County Championship Division One roundup: Somerset, Kent, and Durham secure hard-fought draws

The Cricketer wraps up the best of the action during day four of round two of the Vitality County Championship in 2024


Chelmsford (day four of four): Essex 530-7d & 257-4d, Kent 413 & 164-7 - match drawn

A combination of 18-year-old debutant Jaydn Denly and bad weather scuppered Essex's hopes of recording back-to-back Vitality County Championship wins and extending their lead at the top of the table.

The allrounder with the famous name stood firm for 128 balls on a rain-interrupted final day at Chelmsford to prevent Essex wrapping up a second win of the season after they had Kent on the ropes at 65 for 5.

Essex seamer Jamie Porter (4 for 20) blitzed a hole in the Kent top order before Jaydn Denly joined forces with uncle Joe in a sixth-wicket stand that ate up 16 overs while putting on 51 runs. Denly junior grew in confidence on both sides of a rain break just as the final hour was called, and finished on 41 not out in Kent's 164 for 7.

Essex had declared for the second time in the match on their overnight 257 for 4 with Jordan Cox unbeaten on 116 after his pyrotechnics of the previous evening. That set Kent 375 to win, initially adjusted because of earlier rain to 76 overs, then 64 after the morning session was abandoned following another cloudburst.


Jamie Porter destroyed Kent's top order in vain [Justin Setterfield/Getty Images]

Southampton (day four of four): Hampshire 367 & 179-4, Lancashire 484 - match drawn

Nick Gubbins batted out the final day to make sure Hampshire and Lancashire drew their County Championship fixture at the Utilita Bowl – and maintained the visitors' unbeaten record on the ground.

Gubbins added an unbeaten 69 to his first innings 50 in a four-and-a-half-hour vigil to nullify any threat of a Hampshire collapse and a result – with James Vince and Tom Prest equally stubborn in their resistance.

Any hopes of Lancashire forcing a result by blowing away Hampshire quickly were kyboshed by no play possible in the morning due to a rain shower which left the run-ups temporarily unusable.

Lancashire picked up one extra point to Hampshire's 12, with both sides shaking off their rain-affected openers with more shared points.

It did, however, extend the Red Roses' record of not losing a first-class away match at Hampshire to 35 years – with the last home success coming at Portsmouth in 1989.


Trent Bridge (day four of four): Nottinghamshire 399 & 151-7, Worcestershire 355 - match drawn

Barely a mile down the road from Trent Bridge, about three-and-a-half hours before the scheduled start of play on the final day of Nottinghamshire's County Championship game with Worcestershire, a tornado ripped tiles off houses and brought down trees, some close to the Nottinghamshire chief executive's house.

An hour after lunch, with the latest squall sweeping through and winds threatening to send the covers flying towards Lincolnshire, play was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Nottinghamshire, 195 runs ahead overnight but with only three wickets standing, took 14 points and Worcestershire, who had fancied pushing for victory, departed with 13.

Related - Paul Edwards: After two matches, relegation favourites Worcestershire have shown they're no pushovers


Matthew Potts scored his maiden century [Gareth Copley/Getty Images]

The Oval (day four of four): Somerset 285 & 351, Surrey 428 & 123-5 - match drawn

Surrey fell short in a fourth-day run chase against Somerset at the Kia Oval as their County Championship match ended in a draw.

Chasing 209 in 19 overs, Dan Lawrence and Jamie Smith hit 32 off the seventh and eight overs to take their stand to 90 and set up the prospect of a first win of the season for the champions.

Smith twice hit Craig Overton back over his head into the pavilion and pulled a short ball from Migael Pretorius over mid-wicket for his third six, but trying to clear long on off the first ball of the ninth over he was well caught by Matt Renshaw running in from the boundary for 45 off 25 balls.

Ollie Pope slashed the second ball of the tenth from Kasey Aldridge over point for six but he was bowled later in the over attempting a repeat before three wickets in nine balls ended Surrey's challenge.

Aldridge picked up two in the 12th over as Jamie Overton slogged one in the air and skipper Rory Burns was caught on the boundary for a four-ball duck. Lewis Gregory then held a steepler to remove Dom Sibley off his own bowling.

Lawrence was unbeaten on 53 from 34 balls when the players shook hands with five overs left.


Edgbaston (day four of four): Warwickshire 698-3d, Durham 517 & 293-6 - match drawn

Durham's resilience was rewarded with a draw on their return to Division One of the County Championship after their game against Warwickshire drifted to stalemate at Edgbaston.

Warwickshire began the final day scenting victory as the newly-promoted side, following on, resumed on 12 for 2, still 169 behind. But stubborn batting, led by a maiden century from nightwatch Matthew Potts (149 not out off 254 balls), along with weather interference, sentenced the match to a draw. The visitors closed on 293 for 6.

Having conceded 698 for 3 in a bruising re-entry to the top flight, Durham take a lot of credit for battling to a draw, earned principally by their first innings 517, the third highest score ever by a team which then had to follow on.

Ultimately, both bowling attacks were nullified by a combination of placid pitch and Kookaburra ball. Both sides were further hampered by the loss of a key man through injury, Warwickshire's Chris Rushworth suffering a calf niggle and Durham's Scott Boland a sore heel.

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