With the cloud of England Squad announcements hanging over players heads today, it was now or never for those in contention to stake their claim for the Test series against Pakistan.

JamesVince201*And it was James Vince who made every ball count as he used his last innings before the squad announcement to make an incredibly timely double hundred to dig his side out of trouble.

Vince, made dogged and determined hundred before accelerating his run scoring to finish day four 201* against a full-strength Somerset side, which included fellow GM players Lewis Gregory and Dom Bess.

In Hampshire’s first innings, Gregory and Bess picked up 3 wickets between them as they restricted Vince’s side to 231 all out, despite a free-scoring 44 (43 balls) from the England batsman.

Bess himself made an entertaining 92 in Somerset’s first innings as they roared past Hampshire’s total to make 506.

Trailing by 275, Vince found himself in the middle in the fifth over and began to claw his side out of the abyss, reaching his first ton of the summer in 278 balls, the slowest hundred of the County season so far. His efforts secured a well-earned draw, frustrating Somerset who ended up using 9 different bowlers to tempt Vince into making a false stroke.

Another England hopeful is the incredibly talented 20-year-old Ollie Pope who made his highest score in professional cricket with a majestic 158* against a Yorkshire side that featured the Test England captain.

Batting first, the home side were sent in by Yorkshire who were hoping to continue on from their incredible escape last week, having been bowled out for 50 and coming back to win against Essex.

Unfortunately for Rory Burns, he was unable to re-create his magical 193 from last week and fell early for just 9. Pope then arrived at the crease with the score reading 69/4, and immediately showed his more senior teammates how to bat at The Oval.

Pope struck 27 boundaries along the way to his 158*, with his side eventually dismissed for 414. In reply, Yorkshire stumbled their way to 229 all out which wasn’t enough to avoid the follow-on.

With Yorkshire batting again, Adam Lyth reminded everyone why he was once the answer to England’s opening batsman problems as he top scored in the innings with a hard-fought 58. Despite his efforts, it wasn’t enough for the White Roses as they were bowled out cheaply for the second time in the match, finishing 168 all out and losing by an innings and 17 runs.


Essex, on the other hand, made up for last week’s surprise loss against Yorkshire by beating Worcestershire by 32 runs.

With Essex winning the toss and electing to bat, they started inauspiciously, collapsing to 177 all out. Josh Tongue was the star with the ball, taking 4/45, ripping through the Essex middle-order.

In reply, Worcester were unable to really take control of the game, falling to 238 all out. However, Essex made them pay, despite figures of 5/53 from the in-form Tongue who took career-best match figures of 9/98. Contributions from Tom Westley (26) and Ryan ten Doeschate ensured that Essex had a lead of 214.

Despite Travis Head’s 62, Worcester collapsed to 182 all out, falling 32 short of their first win of the season, meaning they are firmly rooted at the bottom of the table.

Elsewhere in Division 1, Nottinghamshire lost their first game of season after coming up against a rejuvenated Lancashire side.

Lancashire then immediately made inroads into the deficit with opener Alex Davies thrashing 50 from 40 balls to get his side off to a flyer. His good start was made better as contributions from Vilas (20) and Jordan Clark, who scored 40 to go along with his wicket in the first innings, meant that they were eventually bowled out for 338, despite Division 1’s highest wicket-taker, Jake Ball, picking up 2/101. Ball was backed up by Luke Fletcher (2/41) and Harry Gurney (1/53).With the toss uncontested, Notts were sent in and immediately pegged back, losing their first wicket in the second over. They scraped their way to 133 all out, with Samit Patel making 27 before being run out by GM contemporary Dane Vilas, fresh from his double hundred last week.

Trailing by 205, Notts once again started poorly, losing their captain in the first over, and never really got going, only besting their first innings total by 5 runs to be dismissed for 138, losing by an innings and 67 runs.

In Division 2, Durham headed to Derby fresh on the heels of their victory last week after being asked to follow-on.

GM batsman Ben Slater and Wayne Madsen both passed 50 for Derbyshire, with Madsen making a well-compiled 85 before falling with the score 318/5. Further contributions down the order, including a dogged 45* from Daryn Smit allowed Derby to reach 427 all out, with Cameron Steel picking up 2/19.


Durham then set out to gain a lead in the match and got off to a good start with Steel (31) and Aiden Markram (30) putting on 50 runs for the first wicket. Graham Clark joined Steel 2 balls after Markram was dismissed and continued his good start to the year by making 63.

But it was Michael Richardson who stole the show for GM in this game. His 115 was key in a record-breaking sixth wicket partnership of 278 for Durham, who eventually finished 520 all out.

With time running out, Derby set about to ensure they didn’t collapse, with contributions all the way down the order meaning they finished 279/9, denying Durham their second win of the season.

In another high-scoring affair, Middlesex hosted Gloucestershire at The Home of Cricket. Dawid Malan’s Middlesex side batted first, with the England batsman continuing where he left off after his century last week, with a boundary-laden 76. Tom Helm also made 25* as Middlesex declared on 455/8.

Helm then set about removing the Gloucester top order, taking 3/48 as Gloucester stumbled to 210 all out, not enough to stop Middlesex enforcing the follow-on.

With the away side batting again, time was of the essence as they looked to ensure the draw. Helm once again toiled away, taking 1/50, but it wasn’t enough to force a result as they finished 326/4d, without any time for Middlesex to have a crack at chasing it down.

In Canterbury, Kent hosted Sussex as both sides looked to make an early charge to top the table. Sussex fell victim to an incredible display from Kent’s overseas bowler, who took 10 in the match and picked up a fifty along the way, despite Ollie Robinson taking match figures of 7/121. Robinson couldn’t do enough to prevent his side from defeat however, with Sussex falling 58 runs short of the 270 run target in the second innings.

Elsewhere, Warwickshire confirmed their status at the top of the table with a convincing win over a struggling Northamptonshire side. Warwickshire were always ahead of the game, and in the end lost just four wickets as they easily chased down 180.

And finally, there was a thrilling match in Leicester as Glamorgan travelled to Grace Road in a mid-table clash. Leicester won the toss and elected to bat, amassing 191 before bowling Glamorgan out for 178. In reply the home side made 237, leaving them 250 ahead. There were some lower order heroics from Glamorgan, but in the end they fell three agonising runs short