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County Championship 2024

County Championship round-up: Warks openers break records, Masood tons up, Lyon off the mark

Nathan Lyon, Shan Masood, Rob Yates playing in County Championship 2024 round two
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The second round of the 2024 County Championship got underway today (April 12), under brighter skies than the rain-dominated first round. As all nine fixtures kicked off, several talking points emerged from the opening days.

Warwickshire opening pair break record

After their first fixture following their move up to Division One was rained off last week, Durham found life difficult after putting Warwickshire into bat. Rob Yates and Alex Davies both scored centuries opening the batting, Yates eventually out for 191 from 204 balls, while Davies reached a double century after Tea. Together they put on 343 runs which is the second-highest opening stand for Warwickshire in their history. Davies finished the day unbeaten on 226, his highest score in first-class cricket. Warwickshire will start day two on 490-1.

Nathan Lyon in the wickets for Lancashire

Having only been able to bowl two overs in Surrey’s 8.3-over innings at Old Trafford last week, Nathan Lyon was able to get going at the Utilita Bowl this time round. Following news that his Lancashire stint would be cut short to seven Championship games, Lyon opened up his wicket column with two important Hampshire wickets. When he came back into the attack after Lunch, James Vince and Nick Gubbins set at the crease, he got Vince caught a leg slip with the first ball of his spell. He then snared Gubbins caught at first slip later in the session.

Shan Masood tons up after Root and Brook disappoint

Joe Root came back in for Yorkshire in his first red ball game for the county since July 2022. Alongside Harry Brook, who scored a rapid ton last week, their clash with Gloucestershire was the pick of the Division Two fixtures. However, both of the England stars’ stay at the crease was short lived. Root was dismissed for just two, trapped lbw falling to the offside on the crease, before Brook was caught behind for 26 flapping at a short ball that went through to James Bracey behind the stumps. Both wickets were taken by Zaman Akhter, a SACA graduate playing just his ninth first-class match.

At that point, Yorkshire were 80-4. They slipped to 90-5 before a first century of the season from Shan Masood saw them up to a decent first innings score. Masood reached his hundred 140 balls – his 26th first-class ton – and was eventually dismissed for 140 by Marchant de Lange. Yorkshire posted 326 in their first innings.

Hartley dropped, Bashir back in

The talking point from the start of the day was the contrasting fortunes of England’s two young spinners. While Shoaib Bashir had missed out in Somerset’s opening fixture against Kent last week, he was included for their match at The Oval today. Tom Hartley, on the other hand, having been picked alongside Lyon last week, was dropped from the playing XI today despite being in the squad.

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