County Championship: Navdeep Saini sizzles for Kent, Umesh Yadav went wicketless for Middlesex

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Navdeep Saini is in red-hot form for his county side Kent. After taking seven wickets, including a fifer on debut against Warwickshire, the India pacer has set the tone for Kent against Lancashire by taking three wickets on the rain-affected opening day at Old Trafford.

Only 34 overs and two balls were bowled, but in that time, Kent struck four times to have Lancashire on 112-4 before rain and bad light ended proceedings early. India’s Washington Sundar (6 batting) was at the crease along with Lancashire captain Steven Croft (21 not out).

Navdeep Saini did most of the damage, taking three for 45 from the Brian Statham End, including two wickets in two balls just after Tea. Lancashire’s batters fought hard in conditions, with Luke Wells top-scoring with 35 before receiving a near unplayable delivery from the India pacer and Josh Bohannon contributing a fluent 27.

The hosts’ openers Keaton Jennings and Wells made a steady start in tricky conditions against the international pace duo of Matt Henry and Saini after being put in to bat.

Both Kent bowlers found early movement on a wicket that had been covered for most of the previous two days.

Just as the first wicket pair looked to have weathered the storm, Saini produced a fine delivery to Jennings which was edged to Zak Crawley at second slip with the opener departing for 14 and the score 24/1.

Josh Bohannon combined well with Wells as the Red Rose pair took a positive approach, Bohannon cutting Grant Stewart for four off the back foot a particular highlight.

But after Bohannon had drilled Nathan Gilchrist through extra cover for four in reaching a fluent 27, the bowler hit back with the next ball finding an edge that was brilliantly caught low down at wide fourth slip by Jack Leaning.

That left Lancashire on 68/2 just before Tea and Wells and stand-in skipper Steven Croft had pushed on watchfully after the resumption to take the total on to 97 before two wickets fell in two balls to leave Lancashire floundering at 97/4.

It was Saini who did the damage again, producing a rearing delivery to Wells that the left-hand opener could do little against, the ball flying off the edge to Leaning at gully as he departed for a pretty decent 35 given the conditions. And it got worse for the Red Rose when Saini’s next delivery nipped back to pin Rob Jones lbw.

Umesh fails to impress.

Durham made a solid start to clash against Middlesex, posting 132 without loss before rain brought a premature end to day one at Seat Unique Riverside.

Michael Jones produced a fine knock of 78 to lead the way for the home side, while Alex Lees scored an unbeaten 46.

India’s Umesh Yadav bowled well but went wicketless for Middlesex. However, the Indian pacer was very economical as he conceded only 21 runs in the 11.5 overs, he bowled.

Pujara to lead Sussex vs Nottinghamshire

Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the Sussex side against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, the club has said in a statement. Pujara was the captain of the Sussex in their last game against Middlesex.

“Tom Alsop is unavailable for selection after suffering a mild concussion last week and Steven Finn is rested. Henry Crocombe and Jamie Atkins miss out due to shoulder injuries. George Garton, Jack Carson and Jofra Archer remain unavailable and are continuing their individual rehabilitation programmes,” said Sussex in a statement.

Cheteshwar Pujara is in great form for Sussex. The Indian batter has already scored five centuries for the county side, including three double hundreds.





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