2013 County Championship – chapter two

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The County Championship table is slightly canted by the fact that five teams didn’t play this week. It’s week two. It was time to make things a little more opaque for anyone trying to follow the competition.

1st – Middlesex

Middlesex stay top after beating Derbyshire. There were four wickets in the first innings for Steven Finn, but the match was won in Derbyshire’s second innings. Tim Murtagh took 5-12, while Toby Roland-Jones docked the tail with 3-4. Derbyshire were all out for 60, which – if you’re new to cricket – is a rubbish score.

2nd – Warwickshire

Warwickshire rise after last week’s draw. They beat Durham. A hundred from Durham’s number eight, Steve Borthwick, couldn’t save them from a first innings deficit and then Warwickshire also had a go at lower order feistiness via Tim Ambrose, who scored a hundred, and King Cricket player to watch, Rikki Clarke, who made 92. This is fairly typical of Clarke – worth watching, but there’s usually a more obvious focal point. This is probably for the best, what with his face and all. Chris Wright then took 6-31 and Durham were out for 94. While this is a larger number than 60, it is also a rubbish score.

3rd – Durham

Durham remain third after scoring hardly any bonus points in the match described above.

The next chapter

Middlesex and Warwickshire aren’t playing this week. Sussex are and have won their one match so far. If they can manage more than half a point, they will rise above Durham.


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  1. Yup, exciting isn’t it?

    We set off for home from North Yorkshire (walking holiday) at 11:00 on Friday with Middlesex in a precarious position at the end of Day 2.

    When we arrived at the petrol station near Daisy’s house in London, the Derbyshire score was 60-7. I filled up with petrol and asked “anything changed?”, to which Daisy said “something’s gone wrong with the cricinfo scorecard, it now just says 60 and tea”.

    (You might have mentioned Toby Roland-Jones’s hat trick, KC).

    So, after sorting myself out and dropping off some things at my flat, I hot-footed over to Lord’s to catch the end of the match – about 15 minutes of cricket.

    In short, Ged wants this season’s award for the longest distance traveled for a smidgen of cricket. I reckon it was about 10 miles traveled per ball witnessed. Or about 16 miles per minute of cricket.

    But it was worth it.

    1. Nice holiday. I assume you did the classic route – Darlington to start, then down to Stockton, Middlesbrough, Billingham, and finish in Redcar. Lovely.

    2. Not quite that far north on this occasion, Bert. We stayed in Harome (near Helmsley) and only rambled as far north as Farndale.

      Talking of rambling, we started our holiday in the Midlands and part of that stage of our sojourn is detailed in a forthcoming match report on this very site. Naturally, that e-ramble is subject to KC’s ultra-sharp editing e-pencil.

    3. You can’t do Stockton, Middlesbrough then Billingham without going several miles back on yourself.

    4. It’s worth the detour to Billingham, John. It goes without saying that the town is a major draw to lovers of complex and dangerous chemical processes, but there is so much more. Wikipedia’s entry on Billingham says that the town centre provides “…famous national retail chains such as Asda, Greggs, Iceland and Argos, as well as several charity shops…” It mentions also that “The town centre lacks some services, but Stockton Town Centre is less than 3 miles away and Middlesbrough Town Centre is also less than 3 miles away.”

      Moreover, this is a town on the way up. In March 2012, it was confirmed that a Wetherspoons Public House would be opened in the town centre, along with a Fulton Frozen Foods superstore, as part of the ongoing regeneration plans. And, as the article so astutely points out, “There is an Asda supermarket which was formerly a Netto supermarket.” Imagine that!

    5. I live in Stockton, so I know the area. The closed shops on the high street are a joy to behold. The various Crack Convertors-style pawnbrokers, pound shops and repackaged frozen goods outlets make the place shine too.

    6. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

      Daisy and I will be spending several days north of North Yorkshire for the Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street.

      We shall try and take in some or all of your circuit then, Bert.

      I shall also try drinking meths rather than petrol next time. Thanks especially for that tip.

  2. Good effort, Ged. I had a similar experience myself this morning. A 90-minute round trip for a net session that didn’t happen as nobody turned up. Just me and a lad from the under-15s. We had a bit of a knock-up and went home.

  3. Thought it was all too good to be true the other week with all the teams playing at the same time in both divisions. It was as if the fixture monster just couldn’t bare it for two rounds running, so some of the teams didn’t play this time. In a few rounds time, my new Wisden informed me, there is one of those rounds where some matches start on Tuesday and then some start on Wednesday. Later on, some matches start on Saturday. It all decends into a mass of chaos as the Champions Trophy some how gets completed in between the hundreds of test matchess and ODI’s and T20 internationals that are being fitted in amongst the County mess. I am writing this from my padded cell in a staight jacket willing the keys to punch in and out using techniques I learnt from reading a Derren Brown book – stay with me now.

    1. To be fair, with 9 teams in each division, it’s impossible to get every team playing at the same time.

      So, do you add two or remove two? Or, do you change it to a three tier system with 6 teams per league? Or do we continue with the present vageries?

      Don’t expect me to have an opinion, I should add.

      Nice hols, Ged.

  4. In all probability, Smudge, the fixture monster was bare (part of a Derren Brown trick?) when he reached the point where he couldn’t bear it – I know I was. String, I take your point about 9 teams. What would I do? Drop one at a time not 3. In all seriousness, for one split second, the aim should be (as KC has talked about many times), to create a schedule which is easy to understand, where fans know what is going to happen or is likely to happen instead of the current mess where you have to keep track just about every day. Wednesday / Saturday 6 day a week cricket had to change but at least you everyone knew what was happening. There was a manageable rythmn to everything.

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