County Championship team of the week: Rory Burns, Gary Ballance, Keshav Maharaj, Jack Leach impress
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Last Updated: 08/09/18 3:56pm
The County Championship relegation and promotion battles are hotting up. Check out this round's team of the week before the next set of matches start on Monday...
Ben Slater (Nottinghamshire)
Slater scored his first century for Nottinghamshire since joining the Division One club in late August in a run-fest at Trent Bridge. With the title out of sight, the opening batsman showed his class as he hit 19 boundaries in his 184-ball knock and shared a brilliant 182-run first-wicket stand with Kraigg Brathwaite in the highest-scoring match of the round.
Rory Burns (Surrey)
Runs continue to flow for the Surrey captain as the calls for an England call-up grow ever louder. An opening spot is becoming vacant as Alastair Cook departs from international cricket and Burns became the first player in Division One to rack up 1,000 Championship runs for the season - with his knock of 90 in the table-toppers' 10-wicket victory over current champions Essex.
Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire)
A good debut for Duckett saw the former Northamptonshire batsman scored just his second first-class century of the season as he impressed in Nottinghamshire. The 23-year-old batted with freedom as he made 80 off 89 balls, striking 14 boundaries in a fine innings for Notts.
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire - captain)
In a season where Yorkshire's batsmen have struggled, Ballance became the first player from the White Rose county to hit two first-class centuries this year as he made 104 off 138 balls. With a draw, a minimum requirement as they battle relegation, his hundred ensured they would walk away with an important 12 points.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Yorkshire)
Another Yorkshire batsman was at the core of their crucial stalemate this week, with Kohler-Cadmore sharing a 95-run fourth-wicket stand with Ballance and a century partnership with wicketkeeper Jonathan Tattersall en route to his first three-figure score of the season.
Ben Brown (Sussex - wicketkeeper)
Brown has enjoyed a brilliant season with the bat and it was no different this week as he scored his sixth half-century in Division Two with the Sharks keeping their promotion hopes alive at Hove. He shared a 110-run seventh-wicket partnership with Chris Jordan, to help the hosts earn four batting bonus points, and took three catches in the match to earn a 274-run victory.
Rikki Clarke (Surrey)
The veteran all-rounder continues to produce for Surrey as they march on towards a first County Championship title since 2002. Having hit a brisk 56, batting with the tail, to take Surrey up past 350 and then took 4-28, including the key wickets of Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate, as Essex were skittled cheaply. Clarke added another four in Essex's second innings to leave Surrey needing just two to win.
Keshav Maharaj (Lancashire)
The game between Somerset and Lancashire may have lasted less than two days but it is not one that will be forgotten in a hurry! The first championship tie since 2003 was dominated by spin and in just his second match for Lancashire, Maharaj was the Red Rose's saviour.
With the scores level and two Somerset wickets still to get, the South African left-arm spinner had Dom Bess stumped and then had Jack Leach caught in the deep in his next over to finish with figures of 7-37 in the second innings and 11 wickets in the match.
Matt Henry (Kent)
Kent maintained their promotion push with a win over Northamptonshire and, as has been the case for much of the season, Henry was key to it. The New Zealand quick took his tally to 61 championship wickets this season with 11 in the match, including 7-42 in Northants' first innings as he blew the top-order away to leave the visitors 25-5 at Canterbury.
Jack Leach (Somerset)
It was a game that ended in disappointment for Leach when he holed out trying to hit the winning runs for Somerset. However, it was Leach who had put the hosts in such a dominant position going into the final innings, needing only 78 to win. He took 5-28 as Lancashire were bowled out for 99 in their first knock and then topped that with 7-74 second time around.
Olly Stone (Warwickshire)
Our fourth bowler to have taken seven wickets in an innings and 11 or more in the match. Stone tore through Durham to claim 7-59 in the first innings and added four in the second as Warwickshire pressed for victory, ultimately unsuccessfully, on the final day.
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