County cricket: Surrey v Somerset, Essex v Kent, and more on day four – live

Key events

Overton asks for a ball change, and gets another clump of old rags. Sun out now, and a scattering of spectators have settled into their turquoise bucket seats.

The players are on at The Oval and Lewis Gregory has just biffed Jamie Overton for two consecutive fours. It doesn’t look so hopeful at Chelmsford:

Just three games underway, two in Division Two. At Bristol Ollie Price and James Bracey (who took a fabulous catch to dismiss Joe Root yesterday) are hanging on, Glos 114-4; Reece and Madsen doing the same at Sophia Gardens after the needless run out of Lloyd.

And hello to Gary Naylor who thinks he sees a famous commentator in today’s google doodle of Etel Adnan:

It is raining again at The Oval, one big rectangular groundsheet in position. No play before lunch at Wantage Road and at the Rose Bowl.

At Chelmsford, Essex have declared and they’re due to start at 12.15 after the mopping up is completed. Kent will need 375 to win, or have two and a bit sessions to survive.

Hello John Starbuck! “If people are going to take Thoreau as a model, they should remember that at weekends he took his washing home to his mum. Touching, but hardly pioneering. Also, comments on IT whizzkids: you could try the many livestreams by counties to get a better look at scorecard trends. The IT people have plenty of free rein, as you might expect, but they still haven’t fixed the problem of cameras bouncing up and down in high winds, and up-to-the -minute scorecard information is rare, as the changes often lag for a couple of balls.”


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Filthy clouds are racing behind the Surrey pavilion, but, at the moment at least, just passing through. Tim is still cross with the ECB website:

“Re: the earlier whingeing about the ECB’s live scoring

”Typical of the poor execution, there is currently no way of telling which games are delayed UNLESS you click on each individual match, which is fine if you’re only supporting one county, but a pain in the proverbial if your interest is more general.

”I know, I know. I should get a life.”

Say the name, Mason Crane!

Rain watch

They’re underway at Edgbaston, where Colin Ackermann and Matthew Potts are digging in, and at Cardiff, where Derbyshire have added three and lost none.

Play to start shortly at Bristol, at noon at The Oval, with inspections at 11.30 at Chelmsford and the Rose Bowl, 12.40 at Grace Road and vague delayed starts at Wantage Road and Trent Bridge.

“I do agree with Tim,” taps Richard O’Hagan. “Getting reliable county scores remains a problem – which is of course precisely why I am here. Even the BBC isn’t infallible. Yesterday they were showing Tom Banton as being caught off the bowling of Ben Foakes.”

Richard, I’m very touched that you come to the Guardian blog for accuracy …

The players are out in the middle warming up, and we will have play at The Oval at noon.

And a hearty hello to Mike Daniels in the Grace Road score box: “Covers on here after heavy morning rain.

“I’ve been reading Walden by Thoreau and brought that along as any book that teaches you about how to live a solitary life in a wood cabin by a lake might be relevant today.”

Briliant! I’m afraid I havent read Walden, but I have read the gorgeous children’s picture book Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, which is supposed to be based on a passage from it.


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A lovely story for a rainy day (or any day, actually) by our own Jim Wallace, who has started a substack Arrangements of White on Green with another super writer, Jon Hotten.

Rain, rain, rain

Starts delayed at Chelmsford, the Rose Bowl, Trent Bridge, The Oval, Sophia Gardens, Bristol, Grace Road and Northants. Everywhere, in fact, except, maybe, Edgbaston.

An email lands with a splash:

“ Hi Tanya,” Hello Tim Maitland!

“Sorry you’ve been dragged down south… although I do have particularly fond memories of visits to a batting coach at the Oval, during the days when shift work at the BBC World Service made holding down a place in a half-decent (who am I kidding? one-tenth-decent) side almost impossible.

”Irrelevant to this missive, there was one time when said coach was firing chin music at me. He’d just commented that we were up in the mid-80s mph which isn’t far off what the West Indians deliver when some gangly kid burst my bubble by firing Exocets into the net next to me. Tudor, I think the name was. No idea what happened to him.

Who he? Photograph: Frank Baron/The Guardian

”On another occasion, our musings were interrupted by a (relatively) young Alec Stewart and Mark Butcher working on improving their technique, which was quite impressive given that it was a) only 11-20 on the first morning of a Championship game, b) that Surrey were batting first and c) they were both in the top three of the order that day.

”Anyway, to get to the point, has anyone else found the latest iteration of the live scoring on the ECB to be at best underwhelming?

”Apart from the fact that there was a chunk of the weekend where it wasn’t working at all, several of the scores on the left-hand side of the page spent most of Sunday with spurious Ds giving the erroneous impression that some highly creative bartering had been going on amongst the captains. Then there are the stupid omissions that seem to be de rigueur when the IT whizzkids roll out something new, like the totals in the scorecard, which despite the established traditions are not accompanied by the number of wickets, meaning everyone has to scroll up and down needlessly or count up the stricken batters themselves.

”It’s not that it’s THAT bad, it’s just that it really should be better.”

I’m actually can’t comment as I tend to use the BBC scorecards but I’m sure someone BTL is gnashing their teeth as we speak.


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Sunlight now glistening on the covers and groundstaff running around with great enthusiasm. Things are looking up (though not for Somerset).

The covers are firmly tethered at The Oval and no sign of life. The scoreboard shines through the gloom.

Shocking news from Australia:

Sunday’s round-up

Surrey closed in on victory as Somerset faltered to the county champions’ spinners – not the usual turn of events in April. Dan Lawrence grabbed three with his flat-footed whirlygigs from the Vauxhall End, and there were two for Cameron Steel. Surrey had added 70 in the morning, with Kasey Aldridge picking up the second five-fer of his career. Despite fifties from Tom Lammonby and Lewis Goldsworthy, Somerset finished the day just 61 runs ahead with only four wickets in the bank.

Jordan Cox rolling-pinned 116 from 89 balls against his old county as Essex built up a stout second innings lead; Ben Compton had been last man out for 165 as Kent limped past the follow-on target.

Nottinghamshire once again suffered calamitous subsidence, losing six for 19 in the evening session – this after mislaying six for 34 in their first match. Ben Duckett had skipped to 63 before being the first of Nathan Smith’s four wickets in seven balls. Earlier, Smith had shepherded Worcestershire’s lower order with 58.

Despite knocking up 517, Durham failed to avoid the follow-on against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, and lost two second-innings wickets in the evening gloom. Lancashire were on top against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl thanks to 172 from Keaton Jennings and 99 from George Bell, run out itching for the golden single.

In a round notable for hundreds by captains, Sussex’s John Simpson flashed an unbeaten 205 against Leicestershire which, alongside 134 from Danny Lamb, allowed him to declare on 694 for nine. Chris Cooke’s 126 put Glamorgan in the box seat against Derbyshire at Sophia Gardens.

Idiosyncratic fifties by Joe Root and Harry Brook, alongside 113 from Adam Lyth, helped Yorkshire plunder the Gloucestershire attack before pulling the rug away from their second innings.

Nathan Fernandes became the youngest man since 1862 to make a century on first-class debut for Middlesex. He was joined in three figures by Max Holden (211 not out) and Leus du Plooy (196 not out), the two plundering Northants for an unbeaten 350 for the third wicket.

Scores on the doors


Chelmsford: Essex 530-7d and 257-4 v Kent 413

The Rose Bowl: Hampshire 367 and 39-2 v Lancashire 484

Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 399 and 151-7 v Worcestershire 355

The Oval: Surrey 428 v Somerset 285 and 204-6

Edgbaston: Warwickshire 698-3d v Durham 517 and 12-2


Sophia Gardens: Glamorgan 237 &361-7dec v Derbyshire 198 and 40-1

Bristol: Gloucestershire 263 and 97-4 v Yorkshire 326 & 434-6dec

Grace Road: Leicestershire 338 and 86-1 v Sussex 694-9dec

Northampton: Northamptonshire 552-6d v Middlesex 553-2


Good morning from a cold, wet, windy south London, the sort of day when any gap between trouser hem and socks, collar and neck, is calamitous.

The Met office are downbeat: A narrow band of squally heavy rain clearing England and Wales by late morning. Blustery showers, with hail and thunder already in the north spreading to all parts during the afternoon. Feeling colder than of late, with gusty winds.

But play is possible, in parts. It shouldn’t need too big a window for Surrey to polish off Somerset; Sussex to gobble Leicestershire, Yorkshire to run through Gloucestershire, Glamorgan to polish off Derbyshire, Warwickshire winkle out Durham, or even Worcestershire to sew up Notts after last night’s impression of falling masonry. But first of all, coffee.


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