Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 6, 2017

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket – 5 June 2017

Bear fails to conquer Crane

Ball One – Mason Crane in form as Hampshire tower above toothless Bears

Ask the batsman dropped on 0 who makes a ton how to succeed in cricket and he or she will tell you that it’s not how many breaks you get that matters, it’s what you do with them. Many county cricket fans were less than pleased to see Hampshire restored to Division One having finished 2016 in one of the relegation slots (see Ball Six below), but a second win in a row has seen them sit atop the table like a fat cuckoo. Captain George Bailey may have scored just 2 off his own bat, but veterans Jimmy Adams (166) and Sean Ervine (203) – that’s runs not ages – amassed 367 for the fourth wicket and, once Number 9 Keith Barker, the only partner centurion Jonathan Trott could find in the first innings, was dismissed for 63, Warwickshire’s fragile confidence collapsed and they were seen off by an innings, having followed on. Leg spinner, Mason Crane, did absolutely nothing to dampen down enthusiasm for advancing his burgeoning talent with match figures of 57-17-154-5, while Ian Bell’s team languish rock bottom, winless and looking for that break to get their season started.

Ball Two – Ben Coad in electrifying form as he raises hell for Tykes

Yorkshire leapfrogged Lancashire into fourth place with a three day demolition of the old enemy in a match in which the disparity in seam bowling resources proved critical. While Steven Croft had only Ryan McLaren (396) with more than 72 career first class wickets to his name, Gary Ballance could whistle up Ryan Sidebottom (745), Tim Bresnan (499) and Jack Brooks (364). But it was the least experienced of his quartet to whom the captain had most cause to be grateful, Ben Coad backing up his six first innings wickets with a couple more in the second dig to give him 31 Division One wickets at 14 this season, the best amongst England qualified bowlers by a distance. With England slated to play seven Test matches in two months from 6 July, don’t be surprised if “Highway” gets a gig for his country before his breakthrough season is done.

Ball Three – Lord’s square fails to promote flamboyant play

Flogging results out of Lord’s roads (they should just call the pitch the A41a) is hard enough with a full complement of overs, but when weather intervenes, it can be a thankless task. Once Lewis Gregory had notched a maiden century and Dean Elgar continued his extended warm-up for the Test series with second hundred of the season, Middlesex knew that a par score would surely be enough to make a draw the likely conclusion – and so it proved after their last four wickets added 110 runs. Though Somerset’s young skipper Tom Abell will be relieved to have batted almost three hours for a season’s best 71*, two of last season’s “three who could win it” going into 2016’s last day, are stuck in sixth and seventh places, both looking for the first win of the campaign.

Ball Four – Derbyshire’s chase unravels as rain saves Notts

Nottinghamshire’s charge towards Division One stalled with a draw against lowly Derbyshire at Trent Bridge. With four second innings wickets down and the lead just 51, Chris Read will be thankful for even for that, his own 74 not out critical in setting the visitors a target of 216 which proved just 26 too many when the rain came for the last time, Derbyshire big favourites with five wickets and eight overs in hand. Missing James Pattinson and Stuart Broad (36 wickets at 14.7 and 281 runs at 46.8 in 2017), Notts lacked firepower and Derbyshire can count themselves unfortunate not to have registered their first red ball win for two years.

Ball Five – Chris Nash’s seam battery menaces Worcestershire

With second place Kent sitting out this round of fixtures, third place Worcestershire had the chance to jump into first with a win over Sussex, a club in turmoil after Luke Wright’s shock resignation from the captaincy on the eve of the match. As can sometimes be the case, the change at the top, with Chris Nash taking over the reins, galvanised the side, his charges racking up 579-8d in good time, with Luke Wells adding 155 to the 258 he made when he last took guard at Hove. When the visitors cruised to 215 without loss in reply approaching lunch on Day Three, the draw looked likely, but the admirable Daryl Mitchell fell for 121, the Sussex seamers scented blood, and, just 30 overs later, Mitchell found himself back in the middle, following on, 267 behind. Despite missing experienced new ball man Steve Magoffin, Nash rotated his five medium pacers who, on a pitch now offering assistance, restricted Worcestershire’s highest second innings stand to just 79 runs and wrapped up the win early in the afternoon session on Day Four. As auditions go, it wasn’t a bad one from Chris Nash.

Ball Six – Durham yet to reach single figures with only moral victories to show in a most difficult season

Durham, whose place in Division One for this season was forfeited to current leaders Hampshire due to their financial problems, fought like cornered tigers to get themselves back into their match with Northamptonshire, only to lose off the penultimate ball, in the rain, with the visitors eight down. After conceding a first innings deficit of 172, a maiden century for Cameron Steel (who sounds more like a Pakistani team than an American born player) supported by 54 in nearly three hours from (who else?) Paul Collingwood, clawed Durham back into the game. But Colly’s opposite number, Alex Wakely, had other ideas and a captain’s knock of 84 laid the foundations for the last gasp win. Durham still seek that first victory of the season (and the points that will turn their total positive), but when it does eventually arrive, glasses will be raised well beyond the north east corner of England.


  1. thanks for the useful information, keep up the good work

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