This post looks back at the concluding stages of round four of the county championship (I covered up to Somerset’s victory over Middlesex yesterday). In addition to the two matches I look at play was still in progress between Worcestershire and Essex, but the only question in that game was exactly when the draw would be confirmed.
YORKSHIRE V NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
The ninth Northamptonshire wicket went down with them needing 14 to win, and then there was a brief interruption for rain. Wayne Parnell, a reasonably competent lower order batter, and Ben Sanderson, a genuine no11, inched their way towards the target. They had accrued 12 of the necessary runs when Yorkshire skipper Patterson bowled a good one to Parnell, and that worthy could only edge it to the keeper, giving Yorkshire victory by one solitary run. Northamptonshire had never previously lost an FC game by one run, though three previous county championship examples of such a result are Gloucestershire v Yorkshire in 1906, Middlesex v Yorkshire in 1908 and Yorkshire v Middlesex in 1976 (winning team first in each case). The 1906 result helped enable Kent to win their first ever championship. No innings total in this match reached 250, and the result was a classic game of cricket in which the result was in doubt right up to the very end of the contest. A full scorecard can be viewed here.
GLOUCESTERSHIRE V LEICESTERSHIRE
Leicestershire were all out just under an hour before lunch on day four, setting Gloucestershire 348 to win. At 52-3 only two results seemed possible – the draw and the Leicestershire win in that order of likelihood. Ian Cockbain who was only playing because an administrative error had seen Graeme Van Buuren classed as an overseas player joined Tom Lace at that point. At first their partnership seemed to be saving Gloucestershire, but then they began to show serious interest in going for the runs. By the time Lace holed out trying to complete his century with a boundary they had added 224 together, with Cockbain already into three figures. At that point the ask was still more than five an over, but Ryan Higgins played a splendid cameo innings of 33, and by the time he and Cockbain fell to successive deliveries from Leicestershire skipper Callum Parkinson (left arm spinner, twin brother of Lancashire leg spinner Matt Parkinson) just 18 more were needed at under three. The double dismissal brought George Hankins and Tom Smith together, and they kept cool and picked the runs off, Hankins ending the chase by hitting a four off Ben Mike. Higgins, as well as producing his late cameo which really put Gloucestershire in control had taken seven wickets in the game, including 5-62 in the second Leicestershire innings as well.
IPL IN JEOPARDY
The Indian Premier League is officially just past halfway through the group stage, but following a breach of a bio-secure bubble which has seen KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pace bowler Sandeep Warrier test positive for Covid that is in considerable jeopardy. My own view is that it has become too dangerous to continue to the tournament and that it should be aborted. I have seen reports from various sources about what is happening, but as yet no official statement from the BCCI.
ANSWER TO YESTERDAY’S CRICKETING CONUNDRUM
Yesterday I used a photo of the sign for Archdale Street, which is close to my home, to point out that Archdale has two connections to cricket history and challenge you to identify them. In chronological order they are as follows:
Archdale Palmer Wickham was a clergyman who was also Somerset wicket keeper for many years. His career began in 1876 and ended in 1907, but clerical duties restricted him to 93 appearances at first class level over that period. He took 91 catches, pulled off 59 stumpings, and averaged only 8.83 with the bat. He played in two extraordinary matches. In 1899 he was the keeper when two army officers, Major Poore and Captain Wynyard shared a sixth wicket stand of 411 in just over four hours. He had missed Poore when that worthy had just four to his name. In 1907 he was one of the victims of a sensational spell of bowling by Albert Trott for Middlesex, in which the Australian born slow bowler took four wickets in four balls and then not long afterwards finished the match by doing the hat trick for a second time. This carnage was watched from the non-strikers end by Len Braund who carried his bat through the innings.
Betty Archdale (full name Helen Elizabeth Archdale) was the first ever captain of England Women, playing five women’s test matches in the 1930s. She scored 133 runs at 26.60 and took a catch in those games.
My usual sign off…