The Hampshire-incinerating inferno that is Gary Ballance plus Lancashire’s lethal pelt

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Table week 3

Surrey are still top

Despite drawing with Warwickshire who had attained just three points from two Championship games before this fixture.

The most striking development was probably Ian Bell’s dismissal for 99. Was this more or less painful than Misbah-ul-Haq being left stranded on 99 not out yesterday?

The Curran who bowls with the correct arm earns a mention for taking eight wickets in what was basically a match of batting.

Lancashire dispose of Somerset like one of those poisonous animals

You know the ones. They curl up in a ball as if they’re dead and when their gleeful foe starts to tuck into them, the lethal poison secreted in their pelt becomes apparent. You sustain a few wounds, but you still win.

Lancashire ensured sufficient time to press for victory later in the game through the simple ploy of allowing themselves to be bowled out for 109 in their first innings. One To Watch, Liam Livingstone, made 68 of those runs – but he never hangs about so it wasn’t too time-consuming.

After Somerset had slunk into the lead, Livingstone returned to the crease and made 168, largely in partnership with Jos Buttler’s nemesis, wicketkeeper Alex Davies, who made his second hundred of the season. Ryan McLaren then did his reliable old South African seamer thing like some kind of Shaun Pollock tribute act.

A slow start at Lord’s

Middlesex did well to inject a note of tension into a match which looked like it was going nowhere inside the very first session. The first three batsmen all made hundreds. Things picked up a bit later on, but not enough.

Gary Ballance is ablaze

While everyone cooed about James Vince’s cover drives in the Hampshire v Yorkshire match, Gary Ballance made 300-and-odd runs for once out. These were Ballance’s second and third hundreds of the season and also, due to the oddities of the County Championship fixture list, the second and third against Hampshire too.

The second, which was the third, was his first double.

Yes, we did deliberately write that last sentence to be hard to read.


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


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  1. Which poisonous-yet-temptingly-scoffable animals be these?

    You should tell us O King, in case we happen to come across one while feeling a bit peckish.

  2. There’s an awful lot of County Championship coverage on this website these days. What is this, a proper cricket website or summat?

    1. Liam Livingstone, though.

      Just wait for the ‘I presume’ headlines when he gets talked about for England.

    2. Absolutely not a proper cricket website, as you’ll learn when the apparently regimented County Championship coverage is unceremoniously whisked away once England start playing again.

  3. I don’t much like this table. How about an update of the King Cricket CBA Telegraph Eight-Jeffing-Quid-Robbing League Cup thingy?

    Can’t be arsed? Ok then, I’ll do it.

    Top: me
    Not top: everybody else (including me)

    1. Participants who have entered two teams: Mike

      Participants with just the one team: Everyone else

      1. To be fair, I did make it clear which was my best team. I had to check the table to confirm where you resided – you’re right. You’re in sixth – five places below myself.

        Still got naff-all chance of any cash returns though, so this is all really rather hollow.

    2. In accordance with the spirit of the thing, I entered a team and had up until now forgotten that I’d done so. Mid-table, I’ll take that.

  4. Hampshire made a prime hash of getting Ballance out. D’you see? A prime hash. Good eh?

    Meanwhile, Lancashire made a hernial sac out of Somerset, who themselves made me sorest. And Middlesex did elm sex.

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