More than any other chant in the ground, ‘rain rain go away’ was the constant chirp as Somerset’s fixture against Surrey got rained off. However, elsewhere there was action, as some of the international stars flopped while the others breathed new life into their respective campaigns.
Somerset vs Surrey
Rory Burns - 55
While the triple-figure score has never arrived, Rory Burns has provided Surrey with the great starts, with four 50s in his last five county innings. Against Somerset, it was no different, with a flick early on Day two to get to his first boundary off the game. On Friday, he got himself off to another half-century, with a 55 against a steady Somerset attack. His dismissal, however, much in accordance with his career, was tragic and sorry, as he chopped an innocent delivery onto the stumps, taking his season's average to 48.25.
Ollie Pope - 33
Walking into the game, Ollie Pope was Surrey’s best batsman, by a country mile. After kick-starting his season with 22 and 0, Pope took matters into his own hands, with a brilliant double against Leicestershire. However, in this particular encounter, Pope was put in a tough spot, with both the set batsmen - Rory Burns and Hashim Amla - getting out in the span of two overs. After some slip and turn, he scored a 33 before being dismissed by Tom Abell.
Ben Foakes - 16
The other English international was also on song and in typical fashion, Ben Foakes batted brilliantly. So much so, at one point, his runs and strike rate started to mirror each other. But as rain gobbled the game away, he remained not out on 16.
Durham vs Worcestershire
Will Young - 5, 103
Kiwi international Will Young walked into the encounter against Worcestershire in sublime form, with a 124 against Warwickshire. But on day one, his approach was rather slow and timid, opening the scoring only on his 26th delivery. Five deliveries later though, he was dismissed, having scored just five. In the second innings, however, he made amends, with a brilliantly compiled 103 off 254 deliveries, showing grit and patience ahead of his return to New Zealand’s bubble.
Mark Wood - 1/47, 3/47
Having slipped up several times during the start of day two, England international Mark Wood looked edgy. But, soon enough, he started finding his feet, momentum with a brilliant over against Jake Libby. As he fell down yet again, Wood found solace, picking up the wicket of Ben Cox. In the second innings, however, Wood starred with 3/47 as Durham wrapped up an important win.
Middlesex vs Hampshire
Kyle Abbott - 6/44, 5/41
Having not picked up a fifer this season, Kyle Abbott was outstanding in the clash against Middlesex, which included a peach to dismiss Middlesex’s skipper Peter Handscomb. With a six-wicket haul in the first innings, the Saffer continued his destructive form in the second, with his second fifer in the clash. 11 wickets, 85 runs conceded - Abbott was on fire.
Mohammed Abbas - 3/46, 3/24
If Abbott was destructive, Abbas was decisive and disciplined in his bowling. The Pakistan seamer, after enduring a tough run in his last two county games came back to form. In the first innings, Abbas picked up three wickets, conceding 46, dismissing the well-set Nick Gubbins. In the second, he started the proceedings off with the wicket of Sam Robson before picking up two more in the game.
James Vince - 62, DNB
One innings is all that took for James Vince to return to normalcy. After the 231 against Leicestershire, Vince had scores of 9, 0, 52, 0, 10, 6, 42 before finally returning back to form with a 62 against Middlesex. Hampshire were reduced to 4/37, chasing a first-innings total of 172, but Vince, who scored 62 and strung together partnerships with several batsmen, took them to a total of 208, which in the end allowed them to win the game easily.
Other notable names: Peter Handscomb - 0, 24
Glamorgan vs Yorkshire
Marnus Labuschagne - 10, 0
World No.3 batsmen, you said? Marnus Labuschagne was none of that, at least in the fixture against Yorkshire where he looked out of sorts. However, his dismissal in the first innings was a bit unlucky. ( We would never know without DRS). Labuschagne didn’t change his fortunes one bit in the second, with a duck, scoring a grand total of TEN runs in the entire fixture. Supposed to be a star right? 11, 12, 10 and 0, looks pretty disappointing!
Michael Neser - 24, 5/39
Michael Neser has made his Australian debut, yes, really! But the wrong format - he made his debut in the ODI series against England, that ODI series which no Australian fan would want to remember. If there is one Australian cricketer who has made a visible impression in this year’s county, it is this man. Having picked up two wickets in his first game, Neser struck five times, removing half of Yorkshire’s batting unit. While the match might have ended in a draw, Neser ensured that he bolstered his reputation.
Joe Root - 99
Having scored a century earlier against Kent, Yorkshire skipper Joe Root looked like he was certain to get his second but for a disaster. Having got to 99, with the others around him struggling, Root took the third-man route to attempt to complete his century. But it instead brought his downfall as the right-hander chopped one onto the stumps to get himself out on 99. Despite that, there were signs that Root was back to his best, with those casual drives.
Other notable names: Dom Bess - 20
Sussex vs Kent
Zak Crawley - 7, 85
Crawley vs Archer was the most gripping of the contests in the Round 6. Hit on the pad, beaten outside the off-stump, the contest was certainly interesting, with Archer seemingly having an edge over the English batsman. When Crawley did get a boundary, it looked like he will be off and running but Archer had the last laugh. A snorter that saw the end of Crawley. But he did make a great effort in the second, scoring 85.
Jofra Archer - 2/29, 1/14
Jofra Archer woke up and chose wickets. At least that’s how it looked on his County debut this season. He was great, he was breezy and the ball that sent Crawley packing was a real snorter. Having picked up three-wickets, it was a real shame to see the English pacer head back with another injury. That’s it for Archer's county campaign.
Travis Head - 20
There was the odd appearance of an in-form Travis Head in the encounter, with four boundaries, which got him the 16 off his 20 runs. However, having scored a 20, he got castled by the man-in-form, Darren Stevens. Most worryingly, earlier in the same over, Head tried to smack three deliveries to the leg-side when it should have been hit on the off.
Essex vs Derbyshire
Daniel Lawrence - 152 & 1/20;
481 runs in just nine innings, at an average of 60.12, Lawrence has been a star for Essex this season but until the sixth round, there was not a single century from him, which surely would have irked him. Against Derbyshire, he was not just good, he was outstanding! Lawrence brought his century off 112 deliveries, which also was his fastest first-class ton, and in one over against Matt Critchley he scored 23 runs. That wasn’t all, he also picked up a wicket with the ball. Call him an all-rounder already?
Simon Harmer - 9/80, 3/122
It started from the sixth over, the pain, the long day for Derbyshire and by the time Simon Harmer was done, they were demolished. Nine wickets were what he managed to pick in the first innings, with every kind of dismissal - caught, stumped, lbw; you name it. In the second innings, he picked up three more wickets, as he ended up with 12 wickets in the innings, in what was yet another outstanding day for him.
Other notable names: Billy Stanlake - 2/91 and Alastair Cook - 58