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Northamptonshire suffer first defeat of the new season

Ben Duckett, seen here in action last season, struggled against Worcestershire. Credit: PA

Northamptonshire suffered their first defeat of the new County Championship season inside two days at Worcestershire.

Northants came into the game on the back of victories in their first two fixtures of the Division Two campaign, but they struggled with the bat at New Road.

The match was dominated by the ball, with both sides failing to register a score of more than 200 in each innings.

In the end, the visitors fell an agonising 20 runs short of their 185-run target thanks to a fantastic spell from Worcestershire bowler Joe Leach who took 5-62.

Max Holden top-scored for Northants with 37, but Ben Duckett was dismissed for just five.

David Ripley's side will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Thursday when they host Warwickshire in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

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Lawrence century secures improbable Essex draw

Dan Lawrence in action for Essex last season. Credit: PA

Essex secured an improbable draw in their first game back in Division One of the County Championship thanks to an unbeaten century from teenager Dan Lawrence.

The 19-year-old's stunning knock of 141 not out helped Essex to 316-6 by the end of the final day, a total that looked unlikely at the start of Monday with the hosts struggling at 89-2.

However, they successfully batted through the three sessions needed to save the game, denying Lancashire a first County Championship win in 12 matches in the process.

Lawrence was given good support from Tom Westley (61) and Ryan ten Doeschate (41) at Chelmsford, while Kyle Jarvis took three wickets for the visitors.

Sporting events to look out for in the East this weekend

It's set to be a glorious weekend of weather so why not get out and watch some sport?

Whether it's watching cricket's County Championship or taking in some football, there's something for everyone.

This weekend's football fixtures

  • Fulham v Ipswich Town (Championship)
  • Norwich City v Reading (Championship)
  • Northampton Town v Sheffield United (League One)
  • Charlton Athletic v Southend United (League One)
  • Coventry City v Peterborough United (League One)
  • Swindon Town v MK Dons (League One)
  • Cambridge United v Leyton Orient (League Two)
  • Colchester United v Stevenage (League Two)
  • Barnet v Luton Town (League Two)

Alastair Cook ruled out of County Championship opener

Alastair Cook will play no part against Lancashire. Credit: PA

Essex batsman Alastair Cook will miss the county's opening County Championship fixture against Lancashire on Friday with a hip injury.

England had made the 32-year-old available for Essex's first three Division One matches of the season.

However, he will now have to watch from the stands after having an injection to help settle down his symptoms.

Promoted Essex start their campaign against Lancashire at Chelmsford who will have England bowler James Anderson among their team.

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Cook: 'Less than 100% not enough for England'

Outgoing England cricket captain Alastair Cook said he wouldn't be doing the team or their fans justice if he continued in the role.

The Essex star resigned from the role yesterday (Monday February 6) after a record 59 tests since 2012.

Speaking at Lord's for the first time after his decision, Cook said the job needed 100% total commitment, but felt he'd given as much as he could to the captaincy.

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