Round-up County Championship: Surrey opener Rory Burns bolsters case for Test recall by scoring third half century … as English fast bowler Mark Wood takes three for 28 in his first red ball game since January
- Jordan Clark picked up a career-best six for 21 to join Hampshire for 92
- Rory Burns then hit an unbeaten 61 to help Surrey to 131 for one in the Oval
- Seamer Mark Wood took three wickets while Durham bowled Warwickshire for 87
Rory Burns reinforced his argument for a test memory when Surrey reacted strongly to their poor start to the season.
After Jordan Clark picked up a career-best six for 21 to bundle Hampshire for 92, Burns hit an unbeaten 61 – his third half century of the summer – to help his squad get to 131 for one at the Oval.
Midway through their recent series in India, he was dropped by England, but he suddenly strikes the confidence of a player who expects to open against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2.
Rory Burns hit his third half century of the summer for Surrey against Hampshire at the Oval
Burns began taking three fours of one from dangerous Pakistani sailor Mohammad Abbas and had lit exactly 100 with South African Hashim Amla by the time bad lighting brought a premature end.
There was more good news for England as fast bowler Mark Wood took three for 28 in his first red ball game since the second test against Sri Lanka in Galle in January, when Durham bowled Warwickshire for 87 in Chester-le-Street.
However, Wood was left behind by sailor Ben Raine, who sent back numbers of 13-8-9-5. Durham then downplayed the terms by closing at 88 without a loss.
For others who wanted to impress England coach Chris Silverwood, it was a less profitable day.
Zak Crawley managed 33 before Kent was fired for 138 by Glamorgan in Cardiff, but there were ducks for Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth against Northamptonshire in Headingley, Nottinghamshire’s Haseeb Hameed in Derby – the week after his twin-tonnes against Worcestershire – and Hampshire’s James Vince.
Mark Wood took three for 28 in his first red ball game since the second Test against Sri Lanka
As if to show them all how to do it, Alastair Cook ticked off his 68th first class hundred, while Essex won 266 for two against Worcestershire on New Road.
Cook is now 16 from second place Amla in the list of centuries by current players around the world, although Amla – unbeaten at 59 – could close the gap again soon.
For those wondering how England will get rid of Australia’s prolific Marnus Labuschagne – Test Average 60 – in this winter’s Ashes, there could have been a clue in Cardiff where Kent’s evergreen Darren Stevens staggered one on his fore catch him 11.
Stevens, recently named as Wisden’s oldest cricketer of the year since 1933, turns 45 today.
Elsewhere, the 70s of Nick Gubbins and Robbie White helped Middlesex to 308 for six against Somerset in Taunton, while opener Tom Haines passed 50 for the fourth time this season when Sussex closed at 318 for seven against Lancashire in Hove.
At Bristol, Leicestershire’s Sam Evans took his second hundred of the summer with a total of 262 for four against Gloucestershire.