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Cricket news - County Championship: Luke fletcher takes six as Essex fold for 99
Broad took out his former England captain Alastair Cook.
Luke Fletcher enjoyed a field day at Trent Bridge as he returned a stunning 6 for 24 as Nottinghamshire bowled the Bob Willis Trophy Champions, Essex, out for 99 in 41 overs after opting to bowl on a green top. Fletcher, who took a five-fer in the team's previous game against Derbyshire, ran riot after Stuart Broad took out his former England captain Alastair Cook cheaply. He scythed through a hapless Essex middle-order that saw Dan Lawrence score 14 for the team's second-highest contribution. Opener Nick Browne battled for his 53 and was the seventh man dismissed. In response, Shane Snater snared three wickets but Haseeb Hameed's steady 49 and a century stand between Steven Mullaney (63*) and Lyndon James (42*) helped the hosts grab a strong 89-run lead before Bad Light stopped play.
In Birmingham, Worcestershire didn't have quite the same dramatic return after their call to field first even though they picked up seven Warwickshire wickets on the opening day. The hosts were propped up by Robert Yates's second century of the season. Warwickshire's opener hit 14 boundaries and batted 229 balls for his 104. He added 77 for the second wicket with Pieter Malan and another 70 with half-centurion Michael Burgess (65*) as the Group 1 table-toppers finished the tightly-contested opening day on 271/7.
Centuries from Samuel Evans and Marcus Harris helped Leicestershire take the opening day honours against Surrey in Leicester. Opting to bat first, the hosts lost opener Hasan Azad early but Harris joined opener Evans to lay a solid foundation for his side. In a boundary-laden display, both batsmen went on to register sparkling centuries before Amar Virdi broke the 195-run partnership. The final session however turned productive for Surrey as they fought back with quick wickets. Virdi added two more to his collection and Reece Topley chipped in with skipper Colin Ackermann's wicket to finish with two. Eventually at stumps, the home side finished with 306/6 with their hopes pinned on wicketkeeper-batsman Harry Swindells to add to the tally on day 2.
In an eventful day in Southampton, Somerset took a 63-run lead in the first innings against Hampshire after their bowlers put in a great effort. The seamers from both sides had a good outing as 15 wickets fell on the first day. Lewis Gregory started proceedings with Ian Holland's wicket and the next four batsmen managed to register only single-digit scores. Opener Joe Weatherley was the only batsman to touch 20 as Hampshire crumbled to just 79 with Gregory cleaning up the tail to finish with four wickets. Even though Somerset began in similar fashion losing their openers with only 11 on the board, skipper Tom Abell hit a fighting unbeaten half-century to steady the ship. Abell will be gunning for more runs alongside the lower order on the second day to fetch a substantial lead.
A disciplined bowling effort from Gloucestershire saw Middlesex get bowled out for 210 in their first innings at Lord's. Middlesex kept losing wickets at regular intervals after being sent into bat and had only 117 on the board with half the side back in the pavilion. Five out of the top six batsmen failed to touch 20, summing up their batting efforts. If not for an unbeaten 76 from Robbie White, Middlesex would have struggled to go anywhere beyond 180. David Payne finished with a five-wicket haul for the visitors. In reply, Gloucestershire batted cautiously for seven overs, losing skipper Chris Dent in the process. Overseas recruit Kraigg Brathwaite will be keen on making a mark on the second day to help his side take the lead.
Having opted to bowl first against Kent, Yorkshire claimed seven wickets on the opening day at Headingley before rain brought an end to the day's play. Ben Coad struck early by dismissing Kent skipper Bell-Drummond in the first over of the day and he ended up picking two wickets more before stumps as Kent finished with 224/7. Zak Crawley with 90 was the top-scorer for the batting side.
Meanwhile, in Manchester, Glamorgan could add only 117 runs for the loss of three wickets on a rain curtailed day. Having opted to bat against Lancashire, opener David Lloyd gave his team a fantastic start with an impressive knock. However, Luke Wood brought an end to his stay as the opener was dismissed for 78. Earlier in the day, James Anderson got rid of Marnus Labuschagne with a peach of a delivery.
The game between Northamptonshire and Sussex was the most eventful contest in the group as Sussex were bundled out for a paltry score 106. Northamptonshire had reduced the opposition to 25/7 in the 14th over of the day, but Ollie Robinson saved his team from embarrassment with his pivotal knock of 49*. In addition to his knock, Robinson also claimed four wickets, but fifties by Rob Keogh and Saif Zaib helped Northamptonshire gain a sizeable lead of 108 runs before stumps. Ben Sanderson and Gareth Berg were the top performers for Northamptonshire as they claimed five wickets each.
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