Sam Hain, Ollie Pope and the making of County Championship hundreds

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Surrey’s Ollie Pope has made 264 runs in four County Championships innings this year. Warwickshire’s Sam Hain has made 284 in two. It’s a reminder of how England’s selectors can sometimes influence the title race.

Essex, Hampshire and (technically) Kent made the early running in the opening round of the County Championship.

However, in round two, the Essex v Lancashire dobble-off was blighted by both rain and competent second innings batting and ended up a draw; Hampshire were beaten by Surrey; and Kent were annihilated by Warwickshire.

Which means the table now looks like this:

Surrey’s win was largely shaped by sometime England wicketkeeper Ollie Pope, who defied Mohammad Abbas et al to make 91 in the first innings and then apparently learned enough from his dismissal to Abbas to make 122 not out off 102 balls in the second innings in what turned out to be something of a canter to victory.

Warwickshire’s innings victory was set up by Sam Hain, a Hong Kong-born, Australia-raised England Lions batter who made 165 not out in a total of 453-4.

Once upon a time Hain was Warwickshire’s next big thing. He probably isn’t any more. Even if 27 isn’t too old to still be a ‘next big thing’ (and we don’t really have a position on that) then there’s a case for saying he’s in the process of graduating into being Warwickshire’s current big thing anyway.

Hain made 1,137 runs at 63.16 last season and has now made a hundred both times he’s batted this season. He is unarguably going well. Too well perhaps? If Warwickshire have designs on winning the title (and presumably they do because, you know, that’s kind of the point) then probably the best thing for them would be if Ollie Pope and Harry Brook carried on playing really well.

Warwickshire won’t achieve much this week though because they aren’t playing. And even more helpfully, the team they aren’t playing are Surrey. After two whole matches, the top of the table’s having a bit of a breather.

It’s a bit confusing, but the same sort of a move worked okay for post-apocalyptic drama, The Last of Us. After two episodes introducing its audience to central characters, Joel and Ellie, episode three pretty much entirely focused on Ron Swanson and that Aussie fella from the first series of The White Lotus, neither of whom we’d encountered before. That was a very powerful episode. Maybe Northamptonshire or Somerset can deliver something similar later this week.

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  1. I just had to type “ankylosing spondylitis” in work, and I didn’t have to look up how to spell it. Thank you to this website

  2. Too-cold-to-be-playing-cricket-in-early/mid-April XI

    Shiver-narine Chanderpaul
    David (wish it was) Warmer
    Siberian Bell
    Don-an-extra-jumper Bradman
    Jacques Kall-ice
    Tony Frost
    Adam Gil-Christ it’s nippy out
    Michael Colding
    Crisp Tremlett
    Jake Baltic
    Matt ‘Parky’ Parkinson

    12th man: Phil Salt
    Umpires: Michael Cough, Chilly Bowden

      1. You could have a more than half decent bowling line up from my childhood era:

        John Snow
        C. Old
        Derek “Extra” Underwear
        Clive R Ice
        Sarfreeze Nawaz

      2. Rob (Brass Mon)Key
        David Chilly
        Franklyn Froze
        Graeme ArctHick
        Marcus North pole
        Tim Southee pole
        Frank Woolley hat
        Alex Hails
        Shaun freezing my Pollocks off

      3. The Number One West Indies cricketer is Snuffy Browne. Quite literally their Number One – the alphabetically first player in the first ever Windies Test team, therefore cap numero uno.

        Definitely a contender for the Number One West Indies cricketing name, but if only he’d been called Snuffly Browne he’d have been a dead-cert for inclusion in the Windies Winter Wonderland All-Time XI.

      1. A seriously cool West Indian bowling attack from my youth beacons. Joining Sobers, Michael Colding and Coldis King (listed above) some other nippy characters:

        Vanburn Colder
        Vasbert Shakes
        Hailem Moseley

      2. Three cheers for Arawindy De Silva.

        John ChilBlains
        Graham Squelch
        Martin Glove
        Gareth Breeze
        Ben Rain

  3. Meanwhile, talking utter mince appears to be contagious within Aussie cricket ranks, with chair of selectors George Bailey coming out with this Haydos-worthy guff:

    “Not specifically to Dave [Warner], but I think we’ll get through that Test championship and then start to have a look at what it looks like. Different opposition, different surface. We’ll work through that.”

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