• County round-up

Collingwood typifies cautious Durham

ESPN staff
June 5, 2012 « France hit four in warning to England | Chartbeat test »
Paul Collingwood was unbeaten on 43 © PA Photos
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Durham adopted a cautious approach in their search for a first LV= County Championship win of the season as they reached 228 for five in 83 overs against Warwickshire at Chester-le-Street. The patience shown by Ben Stokes (66) and Will Smith (47) in a stand of 109 helped the hosts recover from 23 for two after opting to bat.

Then the experienced pair of Dale Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood put on 78 for the fifth wicket, with the former England man remaining unbeaten on 43. The day was interrupted by three showers, though, and - with even more forecast for the rest of the match - Durham's improved application may be in vain.

Rain had the final say at Lord's where, in what will be Middlesex's penultimate first-class match of the season at headquarters, the hosts fared best in reducing Somerset to 130 for four. By the time the heavens opened at 3pm, 48.5 overs had been bowled and each of the four bowlers on show had taken a wicket.

Tony Palladino took a hat-trick and Tim Groenewald claimed a five-wicket haul to put Derbyshire in command on the first day of their LV= County Championship match against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The hosts were dismissed for 177 after Palladino sent them crashing to seven for three with the first hat-trick of his career. Groenewald then picked up the last three wickets for one run in 12 balls to finish with figures of five for 29. It added up to an excellent day's work for the Second Division leaders, who reached five without loss in reply before rain brought an early end to proceedings with 20 overs still remaining.

Defending champions Surrey were forced to share the points with Scotland after rain ruined their Clydesdale Bank 40 encounter at The Oval. Only 23 overs were possible before the weather closed in with the visitors having recovered to 124 for four.

Surrey new-ball pairing Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker had threatened to blow the Scots away as they were reduced to 46 for four. An unbroken stand of 78 between Jean Symes and Preston Mommsen slowed Surrey's progress before the rain halted it completely. The point was enough to give Surrey sole ownership of the top position in Group B, while Scotland collected a fourth point of the campaign to stay fifth.

Rain prevented Kent from exacting revenge over the Unicorns in their match at Southend. The Unicorns claimed their only win of an otherwise fruitless campaign so far against the Spitfires by four wickets last month. It was a defeat to frustrate Kent's early semi-final ambitions and a share of the points on Tuesday will have hardly helped either after they had restricted the Unicorns to 177 for eight.

With an achievable target in sight, however, only three overs of Kent's reply was possible before the weather closed in. The point was at least enough to move Kent up to third in Group C, having played a game less than leaders Warwickshire, who they trail by three points.

And Vikram Solanki and Phil Hughes both hit centuries but Worcestershire still fell to a 12-run defeat to Lancashire on the Duckworth-Lewis method in their match at Old Trafford. After being invited to bat first the Royals' pair shared their county's highest-ever second-wicket partnership in List A cricket to underpin their total of 259 for nine.

Solanki led the way with 121 off 107 balls, including eight fours and five sixes, while Australian overseas left-hander Hughes hit nine fours and two sixes in 104 off 111, following on from his 111 in their previous match against Middlesex.

Lancashire had reached 69 for one from 11.4 overs when the rain arrived thanks to a fourth successive half-century from former Pear Stephen Moore. When play briefly resumed Moore added eight runs to be 60 from 52 balls as Lancashire reached 95 for one from 14.1 overs. But more rain arrived to end the contest and lift the hosts up to second place in Group A. Croft also added an important unbeaten 19 off 14.

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