County Championship round-up: Jim Allenby defies Essex attack to secure draw as rain hits games

 

Batsman of the day

Glamorgan all-rounder Jim Allenby defied Essex at Chelmsford, batting for more than three hours for his 79. That kept the home side in the field long enough to leave them with an improbable target of 215 from 23 overs, which proved academic anyway thanks to more rain.

Australian-born Allenby was last man out in a Glamorgan total of 250, having received staunch support from 20-year-old seam bowler Tom Helm, who made only three but defended his wicket for 54 minutes. Allenby twice hit leg-spinner Tom Craddock for six in a last-wicket stand that added a vital 42 runs.

Derbyshire lost eight wickets in the 38 overs possible at Southampton but hung on to deny Hampshire victory. But Hampshire remain top of the Second Division ahead of Worcestershire, whose attempt to overcome Surrey at The Kia Oval ultimately could not beat the weather either.

England watch

Stuart Broad completed his comeback from injury ahead of the selection meeting for the first Test against Sri Lanka by dismissing Sussex openers Luke Wells and Chris Nash before the rain-affected match with Nottinghamshire at Hove ended in a draw.

The 27-year-old pace bowler, who admitted earlier this week that he has a dream of winning 100 Test caps, won his 67th in the Ashes series in Australia but was forced to rest because of tendinitis in a knee after the World Twenty20 in March. He made his comeback at the end of last month, bowling 16 overs for Nottinghamshire against Durham at Trent Bridge, and delivered 35 overs in total at Hove.

Wells and Nash put on 161 for the first Sussex wicket before the former was yorked by Broad, who then had Nash caught behind.

Title race update

A last-day washout at Chester-le-Street also denied the England all-rounder Ben Stokes further opportunity to underline his readiness for selection after his broken wrist and may well have saved Middlesex from defeat.

They remain top of the First Division but with their lead cut to five points – from a game more – after Yorkshire's win against Northampton on Tuesday.

Somerset, who were in a strong position at the start of another day with no play at Old Trafford, are third, ahead of Nottinghamshire and Sussex. Only 19 points separate first from fifth. Northamptonshire are 35 points adrift at the bottom after losing five of their first six matches.

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