Posted by: tootingtrumpet | August 5, 2019

The Final Over of the Week in County Cricket – 5 August 2019

Photographing his bank statement

Ball One – Maxwell enjoying life at Old Trafford

Lancashire’s five wins have lifted them well clear of the pack in the North Group in a season brimming with optimism after last year’s rather grim affair. Embodying that spirit, Glenn Maxwell scored runs, bowled effectively, caught a record four catches and pretty much smiled from first to last. The Australian can look a bit like that – a village cricketer with a good eye who got lucky and knows it – but he and Dane Vilas, at 34 surely playing the best cricket of his life, have plenty of nous. That was enough to pull their side up from the depths of 35-4 in the 9th over to a competitive score of 151-6, one that Nottinghamshire were always struggling to reach. Maxwell has centuries in all three formats for his country and is no mug with the ball or in the outfield, but he may not play too many more matches under the baggy green cap or its variants. He’ll still enjoy himself wherever he fetches up – and we’ll enjoy him.

Ball Two – Match of the Week (North Group)

After Dom Sibley, continuing a fine season for Warwickshire, set the foundation with 64 off 43 balls, Will Rhodes, once a Tyke himself, and young Liam Banks hit the boundaries that got the er… Birmingham Bears up to 177-4 at Headingley. Cue Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (with a bit of help from David Willey) to tee off, keeping the required rate below 9 right the way up to the last four overs, wickets still in hand. But the highly promising teenage quick, Henry Brookes, and the wily old stager Jeetan Patel, conceded just 11 runs from the next two overs, snaffling a wicket each, and another old campaigner, Fidel Edwards, kept a boundary off his card in the last five deliveries to leave Kohler-Cadmore frustrated on 76 not out, the points shared.

Ball Three – Kiwi adds polish to impressive Kent

Kent, with six wins from seven in the South Group, are going even better than Lancashire up North, their latest win a squeaker at the bijou Beckenham ground. Set 136 by Hampshire, after James Vince (a batsman for whom the word bijou fits more innings than he would like) top scored with 44, solid contributions through the order got Kent over the line with one ball to spare. It was a good match for Kiwi speedster, Adam Milne, who picked up 3-21 in his four overs and then made 12 not out in the last two overs to get his side up. He’s more Lance Cairns than Chris Cairns as a player, but that’s still a handy skillset for T20 cricket.

Ball Four – Match of the Week (South Group)

More West than South and a bit of a basement battle, but who doesn’t love a tie – Super Over or not? After Fakhar Zaman, who owes Glamorgan a score, made 58, Chris Cooke, a handy rather than devastating hitter, pummelled four sixes to get the home side up to 172-5, a score that usually keeps the opposition interested regardless of their start. Good job too, because when Gloucestershire skipper, Michael Klinger, departed with the score on 51-3 in the seventh over, the required rate climbed into double figures (Richie’s old “run-a-ball” metric for a tough chase updated for 21st century bats and boundaries) and 33 were still wanted with two overs to go. But the unlikely figure of Aussie quick, Andrew Tye, riding his luck, climbed into Marchant de Lange to take the crucial penultimate over for 19 and Benny Howell’s final over six allowed the bearded Aussie to scramble the runs required to level the scores after 20 overs each.

Ball Five – Time for Parky to come in from the cold?

While England’s spinners fired darts at Australia to return collective figures of 70 – 7 – 301 – 3 in the Test, Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson was tossing ’em high and turning ’em square to go second in the Blast’s bowling charts with 13 wickets at 11 and an economy rate just over 7. Of course, that’s an unfair comparison for Moeen, Denly and Root on so many levels, but the 22 year-old gets batsmen out once he gets a ball in his hand – which is not as often as perhaps it should be. Parkinson trades in wickets (he has 146 in 72 matches for his county) and a bowler will go far if he can do that, especially one of tender years practising cricket’s most difficult skill. He’s not ready for England yet, but with both red and white ball teams looking like they’re due a little re-invention, he should be in the conversation.

Ball Six – Banton’s belting batting

An even younger man figures well up the batting charts, 20 year-old Somerset biffer Tom Banton. In contrast to their Championship season, the Blast isn’t going too well for Somerset, but they’ll be heartened by chasing down 204 against Surrey’s five international bowlers, Banton leading the charge with 71 of an opening partnership of 93 at pretty much the required rate. Somerset are showing a lot of faith in the young man (he has the gloves in the Blast too) and he’s not letting them down. But he, like his team-mates, has a pretty big couple of months ahead of him – local immortality a year out of your teens is quite the prize.

Read Final Overs from the Test at 99.94.


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