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County Championship 2023

Englandwatch: Crawley finds form in style, Duckett’s good form continues and a mixed week for the bowlers

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

A rain-affected third round of the 2023 County Championship has concluded after seeing a number of notable performances from players likely to be involved in this summer’s Ashes campaign.

Here’s a look at how the England players who have either played Test cricket or have at least been part of a Test squad in the last year fared in the latest round of matches:

Ben Duckett: 177 & 7 vs Middlesex

A dominant first innings hundred for Duckett on a ground that will host a third of this summer’s England Tests. He was fortunate to survive an early chance that flew between wicketkeeper John Simpson and first slip Stevie Eskinazi but Duckett capitalised on that lifeline in some style. After three rounds, the England opener is the second leading run-scorer in Division One.


Stuart Broad: 4-68 & 3-83 vs Middlesex

Seven wickets in the match is a more than decent haul for Broad who spoke about developing his out-swinger in the weeks leading up to the season after play on day three. Despite those seven wickets, Broad was unable to stem the flow of Middlesex runs in the second innings as the home side chased down 249 in 39 overs with the England veteran going at 6.91 runs per over.

Jack Leach: 2-145 vs Lancashire

On a flat Taunton wicket Leach was expensive. Leach has so often manfully fulfilled the job of the container on flat wickets for England but in this instance ended up conceding his runs at 5.14 runs per over. Lancashire opener Luke Wells took a particular liking to Leach, at one stage hitting three consecutive balls from Leach to the boundary all with reverse sweeps.

James Anderson: 5-76 & 1-55 vs Somerset

Anderson was exceptional with the new ball in the first innings, dismissing both Somerset openers cheaply before eventually claiming the 54th five-for of his first-class career. A good game for the England great although he was responsible for a clanger of a dropped catch on the final day.

Keaton Jennings: 189* vs Somerset

A big hundred for Jennings took him to the top of the run-scoring charts in Division One but a suspected hamstring tear meant that he had to retire hurt 11 runs short of a double hundred. At the time of writing there has been no update regarding the severity of the injury but Lancashire head coach Glenn Chapple was concerned that it may be a “proper hamstring tear” after play on day three.

Saqib Mahmood: 1-70 & 0-49 vs Somerset

A quiet return to red-ball action for Mahmood but after such a long period out with injury it’s just good to see him out there bowling in whites again.

Dan Lawrence: Did not play

Lawrence missed Essex’s game against Kent with a groin injury.

Zak Crawley: 170 vs Essex

After a lean week against Warwickshire last time round Crawley roared back into form scoring the kind of hundred that only handful in the country can. Against a strong Essex attack, albeit on a benign Canterbury surface, Crawley hit a 183-ball 170 to serve a reminder of his potential and why England have stubbornly persisted with him through periods of low scoring.

Sam Billings: 1 vs Essex

A second consecutive single figure score for the Kent captain who is yet to pass 35 in the County Championship this season.

Alex Lees: 24 vs Glamorgan

Not a big score but another week where Lees looked to play positively – his 24 came off 29 deliveries.

Ollie Robinson: 1-52 & 0-29 vs Yorkshire

A lowkey start to the season for Robinson. His spells were often short and he rarely looked as though he was bowling full tilt as Sussex, after relinquishing a strong position earlier in the game, narrowly avoided defeat after the entirety of the final day was washed out with Yorkshire only needing a further 63 runs to win.

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