Warwickshire needed to defend 139 to stay in the first division of the County Championship. That’s not many runs. For some reason Liam Norwell felt it was plenty. Liam Norwell was right.
30-year-old Norwell probably wouldn’t mind a reduction in County Championship cricket as he’s always been one of those bowlers who’s forever bearing down on his next debilitating injury. With 90 first-class matches since his debut in 2011, he’s missed as many games as he’s played.
This year has been no different. This was only his fourth game, yet that’s been enough for 22 wickets at 16.27. Nine of them came in Hampshire’s run-chase with first division status in the balance.
Tough luck, Yorkshire.
There aren’t many days when 9-62 isn’t a decent effort, but given the target, what was at stake, and the fact that Hampshire were never out of it (they were only one shot from victory, after all), this really was quite the effort. It’s whatever the cricket equivalent of Roy of the Rovers is. William of Warwickshire, we suppose (although annoyingly he doesn’t actually appear to be a William).
We can’t help but think about what comes next? A career-best bowling performance with everything at stake, the Super Kaio-Ken punch of adrenaline when that final wicket was taken, and then… a gloomy Thursday afternoon in autumn with no further cricket scheduled for many months.
That’s a lot of super-psyched emotional energy to deploy and a less-than-ideal environment in which to do so.
We’re sure he’ll manage. And after that, roll on next season!
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