Hello! Welcome to the final day of this round of Championship games – the last for a while. Of course the sun is out, the elderflower nearly in bloom and the season off to a flyer. Four games remain in play today:
Surrey v Yorkshire: Surrey 414; Yorkshire 229 and 142 for 5 (Bairstow 25, Leaning 13; Virdi 3-52) trail Surrey by 43 runs.
All eyes are on Jonny Bairstow after reports that Ed Smith has his eye on handing the gloves to Ben Foakes and moving YJB up the order, which may have contributed to Bairstow’s furious hitting in the first innings. But he’ll do well to extricate Yorkshire from this mess. Yesterday there were three wickets for off-spinner Amar Virdi including Joe Root for 23, who had been out earlier the same day for 14 – both times to 19 year olds. Sam Curran was awarded his county cap after taking 6-54 in Yorkshire’s first innings, becoming the fourth youngest Surrey player to be capped, and the fourth youngest to 100 wickets after Waqar Younis, Martin Bicknell and Jack Crawford
Somerset v Hampshire: Somerset 506; Hampshire 231 and 178 for 2 (Vince 63, Amla 86) trail Somerset by 97 runs
This could be a thriller, watching Vince – in his last innings before the Test team is chosen – and Amla try to bat out the day.
Middlesex v Gloucestershire: Middlesex 455-8 dec; Gloucestershire 210 and 66 for 2 (Roderick 6, Bracey 5)trail Middlesex by 179 runs.
Gloucestershire will do very well to escape here and
Derbyshire v Durham: Derbyshire 427 and 1-0 (Slater 0, Reece 1); Durham 520. Derbyshire trail Durham by 92 runs
which has draw written all over it.
Five games finished yesterday:
A thriller at New Road where Essex came from behind to win by 32 runs, with Worcester now cut adrift at the bottom of the table. Lancashire beat Nottinghamshire by an innings and 67 runs to register their first win of the season, with nine wickets for Graham Onions and six for Jimmy Anderson. In Division two, Warwickshire beat Northants by six wickets, thanks to a century from Will Rhodes, and already look a pretty safe bet to bounce back to Division one at the end of the season. Northants can already taste the grain of the wooden spoon . And in two relatively low scoring games, Leicestershire beat Glamorgan by three, yes three, runs for their third Championship win since 2012, and Kent beat Sussex by 58 and kicked them out of second place. Matt Henry took ten wickets in the match.
In other news: Ireland are following on in their first Test against Pakistan at Malahide where the weather is an unhelpful grey today and where Mick Jagger was spotted yesterday. Jos Buttler hit an unbeaten 94 for Rajasthan Royals – his fifth consecutive IPL fifty since being promoted to open, which equals Virender Sehwag record. And Yorkshire are considering broadcasting live from Scarborough for the match against Surrey next month.