Posted by: tootingtrumpet | September 28, 2018

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket – 28 September 2018

Ball One – Surrey, on top, go down fighting

With the last ball of the last day of the last match still standing in 2018, the County Champions could win, tie or lose to their predecessors – and they say this form of the game is outdated? Spoilsport, Ryan ten Doeschate, scored the runs that won a remarkable match, runs that denied Surrey an unbeaten season and a fairytale victory. Bowled out in a blaze of end of term carelessness for 67 in the first dig, Surrey went in to bat for a second time trailing by 410 runs. 143 overs later, Essex were chasing an awkward 132 for a win that had looked nailed on for two days. But you don’t win ten out of 13 matches without spirit as well as skill, and it took a captain’s knock for ten Doeschate to deny the Londoners who would not be bowed without a struggle to the bitter end. Great match, great season, great competition.

Ball Two – Bailey fails to bail out Lancashire

It was too little (but only just), too late for Lancashire, who were relegated to Division Two by one point, Nottinghamshire having squeezed the two they needed out of a rampant Somerset side. That said, Nottinghamshire won four matches to Lancashire’s three, so there can be few complaints from Old Trafford, only a list of what might have been – but cricket, like life, is never short of those once you go looking. This match was another personal triumph for Tom Bailey, whose four wickets in each innings saw him finish the season as the leading wicket-taker in Division One with 64 scalps at 20. Quite what he and Graham Onions (57 wickets at 22 in 12 matches) think of their batsmen might not be printable. It’s amazing to think that they took 121 of 280 available wickets (43%) between them – and their team still went down.

Ball Three – Nottinghamshire suffer twin hat-tricks at the hands of Abell and Overton (and Trescothick)

Nottinghamshire were almost caught wearing their flip-flops prematurely, as Somerset hammered them by an innings and 146 runs in a match that saw two hat-tricks, one for all-rounder (yes, I’m calling it) Tom Abell and one for Craig Overton. Or should that be Marcus Trescothick, who caught Ben Slater, Samit Patel and Riki Wessels at second slip? That’s a fine way to celebrate a one year contract extension that will take him to into Brian Close territory down Taunton way. Somerset finish the season as runners-up – somewhere, I think I’ve read that before.

Ball Four – Brooks’ swansong brooks no argument about Yorkshire’s place in Division One

Speaking of “all-rounders”, Jack Brooks carried his sweaty headband from the Yorkshire dressing room for the last time, signing off with 6-94 in Worcestershire’s first innings and 82 when he got a bat in his hand. With Ben Coad and Gary Ballance also enjoying a fine match, the Tykes’ win took them to fourth place in the table, but everyone knows that the White Rose could easily have suffered the Red Rose’s fate had the dice fallen slightly differently. Worcestershire will play in Division Two in 2019, but that’s been expected for a while now – it usually is when a team perhaps best suited to Division 1 1/2 play in the top flight. Ask Daryl Mitchell – a fine cricketer, but a man with the unenviable (and undeserved) record of five relegations on his CV.

Ball Five – Bears climb to top of the tree

Warwickshire handed Jonathan Trott the Division Two title as a leaving present after their sorta play-off against Kent turned into a procession. When in-form openers, Will Rhodes and Dom Sibley, took the Bears past Kent’s first innings total of 167, the jig was up for Sam Billings’ men, who can nevertheless look back on a fine season that saw them promoted to Division One and play in a Lord’s final. And, speaking of looking back with pleasure, the same applies to Jonathan Trott, one of many cricketers taking their leave this week with the thanks and genuine affection of their counties’s supporters and cricket fans everywhere.

“Idris Elba for the new James Bond you say? Well…”

Ball Six – Paul Collingwood leaves with love

Which brings us to perhaps the fondest farewell of all. Paul Collingwood OBE (yes, OBE) played his final match for Durham, its most noblest servant bowing out with a defeat at the hands of Middlesex, who shot out the man from Shotley Bridge’s team for 109 when 167 would have been enough for a valedictory victory. So the man whose first innings in Championship cricket was terminated on 91 by the late Kevin Curran (Sam and Tom’s dad) walks away into the weakening North East sun, the strawberry blond hair fading a little to grey, the applause ringing in his ears. Thank you Sir, and thanks to all the cricketers who played Championship, One Day Cup and Twenty20 matches over this long hot summer. See you in 2019.

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Responses

  1. Lovely Gary – winter well.

    We will miss Colly terribly, along with Trott. That was a wonderful day of County Cricket today. A wonderful advert for our wonderful game.


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