This post resumes my following of the Royal London Cup, interrupted by a week in hospital. For that reason I am jot going to do an in depth examination of my last set of predictions. For the record I got three right and three wrong, putting me on 26/42 overall.
TODAY’S MATCHES AND PREDICTIONS
There are four matches in progress today:
- Northamptonshire v Nottinghamshire – Northamptonshire 325-7 from 50 overs.
Substantial contributions from Vasconcelos (74), Cobb (61), Keogh (71) and Wakely (53) seem to have put Northamptonshire in control of this one. Samit Patel with 2-51 from his 10 overs was the best of the Nottinghamshire bowlers. The fact that a spinner fared best of all Nottingshamhire’s bowlers suggests that offspinner Tom Sole will be important for Northamptonshire, who I confidently expect to defend this total.
- Derbyshire v Worcestershire – Derbyshire 351-9 from 50 overs
Centuries from Luis Reece and Wayne Madsen, backed up by 43 of 31 balls from Alex Hughes would seem to have given Derbyshire an unassailable total. No Worcestershire bowler deserves to have their figures quoted.
- Leicestershire v Warwickshire – Leicestershire 340 all out from 49.3 overs.
Useful scores from Harry Dearden (69) and Colin Ackerman (74) did not look like being enough for Leciestershire, but Tom Taylor, mainly a bowler, played an extraordinary innings, making 98 not out off 56 balls to change the complexion of the game. Warwcikshire had two teenagers who supposedly bowl offspin, Liam Banks and Robert Yates, but did not turn to either of them, even though Jeetan Patel, another offspinner, had 2-46 from his 10 overs, and Alex Thomson had 1-39 from his full 10 bowling…off spin. Instead of trying the youngsters Warwickshire allowed Hannon-Dalby (3-85, so at least he got wickets), Miles (1-74), Panayi (1-85 from 9.3) and Will Rhodes (one over for 13) to get hammered. I expect Leicestershire to defend these quite easily.
- Yorkshire v Durham – Durham 179-2 after 33.1 overs, rain affected
Yorkshire, already certain of qualification, quite sensibly used this match as a chance to blood some youngsters (this has caused some moaning from those based on the wrong side of The Pennines, as a Durham victory would be bad news for them), and it would appear that they will face a stiff target once the DLS adjustment has been made (when the rain came Durham had 80% of their wickets and 33% of their overs remaining, so I would expect Yorkshire’s target to be in excess of seven an over, maybe more if the match is greatly shortened. The four non-regulars getting a run out for Yorkshire today are Will Fraine, a 22 year old right hand batter, Jared Warner, a 22 year old right-arm fast medium (5 overs for 32 today), Jordan Thompson a 22 year old right arm medium pacer (5 overs for 43 today) and Ben Birkhead, a 20 year old wicketkeeper. Leg spinner Josh Poysden with six overs for 27 was the most economical of the bowlers. Sam Steel made 68 for Durham and Lees was on 50 not when the rain came. Unless the rain wins this one I expect Durham to do so.
In view of the fact that Warwickshire should have used one or both of Banks and Yates and that Leciestershire already have Ackerman bowling his offspin early in the Warwickshire innings I am going to give you an extra feature looking at some…
OFF SPINNING ALL ROUNDERS
In view of the difficulty of accommodating two non-batting spinners (it either means having a long tail to the team or only having two specialist pace bowlers) it is clearly advantageous to have spinners who can bat. Here are five from across cricket’s history who played that role, bowling off-spin and batting well in the middle of the order:
- Billy Bates, Yorkshire and England.
For England he played 15 times, scoring 656 runs at 27.33 and taking 50 wickets at 16.42. In all first-class cricket he scored 10,249 runs at 21.57 and took 874 wickets at 17.13. Note that his averages were slightly better in test cricket than in first-class cricket. His wickets would have cost more these days, but his batting average would also have been higher. I reckon that by today’s lights he would be a good person to have batting at number eight and bowling his off-breaks. His best test match was at Melbourne in 1883-4 when he scored 55 and then took seven wickets in each innings, including the first test hat-trick by an England bowler, as England secured an iunnings victory. His son W E Bates played for Yorkshire and Glamorgan, and his grandson Ted was involved in various capacities with Southampton FC for over six decades.
- George Giffen, South Australia and Australia.
He played 31 test matches, scoring 1,238 runs at 23.35 and taking 103 wickets at 27.09. In all first class cricket he scored 11,758 runs at 21.54 and took 1022 wickets at 21.31. In the 1894-5 series, the first ever five match series, he scored 475 runs and took 34 wickets, but still finished on the losing side, Andrew Stoddart’s England winning the first, second and fifth matches to take the series 3-2. For South Australia against Victoria in 1891-2 he scored 271 and took 7-70 and 9-96.
- Monty Noble, NSW and Australia.
He played 42 test matches, scoring 1,997 runs at 30.25 and taking 1, she21 wickets at 25.00. In all first class cricket he managed 13,975 runs at 40.74 and took 624 wickets at 23.14.
- Vallance Jupp, Sussex, Northamptonshire and England.
Only eight tests, which yielded 208 runs at 17.33 and 28 wickets at 22.00, but in all first class cricket he scored 23,296 runs at 29.41 and took 1,658 wickets at 23.58. This included doing the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets for the season 10 times, eight of them in successive seasons (a level of consistency beaten only by George Hirst, 10 of whose 14 doubles happened in successive seasons and rivalled only by Wilfred Rhodes who twice achieved seven successive doubles).
- Deepti Sharma, India Women.
A current player (indeed she is only a little older than the two youngsters who inspired this section of the post), she has not hat the opportunity to play test cricket but her records in other forms of the game (48 ODIs, 1,380 runs at 41.81 and 56 wickets at 27.39, 30 T20Is, 197 runs at 15.15 and 28 wickets at 22.92) suggest that she would fare well in the longer form, especially looking at that highly impressive ODI batting average (and her HS of 188).
I hope that Warwickshire will give Banks and Yates opportunities to bowl sooner rather than later (and ditto Somerset with George Bartlett, another young middle order batter who supposedly bowls offspin but has been given little chance to demonstrate it), because if they become genuine bowlers as well as good batters there will be much more scope for variety in the England attack.
My usual sign off…