What a week it's been for cricket, with the England v Pakistan first test ending in an unlikely victory, the same day the 2nd round of the Bob Willis trophy got underway. We've been treated to some superb cricket throughout. If you're looking for a quick recap of the action this week, then read on below:
Somerset beat Northamptonshire by 167 runs
Somerset - 166 & 222
Northamptonshire - 67 & 154
If you get 40 wickets within 2 full days, you've either got a shocking pitch or exceptional bowling. Down at the county ground in Northampton, it was a mixture of both. On a pitch that did plenty, the Northamptonshire batsmen just didn't have the quality to face up against one of the most dangerous attacks in county cricket. Jamie Overton may be leaving for Surrey at the end of the 2020 season, but he's certainly leaving his mark on the memories of Somerset fans. He took a superb 5 wickets for just 40 runs and top-scored with the bat scoring 68 in Somerset's 2nd inning.
His brother Craig, who has recently committed his future to the county chipped in with 4 wickets of his own in the first inning, while veteran Jack Brooks helped himself to 5 wickets as well. Northampton won't want to see the scorecard of their first innings again, Ben Curran top-scored with 35, with the 2nd highest scorer being wicket-keeper Adam Rossington with just 9 runs. It's two wins from two for Somerset.
Kent beat Sussex by an Inning and 25 runs
Kent - 530-1
Sussex - 332 & 173
Sussex fans will want to look away now, Kent have offered up a mauling, a game that looked to be in the balance when Sussex put up a competitive total of 332, only for 19-year-old Jordan Cox and 26-year-old Jack Leaning to put on a formidable partnership that took Kent from 107-1 to 530-1 at the end of their allotted 120 overs.
I tuned in on the 3rd morning to get a look at young Jordan Cox, and my first instinct was that it was as flat as a pancake out there. However, after seeing Sussex bowled out for 173 on the same day, it was evident that it was Cox and Leaning making it look flat. They were both outstanding, rotating the strike and punishing bad and good balls. With two double-centuries, Kent will get a well earned extra day off having completed the game inside 3 days.
I do feel for the Sussex bowlers with Henry Crocombe and Stuart Meaker going for over 5 runs an over, a performance that coach Jason Gillespie won't be overly pleased about.
Lancashire beat Durham by an Inning and 18 runs
Durham - 180 & 110
Another game that finished within three days, Lancashire bowled Durham out cheaply in their second inning with right-arm seamer Liam Hurt taking 4 wickets for just 27 runs while veteran seamer Tom Bailey helped himself to 3 wickets for just 11 runs, bowling a tight and steady line that bamboozled the Durham batsmen.
The star of the Lancashire batting lineup was 23-year-old Josh Bohannon who's slotted into the #3 role for the red rose this year. After averaging 52 in the second division last year, Bohannon continued his good form with a solid 75 against a Durham attack that lacked a bit of bite throughout the Lancashire inning. Matt Salisbury was the pick of the bowlers for Durham, taking 4 wickets for 57 runs.
Derbyshire beat Leicestershire by 9 wickets
Leicestershire 199 & 220
Derbyshire 408 & 12-1
The surprise package of the north group so far, Derbyshire made it two wins from two, comfortably beating a below-par Leicestershire. The story of Derbyshire's early-season success is the contribution throughout the squad, they're getting performances from all over and not relying on one or two star players to get them over the line.
During their first inning performance, Derbyshire enjoyed four half-centurions with the ever-impressive Wayne Madsen leading the way with 103. Luis Reece, Leus du Plooy and young wicket-keeper Harvey Hosein each contributing with 50+. However, it was the bowlers that really impressed me with South-Africa Dustin melton taking 4 wickets for 22 runs in the first inning, before young English leg-spinner Matt Critchley decimated the Fox's in the 2nd inning, taking 6 wickets for 73 runs.
Derbyshire will face a much tougher test next week as they head to Headingly to face Yorkshire.
Hampshire beat Middlesex by 3 wickets
Hampshire 296-9 & 161-7
Middlesex 252 & 201
Hampshire got their first victory of the shortened season with a close encounter with Middlesex at the Radlett cricket club. In a close affair, Hampshire did just enough to knock off the required runs on the final day. Opener Joe Weatherley top-scored with a superb 98 before being trapped on the crease by Irish bowler Tim Murtagh in the first inning, Murtagh would finish the game with 7 wickets. Joe Weatherley would top-score again in the 2nd innings with a composed 64.
Nick Gubbins couldn't replicate his first-round heroics, falling for 8 & 46 as Middlesex never really established any meaningful partnerships throughout the game. Middlesex will be pleased with the fight shown on the final day as both Murtagh and Sri-Lankan born Englishman Thilan Walallawita bowled well, with the latter taking 3 wickets for 28 runs.
Yorkshire beat Nottinghamshire by 90 runs
Yorkshire 264 & 278
Nottinghamshire 355 & 97
Nottinghamshire wilted on the final day at Trent Bridge being bowled out for a measly 97 after being set a sub 200 score to win. After a superb first inning that put them in firm control of the match, which included a century by Tom Moores and a half-century by captain Steven Mullaney, Notts will be wondering what happened on the final day as Ben Duckett top-scored with just 19.
Yorkshire missing bowler Ben Coad will be delighted with the victory, and with the manner in which they were able to skittle Nottinghamshire so cheaply on the final day. There was a welcome return for Jonny Bairstow who rode his luck on the way to 75 batting at #3. There were also half-centuries for opener Adam Lyth and middle-order batsmen Jonathan Tattersall.
That's two wins from two for Yorkshire, who sit 2nd in the north group, four points behind early frontrunners Derbyshire who they host at Headingly next week.
Essex beat Surrey by 169 runs
Essex - 262 & 261
Surrey - 187 & 167
Just call this the Simon Harmer game. As we've seen so many times before, the South African spinner bamboozled the inexperienced Surrey attack with his off-spin accuracy taking 14 wickets in the match, including 8 in Surrey's 2nd inning. Harmer who one day hopes to qualify for England proved too good for the Surrey batting lineup who were missing several key contributors. He bowled an accurate line and tempted the Surrey batsmen to attack him, with only one outcome likely. Jamie Porter also picked up 4 wickets for 53 runs in the first inning, proving that Harmer and Porter make up one of the deadliest bowling combinations in county cricket.
The defending county champions have made a good start to the Bob Willis trophy, however they will want to have a statement batting performance soon. Youngster Feroze Khushi top-scored with 66, but only wicket-keeper Adam Wheater joined him in passing 50 in either inning. Fortunately for Essex, they had key contributions from Sir Alastair Cook (42 & 42) and veteran Varun Chopra (39). However, you feel as though they are missing Dan Lawrence in their middle order.
It wasn't all bad for Surrey, young spinner Amar Virdi continued to push his case for an England call with 6 wickets in the match, coming at 25 each. 21-year-old Will Jacks top-scored for Surrey with 70 in the first inning and 20-year-old Jamie Smith put up a resilient 45 in the 2nd inning before being caught superbly by Simon Harmer in the slips off the bowling of Aaron Beard.
Gloucestershire beat Warwickshire by 78 runs
Gloucestershire - 210 & 275
Warwickshire - 247 & 160
When your #1, #3 and #4 batsmen combine to contribute 23 runs total over two innings, you're lucky you're still playing in the final session on day four. However that's exactly what happened for Warwickshire as Rob Yates, Sam Hain and classy Ian Bell all disappointed with bat in hand, had it not been for the stubbornness of captain Will Rhodes (41 & 48), the game would have been over considerably sooner.
Ben Charlesworth top-scored for Gloucestershire in the first inning with a controlled 51 off 162 balls, the 19-year-old spent last winter representing England at the World Cup with the U19s. Although South African Graeme van Buuren top-scored with 72 in the 2nd inning, the star man was undoubtedly Zimbabwean born English hopeful Ryan Higgins. The all-rounder took 10 wickets in the match while also confidently stroking a half-century.
Warwickshire can largely thank right-arm fast bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby for keeping them in the match, his 12 wickets for 110 runs was an exceptional performance for the 31-year-old former Yorkshire man.
Worcestershire & Glamorgan Draw
Worcestershire - 455-8 & 276-6 declared
Glamorgan - 374 & 141-7
Worcestershire left their bowlers too much to do with a late declaration, setting Glamorgan a monstrous 358 to win on the final day. Realistically Glamorgan were never going to be tempted to attack that total and they batted out the day despite them losing their first 3 wickets for just 5 runs. However, the combination of Billy Root and Chris Cooke saw the Welsh outfit through.
Worcestershire can be happy with their batting performance, with Jake Libby (184) and Brett D'Oliveira (174) just missing out on double centuries, while opener Daryl Mitchell (94) just missed out on a century in the 2nd inning. However, you can't help but think they'll be disappointed to not come away with the victory, and may indeed rue the later declaration considering Glamorgan's early struggles in their 2nd inning and the fact that had Worcestershire had another 5 overs to bowl at the Glamorgan tail, you'd have backed them to pick up the wickets required.