Englandwatch: Ahmed falls just short of a century and Potts takes five
Rest rounds for Lancashire and Nottinghamshire meant a reduced cohort of England players in this batch of County Championship fixtures. But there were still some notable performances.
Here’s how those who have played Test cricket for England in the last year fared for their counties this week.
Rehan Ahmed: 90 & 0-84 vs Glamorgan
Ahmed fell ten runs short of a second first-class century on day two of Leicestershire’s fixture against Glamorgan. He hit ten fours in his shot-a-minute innings, including a sensational pull-shot down the ground to Michael Nesser. His all-round credentials on full display, it was his third score of more than fifty in seven first-class games. He was less successful with the ball, however, failing to pick up a wicket in Glamorgan’s only innings.
Ollie Pope: 8 vs Warwickshire
Far from the heights of his performance in Surrey’s previous fixture, Pope made little impact at Edgbaston this week. He was pinned lbw by Hassan Ali after hitting two good looking fours, failing to reach double figures. Such was Surrey’s dominance against Warwickshire, Pope didn’t get another chance to bat in the game. Rory Burns and Tom Lawes saw them home for a nine-wicket win inside three days.
Ben Foakes: 39 vs Warwickshire
Foakes’s 39 was actually the second-highest score in the match for Surrey. He dug in for 100 balls batting at five before he was unstuck by Oliver Hannon-Dalby. His resistance lasted 100 balls and helped Surrey to 281. The highlight of Foakes’ match, however, was another super-human leg-side take behind the stumps. Dan Worrall sent down a bouncer which flew leg-side in line with the middle of a second pitch, and Foakes leapt salmon-like to his left and gathered the ball in his left hand. He also took three catches.
Matt Potts: 3-51 & 5-65 vs Derbyshire
Potts was Durham’s best bowler in their innings win over Derbyshire at Chester-le-Street. He took three wickets in the first innings as the visitors collapsed to 165 before picking up his first five-for of the season in the second. His prized victim was Haider Ali before he mopped up Derbyshire’s tail in the second innings, taking the final four wickets in seven overs. He cleaned up Ben Aitchison, sending his stumps flying in a fitting end to the game.
Zak Crawley: 11 & 0 vs Middlesex
A season of highs and lows for Crawley so far. Having score 170 last week he was out again for two low scores this round – apart from that century he has a 91, two ducks, an 11 and a 12 so far in Kent’s campaign. He was bowled by an electric delivery from Tim Murtagh in the first innings before also falling to Murtagh in the second. His second dismissal was also the first ball of the innings. In Crawley’s defence, only one of Kent’s batters passed fifty in the match in a dismal display at Lord’s.
Sam Billings: 14 & 0 vs Middlesex
Kent’s captain had a similar match to Crawley. He also fell to Murtagh in the first innings, the Irishman on his way to claiming his 1,000th Middlesex wicket across formats. He redeemed himself with the gloves, however, taking four catches behind the stumps as Middlesex were bowled out for 229. But, his second dig only lasted five balls, as he was trapped lbw by Murtagh for the second time in the match.
Chris Woakes: 0-44 vs Surrey
Woakes’ second match back for Warwickshire this season was far less fruitful than his first. He failed to take a wicket in Warwickshire’s heavy defeat. His score of 27 with the bat in the first innings was the second-highest of Warwickshire’s innings. He wasn’t required to bowl in the final innings, which only lasted two overs before Rob Yates hit the winning runs with a six.
Alex Lees: 45 vs Derbyshire
Lees put on a fifty-run opening partnership with Michael Jones on day one for Durham. He hit six fours in his innings as Durham continued their aggressive approach. However, he was bowled by Ben Aitchison five runs short of a half-century. Durham put on 452 in their first innings before declaring. Derbyshire were bowled out twice still seven runs short of Durham’s total, so Lees was not required to bat again.
Matt Parkinson: 1-18 & 0-51 vs Derbyshire
A quiet first outing in Durham colours for Parkinson who has joined the county on a short-term loan following the injury to overseas tweaker Matthew Kuhnemann.