InMobi

County wrap: How the Aussies fared in the opening round

It was a wet and frustrating start to the 2024 County Championship with only one of the nine games getting a result

Nathan Lyon – Lancashire

0 & 0-3

Lancashire's superstar recruit managed just two overs and made a first ball duck as three days of their clash with reigning division one champions Surrey at Old Trafford were washed out. All the pre-game discussion as to whether Lyon and rising England spinner Tom Hartley could play in the same XI were put to bed immediately with both selected for the opening round of the season. And it would have proved a shrewd move if more play was possible with spin claiming nine of the 10 wickets to fall in the match when the match finally got underway on day two.

Lancashire coach Dale Benkenstein is hopeful the abandoned match won't count towards Lyon's seven-game allocation that Cricket Australia have permitted him to play across the first nine rounds of the county season. "We have put the question out there (to CA) and we are hoping that common sense prevails," Benkenstein said. "Two overs doesn't constitute a match, but we are waiting to hear back from Cricket Australia." Lancashire travel to Southampton to face Hampshire in round two on Friday.

Matthew Renshaw – Somerset

66 & 1-40 and 0-37

It was a solid start for the Queenslander on his return to Somerset when the clouds eventually parted on day two at Canterbury to allow their clash with Kent to get underway. As was the case during his previous stint with the club in 2022, Renshaw was thrown the ball regularly, sending down 21 overs of his offies for the match and bagging a wicket in the first innings. But it's his start with the bat that will please him most, passing 50 for the first time since his 136no for the Prime Minister's XI against Pakistan in December before being bowled by ripping Matt Parkinson leg-break. Somerset's next fixture is against Surrey at The Oval on Friday.

Wes Agar – Kent

0 & 1-58

The South Australian right-armer toiled for 20 overs on his return to Kent for the second straight season as Somerset compiled 403 from 110 overs in their first innings at Canterbury. Agar claimed the scalp of the opposition's skipper Lewis Gregory and was the most economical of his side's attack, conceding 2.9 runs per over. Kent, who have drawn their past four matches, travel to Chelmsford to face Essex on Friday, who were the only side to record a victory in round two with a 254-run win over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Marcus Harris – Leicestershire

56 & 10no

The Victorian opener responded to losing his Cricket Australia contract in the best way possible with a fluent half-century against Yorkshire. The left-hander hit 12 fours in his 98-ball 56 after Leicester were asked to bat first at Headingley, taking a particularly liking to former Hobart Hurricanes recruit Jordan Thompson who went at 4.46 runs an over in the first innings. With no play possible on day three, Harris finished unbeaten in the second innings when the match was called off late on the final day. He'll be hoping for another productive outing against Sussex from Friday to make the most of his short five-game stint as Will Pucovski's replacement.

Peter Handscomb – Leicestershire

26

Harris' state teammate made 26 off 55 in the first innings and took a catch in an otherwise quiet return to Leicestershire for the second straight season. Handscomb wasn't required to take the gloves in the opening round like he did last year after the county signed Ben Cox to a three-year deal for the final month of last season following the Victorian's return home in September 2023.

Chris Tremain – Northamptonshire

22no & 1-88

Fresh off a 50-wicket season in the Marsh Sheffield Shield, the NSW right-armer found the going tougher on his return to Northants as he sent down 19 overs for a solitary Sussex wicket in good batting conditions at Hove, and with the flatter seam of the Kookaburra ball that is being used for the opening two county rounds there was also not as much assistance off the surface. But Tremain has been in hot form over the past 18 months with his 13 wickets in three games for Northants in 2023 bookended by his 70 at 19.91 in the past two Shield seasons.

Did not play

Scott Boland (Durham) – The Victorian quick only arrived in the UK late last week and wasn't named in Durham's squad for their opening match of the season against Hampshire. The fixture was abandoned anyway without a ball bowled with Boland expected to be ready to go for round two against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

Cameron Bancroft (Gloucestershire) – The West Australian's return to Gloucester where he played 16 games in 2016 and 2017 was an uneventful one with their opening round fixture in Derby abandoned without a ball bowled due to persistent rain and a wet outfield that was unfit for play. Bancroft will be hoping for a better outcome on Friday when they host Yorkshire in Bristol.

Marnus Labuschagne (Glamorgan) – The Australian No.3 doesn't arrive in South Wales until May with former South African international Colin Ingram keeping his spot warm at Glamorgan until then.

Sean Abbott (Surrey) – The NSW allrounder is due to arrive in the UK in May.

2024 Division One County Championship standings

Team
Matches played
M
Wins
W
Losses
L
Drawn
D
No results
N/R
Deductions
Ded.
Batting Bonus
Bat
Bowling Bonus
Bowl
Total points
PTS
1 Surrey Surrey SRY 6 4 0 2 0 0 16 18 114
2 Essex Essex ESS 5 2 1 2 0 0 12 14 74
3 Somerset Somerset SOM 5 1 0 4 0 0 11 13 72
4 Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire NOT 5 1 1 3 0 0 11 14 65
5 Durham Durham DUR 5 1 0 3 1 0 8 5 61
6 Worcestershire Worcestershire WOR 6 0 2 4 0 0 13 16 61
7 Warwickshire Warwickshire WAR 5 0 1 4 0 0 15 12 59
8 Kent Kent KEN 5 1 1 3 0 0 5 11 56
9 Hampshire Hampshire HAM 5 0 1 3 1 2 7 7 44
10 Lancashire Lancashire LAN 5 0 3 2 0 0 5 10 31

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

D: Drawn

N/R: No results

Ded.: Deductions

Bat: Batting Bonus

Bowl: Bowling Bonus

PTS: Total points

Australians in the 2024 County Championship

Durham: Scott Boland, Ashton Turner (T20s only)

Essex: Daniel Sams (T20s only)

Glamorgan: Marnus Labuschagne

Gloucestershire: Cameron Bancroft, Beau Webster

Hampshire: Michael Neser, Ben McDermott (T20s only)

Kent: Xavier Bartlett, Wes Agar

Lancashire: Nathan Lyon

Leicestershire: Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris

Northamptonshire: Chris Tremain

Somerset: Matthew Renshaw

Surrey: Sean Abbott

Sussex: Nathan McAndrew, Daniel Hughes