Batsman of the day
Really, it is unequivocal recognition of the quality of his leg-spin that Adil Rashid craves, now that he has patched things up with Yorkshire. So far, though, it is his reputation as a more than capable middle-order batsman that is on the up. After his career-best 180 against Somerset at Headingley last time out, the 25-year-old all-rounder finished unbeaten on 110 to set up Yorkshire for a stunning victory by an innings and 139 over the struggling champions, Warwickshire, at Edgbaston, putting the White Rose at least temporarily at the top of the First Division table. With the exception of the captain, Jim Troughton, Warwickshire were almost universally dismal.
Bowler of the day
Middlesex made a statement of intent when they beat off a host of suitors to add James Harris to their bowling resources during the winter, but so far it is a more familiar name stoking up expectations of a title challenge. Tim Murtagh, who took 85 first-class wickets as Middlesex won the Second Division title two years ago, added another 61 last season and, by completing an impressive 6 for 49 at Taunton yesterday (to give him 10 for 77 in the match), set his side on course for a third win of the season and gave the 31-year-old adopted Irishman a substantial lead as the First Division’s leading wicket-taker so far with 30.
The 27-year-old from New South Wales may not have made much of an impression during his brief Test career (three caps, six wickets in Sri Lanka in 2011), but should Australia find themselves in need of a back-up seamer with experience of English conditions, then Trent Copeland might be their man. Signed by Northamptonshire as their overseas player for the first half of the season, Copeland has hit his straps impressively, following his pair of five-fors in last week’s victory over Kent at Canterbury with a career-best 7 for 63 against Leicestershire at Wantage Road, giving the Second Division leaders the chance of a fourth straight win.
As Derbyshire’s woes continued, with 401 runs conceded in 82.3 overs against Sussex, Michael Yardy’s standout 153 took him past 9,000 career first-class runs.