The tallest order

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< 1 minute read

Lancashire started their must-win-by-a-mile match quite well, but James Harris and Ravi Patel secured a batting bonus point for Middlesex which means we now have a clearer idea of exactly what each team needs to do to survive.

Lancashire need to either score 350, or declare with fewer than eight wickets down for a score of over 300 thus denying Middlesex a bowling point. All Middlesex need to do is bowl at Lancashire until they’re inevitably all out for under 300 because they can’t bat.

In theory, Lancashire could also declare for a score of between 250 and 299 with fewer than five wickets down, but that would be picked up by the ECB’s declaration monitor who has been dispatched to the ground for precisely this reason.

Genuinely. We’re not making that up. You can’t declare with the intention of denying the opposition bonus points, even if it might help you avoid relegation. Bonus points are mental.


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  1. Not sure why MS are called “Panthers” when their crest obviously shows three scimitars, and “the Middlesex Scimitars” is the sort of team name other clubs can only dream of.

    1. They should be called Middlesex Gryphons, or Phoenixes, or Sphinxes, or some other fictional entity that exists only in the mind.

    2. Since phoenixes rise from their own graves, I wouldn’t mind MS taking a leaf out of their book. Or a feather.

    3. The obvious alternative is “MSex”, which… doesn’t read that well to me. 😕 Suggestions appreciated.

    4. M is the SI abbreviation for Mega. Perhaps you should refer to them as MegaSex. To be honest though, it doesn’t really matter because they don’t exist.

      41 for 1 now, Lancs (official abbreviation) cruising towards maximum batting points, a substantial first innings lead, and a relegation battle this time next year.

    5. MCCC(Donalds) seems the least… salacious suggestion out of the bunch. I’ll go with that, so as not to upset His Maj further, and because I’m lazy.

  2. It’s not strictly true about Lancashire’s innings.

    They need only be 300 for 8 or better at the 110 over mark. Of course, it would take a Boycottian batting effort to be only on 300 runs after 110 overs.

    Whether such negative batting could help the Lanastrian cause when they need to push for victory is another matter.

  3. Never fear, KC. The boys will do it. Paul Horton is due a big score, he will reward you for making him One To Watch all those times, I can feel it in my… oh.

  4. Never fear, KC. The boys will do it. Ashwell Prince is due a big score, he will reward you for making him One To Watch all those times, I can feel it in my bones.

    1. Did you just say something about Ashwell Prince? I am sorry, but there will come a time when we are all celebrating something here on KC’s blog. You are hereby instructed to stay away from the keyboard then, and not write a comment. In fact, it might be better if you do not enter the room where your laptop is. Or just get out of the house altogether. I am sure Mrs. Bert wouldn’t mind terribly.

      I have reported this matter to KC in case these sanctions are not strict enough.

  5. Not sure how any declaration here could be considered denying the opposition batting points. As Lancs need to force a result.

    The ECB’s declaration monitor – Is this a real job? What is the career path to this. Do you first need to serve your time as the ECB Over Rate Monitor?

  6. I had never heard that declaration monitor business before. What happens if they suspect something? Docked points?

  7. How exactly is it monitored as well?

    Please tell me they put it up on the giant screen at regular intervals and display the declarations vital signs.

  8. I think the outcome of the Championship should be based purely on who gets the most bonus points. The fact that this would probably mean Notts would’ve won the title is neither here nor there. Honest.

  9. Is a declaration monitor a bit like a milk monitor at primary school?

    …oh I forgot, Mrs Thatcher got rid of the free milk so I suppose milk monitors disappeared too. Most of you won’t even know what I’m talking about.

    Why couldn’t Mrs T have done something useful and abolished free declarations too? But perhaps we can get the declaration monitor to do something useful like collecting up all the empty bottles once everyone has finished their declaration.

    Meanwhile, it looks distinctly possible – likely even, that we’ll all be squeaky bum ridden for another couple of days.

    Neither team will emerge from this fracas with all of its dignity in tact.

  10. I think they should just relegate both of them and be done with it.

    Actually, I think all the poncy la-de-da teams with Test grounds should have to start on negative points to compensate for all the extra oodles of money and advantages they have.

    1. I’m sure, daneel, you exclude from this analysis, those counties who are merely tenants at a test ground and actually own no ground at all and most certainly do not have oodles of money.

  11. “Neither team will emerge from this fracas with all of its dignity in tact.”

    Surely its up to the Declaration Monitor to ensure that dignity is maintained at all times during the Declaration?

    I would have thought that would be objective number 1 on David Cape’s (*having read the cricinfo report) assignment.

    1. Of all the unrealistic “he’s going to be the next Ian Botham” claims back then, of which there were plenty, that claim for David Capel was perhaps the most fanciful of all.

      However, I am happy to suggest that David Capel might well be the pre-eminent declaration monitor in world cricket just now. Nothing bits and pieces about it – that’s really something.

  12. So if Lancs managed to score 41 in the next 14 overs they have to declare and risk a points penalty. If you read rule 14.1 the captain may ask the umpires if he risks a penalty for an Extraordinary Declaration. the umpires then have to consult the ECB CD in conjunction with the CDC. I hope Lancs have the sense to ask tonight or risk the game being delayed for several hours or days.

    1. Not time consuming in my experience (as witness, not as declarer) – see my relevant comment on Cook Brandy thread.

  13. Is the Declaration Monitor open to challenge by the Captains? Declaration Monitor Decision Review System DMDRS?

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