The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket also appears at Spin Cricket.
Ball One – A word for the departing champions whose last match fizzled out in rain and a typical lack of penetration with the ball. There’s much to do for Peter Moores over the winter, as there is for his opposite number in that match, Chris Adams, who – not for the first time – will seek to rebuild Surrey’s batting and deal with a bowling unit too often disrupted by calls from England and the physio. But that’s what coaches are paid for.
Ball Two – Spurred on by Abdur Rehman’s match figures of 14-101 and centuries from Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton, Somerset destroyed rock bottom Worcestershire to finish second… yet again. The prize money will soothe the pain, and surely their time will come, though Tresco isn’t getting any younger.
Ball Three – The decisive action came in Division Two, where Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Kent went into the final week with hopes of promotion. Long time leaders Derbyshire did the needful in what became a second innings shoot-out with Hampshire. Though Champions only on matches won (after finishing level on points with Yorkshire) nobody will begrudge Wayne Madsen’s men the pennant.
Ball Four – Andrew Gale’s charges crushed a disappointing Essex at Chelmsford. The exciting Azeem Rafiq signed off with 53 and 75* to go with 3-65 and 5-50, but he is just one of many talented Yorkshire youngsters in a side that could go all the way in their 150th season come next summer.
Ball Five – Kent missed out, running into seven Robert Croft wickets in his final match. That was enough to lift the Welshmen to mid-table and a fitting tribute to a man who has given so much for so long to his county. Crofty will be on a TV screen near you very soon.
Ball Six – After as dismal, dank, drenched season, the CB40 Final was played in mid-September on a day more characteristic of mid-Summer. And, glory be, the cricket was as bright and shiny as the day, Hampshire getting over the line with a dot ball to win with the scores level having lost two fewer wickets than LVCC Division One Champions Warwickshire. So Hampshire secure both one day competitions and will spend the winter plotting a route back into the top flight of four day cricket. They, like Warwickshire and the other 16 counties, will be back in April to start it all again.
And so will I. Thank you for reading and commenting on these Final Overs and stay tuned for more (and lots of other stuff) at 99.94 over the next few months.
A round-up of the Final Overs of the Week 2012 will appear in October’s Spin Cricket magazine.
You can tweet me at garynaylor999.