As the County Championship resumed for two July rounds, setting the scene for the autumnal divisional split, Devon Conway debuted like only he can.
The New Zealander tucked into 88 runs in his first Championship innings for Somerset before being bowled by Leicestershire’s Callum Parkinson as the hosts luxuriated in a first-innings partnership of 143 at Taunton, with Steven Davies scoring 65. Things fell away after Conway’s dismissal and by stumps Somerset had slipped to 242-7.
The players were on and off amid showers at the Rose Bowl, where an unbeaten 48 from another New Zealander, Colin de Grandhomme, and 58 from Ian Holland guided Hampshire to 229-7. Jordan Clark finished with 4-59 as he and Rikki Clarke bowled gallantly through the day for Surrey. Kiwi giant Kyle Jamieson left the field with an injury after just six overs.
Derbyshire struggled at Trent Bridge on a frog-green pitch and another on-off day. Currently winless in the Championship, they didn’t burnish their batting ambitions, finishing the day 91-5. Stand-in captain Matt Critchley was the top scorer with 23. Luke Fletcher’s two wickets for Notts make him the joint leading wicket-taker this season.
The acting Northants captain, Ricardo Vasconcelos, received his county cap before the start of the game against Yorkshire, was unbeaten on 32 at the close and collected three catches in between. Yorkshire wobbled, bowled out for just 158, and that buffered by a wonderful 71 from 20-year-old George Hill, promoted to open the innings for the first time. Sam Northeast, signed from Hampshire on a short-term loan, made just three.
Dan Ibrahim, the 16-year-old who made 55 on his Sussex debut against Yorkshire, again proved difficult to winkle out at Hove. Unbeaten on 41, he and Will Beer took the hosts from 96-6 to 161-7 against Glamorgan before Beer got out to the last ball of the day.
There was no play at all at Old Trafford, where Jimmy Anderson will battle to take his 1000th first-class wicket, or Edgbaston, where Ben Stokes is due to play for Durham in a Championship match for the first time since July 2018.