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County Championship Round-Up - Week 11: KP knock lifts gloom

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County Championship Round-Up - Week 11: KP knock lifts gloom Empty County Championship Round-Up - Week 11: KP knock lifts gloom

Post by Shelsey93 Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:55 pm

By Jack Sheldon

Kevin Pietersen lifted the gloom on the resumption of the County Championship, scoring an unbeaten 234 in a week where, as if the Twenty20 break had never happened, the weather dictated that six of the seven matches were drawn.

Pietersen’s stunning knock came on the third afternoon of Surrey’s match with Lancashire at the small ground in Guildford, at a time when the result appeared far from certain. Lancashire had amassed 485 between the showers, with centuries for the underrated Steven Croft (154*) and opener Paul Horton (110). Whilst the bowlers struggled to make much impact, Surrey fans reported Pietersen practicing his golf swing at mid-on. The practice certainly came in handy when he came into bat. After the young Surrey openers struggled a strong rearguard was required. What followed was spectacular as the England star, well supported by Zander de Bruyn (94), launched eight sixes in the highest first-class knock of the season. With little chance of victory, and the lead still 55 runs away, talk of something really special began to circulate – could Kevin score a triple-hundred, or even threaten Brian Lara’s first-class record of 501*? As it happens that became irrelevant, as the weather washed out Saturday’s play and ensured a draw. Surrey take 10 points to Lancashire’s 8.

The rain ruined Worcestershire’s tight encounter with fellow strugglers Durham, as the fourth day was washed out in its entirety. Although nine players managed double figures, Durham, captained by one-day captain Dale Benkenstein whilst new first-class captain Paul Collingwood continued his recovery from a broken hand, were restricted to 243 after being put into bat despite nine players reaching double figures. Mark Stoneman top scored with just 38, whilst Alan Richardson, having rested throughout the Twenty20, resumed his strong form, taking 4-52. Worcestershire too struggled with the bat, and were indebted to Australian Phil Hughes, prospering in county cricket after an extremely rough spell in the Test team, who made 87 before being trapped lbw by Scott Borthwick. Borthwick, who hasn’t always featured in the Championship this season, reminded England of his improvement, picking up four top order wickets. Chris Rushworth (3-43) mopped up the tail to bowl Worcestershire out for 205. Durham were 67-0 when the rain brought proceedings to a close. Both teams scored 7 bonus points.

Middlesex were in the process of a dramatic turnaround in their game against Nottinghamshire at Uxbridge before the final day was washed out. Nottinghamshire, and Andre Adams in particular, took advantage of conditions on the opening morning to bowl the hosts out for 98. England captain Andrew Strauss (50) and Gareth Berg (32) were the only pair to manage double figures, and there were six ducks. The prolific Adams recorded figures of 6-32. High-flying Notts continued to dominate in their reply, with fifties for the in-form Michael Lumb (50) and captain Chris Read (71). But it was Australian Adam Voges who went on to make three figures, scoring 105 before becoming one of Tim Murtagh’s four victims. There were also four wickets for Toby Roland-Jones. This left Nottinghamshire with a lead of 231, and they could reasonably have sensed an innings victory. But it was not to be as Middlesex cleared the deficit with only two wickets down. Strauss was unbeaten on 127 at the eventual end of the game. Nottinghamshire took 9 points to Middlesex’s 6.
Although play was dramatically curtailed in the match between Warwickshire and Sussex at rain-soaked Edgbaston the Bears put in a superb effort to secure 11 bonus points. They batted first, and reached 400 with four balls to spare. Rikki Clarke was again the hero of the hour, making 110 not out at better than a run a ball after Ian Bell (57) and Jim Troughton (81) had earlier past 50. Monty Panesar (4-95) was the best of the Sussex bowlers. The Sussex innings was then wrapped up for 191 shortly before the close on the final day, thanks to three wickets from Clarke, and five from spinner Jeetan Patel. Warwickshire go top of Division One by a point, with a game in hand on second placed outfit Nottinghamshire.

Joe Root showed everybody why he is rated as a future Test prospect as he starred in Yorkshire’s drawn Division Two game against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl. Root was the only man to pass fifty for Yorkshire, as he made a superb 222*, and guided his team to three batting points. The visitors were 108-6 at one point before Root was supported by Azeem Rafiq, and then by Steve Patterson, in taking Yorkshire to 350-9 declared. Tomlinson (4-80) and Kabir Ali (3-88) were the best of the bowlers. Steve Harmison, on Yorkshire debut, had time to bowl four wides in his first five overs before the rain washed out the final day.

Gloucestershire v Essex at the pretty College Ground in Cheltenham barely got going before being ended by the elements. Gloucestershire enjoyed themselves, reaching 284-4, in the small periods of play that were possible. Ed Cowan (103), playing for Gloucestershire on a short-term basis before joining up with Australia A, hit a century and there were fifties for Dan Housego (60) and Hamish Marshall (72*). Harbhajan Singh’s Essex debut was uneventful.

Finally, struggling Glamorgan recorded their first win of the season in an exciting finale to their predictably rain-effected encounter with Northamptonshire at Wantage Road. The hosts won the toss and elected to bat. They managed to compile 350 over the course of four days – David Sales, recently told his contract is unlikely to be renewed, hit an unbeaten 138 and there was 117 for youngster Rob Newton. At this point they declared, and each side forfeited an innings so that Glamorgan needed 351 to win in 90 overs. That they reached the target minutes before the close was down to Marcus North (73), Jim Allenby (67) and captain Mark Wallace (54), as the usually incisive new ball pair of Jack Brooks and Chaminda Vaas proved ineffective. The result pulls the Welsh county off the bottom of the table, though Leicestershire have a game in hand on them in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

Jack Sheldon is a teenage cricket writer and has also started his own blog, found at


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County Championship Round-Up - Week 11: KP knock lifts gloom Empty Re: County Championship Round-Up - Week 11: KP knock lifts gloom

Post by Adam D Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:44 pm

Adam D

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