Gayle backed to bring Richards effect

Chris Gayle is preparing for his Somerset debut on Friday with Matthew Maynard hailing him as the county’s new Viv Richards.

Gayle will follow in the footsteps of his fellow big-hitting West Indian when he features against Essex Eagles at Chelmsford in the NatWest T20 Blast South Group.

Richards represented Somerset between 1974 and 1986 and made 11 limited-overs centuries in addition to 47 in the first-class game.

Viv Richards brought belligerent hitting to the Somerset ranks in the 1970s and '80s. Can Chris Gayle do likewise?

Morgan Blasts back in big win

Eoin Morgan returned to domestic duty with a half-century as Middlesex beat Kent Spitfires by 115 runs to claim their first win of the season in the NatWest T20 Blast.

England’s limited-overs captain, who returned earlier this week from his stint in the Indian Premier League with Sunrisers Hyderabad, hit three sixes and four boundaries in a sparkling 27-ball cameo.

His contribution and an even more punishing 90 from 50 deliveries by opener Paul Stirling powered Middlesex to a score of 205 for five in front of a crowd of 13,500 at Lord’s.

Prince makes MVP move

Ashwell Prince, 38 today, has surged into the top five of the overall MVP rankings following his double-century in Lancashire’s LV= County Championship Division Two win over Derbyshire at Southport.

The veteran South African’s 349-ball 230, which included 28 fours and two sixes, took his run tally for the season to 875 in all competitions and elevated him to fourth in the standings.

Wood is enjoying making the step up

Durham seamer Mark Wood is “loving” making the adjustment to international cricket. 

Despite playing only 23 first-class matches for Durham, the 25-year-old was thrust into the limelight when he was included in England’s squad for the recent tour of the West Indies.

Although he didn’t make a competitive appearance in the Caribbean, Wood made his international bow in the abandoned Royal London one-day international against Ireland in Malahide earlier this month.

Rampant Bears ease past Durham

Warwickshire completed resounding back-to-back home wins in the LV=County Championship with an eight-wicket triumph over Durham at Edgbaston.

The Bears followed up their 181-run victory over Worcestershire last week with another emphatic success to suggest that they are genuine Division One title-contenders this season.

Durham’s title-credentials, meanwhile, took a knock as they folded to their second defeat in three games. They need to bounce back quickly when they face Worcestershire at New Road starting on Sunday.