County Championship Round Two – not even going to pretend to pass this off as a preview

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Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

We had at least one dissatisfied reader last week who seemed to be labouring under the misapprehension that we might have been looking to offer “insight”.

There’ll be none of that here.

Surrey v Lancashire

Surrey, just 22 points above the relegation zone, would do well to focus on gaining a few bonus points against unbeaten Lancashire.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be playing for Lancs and if Dane Vilas can somehow resist the temptation to call him through for a single that’s never there for the first week in succession, the Guyanan should secure victory for his side. Weirdly, Liam Livingstone will be captain.

Surrey should field Mark Footitt plus ten other blokes. If they even so much as look like winning, keep an eye out for those “it could be Surrey’s year” articles.

Yes, it could. Of course it could.

Hampshire v Middlesex

Middlesex have endured a diabolical start to the season and are currently propping up the table. Hampshire will also be playing.

Somerset v Essex

After cowarding out of a confrontation with Jimmy Anderson last week, Alastair Cook has recovered from his sore hip. Providing he doesn’t come down with the sniffles or an acute need for a bit of a lie-down, he will presumably open the batting.

Marcus Trescothick will open for Somerset. We’re keen to see whether he looks even more like a cuddly supply teacher this year, as this seems to be a look he’s moving towards (albeit a cuddly supply teacher who can crunch straight drives like no-one else).

Warwickshire v Yorkshire

Both teams lost last week and no-one else has, so this is officially Battle of the Losers.

Warwickshire currently boast one point from one match, which is the kind of form that second division Durham, who are currently on minus 48, can only aspire to.

Our analysis of Yorkshire’s first match of the season is that they made a bollocks of it.


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  1. Liam Livingstone captain already? That’s no way to keep him under the England radar.

    1. Who is usually Lancashire captain nowadays?

      (All together now: ‘Who ISN’T usually Lancashire captain these days?’)

    2. Think it’s for this match only so he can have a shout off against Surrey’s Captain Batty; Jimmy A and Inky Jade presumably will have a sneer off and Hameed and S Curran will compete in a looking about 12 showdown

      1. I see that as I have changed email address that my above comment is awaiting moderation. Quite frankly, moderation is NOT what I expect from the king’s mighty column.

  2. While I accept that “nul points” after the first round as not exactly ideal for Middlesex, I think it is fair to say that we didn’t lose a wicket and didn’t bowl a single bad ball that round either.

    It’s going to be a long season, let’s see what happens.

    As a unit.

  3. Shiv 85 from 185 balls overnight. That’s batting, that is.

    But what I really want to know is this. What is an uncontested toss? Surely a toss is not a toss if it is not a contested toss.

    1. Indeed. Unlike so many other visiting counties this week, Lancashire and Middlesex were having none of this “shy away from contest” nonsense this morning, arguing the toss successfully with their respective hosts.

      There, I’m afraid, the resemblance ends.

      Precarious holders-on to first division status, Lancashire, struggled to a mere 294/6 at stumps, having at one time been 67/5. Contrast with confident County Champions Middlesex, who bludgeoned their way to an impressive platform of 290/6 at the end of Day One.

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