The happy japesters at Middlesex looked cooked when they got rolled over by Joe Leach and Ed Barnard for 144 at Lord’s, but they have justified their spot at the top of Div 3 by whittling down second-placed Worcestershire to 113 for 8 by the close. It’s the animal kingdom, in Tiger Tim and Bambi, who have done the damage there.
Kent, in third, have robbed the people of what the people want by resting Darren Stevens against bottom of the bottom Derbyshire ahead of T20 Blast finals day. Robbed! The arrogance! Honest Joe Denly and Matt Milnes are also on the couch. Robbed! In their absence, Kent made 285 yesterday which would have been 400 with Stevo, then when Derbs batted before stumps, Harry Came and Harry went. They’re 1 for 1, a score that works both in Derby and here in Melbourne.
Essex sit top of the pile, and well on top of Surrey at The Oval, where Alastair Cook’s 140 not out has taken them to 299 for 3. Cook likes that joint, it’s where he got his farewell Test ton after all. Dan Lawrence got out just before stumps for 78.
Second-placed Northamptonshire won’t be best pleased at home against fourth-placed Durham, who bowled out Northants for 183 yesterday with four to Matthew Potts, before reaching 108 for 4 by stumps. Scott Borthwick is 54 not out at first drop.