Posted by: tootingtrumpet | May 15, 2018

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket – 15 May 2018

Ball One – Lancashire’s opening bowlers see off Nottinghamshire, and Old Father Time

Nottinghamshire ran into the oldest swingers in town, as Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions shared 15 wickets to register a first notch in Lancashire’s win column. Both will be 36 years of age before the season is out, but as the aches and pains pile up in the body, so too does the nous in the brain. Onions might still be playing for England, were it not for the injuries that blighted a career that barely got started before it was curtailed – and he should still be playing for Durham, but, understandably, he joined the exodus, albeit a year later than some, after the crash of 2016. Onions’ beautifully balanced run up has been praised by Michael Holding – who knows a bit about that sort of thing – and he’s never been less that a delight to watch going about his work exactly as Northern seamers should. Seeing two master-craftsmen in tandem must be a thrill for Red Rose fans – but will it happen again this season? Lancashire climb into the mid-table mire, while Notts stay top.

Ball Two – South London teenagers beat up out-of-towners in Kennington

Surrey flogged 20 wickets out of the Oval square in smashing a strong Yorkshire side by an innings well inside three days playing time. That’s the kind of result that catches the eye of an England captain – though, since Joe Root was in the middle for much of the match, he could hardly have missed it. That said, missing the ball got him out twice, LBW to Sam Curran for 14 and bowled through the gate by Amar Virdi for 23. The current pride of English batsmanship dismissed twice by teenagers in the same match? It can’t have happened too many times in the past. On first sight of a schoolboy Sam Curran’s skiddy pace and swing, delivered left-arm and supplemented by handy batting, I said that I’ve never been more certain that I was watching a future England player – good judges told me something similar about Virdi last season too.

Ball Three – Peter Siddle takes his leave with a win

Essex bounced back from last week’s defeat with a win over rock bottom Worcestershire in one of those low scoring matches in which something always seems to be happening. For once, it wasn’t Jamie Porter in tandem with Simon Harmer in sharing ten second innings wickets evenly, but Aussie, Peter Siddle, who signed off his county cricket stint with a fivefer. The wholehearted Victorian is 33 now and it’ll take an unexpected turn of events in Australian cricket to see him back in the Baggy Green – but stranger, far stranger, things have happened. He has a few years left in his boots, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him follow fellow quick and vegan, Jason Gillespie, and go into coaching when he does.

Ball Four – Rhodes takes the road south to success

Warwickshire opened up a 15 points gap at the top of Division Two with what eventually proved to be a comfortable win over Northamptonshire. But there are few gifts these days, even in Division Two, as Steven Crook and Doug Bracewell put on 122 for the eighth wicket in Northants’ first innings and Tim Ambrose and Henry Brookes cobbled together 95 for the ninth wicket in the Bears’ reply. In the fourth innings chase, it still needed an undefeated stand of 86 between youngsters Will Rhodes and Matt Lamb to bring the win home in the Midlands battle, the match finishing with Warwickshire 180-4. Rhodes moved from Yorkshire to get more cricket and a round 100 not out opening is a pretty good vindication of that decision. Given the fragility of Yorkshire’s batting, they might want him back when his two years contract at Edgbaston expires.

Ball Five – All killer, no filler in Grace Road thriller

At various times in the scorecard read –

Leicestershire 67-6

Leicestershire 191, Glamorgan 90-1

Leicestershire 191, Glamorgan 178, Leicestershire 127-2

Leicestershire 191, Glamorgan 178, Leicestershire 158-7

Leicestershire 191, Glamorgan 178, Leicestershire 237, Glamorgan 139-8

Leicestershire 191, Glamorgan 178, Leicestershire 237, Glamorgan 247-9

Marchant de Lange’s 5 fours and 8 sixes got the Welshmen to within a blow of a victory, but the South African quick was caught on the boundary going for glory and the home side won by three runs.

Here’s some of what Paul Nixon, “The Badger” now installed as coach at Leicestershire, had to say.

“”It was an unbelievable game of cricket, absolutely extraordinary. The fight shown by both sides, it swung one way and the other from the first day on. I’m almost speechless. Championship cricket is the truest test, physically and mentally, and to come out on top at the end, there’s nothing like it.”

After a few months in which red ball cricket appears to be undergoing a slow motion nervous breakdown, a County Championship Division Two match retains the power to render the garrulous Nixon speechless – well, almost. Keep saying it Nico – and it might be useful if others (who should know better) could talk the game up a bit too.

Ball Six – England Watch

James Hildreth – left out in the cold again

There’s always been a reason not to pick James Hildreth for England: his numbers are too “Taunton”; his time has passed; there’s another whose form is just that bit better. He could be forgiven for believing that the main reason James Hildreth doesn’t get picked is that he’s “James Hildreth, Somerset (and not England)”, and that’s just the way things are. His second century of the season, a daddy 184, was supported by 80 from Craig Overton and 92 from Dom Bess (like Theresa May, cruelly hiding at Number 10) proved enough to lift Somerset above 500. Hampshire, 275 behind, needed some big knocks to save the game and they got them, with a century for Hashim Amla and a double from James Vince (England’s latest Number Three) proving the Curse of Hildreth once again.

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Responses

  1. Can we make this a seven-ball over? If so, then KOB is all I have to say.

    • Played the greatest ODI innings I’ve ever seen.


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