County Championship Permutation Watch: Everyone needs to win

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< 1 minute read


Pretty much. That’s the gist anyway.

  • If Middlesex beat Yorkshire, they will win the County Championship
  • If Yorkshire make 350 in their first innings and also beat Middlesex, they will win the County Championship
  • Somerset need to win as a bare minimum. They then need neither of the above scenarios to eventuate. In those circumstances, they would win the County Championship

A Somerset draw would open things up a bit, but that doesn’t seem too likely at present.

If we’re to update yesterday’s mud-slithering analogy, we’re not entirely sure who’s closest to the MacGuffin, but we’ve a fair idea who’s furthest away.

Yorkshire can still see it and they’re still moving, but having to pick up that extra item is a bit of a bugger for them. The extra item is bonus points in real life; in Mudland it would maybe be a pair of gloves with a special MacGuffin grip on the palms or something like that.

Whatever it is, if they’re to acquire it, they are almost wholly reliant on Tim Bresnan, a man who has only now, at the age of 31, finally reached the age that everyone always assumed him to be.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Everyone needs to win, but only Middlesex don’t need to win and cross their fingers.

    Middlesex are the only team for whom, if they draw, it’s still justabout worth crossing their fingers.

    1. That would rely on Notts. winning.

      Notts. winning would require them to rebuild a whole new team-brain to replace the one they so comprehensively smashed to pieces somewhere along the road.

      1. …or holding out for a draw, which is more likely in the sense that the world being destroyed tomorrow by nuclear war is more likely than the world being destroyed tomorrow by the Cloverfield monster.

      2. I was rather hoping that you, Balladeer, would hire a small plane and fly over Taunton doing that rain cloud seeding geo-engineering thing for a couple of days.

        Alternatively, if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to a jet, try praying to Chaac the rain God for some helpful rain, especially over Taunton.

        I suspect that the geo-engineering is a little more reliable as a method, although the Chaac method has been relied upon for longer!

      3. Surely a dozen or so metal tubes bundled together and some dreaming of Organon is the best way. At least that’s what Kate Bush says.

      4. Can we have some of that rain in Birmingham, please?

        Although I think Chaac/Tlaloc’s aim might be off a bit, I’ve just got drenched in Salford, but the forecast for Edgbaston looks worryingly good.

  2. If Yorkshire get 300-350 and win, and Somerset win, they’ll be level on points and wins. What happens then?

      1. They both would have 6 wins, if everything else is equal if comes down the the quality of the food at lunch and tea. they vote on Somerset cream teas-v- Yorkshire pudding with onion gravy

  3. Apparently one of the players in these games was allowed a runner? I thought they were banned in all forms of cricket (unless by consent of the opposing captain).
    Did I miss a rule change?

  4. Can anybody tell me the PERMUTATIONS for the bum end of the table?

    If Bears and Lightning draw at Edgbaston, what needs to happen elsewhere in order for Bears to escape the trap door?

  5. Everyone appears to have missed the most important point made in this post: Tim Bresnan is only 31!? That’s mental.

    He last played a test three years ago at 28. I know he got an injury, but why did he never get back in the test side – or why is he at least never talked about as a possibility? This is a genuine questions – what are the reasons – rather than a rhetorical one calling for his recall.

    1. Indeed, he would always run in all day if asked to. Running into the breeze and through brick shithouse walls, indeed. He could’ve been England’s The Great Neil Wagner.

      1. Just coming into his prime.

        Or at least he would be if the elbow injuries (think it was elbow) hadn’t blunted him a touch. That blunting is, presumably, sufficient for him not to be considered a viable option unless he conclusively proves otherwise.

      2. I am the same age as Tim Bresnan. I, too, continue to be cruelly overlooked by the selectors. Probably for different reasons.

  6. Middlesex starting to look distinct third favourites now, especially if they continue to drop everything that comes their way… the permutation pendulum swinging back towards Yorkieland? I’d still have Somerset in the box seat as things stand, but I’m rather biased.

    1. I can’t watch, listen, concentrate, spake, or do anything else. Except type a comment here. Oooooooh.

  7. Assuming Brezzy-lad or Siders gets this seminal run, the only way this is going is a contrived result at Lord’s, isn’t it?

  8. Get in there, you Geordies/Mackems/Monkey Hangers/Smoggies (unless that’s actually North Yorkshire) etc.

    1. Compton straight outta there too. Middlesex rolling over and having their soft southern tummies tickled.

  9. We’re all now just doing that annoying Twitter thing of saying what’s happening.

    Lancs 5-1 chasing 347.

    Durham 109-6.

    Youuuuu Beeeeears.

    1. You failed to accurately say what was happening, Sam. Was that done deliberately in protest at the Twittification of King Cricket?

  10. Let us say that three sides were in contention for the Premier League title, and in the final round two were playing each other. They both need to win to get the title, but for some strange rule-related reason I’m not going to invest much time inventing, they each also need a certain number of goals.

    After they’ve been playing a while, some goals have been scored but a mutually useless draw still looms since news comes in of the third rival running away with their match, the managers concoct a plan. They allow their teams to “swap” a couple of soft goals to ensure the goals scored criterion is satisfied, then each side’s entire defence hobbles off the pitch “injured” after all the attacking subs have been put on, in order to guarantee one side or the other surely win rather than the game petering out to a draw.

    If this happened then I’m sure there’d be hell to pay – the league might impose penalty points, managers and players who went along with it could face bans, and so on.

    Do hope that Lord’s doesn’t finish with a contrived chase. Even if it turns out to be a tight one, I think it’d spoil things. I’d rather they be rained to a draw, or Yorkshire smite Middlesex so dramatically there’s no need to concoct an artificial chase.

    1. Are all declarations contrived chases in your opinion, Bailout?

      If not, at what point in the behavioural/motivational spectrum does a declaration become a contrived chase?

    1. Yes this is what I was getting at. The radio commentators spent a good chunk of the day discussing possible contrivals, right down to “how should Middlesex bat, in various circumstances depending on possible Yorkshire totals, in order to improve their captain’s negotiating power in the contrival discussion”.

      I couldn’t think of a sensible footballing equivalent of “declaration bowling” though.

      At any rate, commentators thought that if Yorkshire had got a slender first-innings need and Middlesex batted cautiously to just overturn it by close of play this evening, with perhaps one wicket down, then Middlesex would be able to persuade Yorkshire to “allow” them to amass a half-decent total tomorrow so long as Yorkshire were given a fair time to chase it. If Middlesex were to be in such a position with a couple of wickets down, then Yorkshire could argue that “we might well be able to win the match from here without any assistance from this negotation, ergo you need to concede more” – and in that circumstance, the Middlesex captain would have to agree that Yorkshire could concede fewer runs before the chase begins.

      All sounded a bit smoke-filled-roomy to me.

      1. The smoke-filled roomy/donkey bowling stuff is prohibited now.

        But setting very attacking fields so that you either take the wickets or concede runs which effectively add some time to the game is not prohibited.

        One of those humdingers occurred at the Oval in 2009 and was one of the most exciting days of county cricket I have ever seen. Eerily similar match position at the end of day 3 to the one we face today at Lord’s btw:

        On that occasion Daisy and I went along expecting to see a draw pan out before going to the theatre – we were all dressed up/picniced up with no place to go because the test match had finished well early. In the end we saw a last-ball humdinger of a draw and nearly missed the theatre that evening.

      2. What an extraordinary scorecard. Even more so after doing some mental arithmetic on the totals and checking the FOWs. Wouldn’t Somerset like a repeat of that?

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