Derbyshire batted first and amassed 801, with centuries from the Australians, Simon Katich (221) and Ian Harvey (153) as well as South African, Ant Botha who reached 101. Charl Willoughby picked up 1-87 in 31 overs. Derbyshire managed 530 in their reply, with Willoughby picking up 23* off 23 balls. They were asked to follow on, scoring 309/4 and the match was drawn.
Essex batted first against Northamptonshire making 334 in their first innings. For some reason Johan van der Wath bowled 3 overs for 6 runs and no more, one must assume he was injured. Lance Klusener picked up 2-54 in 25. Northamptonshire managed 416 in reply with Klusener making 8 whilst van der Wath was 6 short of a century, making 94. If he was injured, he recovered quickly as he came back to bowl in the second innings, taking 1-32 in 11. Klusener picked up 1-29 in ten. Essex managed 190, which was never going to be enough and Northamptonshire reached their target of 109 with 4 wickets down. Andre Nel picked up 1-20 in his 12 overs to compliment his 3-62 off 26.2 in the first innings. Nel is a very good signing for Essex and showed haul in many wickets this season.
Gloucestershire batted first against Leicestershire, reaching 507 in their first innings. The South Africans, Claude Henderson and Charl Langeveldt did not contribute any wickets in either innings, although it seems that Henderson was injured as he didn’t bat in Leicestershire’s first innings. HD Ackerman finally came to the party for Leicestershire, and managed to make 59. Gloucestershire posted 249/4 off 51.2 and set Leicestershire 380 to win. Leicestershire were in trouble at 218/7 when the match ended. HD Ackerman made 28 in his second innings and might be finding some form. Ackerman has an average a shade under 45 at first class level and can be very dangerous.
Warwickshire posted 610/8 declared in their first innings against Worcestershire, with their wicket keeper Tim Ambrose reaching 251*. Heath Streak managed 66 and Tim Groenewald reached 13*. This was a massive total for Worcestershire to chase and they only managed 288 in their first innings and were asked to follow on, and only got 209, thus losing by an innings and 113 runs. Dale Steyn picked 3-56 in the first innings and 5-49 in the second. Heath Streak picked up 2 wickets in each innings going for 33 in the first and 29 in the second.
Phil Jacques might have been chuckling after Steyn sent him back to the pavilion on both occasions, knowing that South Africa’s best bowler has been over in England and not anywhere near the Caribbean!!! Dale Steyn has something the rest of the South African attack lacks, and that is pace. It won’t be any surprise to see Steyn being the leading wicket taker at the end of the season.
Kent batted first against Sussex, scoring 368. Martin van Jaarsveld didn’t help much only making 6 for Kent whilst Ryan Mclaren doubled his score getting run out on 12, he wasn’t much use as a batsman either. Mclaren made up for it when Sussex came out to bat picking up 4-12 in 7.3 with 3 no balls!!! Sussex crumbled to 102 all out and were just as pitiful in their second innings making 160. Mclaren picked up 1-19, whilst Simon Cook destroyed them taking 6-35 in 13.5 Kent won by an innings and 105 runs.
Yorkshire batted first against Hampshire and were skittled out for 299, with only Younis Khan really being useful, making 106. Jacques Rudolph made a paltry 3 runs. Hampshire didn’t assert dominance on their score reaching 296 all out with Nic Pothas again performing, making 70*. Lumb only made 5. In the second innings, Yorkshire got it right posting 439/4 leaving Yorkshire a target of 443. Khan made 202* Rudolph making 22 of them. Hampshire got to 366/8 with Pothas again helping out making 76*. The match was drawn.
England selectors should be smiling after this weeks matches, as there were plenty Wicketkeepers that made runs. Pothas should really be considered for the national side, although his age is against him. Ambrose and Brophy made centuries this week.