western Division One 

Finchampstead: Oxfordshire 173 (Jonny Cater 77), Berkshire 122-5 (Imran Malik 55) 

Brockhampton: Cheshire 238 (Rob Sehmi 88), Herefordshire 19-1. 

 

Eastern Division Two 

Chesham: Buckinghamshire 237 (Alex Woodland 121, Matt Siddall 8-88), Cumbria 149-7 (Sam Dutton 78 not out, Cameron Parsons 5-43). 

Peterborough: Northumberland 164 (Stuart Poynter 62), Cambridgeshire 199-2 (Wayne White 111 not out). 

 

Western Division Two 

St Austell: Shropshire 155-5 (Graham Wagg 59 not out) v Cornwall

Panteg: Wiltshire 268-5 (Ed Young 102, Jake Goodwin 56 not out) v Wales NC.

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