Good day to you all. I, Count Cricket, have been following Durham around these last few weeks in my role as King Cricket’s roving county cricket reporter. I have developed a taste for Onions, you see. He really is rather delicious.
A few sips of warming brandy, combined with the distinctive aroma of Onions in the air and I am a happy man. I saw him take 9-67 in Nottinghamshire’s first innings and 6-51 in Lancashire’s first innings. He was so beguiling that on neither occasion did I drink so much that I was coughing up lung butter in the street after the day’s play. There can be no higher commendation.
His team-mate Paul Collingwood also caught my eye. I was surprised when the lady who helped me up off the toilet floor told me that his career had somewhat ebbed in recent months. I had seen him make 78 against Surrey, 59 against Nottinghamshire and 53 not out against Worcestershire in a successful run-chase. He then went and made 114 against Lancashire.
Hopefully he showed the Lancastrians how to bat. This morning I awoke to a glorious canal view with newspaper affixed to my face. As I peeled it off, I noticed that county’s batting averages for this season. Only three of them average over 30 and one is Kyle Hogg who has been not out in precisely half of his innings. It makes me so sad when I see people suffering such indignities.
Lancashire are currently in something that people seem to refer to as ‘the regulation zone’. I do not know what all of these regulations are, but one seems to be that should you finish the season within said zone, you will be forced to play against incompetent fools in the second division the following year.
Meanwhile, at the top of the table, Warwickshire have continued winning and drawing and have therefore opened up a lead, much as I have just opened up a delicious bottle of mouthwash. It’s 40% alcohol by volume, you know.
Until next time,
Good day to you all. Count Cricket here. Apologies for my absence, but certain developments have led to my spending several weeks indoors. Frustrating, but unavoidable.
Fortunately, I did manage to read the newspaper during this unscheduled ‘downtime’ and have kept tabs on County Championship developments. I can basically sum it all up like this: Most matches were drawn and Steve Harmison is currently playing for Yorkshire.
Worcestershire manage a win
One result was Worcestershire’s sole win of the season. Needless to say, it came against Lancashire.
The week before, Lancashire had finally hinted at batting solidity with hundreds for King Cricket favourites Paul James Horton and Steven John Croft against Surrey, for whom Kevin Peter Pietersen then made 234 not out. However, against Worcestershire they collapsed to 162 all out before following that up with an even less impressive 63 all out.
If I could have exhibited limpness like that, I might not have been quite so reliant on the newspapers these last few weeks.
Rikki Clarke can’t match Andre Adams
Thus far, I have only taken my eyes off Warwickshire’s Rikki Clarke when I fear that I am being followed. He has continued to do well, making a hundred against Sussex and then taking 4-46 against Surrey. However, he has been unable to prevent Nottinghamshire from drawing level with his side at the top of the County Championship.
Nottinghamshire can thank Andre Adams for this. The man never flags and if I ever find out how he’s achieving this, I will immediately renounce Sudafed. Adams took 6-32 against Middlesex, 5-108 against Lancashire and 4-51 against Surrey. He now has 52 Championship wickets at 17.30 and I may go and see him perform against Somerset next week if my Taunton exclusion order has expired.
Good day to you all. Last week, I, Count Cricket, attended Durham v Lancashire at Chester-le-Street. Lancashire won and lifted themselves to mid-table respectability.
Some damp weather caused me to seek shelter in the toilets for a time. While there, I met a pleasant woman who informed me that King Cricket’s Benjamin Andrew Stokes had reached his hundred. I thanked her for the information and offered her some Amaretto from my Thermos. She declined. I quaffed it alone and awoke in a beautiful bus stop.
Having had such a splendid time, I returned for day four. A man I met in the toilets told me that Graham Onions had taken his sixth wicket. I was most grateful for this information and thanked him, but in the ensuing melee, my face was badly bruised. It hurt a great deal, but perhaps Graham Onions is hurting more. 34 wickets at 12.61 and he hasn’t emerged on the winning side even once.
Elsewhere, Nick Compton got another hundred and passed 1,000 first-class runs for the season. I toasted both achievements in a bid to numb the pain.
Good day to you all. Last week, I, Count Cricket, attended Sussex v Nottinghamshire. Nottinghamshire won and so went to the top of the table.
The weather was good, so I protected my pallid skin by withdrawing to Hove’s toilets where I quaffed brandy from my thermos. Very pleasant it was too and I made many friends, including one chap who informed me that Matthew Hendrik Wessels had made 199 runs. Most people seem to call him ‘Riki’, but I will continue call him Matthew Hendrik – for that is his name.
Elsewhere, King Cricket favourites Steven John Croft and Paul James Horton each made a handful of runs as Lancashire’s batting finally elevated itself above rank incompetence and earned the county a draw against Middlesex; while Somerset beat Durham after George Henry Dockrell took 6-29.
Finally, Warwickshire beat Surrey thanks to a heartening innings from the forgotten bald wicketkeeper, Timothy Raymond Ambrose, who once squatted behind some sticks for the United Kingdom. His chief ally in the run-chase was Rikki Clarke, who always seems to get a mention in my county cricket coverage. Later on, I asked a woman at a bus stop the meaning of his ubiquity. In the ensuing melee, I lost a shoe.
Good day to you. I am Count Cricket. This week I was at Edgbaston where batting conditions were so friendly even Lancashire passed 300. Following a draw, Warwickshire remain top of the table.
One of the most notable performances was that of Rikki Clarke. During one of my visits to the toilets, I heard the crowd roar as he passed 100 for the second time this season. Coincidentally, I was in the same location when King Cricket’s player to watch, Paul James Horton, reached a match-saving hundred later in the match.
Very shortly after that, an incident led to my departing the ground in some haste. Exhausted, I took a well-earned rest a short distance away and only awoke when a van delivered some batches of newspapers to a nearby shop in the early hours. I reasoned that the shopkeeper would happily permit me a bale of newspapers to use as insulation, but following a melee I emerged with but a single page. Scrutinising it, I noticed that a gentleman named Stuart Christopher Meaker had taken 8-52 for Surrey against Somerset. This warmed my heart, but not my fingers.
Good day to you all. I, Count Cricket, attended the Nottinghamshire v Middlesex match last week in my role as King Cricket’s county reporter.
Due to heavy rain, I was forced to seek refuge in the toilets. Fortunately, I discovered that I could emerge and check the scoreboard from time to time with very little chance of being seen. As a result of this, I know that a Nottinghamshire batsman called Michael John Lumb made 162 runs, helping his county acquire the bonus points needed to top the table. However, the match was drawn and Warwickshire, in second place, have two games in hand.
Last week’s other matches were also shortened by precipitation. Lancashire again failed to score runs, as did Surrey in their first innings, although they rectified this in the second when their imported middle order of Kevin Peter Pietersen, Rory James Hamilton-Brown and Thomas Lloyd Maynard all contributed runs. All matches were drawn.
A gentleman I met in the Trent Bridge facilities filled me in on these details. I attempted to thank him, but he refused the ecru-coloured potion which I had concocted.
Until next time,
Good day. I am Count Cricket. My parole officer told me it would aid my rehabilitation to find some form of employment and King Cricket has offered to pay me £2.70 to cover the county cricket season for his “website”. I assume he needs to subcontract because he is too busy telling people what classification of hill climb he’s been up on his bicycle this week, like the world’s most boring man (which is precisely what he is).
This week I went to watch Warwickshire against Durham. I took a flask of brandy with me and the experience was not unpleasant. A chap I met in the toilets told me that Ian Ronald Bell was likely to score runs, so I popped down to the local bookmakers and laid a wager on his being top scorer. Glory be, he was. Ian Ronald Bell made 120 when all other batsmen struggled and it surely can’t be long before this young man plays cricket for the United Kingdom.
Another chap I met in the toilets said that Warwickshire would remain at the top of the table. He said that a bowler named Keith Hubert Douglas Barker had played a larger part in the victory than Ian Ronald Bell as he had taken 10 wickets. However, I had laid no wager on this and so cared not a jot. Nottinghamshire are second, having beaten Lancashire, who cannot bat.
Until next time,