The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket also appears at spincricket.com.
Ball One – Surrey’s assault on the Championship will be spearheaded by a strong pace bowling attack and batting unit that will go for its shots, and it will also be helped by a recent planning decision that allows the club to use The Oval’s floodlights whenever they wish during daylight hours. This will give the Londoners more of the all important time required to take twenty wickets and win matches. Not that the floodlights helped on Friday when the umpires took the players off early – cricket eh?
Ball Two – High jinx to start the season at bowler-friendly Trent Bridge where twenty wickets fell on the first day before Nottinghamshire’s two wicket-keepers came together to take the second innings score to 317-4 before Chris Read was out. Riki Wessels made a excellent century, setting up Andre Adams (what a signing he has been) to lead the pace attack and secure a comfortable win over Worcestershire. Many counties will be playing wicket-keepers as specialist batsmen this season, though few will emulate Sri Lanka in the Galle Test who had four keepers in their XI (Dilshan, Sangakkara, Chandimal and Jayawardene). Perhaps the confidence one gains in junior cricket from having a second skill allows a keeper-batsmen to prosper before reaching the senior ranks and then specialising.
Ball Three – All eyes at Taunton were trained on South African seam sensation Vernon Philander who, after a late introduction to Graeme Smith’s side, has been breaking records like a latter-day SF Barnes. His seven wickets in this match won’t have gone unnoticed by counties due to play Somerset before the South African tourists claim him. But even the mighty Philander was outbowled by Ireland’s George Dockrell, who appears to have been around forever but is still a teenager. Teenage slow left-armers who take eight wickets in April at Taunton are rare beasts indeed. He’s one to follow this summer.
Ball Four – One of The Trumpet’s favourite cricketers is looking for a new start at Derbyshire and has settled in with a comfortable win over last season’s third placed Northants. David Wainwright was in and out of the Yorkshire side for years and batted as low as Number 10, but still averaged 31 batting and 35 bowling. With Derbyshire playing him as an all-rounder, his second innings 6-33 has already secured one victory and he may be the “Moneyball” signing of the season.
Ball Five – Everyone likes to see a wholehearted young player like Kent’s Matt Coles go through to a maiden First Class century, but Rob Key’s indulgence meant that, with time already lost, his bowlers had to take twenty wickets in two days of unrelenting graft. Despite an excellent effort that ensured that Yorkshire did follow-on, victory was a long way off when the four days were up. I’m not sure the match would have played out like that had it been in Division One.
Ball Six – Leicestershire were dismissed for a paltry 110 in their second innings – that’ll happen a few more times before September. They did win though – that might not happen many more times before September.
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