We decided to make Will Smith one to watch this season in August last year. That was before he was made Durham captain. Don’t know whether that will affect him.
We’d been keeping an eye on him anyway, but the match that decided it was against Hampshire at Basingstoke. The wicket flattened out later on to allow Hampshire to chase 240 in the fourth innings, but 16 wickets fell on the first day and 19 on the second. The only batsman to score more than 28 in that time was Will Smith, who hit 70.
He also scored 201 not out against Surrey and averaged 51 over the course of the season. That average is all the more impressive when you consider he plays half his cricket at Chester-le-Street. For county champions, Durham’s batting averages aren’t good. If you’re going to play for Durham, be a bowler.
Will Smith’s average was the highest for Durham bar Gareth Breese’s freakish average of 184 from two innings.
Michael Di Venuto averaged 46. Di Venuto’s hit 47 first-class hundreds. He’s an okay bat. Dale Benkenstein averaged 43. He’s an okay bat. The only other batsman to average over 30 was Shivnarine Chanderpaul. He’s most definitely an okay bat.
Smith topped them all and batted at three.