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County Championship: England's Joe Root, Harry Brook and Zak Crawley out cheaply as Dukes ball returns

Dukes ball used for round three after Kookaburra deployed across first two weeks of the County Championship season; Joe Root, Harry Brook and Zak Crawley each fall for single figures but Warwickshire reach 340-4 against Hampshire as opener Alex Davies scores 149 at the Utilita Bowl

Joe Root, County Championship, Yorkshire (Getty Images)
Image: Joe Root was dismissed for five as Yorkshire began their County Championship match against Middlesex at Lord's

England batters Joe Root, Harry Brook and Zak Crawley were all out cheaply as the County Championship returned for round three with the Dukes ball instead of the Kookaburra.

The Kookaburra, which offers less movement than the Dukes and tends to bring faster bowlers and spinners into the game, was used across the first two weeks of the season as England managing director of men's cricket Rob Key looks at ways of making the Test bowling attack more well-rounded.

A wicket fell every 73.7 balls in the first two rounds in 2024, compared to 54.9 balls at the same stage in 2023, with all nine matches in round two ending in draws as batters enjoyed themselves.

But there was a hatful of wickets on the opening day in round three as the Dukes was redeployed amid wet weather, with Root and Brook making only five and three respectively as Yorkshire were bundled out for 159 by Middlesex at Lord's in Division Two.

How have Root and Brook fared this season?

Root scored two and 51 for Yorkshire at Gloucestershire last week, while Brook smoked a 69-ball hundred for the Headingley side against Leicestershire during round one before making 26 and 68 versus Gloucestershire.

Division One scorecards

Division Two scorecards

Crawley, meanwhile, fell for five while batting for Kent against reigning champions Surrey in Division One at Canterbury, in what was his first innings since England's Test tour of India concluded in March, before the hosts closed a rain-trimmed day on 111-3 thanks to captain Daniel Bell-Drummond's 70.

    Former Kent and England spinner Derek Underwood, who passed away on Monday aged 78, was honoured before the start of play, with both sets of players standing in front of the Underwood & Knott stand for a minute's silence.

    Black armbands were worn and a moment was also taken to remember former Surrey's former England international Raman Subba Row, who died on Wednesday at the age of 92.

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    Sky Sports' Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain share their memories of former England and Kent spinner Derek Underwood, who has died at the age of 78

    Elsewhere in the top flight, Nottinghamshire were rolled for 193 by Somerset at Taunton - England off-spinner Shoaib Bashir snaring the in-form Joe Clarke - before the hosts closed on 116-1 in reply.

    Lancashire stuttered to 146 all out against Essex, and Durham were dismissed for 244 by Worcestershire.

    Warwickshire put in by far the best batting display of the day in Division One, piling on 340-4 against Hampshire at the Utilita Bowl as opener Alex Davies plundered 149 and Rob Yates and Will Rhodes notched half-centuries.

    Davies - the only batter in the country to reach three figures on Friday - struck 256 against Durham last week.

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