Haseeb Hameed and Matt Parkinson provided forceful reminders of their quality with headline-grabbing performances on the final day of the LV= Insurance County Championship’s third round.
After scoring his first century since April 2019 in Nottinghamshire’s first innings against Worcestershire, Hameed made it two in as many days with an undefeated 114.
The opener’s form fell off a cliff after three promising Test appearances in India five years ago but by posting back-to-back tons and helping his side bat out for a draw at New Road, hopes are climbing sharply for this new chapter.
225 runs (111, 114no)
824 minutes at the crease
635 balls faced
He and Ben Slater, who also made 114 not out, made an unbroken opening stand of 236 in 109 wearying overs for the hosts with Hameed batting more than 13 hours in the match.
In facing 635 deliveries across the match, the 24-year-old set a new Championship record – outlasting Jamie Cox’s 1999 effort for Somerset by 10 balls.
Parkinson was the star of the show at Canterbury, taking career-best figures of seven for 126 as Lancashire hammered Kent by an innings and five runs.
The leg-spinner, an ever present figure in England’s long and arduous winter without once taking the field, sent down 52 overs in the second innings and turned a mammoth workload into a match-winning shift for the Group Three leaders.
Zak Crawley, lbw for 36 early in the day, was the prize scalp as Kent were finally dismissed for a battling 351. The resistance suffered a killer blow when Josh Bohannon dismissed Daniel Bell-Drummond with just six added to his overnight 108.
Another England twirler, Dom Bess, has also had a fine week and added the finishing touch as Yorkshire wrapped up a 48-run victory over Sussex.
The spinner, who admitted after sealing a five-for on Saturday that his tough winter with England left him at risk of “hating cricket”, took the last of the four wickets needed for an impressive away win.
He finished with six for 53 as Sussex subsided for 186, Test skipper Joe Root also helping himself to one with his third ball.
New Group One leaders Warwickshire defeated defending champions Essex with a superb chase of 256 at Edgbaston, leaving just eight balls to spare.
Prolific spinner Simon Harmer went wicketless across 32 overs, a rare day-four failure for the South African who ceded centre stage to Rob Yates’ 120 not out. The Bears lost just three wickets in the pursuit, which went almost all the way to 6.15pm.
Northamptonshire hauled in an even steeper target for their own seven-wicket win against visitors Glamorgan.
Ricardo Vasconcelos hit a personal best of 185 not out and Rob Keogh 126 as they scored at almost five-an-over to finish 357 for three. Glamorgan had previously declared on 311 for five in the hope of forcing a victory of their own.
Derbyshire held off Durham to take a draw at Chester-le-Street, captain Wayne Madsen’s 74 the key cog in a stumps total of 280 for five. Ben Raine took three wickets as he led the home team’s attempts.
It was a similar story as Gloucestershire batted through the day to hold off pace-setters Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl. Having followed-on they settled for all-out defence, making 197 for nine in 97 overs in a solid team effort.
Tenth-wicket duo Josh Shaw and Dominic Goodman provided the last rear-guard, seeing off 106 balls between them.