Posted by: tootingtrumpet | May 8, 2017

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket – 8 May 2017

Ollie Hannon-Dalby after that over

Ball One – White Rose rises to top North Group

It was a week for Yorkshire’s wicketkeeper-batsmen, as Jonny Bairstow warmed up for his England gig understudying IPLing Jos Buttler with a devastating 174 in just 34 overs batting to make Durham’s 335 look paltry, before Aussie, Peter Handscomb, acclimatised himself further to English conditions with 140 in 35 overs batting, setting Derbyshire 350 which they chased valiantly before falling 16 short. The Tykes, despite missing lots of big names, especially among the bowlers, top the North Group.

Ball Two – Are the Pears ripe for success in the Royal London One Day Cup?

Worcestershire are second with a game in hand after beating the North Group leaders at New Road. No superstars in the Pears XI, just solid county pros well led by all-rounder Joe Leach (the Darren Stevens of the 2020s), who has created a team in his likeness. Worcestershire got off to a good start against one of the country’s in-form teams, with Daryl Mitchell and Tom Kohler-Cadmore racing to 135-0 at better than a run a ball, before a mid-innings collapse saw six wickets return just 95 runs in 16 overs. Cue Leach and big John Hastings to wallop 67 off six overs for the eighth wicket, getting their side up to 342. In the field, 21 year old seamer Ed Barnard got excellent support from batsmen-who-bowl, Brett D’Oliveira and that man Mitchell, the trio delivering a combined 30-0-162-4. Scoring at over 9 an over off the other bowlers proved, predictably, too much for Yorkshire and Worcestershire protected the only unbeaten record in the North Group.

Ball Three – Kent’s two tons outweighed by Somerset’s old pros

In the South Group, Somerset are unbeaten and top the table after seeing off a handy Kent side with a powerful display in the batting engine room. After Daniel Bell-Drummond had reminded us of his class and Alex Blake his power with contrasting centuries (Bell-Drummond’s off 113 balls, Blake’s from just 46), experienced pros, Peter Trego, Dean Elgar and James Hildreth ensured that one of them was at the crease as the scoreboard progressed from 19-2 to 294-5, leaving 59 to get in 8 overs. With boundary hitters like Roelof van der Merwe, Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton to come, the cidermen cruised over the line.

Ball Four – Briggs locks out Surrey on the coast

Sussex went second after crushing a Surrey side, whose batting, without the peerless Kumar Sangakkara, looks fragile. At Hove, the visitors’ seamers chipped away at a home side that never quite managed the big partnership that can be the difference between 300 and 350 – Gareth Batty almost certainly the happier of the two captains at the interval with a target of 301 to chase. But only Mark Stoneman and England Under-19 batsman, teenager Ollie Pope, could cross 50 and the game was done with nearly nine overs to be bowled. If figures of 9.1-0-29-4 by South African all-rounder David Wiese (a poor man’s Brian McMillan, but there’s no shame in that) stood out, England fans will be pleased to see Danny Briggs bowl a full quota for his 3-60. The tall left-arm ex-England spinner turned 26 last week and has plenty of time to come again in white ball cricket – if he plays enough.

Ball Five – A tie suits teams that finish neck and neck

The Americans say that a draw is “like kissing your sister” and have developed all kinds of artifices to avoid them in their sports, but cricket fans love a tie, don’t we? In the time honoured style, Adam Rossington, hitherto Northants’ hero with 63 off 44 balls including three fours in the over already, needed two off Joe Leach’s last ball of the match to win it. He misses, the ball squirms from wicketkeeper Ben Cox’s grasp, chaos ensues in the middle, and a bye is scrambled. Plenty of oohs, ahhs and laughs from the crowd (well, those not frozen) and the players shake hands with smiles rueful and otherwise. Superover? No thanks. One point each – the way God intended.

Ball Six – Ollie Hannon-Dalby gets into a fine mess with wides and a no ball, as Lancashire take the laurels

In the 2014 T20 Blast Final, Ollie Hannon-Dalby fronted up to bowl the crucial 19th over with Lancashire needing 29 for the trophy, but Andrew Flintoff on strike and breathing fire. The lanky seamer’s first four balls produced a wicket and gave up just three runs, so even when Flintoff launched the last two over the boundary, Warwickshire had enough in hand to win. No doubt, on Sunday, Hannon-Dalby might have recalled that over when standing at his mark ready to bowl the 45th over of the match, the man on strike one of his victims in that final, Lancashire’s captain Steven Croft. Things didn’t go so well this time – wd, 4, wd, 1, wd, 6, 1, 6, 6nb, 6. Lancashire went from 257-5 to 292-5, those 35 runs greater than their winning margin of 26. You win some and you lose some in cricket.

 

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