A hatful of willow

Posted by
2 minute read

Will Smith just got off the mark from the 43rd delivery he faced. Hampshire are currently careering along at 1.25 runs an over knowing that the rain that has hit the rest of the country will soon arrive in Manchester.

So far, this round of County Championship matches has been more eventful than the last – so eventful, in fact, that we feel moved to do a mini round-up midway through. It’s not very focused, hence the vague headline.

Lancashire managed to get a first innings lead of almost 350, which is quite some feat from a side who haven’t shown any real taste for run-scoring in recent years. Clearly, they have been greatly inspired by the arrival of The Great Neil Wagner.

Warwickshire v Somerset threatens to end in something other than a draw. The home team have been asked to make 322 to win – not an outrageous total, but more than were scored in any of the first three innings.

Over in Yorkshire, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have been underlining that for all that the first division of the County Championship is closer to Test cricket than the second division, it’s still not exactly a terraced housing neighbour. It’s more of a detached neighbour with a very high hedge who votes a different way to you. Root made a quick double hundred and Bairstow basically did. Surrey’s attack has been given a bit of a slap by two England certainties.

It underlines the feeling that you’d really like to see potential England players tearing county cricket to pieces rather than ‘doing well’ or ‘making a strong case for inclusion’. Down at Lord’s, Sam Robson has made his third hundred of the season. They’ve all been on his home ground, but top order rival and team-mate Nick Compton has been bumbling along not really doing much of anything by way of contrast.

Considering they won their last Test series, the next England team remains remarkably uncertain.


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


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. The Great MP Vaughan’s been justsayin on Facebook in response to ongoing criticism of his lack of declaration of sponsored plugs for Yorkshire Tea (which I Tet-allley agree-Gee-Tips with, by the way), that he has his own hair restoration business. Is this true? Is he that badly in need of the money? I feel we should be told.

  2. If Will Smith manages to stay in and save a draw, though, at least no-one will be able to say to him “William, it was really nothing”.

    Sadly this match has ended Livingstone’s run of good scores, for a while I thought There Was a Liam That Never Gets Out.

    I could go on but I fear The World Won’t Listen.

    1. There is a Liam That Never Gets Out is a good one. Chapeau.

      Groanworthy good, obviously – but still good.

      1. Alistair Cook. New helmet. Some grilles are bigger than others. I’m fairly sure this could be worked up in to an amusing pun but these things take time and what difference does it make?

  3. Can we just add as a postscript to today’s piece that we don’t really know how we’re approaching county coverage this year. It kind of feels like half of you know what’s going on anyway and would be bored by ‘the facts’ whereas the other half aren’t really paying attention but might appreciate some sort of easy-to-digest overview.

    We feel caught between the two.

      1. Oh it’s Joy Division puns you want is it? That Leicester batting ‘dis’order was a sight for Warsaw eyes but seems to have regained some Substance this year.

      2. Martin Love will tear us apart.

        “Hello Sam, it’s 2002. Can we have our joke back?”
        “Sure. Sorry. I’ll send it over right away.”
        “Cheers. “

  4. Scoring 3 centuries at your home ground is probably no bad thing when England will be playing 2 test matches there this summer. Robson has made by far and away the best case for selection of any top 3 player not called Alastair Cook. As much as I want to see Compton play for England, he really needs a miracle.

  5. I’m becoming increasingly convinced Warwickshire are going to win Division One without registering a single victory.

Comments are closed.