Morning everyone! I’m at the Oval, alone in an airless commentary box and looking out over a sun-bathed scene that is very much like this:




The Oval, home of Surrey CCC

A view over the Oval on a splendid Friday morning Photograph: Simon Burnton/The Guardian

Here’s the state of play this morning:

Group One

Derby: Derbyshire, on 86-8, trail Nottinghamshire (256) by 170 runs with two first-innings wickets remaining.

Chester-le-Street: Durham, on 88 without loss, lead Warwickshire (87 all out) by a single run with all first-innings wickets remaining.

Worcester: Essex are 266-2 in their first innings against Worcestershire.

Group Two

Bristol: Leicestershire are 264-4 against Gloucestershire in their first innings.

Taunton: Middlesex are 308-6 in their first innings against Somerset.

The Oval: Surrey, on 131-1, lead Hampshire (92 all out) by 39 runs with nine first-innings wickets remaining.

Group Three

Cardiff: Glamorgan, on 109-2, trail Kent (138 all out) by 29 runs with eight first-innings wickets remaining.

Headingley: Northamptonshire, on 36-0, trail Yorkshire (260) by 170 runs with all first-innings wickets remaining.

Brighton: Sussex are 318-7 in their first innings against Lancashire.

And here’s Tanya Aldred’s round-up of yesterday’s action:

When Marnus Labuschagne arrived for his second season at Glamorgan the world’s No 3‑ranked batsman, with a Test average of more than 60, came fresh from a triumphant hundred in the Sheffield Shield final. However, he had not bargained for a green top on a damp day in Cardiff.

First, Labuschagne injured his hand slipping down the stairs before the start of play, spending some of the afternoon having it checked out in the dressing room. Then, as Glamorgan replied to Kent’s 138 all out, he faced Darren Stevens, 45 today. Stevens, economical of movement and built like an ageing Chesterfield, bewitched him with his wiles and trapped him lbw for 11. Glamorgan finished 109 for two. Kent had been bowled out by mid‑afternoon, losing five for 31 as David Lloyd and Timm van der Gugten picked up four wickets each.

Warwickshire, who defeated the champions last week, thumped back to earth at the Riverside, bowled out for 87 – though things had looked bleaker still at 30 for eight. Mark Wood, playing for Durham for the first time this season, started the rot with a wicket with his seventh ball, but it was Ben Raine, with five for nine, who had the batsmen perplexed. Durham’s openers overtook Warwickshire’s total without loss.

Jordan Clark skittled Hampshire for 92, taking a career-best six for 21 at The Oval where swing bowling on a pitch with an emerald hue proved irresistible. In reply Surrey were 131 for one, with fifties for Rory Burns and Hashim Amla.

Alastair Cook, the former England captain, made his first hundred of the season on a stark April day at New Road, with a short boundary on the cathedral side of the ground helping Essex to 266 for two against Worcestershire.

Lancashire were left rueing dropped catches at Sussex, where Tom Haines made his fourth half‑century of the season in a 133‑run partnership with Stiaan van Zyl (79).

Middlesex had a steady day, notching up 308 for six against Somerset, with seventies from Nick Gubbins and Robbie White.

At Bristol, Sam Evans made his third first-class century and Lewis Hill 77 as Leicestershire polkaed to 264 for four against Gloucestershire. Hassan Azad was out to the second ball of the day, one of four opening batsmen round the country out without scoring.

There were contrasting fortunes for the heroes of Nottinghamshire’s last match as Ben Slater made 107, while Haseeb Hameed was out for a plump two-ball duck. Fynn Hudson‑Prentice snaffled four for 36. Derbyshire then collapsed to 86 for eight in the shadows.

Yorkshire were bowled out for 206 by Northamptonshire, with Dom Bess top-scoring with 56. Wayne Parnell took five for 64.



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