Posted by: tootingtrumpet | July 14, 2013

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket 14 July 2013

Ex-Australia batsmen on their way to find a county to score big runs

Ex-Australia batsmen on their way to find a county to score big runs

Ball One – The County Championship is back and with results too

After a rare week without four day action, the County Championship returned with a flurry of results. That might be the product of importing Twenty20’s positive attitudes (or its looser batting techniques) into the longer format. Or maybe it’s just down to the lift that cricketers got from the shortest formats’ full house midsummer match-ups infecting the players, who then refused to settle for boring old draws. Whatever it was, the Championship needs more weeks with six out of seven matches producing a result.

Ball Two – Kent can’t, but then can

The most unlikely of those results came at Cheltenham, where Kent, who had started the week with two Twenty20 hammerings at the hands of Middlesex and Essex, got up to 411 to defeat Gloucestershire. Hero of the hour was Brendan Nash, whose 199 got his team within sight of the winning post before he retired ill after five hours the searing heat. A word too for last pair Charlie Shreck and Calum Haggett, who needed 21 and got them. Gloucestershire scored 799 runs in the match, surrendering just six wickets – and lost.

Ball Three – Simon Kerrigan is enjoying a successful 2013

Staying in Division Two, Lancashire’s win at long time leaders Northants catapulted the Red Rose men into pole position. With the sun out, Simon Kerrigan was again the key man, taking seven second innings wickets to set  up an straightforward chase. After his pyrotechnics in the Championship season of 2011, last season saw him treading water, but 2013 has brought left-arm spinner 32 wickets at less than 20. Aged just 24, the England selectors will be tracking his return to match-winning form.

Ball Four – Sussex and Somerset have contrasting ambitions

If Division Two is turning into a two horse race, Division One looks wide open, with six teams in the running for the pennant. Undefeated Sussex sit atop the ladder having swatted aside lacklustre Somerset by nine wickets at Taunton. Grizzled old pro Mike Yardy and local lad (but Scotland International) Matt Machan put on 275 for the third wicket which was enough to secure a first innings lead on its own. Somerset, a club with an exciting blend of youth and experience, are in real danger of the drop – something few would have forecast at the start of the season.

Ball Five – Don’t rule out a late run from the Champions

Another unlikely basement dweller this season, 2012 Champions Warwickshire, did themselves a favour with a win at Uxbridge over a Middlesex team who need to get their season back on track. Stand-in skipper, Varun Chopra set the match up for the Midlanders with an undefeated 228, before handing matters over to the Division’s most potent attack (at least, on paper). Chris Wright, Keith Barker, Chris Woakes, Boyd Rankin, Jeetan Patel and Rikki Clarke did the rest, and Warwickshire can start to look up again instead of down.

Ball Six – Old Aussies show how it’s done

While the current generation of specialist Australian batsmen could muster just 315 in their twelve innings in the Test match, an older generation were smacking it around English county grounds last week. Adam Voges made 150 for Middlesex, Cameron White 90 for Northants, Simon Katich 200 for Lancashire and Michael Klinger 102 for Gloucestershire. And lastly, in his final first class innings, Ricky Ponting resisted for seven hours to make an undefeated (and crucial) 169 for Surrey. Vale Punter!

You can tweet me at @garynaylor999

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Responses

  1. After a great 10 days. The Bears find themselves 250 ahead of Notts in the middle of day 3, after spreading 73 overs across 5 bowlers. Why did Chopra bat again? 20 overs in and 4 down at less than 3 an over. It all seems very odd. But then I find Chopra’s use of Rankin and the fact Porterfield isn’t captain just as odd.

    • I’m a great fan of having another bat, but surely you would go quicker than that and aim to be 400 ahead and having a go at them for five overs before the close? The Bears might have enough already though. If they win, the wind will be at their backs with a huge match at Headingley next up.

      • 100 runs in the next 20 overs – that’s more like it!
        Even if the Bears do manage to generate some momentum over the remainder of the season, that 11 run loss to Durham back in June may well be the difference between first and second come the end of the season.

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