County Championship team of the week: Sam Northeast, Ollie Pope and Ben Coad make the cut
Do you agree with our side? Tweet us your XIs to @SkyCricket...
By Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 24/04/18 10:32am
As the wet conditions that hit the opening round of Specsavers County Championship fixtures largely abated, there was more joy for domestic batsmen during the second week, with 12 centuries scored across the two divisions.
That's not to say bowlers struggled - there was only one drawn game among the nine fixtures - with four pacemen bagging 10-wicket hauls and one even claiming 12 scalps.
Selection is never an easy process - Ed Smith will find that out soon enough - and a few county players have missed out on our latest team of the week, despite putting in some stellar displays.
Read on to see our XI and then tell us who you would have picked on Twitter @SkyCricket...
Luis Reece (Derbyshire)
Opening batsman Reece struck a superb unbeaten 157 - putting on 219 with Ben Slater (99) for the first wicket - as Derbyshire inflicted a 101-run pasting on 2016 champions Middlesex to record a first home win in the Championship since they defeated Leicestershire in the final game of 2014.
Matt Renshaw (Somerset)
Renshaw batted at No 3 in the win against Worcestershire but was into the fray in the fourth over of the first innings, going on to carry his bat for 101 in a team total of 202. Opening is not alien to Renshaw - it's his primary position and where he has played virtually all his Test cricket for Australia.
Colin Ackermann (Leicestershire)
Ackermann hit the highest score of the round, and indeed the season, by racking up 186 at home to Sussex. The pitch was a sound one for batting - Sussex's Luke Wells (102no) and Michael Burgess (101no) also posting tons - but it was an impressive feat from the South African nonetheless.
Sam Northeast (Hampshire, captain)
One of the premier reasons Northeast swapped Kent for Hampshire was to boost his England hopes and the selectors must have been impressed by his 129 against Surrey. Sure, it didn't stop his side sinking to defeat at the Oval, but it was a knock full of grit and coruscating cover drives.
Ollie Pope (Surrey)
Here is how @SurreyCricket's Ollie Pope (145) completed his second @CountyChamp century, both of them now coming against @hantscricket. Hampshire have been set 472 to win at the Oval in #Champ18. #SURvHAM scorecard: https://t.co/iv5C2kZGgJ https://t.co/8zblrXAKob— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) April 22, 2018
Northeast's ton in south London came a day after Surrey's 20-year-old prospect Pope hit a career-best 145. Hampshire were already well aware of the right-hander's talent - he compiled his maiden first-class century against them at the Ageas Bowl last September.
Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire, wicketkeeper)
Bears gloveman Ambrose was edged out by Sussex's Ben Brown in last week's XI but he gets a gig this time around after notching his 17th first-class ton in Warwickshire's innings and 48-run hammering of Northants. The 35-year-old also claimed five catches behind the stumps.
David Lloyd (Glamorgan)
We had to include someone from Glamorgan following their six-wicket success over Gloucestershire and we've plumped for all-rounder Lloyd, who hit a career-best 119 and at a decent lick to boot. So commiserations to Shaun Marsh (111) and Marchant de Lange (eight wickets and 50no).
Ed Barnard (Worcestershire)
Worcestershire have begun life back in Division One with consecutive defeats but Barnard has offered more than a ray of hope. The 22-year-old seamer bagged match-figures of 11-89 at Somerset, while he posted 50 in the Pears' first innings and 45 not out in their second dig.
Matt Henry (Kent)
New Zealand quick Henry went one better than Barnard, seizing 12-73 as Kent thrashed Durham inside five sessions to bounce back from defeat to Gloucestershire. It's just a shame for Henry that his Test chances are hampered by the presence of Messrs Boult, Southee and Wagner.
Ryan Sidebottom (Warwickshire)
The Yorkshire-born Ryan Sidebottom - now retired, of course - terrorised county batsmen for two decades and the Australia-born one ripped through Northants this week with 10-96 at Wantage Road. Not bad for a lad only playing due to injuries to Olly Stone and Keith Barker!
Ben Coad (Yorkshire)
With the Yorkshire-born Ryan Sidebottom hanging up his spikes, Coad is now the leader of the Tykes' attack. Having snaffled 50 wickets last season, he is already on 10 this, all of them coming at home to Nottinghamshire as Gary Ballance's side recorded a thumping 164-run victory to hit top spot.