Posted by: tootingtrumpet | July 24, 2011

County Cricket’s Final Over of the Week: 24th July 2011


Possible future Odd One Out quiz question that every Lancashire fan will get right.

Ball One – In the second extraordinary Roses Match of the LVCC season, Lancashire once again prevailed in a thrilling climax. After having Yorkshire on the canvas at 45-8 in their first innings, trailing by 283 runs, Glen Chapple’s men looked on in horror as Rich Pyrah produced the fireworks to score a century with able support from Ryan Sidebottom (batting well again this season) and Tim Bresnan, about whom more later. As so often happens after late order runs, top order wickets fell, and Yorkshire were soon favourites with Lancashire holding only two wickets and a slender 176 runs lead. Saj Mahmood and Kyle Hogg showed the proper batsmen the way and biffed a couple of fifties to take the match back into coin toss territory and Lancashire were favourites again. Like a Manx cat, this Yorkshire XI has no tail, and Lancashire had to fight to the last man to get over the line by 23 runs to bag a thrilling and crucial win. Seven of those hard-gained wickets fell to Lancashire’s two most important players, who share 74 years between them – captain Chapple and spinner Keedy. Both men, deeply loved West of the Pennines, also share something else – Yorkshire birthplaces. Just five points behind leaders Durham, could the old muckers share the LVCC trophy too?

Ball Two – I’ll declare an interest (but you knew that anyway didn’t you?) – Tim Bresnan’s arrival into the Roses Match left a bitter taste in the mouth. Note: the word I used was arrival – I have no objection to England releasing players back to their counties which deserve the maximum benefit from having nurtured their talent. But let’s wait for a break in the innings before the England man has a go eh?

Ball Three – The Championship is not a two-horse race, as the proprietor of this magazine will be keen to point out. Quietly, stealthily, imperceptibly, Warwickshire have cruised into third place just eight points behind the Old Trafford men. Like Lancashire, their success has been built on players finding a way to win (is anything more important in First Class cricket – though how can it be defined?) Though an old hand like Michael Yardy has seen it all, even he must have been quietly confident as his decision to bowl reduced Warwickshire to 192-6. But he was to be kept in the field for more than two whole sessions, as Tim Ambrose turned the clock back with 73, Chris Woakes underlined his authentic all-rounder status with 74, and then two bowlers who bat a bit, bashed a demoralised attack, as Keith Barker made 117 and Jeetan Patel chipped in with 65. With the stuffing knocked out of them, Sussex could muster fewer in two digs than Warwickshire got in one and, with Jeetan Patel completing a fine match with ten wickets, Jim Troughton had his win.

Ball Four – The other “enforce the follow-on and win” result was the London derby played in the commuter belt down at Guildford. Surrey were heavily tipped for promotion at the start of the season, but their strong bowling resources do not offset their brittle batting. Though Tom Maynard underlined his potential again with a lightening century and Zander de Bruyn made another fine contribution, Surrey have just two other LVCC centuries (one each for blond, boy-band lookalikes and batalikes, Jason Roy and Rory Hamilton-Brown). In 29 visits to the crease, ex-England men Steve Davies and Mark Ramprakash have just 6 fifties between them. On the wickets Surrey play on (and for the money they pay them), that’s not good enough.

Ball Five – Enforcing the follow-on doesn’t always work, as Tresco and co found out at Taunton. After Tresco did the Tresco thing leading Somerset to an imposing 480, table-toppers Durham were soon in trouble and batting again 260 behind. But Somerset’s quintet of 30-something bowlers had used up 74 overs and a lot of energy getting there and it showed second time round, when hands were shaken with Durham 209-1. Given the time left in the match, the follow-on was Tresco’s only option, but he found out how tough it is for bowlers who are getting on a bit and coming off an exhausting 16 match Twenty20 jamboree.

Ball Six – Against an admittedly rather friendly Sri Lanka A attack (let’s face it, their first choice first class attack is hardly poo-inducing these days) James Taylor helped himself to 209 runs for once out (and run out to boot). The young man is keen to play for England and prepared to ship out of Grace Road to do so – disappointing for skipper Hoggy, but a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone is a laudable trait in a young player as an old player once said and still says so frequently given the chance. In any of the previous 35 years that my memory recalls, James Taylor would have played for England by now. Don’t believe me? Check out some of those that did! 


Gary Naylor, whom you can tweet at @garynaylor999 and find at Cricket On Five and

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket will also appear at Spin Cricket through the season.



  1. There is still a day left in the Somerset v Durham game though.

    • Mark – You’re right. And Somerset won!! Crazy calendar caught me out. Apologies! Thanks.

  2. What will be more costly for Warwickshire come seasons end? Being very poor against Durham and Lanks or the ridiculous 8 point deduction handed out on a pitch where one guy with a sound technique scored 177 over two innings but the Championship team with the collective weakest batting techniques had a big whinge.

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