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County Championship Round-Up - Week 7: Batsmen hit back as weather offers respite

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County Championship Round-Up - Week 7: Batsmen hit back as weather offers respite Empty County Championship Round-Up - Week 7: Batsmen hit back as weather offers respite

Post by Shelsey93 Mon May 21, 2012 10:06 pm
The batsmen bit back with a vengeance during the seventh round of County Championship matches, with six of the seven fixtures drawn despite relative respite from the wet weather.

Division One leaders Warwickshire dominated the first three days of their encounter with defending champions Lancashire, before a tremendous unbroken partnership of 139 between Paul Horton (137*) and wicket-keeper Gareth Cross (75*) on the final afternoon remarkably secured a draw for the visitors to Edgbaston. Horton’s innings took up 455 minutes and 362 deliveries, and is the type of rearguard effort that could kick-start a thoroughly disappointing campaign for Lancashire thus far.

It was Warwickshire who had piled up the runs at the beginning of the contest. Varun Chopra (113) and the in-form Rikki Clarke (123*) both scored their second centuries of the campaign, and there were also sizeable contributions from Ian Westwood, Darren Maddy, Chris Woakes and Tim Ambrose, who fell four short of a century himself. A total of 557 for 6 declared was amassed, with Lancashire left-arm spinners Simon Kerrigan and Gary Keedy managing 99 overs between them for just four wickets. Lancashire coach Peter Moores, and captain Glen Chapple, will probably reflect that they misread the pitch in omitting both Kyle Hogg and Sajid Mahmood. But the home bowlers had far more success, and Lancashire were soon reduced to 54 for 5. Only a resilient 87 not out from South African Ashwell Prince ensured that a total of 197 was reached. Chris Wright, Jeetan Patel and Woakes, returning after an injury lay-off, took three wickets each. The follow-on was enforced and with the score 122 for 3 at the start of the final day, a Warwickshire win seemed almost certain. But that was before Horton and Cross got together.

Somerset’s trip to The Oval to face Surrey also threatened a positive result, despite the visitors managing over 500 in their first innings. Nick Compton, the batsman of the season thus far, contributed 83 but it was stand-in captain James Hildreth (120) and Arul Suppiah (106) who reached three figures. Youngster Alex Barrow, whose 47 at the top of the order came off 48 balls, had earlier set up the innings. Surrey were resting Jade Dernbach, a decision criticised by 606 v2 poster CF who argued that he “should be crying out for game time to impress the England selectors!” The decision did not pay off as Chris Jordan and George Edwards both went at more than five runs per over. Steve Davies led the response with 104, and Tom Maynard continued his impressive form with 89. But Vernon Philander took 4-40 and Somerset a first innings lead of 124.

Stuart Meaker was in sensational form during the Somerset second innings. His career best figures of 8 for 52 ripped the heart out of the opposition batting line-up, and may have nudged a selector or two – not that any Test places are on offer to fast bowlers at the moment. He set up a run chase of 305, which, on the evidence of the previous match against Worcestershire, some Surrey fans felt was attainable. But in reality it was always a big ask and captain Rory Hamilton-Brown’s unbeaten 70 saved rather than won the match. Young Irish spinner George Dockrell recorded an analysis of 4 for 89.

Sussex openers Chris Nash and Ed Joyce returned to form in a drawn game against Worcestershire at New Road. Nash’s 84 appeared to be leading Sussex to a big first innings total, but his team was pegged back by Richard Jones (3-79) ad Jack Shantry (3-72), and could eventually only muster 315. Only one Worcestershire batsman – Moeen Ali (85) – got past fifty in response, but the top eight all made double figures, and ensured that the deficit was only 56. An opening stand of 189 then put the visitors in pole position for victory. Nash added a further 98 to an excellent match personally, and Joyce was unbeaten on 108 when the team declared with a lead of 316. But 67 from Michael Klinger, playing his last game before being replaced by fellow Australian Philip Hughes, secured the draw for Worcestershire.

Derbyshire were the only winners in either division this week, and consequently extended their lead at the top of the Division Two table to fourteen points. Bottom-placed Glamorgan at least had something to cheer about when they secured their first batting point of the 2012 campaign on the opening day, thanks largely to 79 from Marcus North, who was starting life with a record sixth county. But that was just about as good as it got for the Welsh county. Derbyshire’s overseas star Martin Guptill (132) combined with captain Wayne Madsen (130*) to reach 213-2, before a poor showing from the middle and lower order saw the side bowled out for 355. Simon Jones, making a rare first-class outing, took 2 for 70. Will Bragg was the only man to put up any resistance in the Glamorgan second innings, making 78. But spinners David Wainwright (5 for 51) and Wes Durston (3 for 43) ensured that the rest of the batsmen made little impact, and that Derbyshire required only 70 to win in the fourth innings. Two wickets fell but the match was completed with a day to spare.

Rain intervened to prevent a result between Leicestershire and Essex at Grace Road despite the use of the hotly disputed declaration bowlers. Exiled West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan (117 and 98) showed his class for the hosts, and was well supported in a first innings total of 372 by the talented Josh Cobb, who managed 80. David Masters, with 6-82, was the pick of the bowlers against his former county. In reply, Essex were able to secure a narrow lead thanks to half-centuries from Tom Westley (81), Mark Pettini (57) and Ben Foakes (93). Those in the know believe that Foakes is the pick of the current England Under 19s squad, and sure to go on to full international honours. Consistent all-rounder Wayne White picked up 5 for 74. A final day run chase of 270 was set for the visitors, after Westley and Pettini had allowed their bowling to be dispatched to all parts by Ned Eckersley (70*) and White (50*). But all was in vain, as the weather had the final say.

Kent v Northamptonshire was a particularly turgid game of cricket, which ended in a predictable draw. After winning the toss and batting Northamptonshire put on 418. David Sales, whose form has been very poor in recent seasons, struck 140 and all-rounder David Willey, batting at number nine, 64. Rob Newton had earlier retired hurt whilst on 23, and will be absent for at least a month. Michael Powell (61) and Darren Stevens (57) made half-centuries in the Kent reply, before captain Rob Key declared 138 runs behind in order to put pressure on the visiting batsmen. To his credit Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall set Kent 262 to win on the final afternoon. But the match never showed any real signs of coming to life.


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County Championship Round-Up - Week 7: Batsmen hit back as weather offers respite Empty Re: County Championship Round-Up - Week 7: Batsmen hit back as weather offers respite

Post by Guest Tue May 22, 2012 3:39 pm

Shelsey you are very right about Ben Foakes..

very talented wicket keeper batsman, however Foster and Wheater at this current time are much better with the gloves.


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