North left to carry on tradition

There is no shortage of left-handed batsmen who enjoy the pace of the Waca track in Western Australia. There are five in the top six, the most notable being Justin Langer and Mike Hussey. Now English county cricket is showcasing another couple of lesser-known Western Warrior "mollydookers", as they call them Down Under.

Derbyshire's Chris Rogers was dismissed early yesterday for 156 as his side gathered maximum batting points and then declared on 400 for 8 in the Second Division at Derby.

So it was the turn of Marcus North, Rogers' Perth team-mate, who also registered his first century in the Championship, off just 94 balls, to propel Durham's own search for a point or two in the rain-ruined match.

North, who married a local girl and has played in the North East Premier League for a few seasons, was brought in as a replacement for the South African Herschelle Gibbs, who is on international duty. North made 119 off 125 balls with 15 fours and three sixes as Durham managed 232, the South African slow left-armer Ant Botha returning 4 for 66.

The off-spinner Keith Dutch took 5 for 65 as Essex were bowled out for 231 by Somerset at Chelmsford and were asked to follow on, 169 runs in arrears. James Foster was undefeated on 75 and the opener Will Jefferson scored 85. Jefferson was out to the first ball of the second innings but bad light came to the rescue of the home side as they drew on 36 for 1, one ball from Andy Caddick being enough to convince the umpires.

Jason Gallian recorded his 27th first-class century at Trent Bridge as his side reached 353 for 8 after finishing off Yorkshire for 264. The Nottinghamshire captain scored 133 off 161 balls with 25 fours and a six, while Mark Ealham chipped in with 54.

In the First Division, Gloucestershire secured their five batting points at Edgbaston. The paceman Dougie Brown took 4 for 75, including two wickets with his first two balls yesterday, to reach 400 Championship wickets as the visitors declared on 400 for 7 with debutant keeper Steve Adshead on 56 not out.

Warwickshire slumped to 4 for 2 but a stand of 112 between Jonathan Trott, who scored 76, and his captain Nick Knight allowed them to reach 139 for 6 before rain, which washed out the first two days, inevitably had the last word.

At New Road Worcestershire made 46 for 2 before the match was abandoned.

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