Cricket / County Championship Round-Up: Fordham to the fore

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The Independent Online
BATTING proved as easy at Northampton as it initially did at Old Trafford, writes Richard Wetherell. Northamptonshire opened up against Worcestershire with 152 between Alan Fordham and Nigel Felton before Gavin Haynes claimed the first wicket of his first-class career when Felton was caught at second slip for 59.

Fordham went on to his first century of the season, 125 not out from 278 balls, as the home side finished on a commanding 252 for 2.

Adrian Dale outshone his more illustrious Glamorgan colleagues with 100 against Yorkshire at Middlesbrough. Paul Jarvis, unwanted by England (at the moment), halted Glamorgan's progress with two quick wickets after lunch. They reached 302 for 7 with scoring slowing down late in the day.

While England struggled on the bowling front their long-lost hope, Angus Fraser, was continuing on his long road to recovery from his long-standing hip injury. He took three wickets as Derbyshire were bowled out by Middlesex for 168. Mark Feltham, who crossed the Thames from Surrey in the winter, took four wickets, his best bowling performance since September 1991, as Derbyshire lost their last seven wickets for 40 runs. When Middlesex replied Mark Roseberry was hit on the right index finger he cracked three weeks ago and retired hurt.

Durham also collapsed from a reasonable position, 133 for 3 to 160 all out in 17 overs but had to do without Wayne Larkins after he was struck on the hand by Winston Benjamin in the fifth over.

It was less than riveting stuff. The first 50 overs saw just 75 runs scored while Paul Parker took 220 minutes to score 39. Laurie Potter did most of the damage with his unregarded left-arm spin with 4 for 36.

Gloucestershire got off to a fine start with half-centuries from both openers. Dean Hodgson and Chris Broad put on 117 after being put in by Kent. Despite the loss of Martin McCague after he sent down just 19 deliveries with a reccurence of hamstring trouble (he is unlikely to bowl again in the game), the home side pegged them back to 221 for 5 with three wickets from Dean Headley which included the end of Hodgson's five-hour vigil for 75.