Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 21, 2019

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket – 21 June 2019

Ball One – Hampshire’s hopes harmed by Harmer

Somerset really can do no wrong! With a week off to contemplate their view from the summit of Division One, they must have been delighted with the news from Chelmsford, where Hampshire, their closest pursuers, were bowled out twice in 64 overs to lose by an innings in a day and a half. The only downside for the runaway leaders is that Simon Harmer’s 12 wickets took Essex into third place, albeit 30 points adrift, but the 2017 champions know what it takes to get over the line. Next week’s match up between the two form sides may shape the second half of the season.

Ball Two – Ex-Tykes return to haunt old friends

Having stumbled recently with three draws, Yorkshire’s hopes of a challenge for the pennant were further dented by a defeat to a resurgent Warwickshire at York. It was a fine match for the locals though, in which Steve Patterson’s side showed plenty of his own fighting attitude, the captain digging the home team out of the pit of 145-7 with 60 from number nine in the first innings. He couldn’t repeat the trick in the second dig, Yorkshire sliding to 211, bowled out by their old boy Oliver Hannon-Dalby and the oldest spinner in town, Jeetan Patel. Another old boy, Will Rhodes, in company with Dominic Sibley (whose season just keeps getting better), posted 132 of the 217 Warwickshire needed, before James Logan, in only his second match, got amongst them with four wickets for his slow left arm. Fittingly, it was the captain himself, in at nine, who scored the winning boundary, Patel delighted to be turning the Bears’ season around with a second win in three.

Ball Three – Nottinghamshire sink to defeat at Tunbridge Wells

Nottinghamshire are the anti-Somerset of the season so far, simply nothing going right for Steve Mullaney’s men. They surely had hopes of setting up the second half of the campaign with a win at fellow strugglers, Kent, and still had cause for optimism halfway through the third day. But Joe Denly’s 167 not out took the game away from the visitors and once Harry Podmore (enjoying a fine match with wickets and runs) sliced though the top order, Notts were cooked with a session to spare. Kent climb to mid-table; Notts stay rock bottom.

Ball Four – The future looks rosy for Lancashire

Lancashire aren’t quite doing a Somerset in Division Two, but their magnificent bowling attack proved far too much for Derbyshire, as Dane Vilas’s men chalked up a fourth win of the season, James Anderson and Graham Onions hoovering up 17 wickets between them as the home side were swept away. Anderson is taking his wickets at an Barnesian average of less than 9 – and when he’s called away to deal with David Warner and co, it’ll just give more opportunities to the brace of highly promising 22 year-olds, pacer Saqib Mahmood and spinner Matt Parkinson.

Azad, Dexter, Dent and Higgins auf der Autobahn

Ball Five – (Dis)Grace Road? Well, maybe not quite

Leicestershire and Gloucestershire piled up 1269 runs for the loss of 20 wickets at Grace Road, with two stands crossing 300 runs. So well played Hassan Azad (137, 100*), Neil Dexter (180), Paul Horton (100*), Chris Dent (176) and Ryan Higgins (199). 17 players had a go with the ball, with Josh Shaw and Dieter Klein wringing four wickets each from the bowlers’ graveyard. In a wet season that has seen many low scoring matches, this match was a reminder that ultra flat pitches don’t really do anyone any favours.

Ball Six – England Watch

Zak Crawley made a second century of the season in Kent’s win over Notts to post 500 runs in the campaign. The 21 year-old has come up through the age-group sides at Canterbury and has made the adjustment to Division One cricket with the assuredness with which he has met all the challenges to date. Right now, he’s probably a little behind Dominic Sibley, the outstanding opener in county cricket this season, but a run of form over the next three matches could catch Ed Smith’s ever-roaming eye.

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