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24-27 September 2008



LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (all times BST)
606: DEBATE
e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (with 'For Pranav Soneji' in the subject), text 81111 (with "CRICKET" as the first word) or use 606. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Pranav Soneji

Hants 199-9 v Notts - Close
Kent 190-9 v Durham - Close
Somerset 202 all out v Lancashire 56-4 - Close
Sussex v Yorks 84-6 - Close

1821: Right, that's me done for the day, thoroughly enjoyed that. Hopefully Thursday will provide just as much drama. Your man in the hotseat will be Sam "Brave as a" Lyon.

1813: And it's all over for day one at Taunton, with Lancashire on 56-4. So that's 14 wickets falling in one day at Taunton - surely a first? An intriguing day on Thursday for sure.

Wicket falls
Yorkshire
1809: Nightwatchman Steve Patterson lasts six balls before he is trapped lbw by Jason Lewry for a duck. Nwe batsman Adil Rashid smashes a four before umpires Rob Bailey and Richard Illingworth bring an end to the day's play with Yorkshire reeling on 84-6.

"Re: 1746 Middlesbrough was once part of Yorkshire - never been anything to do with the county of Durham. Until a few years ago Yorkshire still played there. Come on the White Rose!"
Graeme, Brackley, Northants

Text in your views on 81111
"How about irate texts from residents of Durham (see below)? How many times do we have to say this? Newcastle is not in County Durham. If we can grasp the notion the not everyone who lives south of Watford is a Cockney, then surely our southern cousins can extend the same courtesy?"
Steve, Durham via TEXT 81111

Oh dear. Truly schooled. Sorry.

Wicket falls
Yorkshire
1758: Gerard Brophy becomes Yorkshire's fifth dismissal, bowled by Mohammad Sami for 12, leaving the White Rose county struggling on 79-5. Rookie fast bowler Steve Patterson joins Jacques Rudolph at the crease.

1751: It's proper slow going over in Hove as Yorkshire reach 75-3. Someone wake that bearded bloke in the anorak up over there.

Lancashire
Wicket falls
1746: Oh dear, more Red Rose wickets as Mark Chilton (17) has his middle stump knocked out of the ground by Charl Willoughby, the left-armer's second wicket of the day, which leaves Lancashire, who send out Gary Keedy as nightwatchman, reeling at 45-4. Fair to say day four might become redundant in this match. By the way, ECB pitch inspector Peter Walker says he is happy with the condition of the pitch, so there will be no points reduction for sub-standard preparations.

Text in your views on 81111
"Assuming that Hampshire don't put on another 150 for the last wicket, they are now out of it aren't they?"
Graeme in Nottingham via TEXT 81111

You would think so, but then again I never thought this interweb thing would catch on. I still have a Betamax video.

"Re 1656 entry, if Durham then win with 20 points, all three teams will be level but the Geordies will take the tile with six wins. Ha'way the lads!"
Steve in Guernsey via the TMS inbox

Please, no irate emails from residents of Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Please.

1723: And that's curtains for day one at Trent Bridge, so Hampshire will have to wait until tomorrow to clinch a bonus batting point.

1720: The dodgy light means play has finished for the day at Canterbury with Kent struggling at 190-9 against Durham, who have snaffled three bowling bonus points.

1718: They're out playing at Hove, where Yorkshire are 61-3, with Gerard Brophy (two not out) and Jacques Rudolph (19 not out) at the crease, while Sussex have captured their first bowling point.

"I disagree with your 1700 comment about Chris Read. The chance for an early night and for Shreck and Pattinson to return tomorrow morning with a new ball against two tail enders should suit him perfectly. The last thing Notts need is to face the Hampshire quicks against a new ball in fading light this evening and lose a couple of cheap wickets."
Tim via the TMS inbox

Simon Mann
"It's still gloomy at Canterbury. Little prospect of any more play today. The forecast for the next three days is good. Roll on the weekend heat wave."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Lancashire
Wicket falls
1708: From the BBC's Stephan Shemilt: "And now Stuart Law has gone too. He's caught at slip by Marcus Trescothick off the bowling of Charl Willoughby for 5 and Lancs are really up against it at 26-3. They say you never what good score is until both team's have batted, at the minute Somerset's 202 is looking good."

Bad light stops play
1700: Chris Read will be steaming - the umpires offer the light to the batsmen, who pounce on the offer like a hungry student at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Hampshire are 199-9, so three of our first division games are suspended because of bad light. Boo.

1656: Ordered to take off his fast bowlers because of the fading light, Notts captain Chris Read has no option but to give a spanking new two-over old cherry to spinners Graeme Swann and Samit Patel, which is very much music to the ears of Imran Tahir. The Pakistani thuumps a couple of majestic fours to take Hampshire to the brink of 200 and a valuable bonus point.

BBC Radio 5 Live
"I did think that Pattinson was bowling slightly within himself through the afternoon session and leaving the focus on line and length but with Imran Tahir playing shots straight from the Agricultural Cricket manual, he's unleashing some pretty pacy short balls. The light is starting to deteriorate but thankfully, we're still playing (touch wood) on an absorbing day of cricket."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Text in your views on 81111
"Am I right that even if Somerset now win with maximum bowling points, that they can't win the title if Notts score 300 in their first innings and then draw?"
Paul, Cardiff via TEXT 81111

Interesting. If Somerset win with maximum bowling points, that will earn them 18 points. They trail Notts by eight points and the east Midlanders already have maximum bowling points with three, so if they get 300+ they will earn another three points, plus four for the draw, which brings us to a grand total of 10, which would mean both teams would be level. So it then goes down to most wins, which would mean Nottinghamshire would win the title.

Wicket falls
Hampshire
1641: After thumping a couple of crunching fours, Dimitri Mascarenhas guides Charlie Shreck to the everlong Will Jefferson at short cover for 41 very valuable runs. But Hants are still 23 runs short of the 200 run/one point bonus point mark.

"Having not rained for ages at Hove, they started play again a few minutes ago and now it's pouring. Another nice cup of tea and feet up for the poor hard-working players and umpires then." anthonyinhove on 606
Join in the chat on 606

Lancashire
Wicket falls
1634: It's all going off at Taunton, where the BBC's Stephan Shemilt has taken over from Stephen Marshall: "Got him! Andrew Caddick strikes again and Karl Brown his on his way back for a duck. Lancs are 11-2 and struggling. Caddick is rolling back the years despite his impending 40th birthday. In contrast to his old England new-ball partner Darren Gough, Caddick has signed a new deal that will see him play the Cidermen for another season at least. Perhaps he doesn't fancy Strictly Come Dancing…"

Wicket falls
Hampshire
1630: Really smart diving return catch from Charlie Shreck, who makes the new ball count in its first over when he snaffles a leading edge from Chris Tremlett. Smart bowling too as he had bowled two outswingers before setting Tremmers up with an inswinger. Hampshire are now 166-8, with Imran Tahir, a magician with the ball, at the crease. Shreck has a decent shout for lbw first ball with another inswinger, but umpire Richard Kettlebrough is unmoved, with replays suggesting the ball would have missed leg stump.

1629: So bad light has stopped play at Canterbury and Hove, while Lancashire are under the cosh in Taunton and Hampshire struggling at Trent Bridge.

1627: A very timely reminder from my gaffer about the points on offer in the County Championship:

Win: 14, Tie: 7, Draw: 4

Batting bonuses:
200-249 runs - 1pt
250-299 runs - 2pts
300-349 runs - 3pts
350-399 runs - 4pts
400 and over - 5pts

Bowling bonuses:
3-5 wkts - 1pt
6-8 wkts - 2pts
9-10 wkts - 3pts

Bonus points apply for first 130 overs of the first innings only.

Wicket falls
Lancashire
1622: If you're a Lancashire fan, you may start shifting uncomfortably because Andrew Caddick has just removed Paul Horton, caught behind by Craig Kieswetter for one. The pitch looks one rain shower away from a quagmire as Horton casts evil glances down as he trots back to the pavilion.

Bad light stops play
"What on earth is going on at Hove? The scorecard reads in play but hasn't moved on for what seems like millennia. Nothing in the live text either."
Daniel. Extremely concerned Yorky via the TMS inbox

Was thinking the same too, but the light has once again deteriorated from concrete jungle grey to where's-my-hand-gone light black (well not quite that bad), so the players are back in the pavilion. Again.

BBC Radio 5 Live
1614: "Angus Fraser is in the press box downstairs and this is the kind of scenario that would have really suited him pre-retirement. The conditions overhead remain seamer-friendly and the pitch slow and tough to score on so patience is the order of the day and where Pothas boasted it with the bat for 44, his efforts have been trumped today by Darren Pattinson and Andre Adams, who have been miserly with the ball."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Somerset
Wicket falls
1611: Somerset's first innings is all over as Glenn Chapple castles last man Andrew Caddick, who attempts to mow the seamer to Gloucester. But courtesy of the former England fast bowler and Peter Trego, they have a semi-useful total of 202 considering the start they had. And Justin Langer has five seamers to call on too, so expect a few more wickets before the end of the day's play - that is, unless you've a red rose etched on your heart. Chapple finishes with three wicket s, while new-ball partner Ollie Newby collects four.

1608: Some news from the BBC's Matt Newsum following the Kent v Durham match: "Last thing Durham need is an extended break. Momentum is up and they were flying before tea. Bit of a tough one for me though - I'm a Nottingham lad but obviously I cover Durham at work so I'm divided as to my loyalties..."

"What's going on in the second division? How are they all getting runs down there, when us lot in the first division can hardly buy a run without losing a bundle of wickets?" St_brendy on 606
Join in the chat on 606

Tell me about Brendy, even Tim Ambrose is scoring runs for Warwickshire. That man looked as if he was using a matchstick as a bat against South Africa this summer.

Somerset
Wicket falls
1558: "What was I saying…Peter Trego edges Gary Keedy behind and is caught for 81. The curse of the commentator strikes again!"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall keeping an eye on proceedings at Taunton

All rotten vegetables directed towards Steven's way please Zumerzet fans, the score is 202-9.

1557: "Somerset reach their first milestone of 200 to bag a crucial batting point. And it's largely thanks to Peter Trego, who is fast approaching a ton (currently 81 no), and Andy Caddick (22 no), who have now put on 50 for the ninth wicket, reaching 200 and securing that all-important bonus point. That's sure to prove the kiss of death for the Cidermen…"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall keeping an eye on proceedings at Taunton

"A pedant writes (in order to take his mind off the fact that Somerset's cunning plan seems to have misfired in that they didn't win the toss): Re 1536: How can comets be spear-like? Spears are thicker towards the back, and taper at the front, whereas comets are fattest at the front and taper off to the back. Many thanks for the text updates today: a welcome bonus during the last round of matches of the season."
Brian Arlott via the TMS inbox

"In games no-one cares about, Strauss is destroying Northants with an unbeaten 150+. Monty, once again is not at his best for county, which begs the question: How did he get in the England side?" Mondraker275 on 606 Join in the chat on 606

Wicket falls
Hampshire
1550: Just when Hampshire fans were peeking out from behind the sofa, Darren Pattinson skittles Nic Pothas, who gets a massive inside edge onto his stumps for a belligerent 44, leaving Hampshire in severe trouble at 151-7. The burly Chris Tremlett, who has scored three 50s for his county, is the new man at the crease.

Bad light stops play
Simon Mann
"Bad light has stopped play but the game has progressed sufficiently for Durham not to be overly concerned. The light deteriorated at a convenient time. The umpires decided to take tea as Steve Harmison prepared to bowl his 18th over. If Durham could catch, they'd be batting by now."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Text in your views on 81111
"Doesn't seem likely that Sussex will be relegated with a draw. Yorks would have to outscore them by five bonus points. Anthony, depressed Yorks fan via TEXT 81111

1536: A delectable lunch of last night's rigatoni arrabiata, the middle class interpretation of pasta and ragu. Always tastes better the next day. Kent will finally be able to tuck into some sustenance, reaching tea at 190-9 courtesy of some serious alacrity from Steve Harmison and his spear-like comets.

By Sam Lyon

1532: Right, as Notts and Hampshire trudge out for the resumption I'll hand back over to Pranav in the hope he brings your team whatever luck you want. Especially, ahem, you Kent fans. I'll be back in all day tomorrow to jinx whoever you support at every turn, apologies in advance.

Wicket falls
Kent
1524: Oh dear. I fear I may never be able to show my face at Canterbury ever again... Robbie Joseph is the latest Kent wicket to fall as Calum Thorp has him caught behind and the hosts are in danger of missing out on even one batting point. Kent 184-9.

1520: Right, a little later than scheduled and that's tea at Taunton. Peter Trego, who is 73 not out off 141, is building a cracking little stand with Andy 'ears' Caddick that will ensure Somerset's brews sink a little smoother. Somerset are edging towards their first batting point on 188-8.

Get involved on 606
""1508: Cracking work from Martin-Jenkins down in Hove" You mean CMJ turned up to the right ground and on time? Surely not, tis per sure nonsense."
yorker_129-7 on 606

A little 'in' TMS joke, that, but it made me giggle...

1516: "Only one over left before tea at Taunton and Somerset are only 12 away from a precious batting point. There's a scare though as Steven Croft raps Andy Caddick on the pad. Umpire Alan Jones lifts his index finger…..and scratches his nose. Oh, the drama!"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall keeping an eye on proceedings at Taunton

Text in your views on 81111
"Looking at Sussex in the league, surely two defeats in 15 is not relegation form? Would that be the fewest defeats ever to go down with?"
Darran via TEXT on 81111

Good question, Darran, I'll get my stat monkeys on it.

1512: That's tea at Trent Bridge, Mascarenhas and Pothas building a good little platform as Hampshire attempt to bat their way back into the game against Notts.

"I'm not sure what is harder to bear. The thought that at this point last week we were discussing Kent's late surge towards the title (before last friday's collapse) or the fact that it is another BBC commentator who has put a curse on my cricket team..."
Scott (Kent Supporter) via the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Yorkshire
1508: Cracking work from Martin-Jenkins down in Hove as Sussex snare their second wicket in about 10 minutes, Anthony McGrath caught by Raynor to leave Yorkshire 45-3.

"What is this proper work thing? Enjoying my last few days off before going back to uni listening to the cricket and refreshing the Warwickshire scorecard. Also, who's going to be in the Test squad for India? Any ideas?"
Rachel in Birmingham via the TMS inbox

1506: "Don't you just love differences of opinion, eh? On the one hand there's Five Live's Martyn Hindley saying Hampshire are struggling to get over losing six for 50 either side of lunch, and on the other BBC Radio Nottingham's guys at the game aren't quite so positive. My snouts in the East Midlands tell me that although Notts have taken two wickets since lunch, Nic Pothas and Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas look like they want to bat their side out of trouble. Will it really all go wrong for Notts now?"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall keeping an eye on proceedings at Taunton

Wicket falls
Kent
1502: The wickets they are a'tumbling. Steve Harmison grabs his fourth of the day, this time snaring the dangerous Yasir Arafat for a run-a-ball five, Dale Benkenstein taking the catch. The relegation-threatened Spitfires are reeling on 160-8 and I've suddenly realised why Sarah from Kent is not in touch.

Wicket falls
Yorkshire
1459: Back under way in the crucial relegation clash at Hove, and Mohammad Sami wastes no time in making his mark following the rain/light break, the Pakistan seamer finding Andrew Gale's edge with Matt Prior taking the pouch well behind the stumps. Yorkshire 38-2.

1456: I've just realised, this commentary's been running a good five hours or so and I've yet to see a familiar TMS face's comment? Where are the Sarahs of this world? The Paul in Lancs? The Cens, the Caroles, the Glyns? I know it's been a while since I've been on cricket, but you can't all be doing 'proper' work surely?

"Regarding Mark, Oxford @ 14:40, Do you not think thats a tad harsh on Freddy considering it's only the English Selectors stopping him ripping Trego's stumps out the ground and then smashing his average county bowling all over Somerset??"
Graham, Preston, Lancashire via the TMS inbox

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"Sam, do you know whether Jonathan Stevenson is following how Notts are doing, being a Forest fan?"
Mondraker275 on 606
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Mate, he's been in my ear constantly since getting in about an hour ago. In fact, I've just spent most of the end of the summer with Stevo screaming about Notts single-handedly beating South Africa in the England one-dayers. It's a good job I like the lad, I tell ya. Football fans can look forward to reading his thoughts on tonight's Carling Cup action later. Pure BBC Sport text commentary joy.

Wicket falls
Kent
1446: Ooh, Durham are certainly sticking themselves in the mixer should Notts falter against Hampshire, Ben Harmison striking again to have Ryan McLaren caught behind and brother Steve striking moments later to remove Justin Kemp and Kent are limping along at 152-7.

"This is far more exciting than transfer deadline day! The F5 key is starting to take a bashing. "
Jimmy, London via the TMS inbox

Text in your views on 81111
"Peter Trego - very underrated cricketer. Just look at his first class stats this year. Batting average of 43, bowling average of 24. Freddie eat your heart out."
Mark, Oxford, via TEXT 81111

1440: "Durham are beginning to roll again thanks to Mrs Harmison's boys. Kent have been their own worst enemies though. Two players have been lbw playing no stroke and Martin van Jaarsveld's shot would have been cut from a horror movie by the censors."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

1437: Ah, look at that, no sooner do I take the commentator's chair than me ol' mucker and BBC columnist Graeme Swann takes the ball at Trent Bridge for the first time this match. Four balls in and Dimitri Mascarenhas bludgeons one straight back at him and Swanny just fails to cling on to a stinger above his head. As much as I'd love to rip the mickey out of him for it, that was little more than a half chance, that.

Wicket falls
Kent
1432: There was just time for a commentator's curse moment from Soneji before his lunch break just then, Darren Stevens has now fallen lbw to Ben "not quite as good as my brother" Harmison for 41, leaving Kent 149-4.

1430: "The wicket for this game is so far across to the Bridgford Road that the smattering of fans in the opposite stand are around a hundred yards for the action. I just remarked to one of them that Darren Pattinson was the pick of the Notts bowlers for me. "I couldn't see any of the wickets from over here," was the response. It did beg the question why he didn't just sit somewhere else. Wherever he observes from, the sun's out but Hampshire are struggling to recover from those six wickets for 50 either side of lunch."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

That's 50
Somerset
1429: Afternoon folks, how we doing? Looks like this is Notts' for the taking doesn't it? That said, Somerset's Peter Trego is having a bit of fun down in Taunton, bringing up his 50 off 88 balls.

That little knock has taken Somerset to 141-7 and word on the street - and by street, I mean the corridor by BBC Radio Five Live - is that many fancy Lancashire's potentially flimsy batting line-up to struggle on that wicket. I'd love a bit of drama in the next hour, me. Anyone care to provide some?

By Pranav Soneji

1424: I'm off for a bit of hard-earned lunch, but Sam "I don't support" Lyon will be in the hotseat to keep you captivated.

That's 50
Kent
1418: All going well for Kent right now with Rob Key and Darren Stevens at the crease with a fourth-wicket partnership which has so far yielded 60 runs, with Stevens in particularly imperious form. The all-rounder is 41 not out off 52 balls, smearing six boundaries and a six. Bobby is 54. Time to crack open the first 50 graphic of the day. There aren't enough people called Bobby these days. Bobby George, Bobby Ewing, Bobby Stokes, Bobby's Crisps.

Get involved on 606
"Is the trophy in Read's hand yet or are am I being a bit premature?" Kenny Dalglish Jr on 606
Join in the chat on 606

Text in your views on 81111
"Argh gremlins again? Ghosts in the machine? Perhaps a metaphor? Notts looking favourites. I'm so excited I'm flaking again. My work desk looks like a flapjack!"
Bill Carr, Norfolk via TEXT 81111

Somerset
1412: Peter Trego is having a right old time down in Taunton while the rest of his team toil. The seamer has hit 47 from 70 balls, including six boundaries, although he'll have to stick around a little longer with Steffan Jones to reach the 200 mark to earn his side a bonus point.

Text in your views on 81111
1406: "Not a great time for the internet to fail at Trent Bridge. Pattinson with the kind of over that first got England interested. Hants 96-6 and don't seem to have an answer."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Bad light stops play
1404: You can cut the gloom at Hove with a machete and unsurprisingly, the teams are back in the pavilion as bad light stops play. Yorkshire are 36-1.

"Liking kybosh a lot, a favourite of mine has always been 'rumbunctious'. Although the words 'rain at Taunton and Canterbury' would sound pretty nice right now as well."
Russ, Notts via the TMS inbox

David Patrick asks how the word kybosh is pronounced. It's KAI-BOSH. And I've just found this about its history:
"The word kybosh, or kibosh, has been used throughout much of the English-speaking world for at least 150 years. Possibly the first printed examples of "putting the kybosh on it" are in Charles Dickens's Sketches by Boz."

But you all knew that anyway.

Text in your views on 81111
"Found a box full of conkers (see 1333) the other day from nearly 20 years ago, they're harder than concrete!!!" SENIOR on TEXT 81111

Simon Mann
1356: "First 50 of the match...for Steve Harmison. He's conceded nine fours and a six. Careful, Steve, or you'll jeopardise your place in Antigua..."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Wicket falls
Somerset
1353: Wicket number seven for Lancashire as Glenn Chapple traps Alfonso Thomas lbw for one. Somerset are 111-7. Expect Lancashire's openers to have a joust in the not-too-distant future. By the way, apologies if you didn't have any updates in the past 20 minutes, a nasty little gremlin has been pulling at wires it shouldn't be near.

Hampshire
Wicket falls
1348: Oh dear - Hampshire lose two wickets in quick succession to the internationally maligned Darren Pattinson as Notts earn their second bowling point. Sean Ervine attempts a pull shot, only to drag the ball on to his off stump for 18, while Liam Dawson, who has just signed a new contract with the county, is trapped lbw for a duck. Captain Dimitri Mascarenhas joins Nic Pothas at the crease with the score at 96-6.

1341: Hampshire's Nic Pothas rocks on to his back foot and pulls Charlie Shreck - who, with his curly brown hair and stubble beard, doesn't look too dissimilar to former team-mate Chris Cairns - through mid-wicket for four. Pothas is a key wicket - and Notts know it.

1339: The rain has abated at Hove, where Yorkshire are 36-1 from 12 overs having lost Adam Lyth for a big fat duck. Opener Andrew Gale has 31 of those runs.

"I've always been a fan of the word dénouement (see 1313). Although I concur in relation to kybosh and skull-duggery I dislike the word ointment, it's horrible and brings up bad memories. With his ability why hasn't Imran Tahir ever played for Pakistan? Has the fact they have a number of good spinners put the kybosh on his chances of causing some international skull-duggery?"
Chris Smith via the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Somerset
1333: The wheels are perilously close to coming off as Somerset lose their sixth wicket as Craig Kieswetter edges a catch to the grateful Luke Sutton off the bowling of Ollie Newby for nine. The wicket earns Lancs their second bonus point of the day, as well as bumping up Newby's wickets column to three. Somerset are 105-6.

"Re your entry of 1313, I am a great fan of the word concur, especially at this time of year when they're dropping off the horse chestnut trees in their dozens. Off to soak a few in vinegar before challenging my workmates to a game."
Tony Court via the TMS inbox

If I remember rightly, a victorious conker that won more than 10 bouts was known as a "Kingy". But often these bad boys were doctored by some form of oven-hardening or discreet concrete smeerage.

"Yeah, liking kybosh (see 1313). It's up there with haberdashery and sponge."
Mick, Birmingham via the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
Kent
1321: Martin van Jaarsveld becomes Kent's third wicket, caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul off the bowling of Mark Davies for 12, the seamer's second wicket of the day. The home side are now 86-3. Wobbly.

Text in your views on 81111
"Look at photo four in your photos section - What is David Guest doing playing for Notts? Hope he's registered."
Nick, Newcastle via TEXT 81111

1313: We're back underway at Trent Bridge and Canterbury, while the boys at Taunton are wiping the last vestiges of pickle and horseradish after a (probably) tasty lunch. The dastardly rain has put the kybosh on play at Hove. Big fan of the word kybosh, along with ointment and skull-duggery. Anyone else concur?

1309: Some good news for you Hampshire fans. Imran Tahir has signed a two-year deal with the club after impressing taking 36 wickets at just 17.25 in six County Championship matches this season. The 29-year-old - who surprised us with his appearance at Trent Bridge as he was expected to return to South Africa - will be hoping to fill his boots at Trent Bridge.

"Why no mention of the Geraint Jones dismissal? Is it because the game isn't important enough to deserve a mention? I'm a Kent fan and thought we were doing brilliantly until checked the scorecard - shame on you and the BBC! "
(A disappointed) Andy in Tooting in the TMS inbox

I hold my hand up Andy - it slipped my radar.

Lunchtime scores:

Hants 83-4 v Notts
Kent 81-2 v Durham
Somerset 94-5 v Lancashire
Sussex v Yorks 26-1

Get involved on 606
"The green track at Taunton is a throwback to yesteryear when groundsman communicated with their skippers! Somerset to win in two days, Notts to be rained off, and the West Country boys will win the title."
Jackynwa on 606

Simon Mann
"It's been Kent's morning. Durham have not bowled well and the pitch looks OK. Joe Denly seemed to indicate that the ball from Steve Harmison flicked his leg not his bat. Geraint Jones inexplicably padded up to Mark Davies. Not much has happened for the bowlers, although they have spent a lot of time watching the ball disappear to the boundary. Thirteen fours in 19 overs."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

1233: It's lunch in three of our Division One matches, while rain has stopped play in the other.

Rain delay
1230: Not much going on at Hove right now cos of the bleeding weather. Yorkshire are 26-1 from 7.3 overs. So how about this to cheer all Yorkshire fans up from Daniel Murphy:

"I went on a school trip to the Natural History Museum when I was about six, and during our lunch break outside, a passing pigeon defecated on my sandwiches. A quick whip-round ensured I didn't go hungry that day, but it came back to haunt me years later when a young lady I was attempting to become friendly with discovered my identity and revealed the grudge that she had held over being forced to donate a cheese and pickle 12 years earlier."

"Somerset can still be relegated if Lancs beat them and the pitch inspector docks them, say, 12 points. Would they be the first team relegated by karma for preparing a green top and stuffing seamers into the side in a vain title bid?"
Antony Melvin via the TMS inbox

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"Notts will have this championship wrapped up in three days. In celebration I'm going to have an all-day Bondathon this Saturday watching 12 hours of Roger Moore James Bond films and eating fishcakes. Come on Notts!"
Dr No (vocal cords) via TEXT 81111

Hampshire
Wicket falls
1223: Definitely not a day to be batting. Charlie Shreck comes back into the attack and his extra bounce accounts for Michael Carberry for 23, who nicks an outside edge to the diving Chris Read for a smart catch. Hampshire in a bit of bovver as Nic Pothas strolls to the wicket to join Sean Ervine.

Somerset
Wicket falls
1217: If you're a Somerset fan, ensure there is no cat or dog in kicking distance - the west country boys have just lost two wickets in nine runs, both falling to all-rounder Tom Smith. Zander de Bruyn is caught by Paul Horton for 39, while one Test cap England wonder Ian Blackwell is caught and bowled for 19. Somerset also have a worryingly long tail. Quite a few of you have emailed/texted/606ed in about whether Somerset would be punished for producing a sub-standard pitch. Intriguing.

"It's scandalous that my local radio station is playing REO Speedwagon and Wings rather than airing the biggest match for Notts in three years. Shame on you Radio Nottingham. As a former DJ from Norfolk one said: "dead air is a crime and your caught red handed".
Adam Curtis via the TMS inbox

You know it's all going wrong when Foreigner's "I want to know what love is" is warbled out after "Jet". I think the same former Radio Norfolk DJ also said "Can I just read you something from Top Gear magazine" .

Simon Mann
"Why didn't Geraint Jones bat like this for England? Three successive pulled fours off Steve Harmison. England's strike bowler has been blunted after a wicket with his third ball."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury

Hampshire
Wicket falls
1201: The bearded Andre Adams has struck for his second wicket for Notts with another lbw decision, slightly less straightforward than his previous dismissal, as Chris Benham fails to get outside the line of off stump. Umpire Richard Kettlebrough has a touch of the Steve Bucknors considering the appeal before sticking his right index finger into the gloom above. Wicket number three earns bonus point number one for Notts as Hampshire limp to 63-3.

Yorkshire
Wicket falls
1158: Awful start for Yorkshire, who lose opener Adam Lyth bowled by left-armer Jason Lewry for a duck. The White Rose boys were put into bat by Chris Adams, playing his last game as Sussex skipper. Good to see tears weren't clouding his decision.

Hampshire
Wicket falls
1154: Nutsohhazelnuts is berating me on 606 for not reporting Hampshire losing their second wicket as left-hander Michael Lumb shoulders arms to a straight Andre Adams ball, which would have probably knocked out his middle peg for three. Injudicious, to say the least.

BBC Radio Nottingham's John Shaw at Trent Bridge says the crowd had an agonising wait for the umpire to raise his finger to signal the third wicket being taken to make it 63 - 3. He also says the pitch is well over to the Bridgford side of Trent Bridge. He's never seen the boundary so far in on the Fox Road side of the ground.

"Hey, let's not forget about Division Two! Warwickshire need just four points to win the title. A good batting performance and we could get there today."
Mark, in Oxford these days via the TMS inbox

"How can it be right that some counties get to play their centrally contracted players and others don't??? It's hardly a level playing field. Either let them all play or none. Having said that I suppose I could agree with say letting all the batters play and none of the bowlers and vice versa. There should be some form of consistency though."
Graham, Preston, Lancashire via the TMS inbox

It's a fair point Graham, especially considering your county lose out more than most. Only Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar are in action for their counties today. As an aside, a very generous man is passing around the digestives in the crowd at Trent Bridge, with one particular patron snaffling not one but two biccies. Fair play, especially when you consider there's a credit crunch going on.

Somerset
"Somerset are clearly in trouble and the colour of the pitch is the talking point. According to the BBC Radio Lancashire commentary team it is so green it blends in with outfield. The only way to determine it from the rest of Taunton is the fact the batsmen are standing there.

"Not that the Red Rose county fancy their chances - our team at the game are already 'bigging up' the Somerset bowling attack and are concerned about Lancashire's brittle batting line-up!"
BBC Sport's Steven Marshall keeping an eye on proceedings at Taunton

BBC Radio 5 Live
"Notts were starting to look rather frustrated in the field but that sharp catch from Read stood up to the stumps to get rid of Michael Brown has energised them again and the leaders look much more composed. Disciplined stuff from the veteran Ealham and Andre Adams at the other end with little to hit to relieve the pressure for the batsmen."
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

Somerset
Wicket falls
1138: It's all going horribly off the rails for Somerset, who lose their third wicket when James Hildreth attempts to leave a dastardly Ollie Newby delivery, but gets a sneaky edge through to Luke Sutton for four. Ian Blackwell is the new man at the crease, which is slightly alarming news for Somerset fans as their team have named five seamers in their XI, although Zander de Bruyn is chugging along quite nicely.

Hampshire
Wicket falls
1135: Michael Brown becomes Hampshire's first dismissal, edging Mark Ealham to wicketkeeper Chris Read, who takes a smart catch standing up to the stumps, for 29 with the total on 46.

1130: A lot of you have been asking about Imran Tahir and his inclusion in the Hampshire XI against Notts. My right-hand man David Ornstein brings tidings: "It will surprise many of you to learn that inspirational leg-spinner Imran Tahir has been included in the Hampshire XI at Trent Bridge. The 29-year-old was summoned back to South Africa by Titans, with whom Tahir has a contract, ahead of their season, which begins on 2 October.

However, BBC Radio Solent revealed this morning that Tahir had actually stayed in Hampshire all along. Titans and former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus agreed with Hants acting manager Giles White to allow Tahir, who is second in the first-class bowling averages this summer, to stay."

Wicket falls
1125: Play is underway at Canterbury in the Kent v Durham match, where Durham won the toss and elected to field. And Steve Harmison - one of only a handful of centrally contracted England players in action for their counties - has had opener Joe Denly caught behind by Phil Mustard for a duck.

Get involved on 606
"Re: 10:01, I am following proceedings, whilst wearing my pet giraffe's Hampshire scarf and believe you me; it's longer than Doctor Who's (for the over 30s)." devonFRATTONiser on 606
Join in the chat on 606

"Re: 1032. Six-pointer? Surely that should be 28-pointer (give or take a few bonus points)? "
Sean, Hampshire via the TMS inbox

Text in your views on 81111
"Why is it that suddenly it's raining in the south and not raining in the north as soon as Durham play down south? God doesn't want us to win!"
Anonymous Geordie/Mackem/Smoggy via TEXT 81111

Yorkshire
Sussex
1113: Bit of news from Hove from the Sussex v Yorkshire match - play will not start until 1130, while the covers are off at Canterbury, although we have no indication as yet to when the game will begin. I'm half tempted to hang out of the window and shake my fist at the sky, like an old boy who has just seen his prized begonias trampled by a youthful scamp running through his front garden after banging on his front door. Knock Down Ginger - do kids still play that?

"On the line of school field trips (see 1001), I went for an interview at Oxford University many years ago with a number of others from my school. Afterwards the rest of my companions and the teachers went shopping but I sauntered off to the Parks where I had the pleasure of seeing a Mike Gatting century. Do frocks and blouses really outweigh that?? What is education becoming!"
Matthew via the TMS inbox

Somerset
Wicket falls
1108: It's all going off at Taunton as Justin Langer nicks Glenn Chapple to wicketkeeper Luke Sutton for eight with Somerset teetering at 20-2. Don't cry into your ciders just yet - it's not even midday - but it's rearguard action ahoy for Zander de Bruyn and James Hildreth.

1103: "A good old-fashioned, proper cricket stalemate at Trent Bridge - Charlie Shreck probing in line and Darren Pattinson steaming in with a good pace and hitting the right spots back of a length. Only six runs have come since the first over with Michael Carberry and Michael Brown watchful - and a bloke with two coats on has just made his way to the upper tier at the Radcliffe Road End as the crowd swells on a day that screams FOOTBALL season rather than CRICKET!"
Five Live's Martyn Hindley at Trent Bridge

1056: Just seen the Trescothick (see 1045) dismissal - and oh my days the pitch is greener than a teenage backpacker in a Delhi hostel. Tresco attempted a push to leg, only succeeding in slicing a thick outside edge to the buckethands of Stu Law at second slip. It's the opener's second duck in his last three County Championship innings this season, although he had been moaning about the flat tracks on offer at Taunton - right back atchya Banger.

Text in your views on 81111
"Come on Langer's boys, you can do it! Lets hope the weather doesn't decide the outcome."
Paul the carpet,Taunton via TEXT 81111

Durham
1051: Bit of news from Matt Newsum, our man in the north east. "Durham skipper Dale Benkenstein told BBC Radio Newcastle earlier this week when talking about their chances of winning the title:

'We [have] probably left it a little bit late now and some of that may not be our own fault. If we'd picked up a few more points, batting and bowling points by having just got on the field then we'd probably be in a better position.'

Ironic when you consider it's weather that's holding them up now!"

Somerset
Wicket falls
1045: Early wicket at Taunton where Marcus Trescothick is caught by Stuart Law off the bowling of Ollie Newby for a big fat duck. Not often you've heard that over the course of this summer. Apaprently we've got bit of a green top at Taunton, which makes a change from the run-fest flat wickets usually on offer.

1041: We're underway at Taunton and Trent Bridge, but there are delays at Canterbury and Hove.

Some team news for you:

Somerset: Trescothick, Langer, De Bruyn, Hildreth, Blackwell, Kieswetter, Trego, Thomas, Jones, Caddick, Willoughby

Lancashire: Horton, Chilton, Brown, Law, Loye, Croft, Sutton, Chapple, Smith, Keedy, Newby

Nottinghamshire: Jefferson, Shafayat, Wagh, Patel, Prince, Swann, Read, Ealham, Adams, Pattinson, Shreck

Hampshire: Brown, Carberry, Lumb, Benham, Ervine, Pothas, Dawson, Mascarenhas, Tremlett, Tomlinson, Tahir

Sussex: Yardy, Nash, Wright, Goodwin, Prior, Adams, Hopkinson, Martin-Jenkins, Rayner, Sami, Lewry

Yorkshire: Lyth, Gale, McGrath, Rudolph, Patterson, Bresnan, Brophy, Rashid, Pyrah, Hoggard, Wainwright

Somerset: Trescothick, Langer, de Bruyn, Hildreth, Blackwell, Kieswetter, Trego, Thomas, Jones, Caddick, Willoughby

Lancashire: Horton, Chilton, Brown, Law, Loye, Croft, Sutton, Chapple, Smith, Keedy, Newby

Text in your views on 81111
"Let's talk about Cooking in Prison! (see 1001) Not really, let's talk about Notts gaining the Championship! Come on boys leave the bottle for after the game please - then you can all behave like bloody blokes!"
OAP Notts via TEXT 81111

1032: Of course it's not just about winning the title - Lancashire, Kent, Sussex and Yorkshire are all hoping to avoid the same fate as Surrey going down to Division Two. Yorkshire are four points adrift of Sussex and Kent, who are themselves one point behind Lancashire. But Lancashire and Kent can secure their status if they win their matches - but both are up against teams with title aspirations. So, using a bit of football parlance, the Sussex v Yorkshire game in Hove is very much a relegation six-pointer.

1025: "No-one remembers who comes second, third fourth or fifth," says Somerset captain Justin Langer after losing the toss and being asked to bat by Australian compatriot and Lancashire captain Stuart Law. It looks grim in Taunton.

Simon Mann
1017: "Early frustration for Durham. The covers are on and the start delayed. But looking a little brighter."
Five Live's Simon Mann at Canterbury via TEXT 81111

1010: So who wants to get involved then? Whether it's reminiscing about past field trips to the V & A or the Longstanton Spice Museum, or if you actually want to talk about cricket, use the 606 link above or TEXT 81111 with the word CRICKET before your comment. We have an intriguing four days ahead, so let's keep things lively.

1001: So here's the scenario: if Nottinghamshire beat Hampshire, the Division One title is back at Trent Bridge. But if they lose or draw, that brings Somerset - who trail Notts by eight points - along with Durham, who are two points adrift of their west country rivals. And while all this is going on, Hampshire still have a mathematical chance of nicking it off their rivals, although the odds are longer than a giraffe's scarf.
Team news: Notts v Hampshire
Team news: Kent v Durham
Team news: Somerset v Lancashire
Team news: Sussex v Yorkshire

Get involved on 606
"Whoever said that county cricket is boring now is wrong! All of my mates are going and loads of school mates who will be there too. Maybe this excitement is just what the CC needs. And I am putting this cricket match ahead of football if it ends on the Saturday as I have a Notts county season ticket." Mightyreds08 on 606
Join in the chat on 606

Excellent work Mightyreds, although I hope there will be no hint of truancy going on - unless your teachers decide it's the ideal time for a field trip to Trent Bridge to study the varied landscape and wildlife of the city's river. Ah school field trips... Endless opportunities to buy useless rubbers and bookmarks you'll never use again.

0950: Oh hello, who would have thought we would have a four-way header for the County Championship title this time in April? Predictably the weather is very early season, yet another shade of grey to tick off on the colours list, accompanied by a chill usually found in your local supermarket deep freezer.





see also
County cricket photos
24 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Championship set for grand finale
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Kent v Durham
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Nottinghamshire v Hampshire
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Somerset title hopes in balance
23 Sep 08 |  Counties
Sussex v Yorkshire
23 Sep 08 |  Counties


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