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Post by jimbohammers on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 10:37 am

Been a while since i posted on here, hope everyone is well.

Firstly RIP Bob Willis, a proper legend.


With cricket getting underway in 2 days time i suppose i should start the thread!

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 11:34 am

Great to see first-class county cricket coming back. Here's the format:

NORTH GROUP: Derbyshire, Durham, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire.

CENTRAL GROUP: Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Worcestershire.

SOUTH GROUP: Essex, Kent, Hampshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex.


All teams will play their group opponents just the once. The two group winners with the most points will progress to the five-day final at Lord's - I think this benefits Somerset hugely as they're in, arguably, the weakest group so should comfortably make the final (presumably why they've been made favourites at 5/1, a good price).

A few rule changes include:

There will be a reduction to a minimum of 90 overs in a day’s play
Each county’s first innings of a match can last no longer than 120 overs
The follow-on will increase from 150 to 200 runs
The new ball will be available after 90 overs rather than 80 overs
Points for a draw will increase from five to eight


Really nice touch from the ECB to name this competition after Bob Willis.  thumbsup

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Post by jimbohammers on Thu 30 Jul 2020, 11:56 am

Cheers for explaining Duty, i didn't even attempt it Laugh

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Post by Duty281 on Fri 31 Jul 2020, 3:57 pm

Somerset's 12 point penalty from last season's game against Essex has been rolled over to 2021, so it won't affect this year's competition.

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 01 Aug 2020, 8:40 pm

Couple of good escapes on the opening day. Kent recovered from 23/3 to finish up 344/6, and Somerset went from 149/8, and 189/9, to 296 all out. Jack Brooks at 11 for Somerset scored 72 off 58 balls.

Nice to see Hameed top scoring with 68 for Nottinghamshire; hopefully the start of a revival for him.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 02 Aug 2020, 10:20 am

Hi folks - thanks for setting up the thread, Jimbo, and thanks for helping to clarify matters, Duty.

One other thing which is a change from recent years (although it was intended to come in anyway for this year's County Championship) is that the away side no longer have the right to elect to bowl. In other words, there will always be a toss. Quite right too. The home side shouldn't automatically be put at a disadvantage because the weather is grey and overcast favouring bowling. If the home side are looking to seek an advantage by producing an unfit track, then the authorities should come down hard on them.

As regards day one of this Trophy competition - only two centuries and both in the Southern group. However, both batsmen went went big and are still there. Heino Kuhn on 140 for Kent v Essex and Nick Gubbins on 150 for Middlesex v Surrey.

Bowling wise yesterday - fourfers were the best individual honours and just two of those as well. Ben Coad with 4/23 for Yorks v Durham and Olly Stone (good to see him back) with 4/39 for Warks v Northants. In the probable realisation that bowlers will soon have a relatively heavy workload in a confined period of time, the bowling seemed to be spread out yesterday by most sides. Only two bowlers bowled more than 20 overs. Make of this what you will will but both, Matt Quinn and Simon Harmer, were playing for Essex and both went wicketless!

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Post by Duty281 Yesterday at 6:55 pm

Got some great conclusions coming up for the first round of games, with only Sussex's comfortable win over Hampshire reaching an end so far. Should promise more drama, provided the weather stays fair, than the England game tomorrow.

In the north group, Derbyshire were set an unlikely 365 to win by Nottinghamshire, but they've reached stumps at 129/1. Enough to worry Notts slightly. Yorkshire need another 68 with seven wickets left to defeat Durham; a drop of Dawid Malan likely proving crucial. This one is probably over, but if Durham get a quick couple tomorrow morning...who knows? Lancashire are battling to save a game against usual strugglers Leicestershire - Lancs are just nine ahead in the second innings with three wickets already lost.

In the central group, Gloucestershire are in a similar position to Lancs - 26 behind in the second innings with three wickets down. A gallant recovery from the first innings where they faced a large deficit of 161. Glamorgan are practically already beaten by formidable Somerset - the Welsh county need another 330 to win with only five wickets remaining. Warwickshire/Northamptonshire is arguably the most interesting. Following-on after a poor first innings, Northants are now 90 ahead with four wickets left. Great potential to set a tricky chase for Warwickshire and possibly win after following-on.

In the south group, Essex and Kent is very well poised. Essex need 202 to win with all ten wickets in hand, having only batted one over this evening. They sent out a nightwatchman, rather than a knight of the realm, to bat out that over - some here may not appreciate that! And Surrey are battling hard to save their game against Middlesex after a disappointing third day...well covered on here already.

Have to say, I've enjoyed the addition of the 'maximum 120 overs to bat in the first innings' rule, which has added a new layer of strategy and made positive results more likely.

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Post by JDizzle Yesterday at 7:05 pm

The Ollie Robinson hype train shows no signs of slowing down as he takes 8/65 in the match vs Hampshire. An impressive start to the season.

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Post by guildfordbat Yesterday at 7:40 pm

Duty - that's an excellent end of Day 3 / Moving Day summary for the first round of games, many thanks. I'll consider further and give my predictions / kisses of death later.

Btw, yep, the maximum 120 overs has added a new and interesting layer of strategy. I doubt I would favour it in more 'normal' years for Championship matches but it seems to fit in well for this Trophy competition with less overs per day being bowled than usual.

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Post by guildfordbat Yesterday at 9:49 pm

As Duty said, some great conclusions coming up tomorrow with several that could go either way.

Tipping wins for - and probably jinxing them in the process Rolling Eyes - Notts, Yorks, Worcs, Somerset, Warks, Essex and Middlesex with a draw in the Lancs v Leics match.

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Post by Duty281 Today at 9:47 am

Think I'll go for Notts, Yorks, Leics, Somerset, Northants and Kent to win. Surrey and Gloucs to escape with draws.

Only game being heavily threatened with the weather is Durham/Yorkshire, but they only need an hour or so to reach an ending.

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