It is still more than a week until the first-class season begins in England, but a couple of familiar faces made the most of some March sunshine in warm-up matches today.
Steven Finn, who was so disappointed to be ruled out of England’s squad for the ICC World T20 because of a calf injury, made a welcome return for Middlesex against Surrey at the Kia Oval.
Meanwhile Marcus Trescothick stepped up his preparations for a 24th season in the first-class game by making 95 for Somerset against Gloucestershire at Taunton Vale CC.
Craig Miles denied him a century after another fast bowler who was on the England Performance Programme during the winter, Craig Overton, took four wickets on the first day of the match between the south-west neighbours.
Finn, who had made such a contribution to England’s triumph in South Africa before suffering a side strain in the third Test in Johannesburg in mid-January, joined Middlesex on their pre-season trip to Cape Town, and his appearance against Surrey confirmed that he is well on course to play in their opening Specsavers County Championship fixture against Warwickshire at Lord’s from April 17.
He dismissed Arun Harinath in his opening spell of five overs and returned to bowl the Surrey captain Gareth Batty for 54, ending with 2-35 from 13 overs with five maidens.
James Fuller, Middlesex’s winter signing from Gloucestershire, took three wickets, and James Burke top-scored for Surrey with 62.
Tomorrow England Test captain Alastair Cook is due to play for Essex in a two-day game at Kent.