Runs have been the flavour of the month so far in May with the start of the Royal London One Day Cup signalling the beginning of white ball cricket in England.
Tom Westley typified that notion by notching up his first ton of the season, scoring 134 in 119 balls as Essex swept Middlesex aside in the opening set of fixtures. Westley’s 18 boundaries included a six before he was out to fellow GM player Ravi Patel just 5 runs short of the 250 target.
Less than a week later, Westley was in the runs again against Hampshire, this time making 66 at just better than a run-a-ball, setting a good foundation for his teammates to build on.
Their 304 run target wasn’t nearly enough in the end however as James Vince’s Hampshire side chasing the total down with over two overs to spare and losing only four wickets. Vince helped himself to a 66 in 53 balls, putting on a 126 run partnership in the process.
The highest score for GM so far has come from Lancashire’s keeper-batsman Alex Davies. Davies’ 147, his first one day hundred, against Durham is also Lancashire’s second-highest individual score in list A cricket as his side thrashed Durham by 192 runs at Old Trafford.
Davies and his opening partner racked up 175 runs before a procession of low scores meant that Davies was in danger of being left stranded until Jordan Clark came to the crease, finishing 48* helping the team get to 314/7.
Davies’ run of form didn’t stop there. He backed up his maiden hundred with fluent 59 in Lancashire’s match against Northants, but his efforts were surpassed by his teammate Dane Vilas who finished 83*, helping the Red Roses post 279/8.
Unfortunately for the Lancashire lads, it wasn’t enough to secure victory as Northants picked away at the total, getting over the finish line with 2 wickets and a ball to spare.
In Leicester, Samit Patel once again showed his batting pedigree, smashing 100 in just 62 balls, 60 of which came in boundaries, steering Nottinghamshire to a record score at Grace Road of 409.
The England international, who before the match signed a new contract keeping him at Trent Bridge until the end of 2020, hit 14 fours and two sixes as Nottinghamshire went on to register their fourth highest List A score, beating the home side by 93 runs.
Elsewhere, Surrey batsman Will Jacks scored his first professional hundred in just the third match of his career, as the 19-year-old’s team took on Gloucestershire at the Oval. Surrey won the toss and elected to bowl first, doing well to restrict Gloucester to 282/6 from their 50 overs.
Jacks was the star of the show when Surrey came out to bat, racing to 121 off 100 balls including 4 sixes to set up the victory with 26 balls remaining.
The England Under-19 batsman was aggressive throughout his innings, clubbing a brace of sixes against Gloucester’s spinners. He then moved to three figures with his third maximum, to reach his century in just 86-balls.
Kent’s opening batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond continues to impress as he was last man out, compiling a well-constructed 90, out of his teams total of 189. No other member of his team was able to pass double figures and Sussex cruised to victory, losing just three wickets in the process.
Derbyshire stalwart Wayne Madsen is certainly making the most of his terrific form this season, passing 50 twice in three matches, the first of which coming in a high-scoring affair against Warwickshire.
Batting first, Derby’s opening batsman Ben Slater raced to 69, including 10 boundaries, putting on 129 for the first wicket. When Slater fell, Madsen kept the free-scoring going, thrashing 58 from 44 balls, hitting more 6’s than 4’s along the way as his side made 357/8, despite Jonathan Trott taking 4/65.
Trott’s side were unable to chase it down however, only managing to reach 300 all out in 45.3 overs.
The following match saw Madsen once again solidify Derbyshire’s top order in a tough chase against Worcester, who amassed 323 from their 50 overs, with Tom Fell making 56.
Derby’s reply stuttered before Madsen came to the crease, reaching 87 from 70 balls. Despite his heroics, it wasn’t enough to get Derby over that line as they eventually fell 50 runs short of the target.
Speaking of Worcester, in their following match against Yorkshire they continued their terrific white ball form. Once again batting first, their overseas batsman Travis Head made a cautious 77 from 94 balls, ensuring his side compiled a terrific score of 350/6.
Yorkshire’s reply started very well but they quickly lost their middle order, only to be dug out by their all-rounders. Unfortunately for them, their middle order blip took too much momentum out of the innings and they fell 5 runs short, despite having a wicket in hand.
That meant that Yorkshire lost two games in a row as in the previous match against Warwickshire, they were unable to defend 247, thanks largely to the foundation laid by Trott, who reached his 67th List A 50.
And finally, we head back to Old Trafford where Nottingham’s overseas batsman Ross Taylor made 58 against a full-strength Lancashire attack.
Notts made 318 in their innings and the GM bowling cartel of Patel, Jake Ball, Luke Fletcher and Harry Gurney chipped away, ensuring Lancs fell 9 runs short of their target.