County round-up: Pink ball makes first-class debut
Kent and Glamorgan have not added much colour to this season's County Championship in terms of performance. But two teams languishing near the foot of the Second Division may be able to say, some day, that they played in one of the most important matches for many a year.
Canterbury's St Lawrence Ground has seen many things down the ages but, now, a first-class match, partly played under floodlights and with a pink ball being used, can be added to the list.
The game was chosen by the England and Wales Cricket Board specifically because it had nothing riding on it in terms of promotion or relegation. But when play started after lunch there was a novelty value, if little else, for home supporters to enjoy as Kent slipped to 70 for 4 before recovering ahead of the evening session.
With talk of some Test matches being played under lights, using a pink ball, the ECB wants to gather its own evidence and will seek feedback from all those involved in this week's four-day (and four-night) experiment.
Back in the world of red balls and "normal" hours, Yorkshire' s relegation from the First Division was confirmed. Only straw-clutchers in the land of the White Rose had not abandoned hope. But even they had to let go yesterday afternoon when Worcestershire's West Indian recruit Kemar Roach dismissed the Durham batsman Will Smith at the Riverside to relegate Yorkshire.
Having run out of matches, they were powerless to influence events. And with Worcestershire needing only a point to guarantee finishing above them (a point which was gained through taking Durham's third wicket) it was always likely to be when, rather than if, the executioner came calling.
The Durham v Worcestershire match had significance at either end of the table. But the hosts' slim chance of winning the title looked slimmer still after they were dismissed for 264, whereas the visitors will now fancy their prospects of banishing all thoughts of relegation, regardless of what rivals Hampshire manage at the Rose Bowl.
As for the Second Division promotion race, a London double seems increasingly likely. Leaders Middlesex made decent progress at Grace Road, dismissing Leicestershire for 319 despite first centuries of the season from Greg Smith and Ned Eckersley as for Surrey, they have now nipped past Northamptonshire into second, with Tom Maynard's third hundred of the campaign (123 before being caught out) guiding them to maximum batting points against Derbyshire at The Oval.
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal resurrects £35m move for midfielder
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace