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County Championship: Northeast fires 186 but rain keeps four grounds waiting
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County Championship: Northeast fires 186 but rain keeps four grounds waiting

The new Glamorgan captain Sam Northeast raced to the first century of the new campaign, as his side did just as Northeast had promised pre-season and played a “front-foot style of cricket” gulping down the batting points in the process. Northeast’s 186 not out was done in accompaniment with 67 from Billy Root, opening the batting in the absence of Eddie Byrom, and a stylish 77 from Kiran Carlson. The first day of Middlesex’s return to the Second Division was not a cheerful one, especially after they won the toss and chose to have a bowl with the Kookaburra ball being used for this round and which, true to form, didn’t give any bowlers round the grounds much help.

At Trent Bridge, Dean Elgar and Jordan Cox, Essex’s replacements for Alastair Cook and Dan Lawrence, held the scorecard together as their middle order collapsed around them against Nottinghamshire. Both the new signings were out in the 80s, while no-one else made more than 18. Dane Paterson, who only flew in from South Africa on Wednesday, picked up the first five-fer of the summer, pocketing five for 49 and Essex were 244for nine when bad light stopped play.

Worcestershire, tipped by many to be relegated at the end of the season, made a sparkling start, even the bubbles started to pop by early evening. South Asian Cricket Academy graduate Kashif Ali reached a maiden first-class hundred with a lazy-days down-the-wicket and-flick six over long on, as Warwickshire’s bowlers struggled with a strong crosswind. Kashif’s classy 110 was the first Championship century by a SACA graduate. The new Worcestershire signing Jason Holder had time to get off the mark with a dreamy cover drive for four before stumps.

There was a late start at Headingley, where Leicestershire’s Australian Marcus Harris had time to pick up 50 against Yorkshire before the medium pace of George Hill (three for 25) provided the surprise scalpel. Rehan Ahmed made a busy boundary-filled 28 before Dan Moriarty trapped him lbw.

A truncated day also at Hove, where Ollie Robinson, given a subtle spring rocket by Rob Key and who has spoken about this being a make-or-break season for him, bowled some testing overs with pace and rhythm for Sussex. But the two Northants wickets to fall went to West Indies’ Jayden Seales.

As predicted by county groundspeople, the incessant rain of the last month made its mark. Play was abandoned for the day without a ball bowled at Chester-le-Street, Derby, Canterbury and Old Trafford.

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Meanwhile, Jimmy Anderson confirmed that he was not expecting to play for Lancashire until the end of May at the earliest, when he will start to prepare for the England Test summer, which starts on 10 July at Lord’s with the first Test against West Indies.

Source: theguardian.com