Kolkata Knight Riders 200 for 9 (Rana 59, Russell 41, Tewatia 3-18) beat Delhi Daredevils 129 (Maxwell 47, Pant 43, Narine 3-18, Kuldeep 3-32) by 71 runs
Is Andre Russell the most valuable T20 player in the world? He has the stats (and the smart stats) to back such a claim, and on Monday he added to his vast body of work with a brief and brutal assault that transformed the mood of what had until then been an edgy battle for first-innings points.
Russell came in with Kolkata Knight Riders 113 for 4 in the 14th over. He departed 22 balls later, having added 61 to his team’s total in the company of the impressive Nitish Rana. He only faced 12 balls, but he hit six of them for six.
Knight Riders finished with exactly 200. This was a difficult target against Knight Riders’ spin attack, on a pitch offering a good amount of turn. Delhi Daredevils needed a strong start; they ended up slipping to 24 for 3. It was all uphill from there, and Daredevils didn’t have the legs for the climb, with none of their batsmen getting into double figures apart from Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell, who threatened briefly to make this a contest with a 61-run stand for the fourth wicket in 33 balls.
Daredevils were bowled out for 129, with 5.4 overs still to play.
Uthappa and Rana make up for misfiring Narine and Lynn
Chris Lynn likes pace, but doesn’t score as quickly against spin. Sunil Narine likes spin, but isn’t too fond of fast, short bowling (16 off 20 balls against this type of bowling last season, and four dismissals). It’s a hard opening pair to plan against, and Daredevils went all pace at the start. It worked: Trent Boult started the game with the first maiden of the season, to an off-colour Lynn who struggled for timing, and then sent back Narine with a well-directed bouncer.
After that early dose of pace, it was all spin from overs 6-10, presumably in an effort to keep Lynn quiet. Daredevils managed that, as Lynn ended the 10th over batting on 28 off 25, but the batsmen at the other end compensated, with Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana hitting five sixes between them in that phase. Knight Riders ended the first half of their innings at 85 for 2.
More to follow…
Ryan Higgins shows his class as Ben Stokes finds his bowling boots
Gloucestershire 315 for 7 (Higgins 105, Roderick 67) v Durham
A maiden first-class century from Ryan Higgins put Gloucestershire in a decent position on the opening day of the Specasavers County Championship match with Durham at Cheltenham.
The 23-year-old former Middlesex all-rounder was out in the last over of the day for 105 as his side ran up 315 for seven after winning the toss. Miles Hammond (51) and Gareth Roderick (67) were the other main contributors.
Chris Rushworth and Ben Stokes each claimed three of the wickets, Stokes beginning with a seven-over spell that brought him 2 for 10. But Durham’s other England bowler Mark Wood was off the field having physiotherapy during the afternoon and, although he returned to the field, he bowled only six overs in the day.
Stokes was the star of the early exchanges, generating pace and bounce from the Chapel End after coming on first change.
He pinned Chris Dent lbw for 19 and had Benny Howell taken at gully off a sharply lifting delivery for four after Gloucestershire had elected to bat in bright sunshine.
In between the two wickets Stokes struck James Bracey a painful blow on an elbow. After treatment the 21-year-old batsman headed off to hospital for a more extensive examination.
Hammond, already a centurion at the Festival, again looked in fine form, putting on 40 with Dent for the first wicket. The left-hander was unbeaten on 36 at lunch, which was taken with Gloucestershire 80 for two off 28 overs.
Hammond went on to a half-century off 97 balls, with 9 fours. But he fell early in the afternoon session, bowled by Rushworth, who beat his defensive shot.
Roderick survived a couple of blows to the helmet on the lively pitch to post fifty off 93 deliveries, with 8 fours, and shared a fourth-wicket stand of 107 with Higgins to put their side on top.
Tea was taken at 218 for three, with Higgins having brought up his half-century off 67 balls, hitting six fours. It was an untimely interval for Roderick, who in the first over after the resumption fell lbw to Salisbury on the back foot.
Higgins went past his previous best score of 63 and set his sights on three figures. The injured Bracey returned to help add 64 before departing to the second new ball, an lbw victim for Rushworth.
Kieran Noema-Barnett fell cheaply to the same bowler, but Higgins punched the air at reaching his ton off 141 balls, having increased his boundary count to 12.
He was caught at backward point off what proved the final delivery of the day to his intense frustration, Stokes claiming a third wicket. He ended the day with three for 40 from an impressive 18.4 overs, while Rushworth had three for 82 off 20.
Surrey dominate as green Trent Bridge pitch backfires
Surrey 223 for 1 (Burns 97*, Stoneman 93) lead Nottinghamshire 210 (Morkel 4-60) by 13 runs
Your front lawn may be the colour of straw but the well-watered cricket fields of England remain a luxuriant green, even down to the pitch for the clash of first and second in the Championship.
It was perhaps not what you would expect to see in the third week of July in a summer as scorching as this one but from Nottinghamshire’s standpoint there was logic behind their instructions to the groundsman. No team had accrued more bowling points in the first eight matches of the season and with Stuart Broad and Jake Ball available it was clear where they considered their best chance of winning lay.
There were two or three flies in the ointment, however; bluebottle-sized ones, in fact. First of all, Steve Birks’s verdant strip is as close to the boundary on the Bridgford Road side of the ground as any of Trent Bridge’s Championship pitches, so close that a judiciously placed nudge brings four.
Second, this Surrey side contains the two most prolific batsmen in the top division so far in Rory Burns and Ollie Pope.
And third, with the kind of early cloud cover that has not been seen for several weeks, there was never much likelihood that Surrey would not bowl first, which meant that a Nottinghamshire batting line-up short on experience would be exposed to Jade Dernbach, Sam Curran, Morne Morkel and Rikki Clarke in the most testing atmospheric conditions, while Broad, back in action after recovering from a sore ankle, could only preen his new haircut in the dressing room. As calculated risks go, this one seemed to have a decent chance of backfiring spectacularly.
And so it did. Steven Mullaney, the Nottinghamshire captain, was out to the second ball of the day, edging Dernbach into the wicketkeeper’s gloves, and even a solitary batting point would have eluded his side but for an unlikely partnership for the 10th wicket that saw Jake Ball smash Morkel over cover for six and Harry Gurney, a number eleven in cricket’s best traditions, carve out an inventive unbeaten 29, the second biggest score of his career.
Surrey had 42 overs to negotiate themselves but by the time they began the clouds were clearing and the menace the Surrey quartet had been able to generate eluded Broad and company. The excellent Burns, now past 850 runs for the season, needs three more for a third century. Mark Stoneman, at last looking more like the player who scored almost 1,500 runs last summer, emerged from his troubles with a fine 86, taking him past 10,000 in his career. Unless something very different happens on day two, Surrey can already anticipate a handsome lead.
The first five Nottinghamshire wickets fell before lunch, the other five before tea as the ball jagged around. At times it was a struggle even to lay bat on ball, let alone take advantage of the short route to the fence. Of the first six wickets, three were caught at gully, one at slip and one by the wicketkeeper; the other was to an inswinger from Curran that trapped Samit Patel on the back foot.
Surrey’s catching, for the most part, was outstanding. Rikki Clarke, apart from bowling superbly, took one over his head at slip that required an exceptional leap even for a man of his 6ft 4ins; Ryan Patel, on briefly as substitute fielder at gully with Pope needing attention after catching Will Fraine a couple of balls earlier, held a blinder, diving to his right, to dismiss Jake Libby, as Morkel claimed two of his four wickets in three deliveries. Fraine, the former Durham MCCU batsman, acquitted himself pretty well in the circumstances, thrown in for his Championship debut with Chris Nash still sidelined and Ross Taylor’s stint here finished.
Some 22 points separated these sides at the start of play. Right now the gap feels wider than that and Surrey might well be about to put themselves out of reach.
Sussex plot haphazard route to promotion-chasing victory
Sussex 327 (Wells 71, Hogan 4-39, Lawlor 3-59) vs Glamorgan
Sussex, attempting to boost their promotion ambitions with a third straight win against bottom of the table Glamorgan, needed a spirited last wicket partnership between Jofra Archer and Danny Briggs to gain the upper hand on the opening day of their day-night Specsavers County Championship Division Two fixture at Hove.
Sussex had the better of the opening session but the Glamorgan bowlers proved tenacious and took five wickets in a 20-over spell, assisted by a pink ball that swung after lunch. Sussex, however, have a Manx cat’s tail and the partnership of 61 between Archer (19) and Briggs (46) saw them to a third batting point for passing 300.
Openers Luke Wells and Phil Salt built a decent foundation to the innings, with an opening stand of 73. Salt was in particularly impressive form, striking eight fours in his 52-ball 48 before he was dismissed by a fine delivery from Michael Hogan, which straightened and lifted to have him caught behind in the 19th over.
Sussex were still well set at 114 for 1 at lunch. But they lost Tom Haines to the first delivery after the interval and the Glamorgan bowlers remained on top for the rest of the session. Haines, playing his first championship game since scoring a century on debut against Durham at Arundel last month, came into the side for the rested Luke Wright. But, attempting to work the ball to leg, he edged Lukas Carey to Nick Selman at second slip.
Wells, who had been more sedate than his opening partner, leg-glanced Michael Hogan to reach his fifty from 100 deliveries. But Sussex lost third wicket at 139 when the in-form Harry Finch, driving without any foot movement, was caught behind off Hogan. Finch’s solitary run occupied 32 balls. And one run later Wells hooked Hogan to long-leg for 71 from 142 balls.
Michael Burgess was dropped first ball at third slip but Glamorgan were not made to pay for their aberration. The batsman was caught behind having a swing at a wide delivery from Jeremy Lawlor for 13 – the first of three wickets for Lawlor as he acieved a career-best. And it became 171 for 6 when David Wiese swung wildly to give the busy keeper Chris Cooke another catch.
Ben Brown and Chris Jordan revived the faltering innings with a seventh wicket stand of 83 in 24 overs. Both batsmen failed to reach deserved half-centuries. Brown (49) was caught behind attempting to cut a ball that was too pitched up for the stroke, and in the next over Jordan (46) was bowled by Hogan.
Sussex were 254 for 8 and Glamorgan were on top once more, even more so when Ollie Robinson was caught at second slip at 266 in the first over with the new ball.
But in Briggs Sussex have a first-class century maker batting at No 11 and he and Archer hit merrily under the floodlights until Briggs fell in the last over of the day.
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