Morkel Burns Pope (and now for some commas)

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Morne Morkel unleashing his famed ‘out of the pants’ delivery against Lancashire (via YouTube)

Surrey have won the County Championship. You win 10 of 12 matches and draw the other two and these things happen.

We were checking the averages in the first division of the County Championship earlier today and two things struck us. Firstly, very few people have averaged over 40 and secondly, Surrey have had the three stand-out cricketers this season.

The three are:

  1. Morne Morkel
  2. Rory Burns
  3. Ollie Pope

While the wicket table is somewhat unexpectedly topped by two Lancashire players (Graham Onions and Tom Bailey), Morkel isn’t far behind despite only playing two-thirds as many games. He has so far taken 50 wickets at 13.96 and should quite honestly be playing a different standard of cricket or attempting some other similarly challenging activity, like limbo.

Burns is way off on his own as top run-scorer with 1,241 at an average of 68.94. This is a weight of runs to defy Ed Smith’s funkiest selectorial urges, so you can’t imagine he’ll be playing quite so many matches for Surrey next year.

Ollie Pope is the only batsman who has made a significant number of runs at a higher average. He has made 802 runs at 72.90.

There are currently 16 players averaging more than 40 with the bat in the first division. Only seven of them have played more than eight games. Batting in England is really hard.



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    1. If we’re picking people who don’t actually open any more and have been discarded, why not go back to Vince? Or Bell?

      Or what the hell, if we’re going pointlessly short term, give Hildreth the chance he should have had before.

      I reckon they should pick Zak Chappell to open, though. Give him a nice big central contract.

      1. If so, why have they not tried him already? He’s scored 1,000 first-class runs in each of the last five seasons.

        I’m no Surrey fan, but…actually, that’s it.

    1. Yes, best ever I reckon. That’s one of those where you just sit back smugly and bask in the appreciation.

      1. Yes, I’m also voting for best ever. I didn’t even both to check for one as these youtube screenshots rarely seem to get one. The brilliance here is not just in the caption but the precise timing of the freezeframe.

      2. I’ve always thought that Morkel’s length is a trifle short. I’m not sure I’d say that to his face though – especially not in the context of that superb hover caption.

      3. But I don’t understand, he’s only halfway through his delivery stride so how do you know if it’s the correct length?

        I imagine the batsman would struggle to tackle his balls if he slipped him a good length.

      4. I just discovered that right clicking (deep press in mobile browser) reveals the image name, which seems to be the same as the hover caption.

        Now to go back to all the earlier posts and do a deep press to reveal the image name/hover caption

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