On the opening day of this week???s fixtures, 18-year-old Critchley???s innings was particularly eye-catching. Coming in at No 7, with Derbyshire in trouble against Northants, he scored 137no to help his team to 343 all out in what was just his second first-class match.
Derbyshire openers Ben Slater (37) and Chensey Hughes (40) put on 65 before falling in quick succession, and South Africa star Hashim Amla ??? making his debut ??? fell for just one, dismissed lbw by fellow South African Rory Kleinveldt. The middle order fell away, and the hosts were in deep trouble on 151-7.
But Critchley and Tom Taylor (49) added 162 for the eighth wicket, before Azharullah (5-53) mopped up the tail.
Hill, 24, also playing in just his second match for Leicestershire, scored 126 off 147 balls against Surrey at the Oval as the visitors scored 292.
After Angus Robson fell cheaply – beaten by the pace of Matthew Dunn – Hill and Ned Eckersley (48) added 91 for the second wicket.
Tom Curran dismissed Eckersley and Dunn (4-72) then got the big wicket of Foxes captain Mark Cosgrove, caught behind for a duck.
South African Curran added the scalps of Neil Pinner (17) and Niall O’Brien (16) but Ben Raine (57) and Hill, who was opening only because Matthew Boyce picked up an injury in practice on Saturday, added 120 before the centurion was bowled by Dunn. Then came a collapse – 275-5 became 292 all out.
Raine then shone with the ball, dismissing Rory Burns and Zafar Ansari, both for 15. Kumar Sangakkara (35no) and Kevin Pietersen (35no) looked in ominous form however as Surrey reached 105-2 at stumps.
Bell-Drummond scored 123 as Kent scored 330-8 on the first day at Canterbury against Glamorgan.
Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly got their team off to a fine start with an opening stand of 68. Michael Hogan (4-53) got the breakthrough, dismissing Denly (30). Bell-Drummond and Brendan Nash (34) enjoyed themselves up to lunch. Hogan again broke the stand, getting Nash to nick behind, and Sam Northeast (8) – skipper in place of the dropped Rob Key – was pinned in front by Craig Meschede.
The man who replaced Key, Fabian Cowdrey got to 18 before edging David Lloyd behind. But in partnership with Darren Stevens (50), opener Bell-Drummond got to his ton from 179 balls.
Hogan finally removed him lbw to bring to an end a 283-ball innings. Stevens followed just after reaching his 50, and Kent also lost Sam Billings (26) and Calum Haggett (8) before stumps.
Dent was the third opener to score a century in Division Two, the Gloucestershire man posting 116 against leaders Lancashire.
The visitors scored 322-7, Dent and Will Tavare (53) giving them a solid foundation with an opening stand of 81.
Tavare fell edging Jordan Clark behind but Dent and Gareth Roderick (31) added another 78 before Simon Kerrigan got the latter lbw. Peter Handscomb (22) got himself in, but then fell to leg-spinner Kerrigan, Ashwell Prince taking the catch.
Hamish Marshall, with a rapid 58 off 62 balls, then helped Dent add 79, before both men were dismissed with the score on 298, both nicking behind – Dent to Peter Siddle, Marshall to Kyle Jarvis.
Lancashire finished the day well, removing Geraint Jones and Tom Smith cheaply.??