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County Championship: Ollie Pope’s half-century helps leaders Surrey edge ahead of Warwickshire

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Ollie Pope’s sparkling 65, and a determined ninth-wicket stand of 72 between Conor McKerr and Jamie Overton, edged Surrey ahead of Warwickshire at the midway point of a hard-fought LV= Insurance County Championship contest at the Kia Oval.

Pope scored the only half-century of the match so far, while McKerr and Overton’s heroics enabled Surrey to reply with 316 to Warwickshire’s 253. In two overs batting before stumps, Warwickshire reached one without loss in their second innings, reducing their overall deficit to 62.

Fast bowler McKerr, called up only as a late replacement for Dan Worrall, scored an assured career-best 37.

And Overton, batting down at number 10 because of a damaged right hand, contributed an equally responsible 38 to earn Division One leaders Surrey a precious third batting bonus point.

Ben Brown and Keith Barker hit fifties to help Hampshire gain a first-innings lead over Yorkshire as wickets fell again on day two of their fixture at Scarborough.

Hampshire, replying to 159, recovered from 72 for six after lunch to 218 all out thanks to an 88-run seventh-wicket partnership between Brown and Barker, who made 53 and 52 respectively.

A day which started with Yorkshire on 158 for eight first time around saw them end it on 23 for one from 13 overs of their second innings, trailing by 36.

Kent finished the happier of the two sides at the end of a captivating second day against Lancashire after building a substantial first innings lead over their hosts.

Lancashire were bowled out for just 145 in a calamitous morning session that saw nine wickets fall in 28 overs.

Kent struggled to do much better until half-centuries from Joe Denly, Jack Leaning and Grant Stewart saw a topsy turvy day swing in favour of the visitors who were dismissed for 270 before the Red Rose closed on two without loss.

Ryan Rickelton fell five runs short of a century as Northamptonshire built a first-innings lead over Gloucestershire on the second day at Cheltenham College.

The 26-year-old South Africa international, already with two Championship hundreds under his belt in his first three games for Northamptonshire, hit 13 fours and a six in helping them post 353 for seven in reply to Gloucestershire’s 317.

Luke Procter contributed 78 and skipper Will Young 61, while left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar claimed four for 93 from 31 overs.

Nick Browne tenaciously scored the fourth Championship double century of his career as Essex inflicted 505 on Somerset.

Opening batter Browne has a belligerent and unflustered temperament which gives him the ability to go big once he gets in and his mammoth unbeaten 234 showcased the best of these traits.

Tom Lammonby collected three for 35 for his personal-best figures and Peter Siddle claimed his 700th first-class wicket in a testing five and a bit sessions for the visitors.

In reply, Simon Harmer pinched his 45th wicket of the season as Somerset reached 99 for one at quite a tempo, ending the day 406 runs in arrears.

England quick Ollie Robinson took four wickets on his return to action as Sussex bowled out Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire for 240 but sunk to 49 for five before rallying.

Robinson, whose problems in recent months have included a bout of Covid, a tooth infection and food poisoning in addition to a persistent back injury, dismissed the first four names on the Nottinghamshire scorecard to finish with four for 44 from 16 overs in his first appearance since May.

He produced two particularly high-quality deliveries to bowl openers Haseeb Hameed and Ben Slater, albeit 89 runs apart, the latter making 55 as one of two Nottinghamshire players to post half-centuries in an otherwise largely miserable looking scorecard in which skipper Steven Mullaney’s 70 was vital in giving the innings some substance.

Michael Jones scored a career-best 206 to anchor Durham’s innings of 421 for seven declared on day two of their clash against Middlesex.

Resuming on an overnight score of 78, the Durham opener played a perfect knock to play himself in before taking the attack to the visitors.

Jones notched 28 boundaries and three sixes to post his maiden double-hundred, ensuring that Durham recorded four valuable batting points after losing the majority of day one due to rain.

Scott Borthwick and David Bedingham supported Jones with half-centuries as the hosts opted to declare in an attempt to force a result over the final two days, while Toby Roland-Jones finished with impressive figures of four for 67 from his 28.3 overs.

Veteran Wayne Madsen completed 1,000 first-class runs as he and Anuj Dal helped manoeuvre Derbyshire back into strong contention against Worcestershire at New Road.

Madsen reached four figures in a campaign for the sixth time when he reached 32 and went on to make an invaluable 69.

The 38-year-old had scored six Championship centuries in 2016 but had taken the next five seasons to double that tally as his impact slowly declined in red-ball cricket in recent years.

Mattie McKiernan, 58 not out, gave him sterling support during an unbroken stand of 120 and 169 runs were scored in an elongated final session.

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