Will Smith just got off the mark from the 43rd delivery he faced. Hampshire are currently careering along at 1.25 runs an over knowing that the rain that has hit the rest of the country will soon arrive in Manchester.
So far, this round of County Championship matches has been more eventful than the last – so eventful, in fact, that we feel moved to do a mini round-up midway through. It’s not very focused, hence the vague headline.
Lancashire managed to get a first innings lead of almost 350, which is quite some feat from a side who haven’t shown any real taste for run-scoring in recent years. Clearly, they have been greatly inspired by the arrival of The Great Neil Wagner.
Warwickshire v Somerset threatens to end in something other than a draw. The home team have been asked to make 322 to win – not an outrageous total, but more than were scored in any of the first three innings.
Over in Yorkshire, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have been underlining that for all that the first division of the County Championship is closer to Test cricket than the second division, it’s still not exactly a terraced housing neighbour. It’s more of a detached neighbour with a very high hedge who votes a different way to you. Root made a quick double hundred and Bairstow basically did. Surrey’s attack has been given a bit of a slap by two England certainties.
It underlines the feeling that you’d really like to see potential England players tearing county cricket to pieces rather than ‘doing well’ or ‘making a strong case for inclusion’. Down at Lord’s, Sam Robson has made his third hundred of the season. They’ve all been on his home ground, but top order rival and team-mate Nick Compton has been bumbling along not really doing much of anything by way of contrast.
Considering they won their last Test series, the next England team remains remarkably uncertain.