The Yorkshire crowd rose out of their plastic seats in unison to salute Harry Brook, who gloved a short ball behind for 194. A tired shot, it was unbecoming of a chanceless, utterly unruffled innings, full of shots.
Brook, who sits just behind Ben Compton in the Division One runs tally, said he was disappointed he had not been able to better his dad’s highest score of 210, but was phlegmatic about the future. “I’ve looked towards bigger things in the past,” he said. “I’m just trying to stay in the moment.”
All the while, the England selector James Taylor looked on. Zak Crawley was out cheaply as Kent replied, but Compton, as sticky as wallpaper paste, remains, 67 not out.
Somerset’s season burst to life with an innings thrashing of last year’s champions, Warwickshire. Following-on, Warwickshire managed six single-figure scores between them.
Jack Brooks took four for 44, but there were a couple of wickets each for Jack Leach and Craig Overton – who also excelled himself at slip, poaching a salmon at third to send Alex Davies on his way. Sam Hain and Will Rhodes batted carefully, before falling in consecutive overs, Hain to a sucker punch on the boundary.
“That was close to how we were playing our cricket a couple of years ago,” said the Somerset captain, Tom Abell. “I feel we are getting our identity back”
Middlesex completed an innings victory over Leicestershire at Lord’s. This despite Ben Mike’s tromboneing counter-attack, laying into Middlesex, without the injured Tom Helm, and hooking Shaheen Shah Afridi for six. He was left high and dry on 99 before Mark Stoneman and Sam Robson then charged to victory in 10.3 overs.
Essex made a much better fist of their second innings, sent into bat again after being bowled out for 193 by Northamptonshire, riches indeed from the depths of 83 for eight. Shane Snater had kept the flag flying with an unbeaten, and career-best 79. The second innings was wobbling at 58 for three, with Alastair Cook out cheaply again, but Paul Walter and Matt Critchley stitched together an unbeaten 91.
On the Bristol featherbed, Gloucestershire duly made a king-size fluffy duvet against Surrey. Chris Dent raced to a double century, batting all day for his 207; Marcus Harris 124, a sole wicket for Colin de Grandhomme on his debut.After the first-wicket pair were finally prised apart with the score on 296, poor James Bracey, bowled for a duck, was the scorecard anomaly, with Miles Hammond also unbeaten on 75 at the close.
For the first time in his career, Nick Gubbins made two centuries in a Championship match to give Hampshire the edge in the squeaker at Southampton. James Anderson started the day in typical style with four maidens and the wicket of Liam Dawson. But from then on it was Gubbins, who dominated, with Ben Brown the more than competent wingman compiling 72, leaving Lancashire needing 342 to win after ending the day 9-0.
Nottinghamshire rolled to their third Championship victory of the season, despite stubborn resistance from Worcestershire. Ed Barnard knocked his socks off with a career-best 163 not out, made over seven and a half hours, against Stuart Broad aiming to get his Test place back after being given the green light by new England supremo Rob Key. Set 233 to win, Ben Duckett and Joe Clarke both made fifties.
Marnus Labuschagne raced to his sixth century for Glamorgan, and his first since 2019. In reply, Derbyshire’s Shan Masood, out for 42, fell three runs short of a world record number of runs for April.