County cricket news
And what does he look like?
Just Google it…
You can always rely on Google.5 Appeals
Sunday starts for County Championship matches and Twenty20 matches on a Friday night. It ain’t all bad.
The latter could even become ‘a thing’, as detailed here. Shall we try and make it a thing? What should it involve? Perhaps we could try and source beer brewed in the counties playing the televised match each week. Or we could try and prepare a delicacy native to the region – throdkin for Lancashire, balti for Warwickshire and a food closely associated with Northamptonshire’s opposition for Northamptonshire.
We’ve a faint suspicion this is going to turn into one of those posts where you all start listing things in the comments. That’s fine. Knock yourselves out.23 Appeals
A secret source writes:
I thought this might interest you. It’s just like the 3am Girls in The Mirror, only with better grammar and more discussion about the state of County Championship wickets than they normally have.
Overheard at the gym at the weekend – a regular first-team Lancashire player chatting to some bloke. He was saying that there is a debate at Lancs about whether they need to do something about the pitch at Old Trafford. The idea is that the 75 championship-free years were largely a consequence of a lack of results on a flat, true (albeit fast) wicket, and that it was no coincidence that when Lancs won the title they played all their home matches at Aigburth. The flip side of the debate was, according to the player in question, that Lancs’ batsmen are so rubbish they need a good wicket not to look like idiots.
There is something to this. As a Test match wicket, Old Trafford is superb, and a result pitch more often than not. But, and again from the lips of this mystery player, to get a result you need three or four Test quality bowlers. Ordinary county bowlers can’t extract enough wickets, and have a day fewer in which to do it.20 Appeals
Cricket fans adore statistics. For most of you, the sport itself is just a convenient means of generating data. Numbers are your true love.
Here are some.
- Gary Ballance (Yorkshire) – 1,251
- Wayne Madsen (Derbyshire) – 1,221
- Sam Robson (Middlesex) – 1,180
Best batting averages (at least 10 innings)
- Ed Joyce (Sussex) – 65.76
- Gary Ballance – 62.55
- Chris Woakes (Warwickshire) – 58.18
- Graham Onions (Durham) – 70
- Steve Magoffin (Sussex) – 63
- Tim Murtagh (Middlesex) – 60
Best bowling averages (at least 20 wickets)
- Graham Onions – 18.45
- Ryan Sidebottom (Yorkshire) – 20.30
- Tim Murtagh – 20.40
And a nod to Usman Arshad of Durham for his 16 wickets at 15.56 as well.
Ballance was the only batsman to hit five hundreds; Nottinghamshire’s Michael Lumb managed four. Graham Onions was the only bowler to take five five-fors; Ollie Raynor and Chris Jordan both managed four.
The more metrics you consider, the more the season appears to revolve around just two men. The other names may change, but Graham Onions and Gary Ballance appear on every list.
England’s Ashes squad now makes both more and less sense.1 Appeal
Let’s wrap things up. As ever, all fixtures and team names may be incorrect. The writer accepts no responsibility for factual accuracy.
1st – Durham
Having won the County Championship, Durham promptly lost to Sussex.
2nd – Yorkshire
Yorkshire beat Middlesex with a young scamp by the name of Ryan Sidebottom setting them on the path to victory with 4-27. We remember when Sidebottom was the most important part of England’s attack. It was 2009; the nation was rocking to the sounds of Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Chipmunk; Gordon Brown was Prime Minister; and Hole in the Wall disappeared from our screens. Memorable times. Gary Ballance hit 90 in that match. No-one else got past 66.
Yorkshire also drew with Surrey. That man Ballance made a first innings hundred before 18-year-old Domnic Sibley made 242 alongside the rather better-known Hashim Amla, who made 151. It’s impressive to think that Surrey have contrived to get relegated after fielding Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Hashim Amla at various points in the season. Ballance then saved Yorkshire with 108 not out. He’s bloody effective. The only worry is that he bats at number six for Yorkshire, which is a pretty sheltered spot in county cricket.
3rd – Sussex
As was mentioned above, they beat Durham, which secured them a podium position. James Anyon took 5-44 and finished with 50 wickets for the season. Chris Jordan took 4-50 and finished with 59, behind only Tim Murtagh (60), team-mate Steve Magoffin (63) and Graham Onions (a ludicrous 70, despite only playing 12 matches). Keaton Jennings and Michael Richardson scored hundreds in Durham’s second, more successful, innings, but Sussex still managed to score 297 to win with Chris Nash making 108.
The next chapter
Might do a statistical round-up if it means we don’t have to try and think of something to say about the Champions League for another day. Anticipate a whole series of crimes against factuality should we attempt such a thing.12 Appeals
Worcestershire Northamptonshire are up. Surrey have an 18-year-old who can score double hundreds and may finally stop dicking about hoovering up ageing stars from other counties.
We’re thinking of rebranding King Cricket ‘the home of
in-depth inaccurate county cricket coverage’.
Lancashire are up.
Nottinghamshire have won the one-day competition.
Never let it be said that we can’t do “news”. If Reuters or Associated Press want to offer us a lucrative contract to churn out those inspid pieces which clog sports pages, we’re open to offers. It would be a dream come true for someone to excitedly click on an article we’d written only to groan with disappointment when they see the name of a faceless news agency in the byline.7 Appeals
It’s worth squeezing in a wedger of a County Championship update, what with Durham having won the title and all. They have 10 wins and two draws from 15 matches and completely deserve their damp September glory.
These aren’t necessarily final standings. Most teams still have a match and a bit to play.
1st – Durham
Against Derbyshire, Durham secured a narrow 27-run first innings lead. Then they bowled Derbyshire out for 63. Unsurprisingly, they won that match. Equally unsurprisingly, Graham Onions took nine wickets. This week, they bowled Nottinghamshire out for 78 after losing the toss and while they were at one point 45-5 in reply, Paul Collingwood and Phil Mustard got them up to 256. Still no surprises – they won that match too and hence took the title.
2nd – Yorkshire
Drew with Sussex after conceding 333-3 in the second innings, with hundreds for Chris Nash and Rory Hamilton-Brown.
3rd – Middlesex
Drew with Nottinghamshire, largely because it hammered it down at Lord’s. Steven Mullaney scored a hundred opening for Nottinghamshire. Chris Rogers did the same opening for Middlesex.
Durham are best. That fact probably would have come across better in these updates had we actually bothered writing them during the Ashes. As it was, we didn’t bother and therefore accurately reflected the true experience of trying to follow the County Championship.13 Appeals
This really got away from us. Not particularly looking forward to writing this update, it must be said.
1st – Durham
Okay, Durham weren’t even in the top three the last time we did this in, er, July. Let’s try and work out how they’ve done this.
- Battered Derbyshire
- Soundly beaten by Middlesex
- Fully battered Surrey
- Battered Yorkshire
- Battered Sussex
Against Derbyshire, Keaton Jennings made 93 and 123, but has barely made a run since. He’s a South African who’s doing a four-year residential course in which he’ll learn to be English. Scott Borthwick, batting at three, made a hundred in that game too and followed it up with another against Surrey. Chris Rushworth was the other big performer in that match, taking 10 wickets.
Graham Onions took nine wickets in the Middlesex defeat and then seven the next time he played, against Sussex. Taking County Championship wickets would appear to be some vital biological process for Graham Onions. He simply can’t not do it.
The Surrey match was a bizarre affair. After Chris Tremlett took 8-96 and secured all the headlines, Durham rolled Surrey twice as if they were pastry and the opposition were sausage meat, sharing the wickets between a veritable who’s who of whos: Jamie “Who?” Harrison, Mark “Who?” Wood and Usman “Who?” Arshad. Injuries and international call-ups matter not, it would seem.
The Yorkshire win was built on a monstrous first innings which featured hundreds from Mark Stoneman, Ben Stokes and Michael “Who?” Richardson. The Sussex win was mostly Graham Onions.
2nd – Yorkshire
Yorkshire were top back in July, so at least the whole league hasn’t turned upside down while we were looking the other way. Here are their results.
- Utterly minced Derbyshire
- Drew with Warwickshire
- Whipped Nottinghamshire
- Whupped by Durham
Alphabet-straddling AZ Lees hit 275 against Derbshire. The forgotten Aus, Phil Jaques, hit 139. Wickets were handed out evenly.
Gary Ballance hit a hundred against Warwickshire.
Steven Patterson took five wickets against Nottinghamshire. He’s a 29-year-old fast-medium bowler who comes on first change and averages about 28. Add that to the name and he’s a contender for most generic cricketer in England.
Phil Jaques hit another hundred in the Durham defeat.
3rd – Middlesex
Like Durham, Middlesex weren’t in the top three in our last update. They seem to have gained ground through playing loads of matches and indeed, the two counties above them have a game in hand.
- Soundly beaten by Warwickshire
- Totally did Sussex
- Beat Durham
- Lost to Derbyshire
- Hammered by Somerset
- Beat Surrey
This might be too much to catch up with. Let’s see what happens.
Sam Robson hit a hundred against Sussex and that’s it, we’re out. We surrender. Too many scorecards.
The next chapter
Three more matches for the top two. Details are available on the internet, but not on this bit, because this bit can’t be bothered with details any more and would only get them wrong anyway.12 Appeals
How much does the ability to handle debut nerves have an impact on whether or not a player might one day thrive in Test cricket? Answer that question and you go a long way towards deciding how much attention to pay to the performances of Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan.
We’d say that in general a debut shouldn’t be considered representative of a player’s ability. That said, it is something that needs to be overcome. Concede ten an over and you won’t be getting a second Test without first making a very compelling case in some other form of cricket.
Every player is different. Some arrive in Test cricket fully formed, secure in their abilities; others build confidence over time. The former are preferable in many respects, but frequently the latter surpass them once they’ve found their feet. You invest in players and with the potential for poor returns in the short-term, it’s important to be certain you’re investing correctly for the long-term.
One thing we’d say is that Shane Watson was struggling up until he came up against the debutants and afterwards, he wasn’t struggling any longer. That’s quite important when you look at what’s going on in this Test. Woakes and Kerrigan have a debt. Will they get a chance to work it off.14 Appeals