A brief look back at the opening day of the county cricket season and some photographs.
Today saw the first day of play in the county championship and the weather thankfully did not pay a huge part in the action.
A TENSE DAY AT LORD’S
I opted to follow the action in Middlesex v Somerset at Lord’s. Somerset won the toss and decided to bowl. A combination of ordinary fielding (at least four chances went begging) and Sam Robson who cashed in on some of the former to rack up 165 gave the opening day honours to Middlesex, but not by much. The close of play score was 293-8, Lewis Gregory taking four wickets, while Jack Leach did an excellent job as a spinner on day one in England, keeping things very tight (he bowled 22 overs and had 1-43 to his name).
Elsewhere there was some vintage stat padding by James Vince at the expense of Leicestershire, Oliver Graham Robinson the Kent wicket keeper scored a fifty and Oliver Edward Robinson the Sussex fast medium bowler and useful lower order batter did likewise.
Today’s all time cricket post looks at cricketing families – an XI of siblings takes on an intergenerational XI. Please note the requirement that at least two members of each selected family feature in the team.
For today’s all time XIcricket post we are looking at cricketing families. A team made up of groups of siblings do battle against an intergenerational XI. There are a number of famous cricketing families I could not include – I set myself a rule of including at least two members of each chosen family – not just select one and name their cricketing relations.
THE SIBLINGS XI
*WG Grace – right handed opening batter, right arm bowler of varying types through his career, captain. The way to get round 11 being an odd number when selecting a team of siblings is to pick one group of three siblings, and fortunately there is a darned good such grouping readily available. His test batting average was only 32.29, but he made his debut at the age 32 and played on at that level until he was almost 51 – had the first test in England been in 1870 rather than 1880 his record would have been considerably better. He won eight of his 13 tests as captain, and all 13 of those matches were against the oldest enemy.
EM Grace – right handed opening batter, lob bowler, fearless close fielder. Seven years WG’s senior, that inaugural test in England was his only one, and he shared an opening stand of 91 with his brother in the first innings thereof. England would probably have fared better in the 1882 match that inaugurated the Ashes had he been present in place of AN Hornby. Before WG’s rise overshadowed everyone else EM had been regarded as a phenomenon.
Andrew Flower – left handed batter, occasional wicket keeper. He averaged over 50 in test cricket (see my ‘Minor Nations’ post from Monday), and makes a good selection for the critical number three slot, especially since other considerations prevented the use of the only other sibling to have been a really good test no 3, ‘Chappelli’.
Mark Waugh – right handed batter, occasional off spinner, ace slip fielder. The first of two pairs of twins to make their appearances in this XI. He announced his presence at the highest level (selected in place of his brother!) with a scintillating 138 against England and went to establish a superb record.
Steve Waugh– right handed batter, occasional medium pace bowler. He was first picked in 1985 at the age of 20 as a ‘bowling all rounder’, but it is his batting that gets him in – he averaged over 50 at the highest level, and that after taking 27 matches to reach his first century (177 not out at Headingley, as Australia, put in by England skipper Gower cashed in on an ‘attack’ comprising four medium pacers to the tune of 601-7 declared). He would be vice captain of this side.
Grant Flower – right handed batter, occasional left arm orthodox spinner. Andrew’s younger brother, averaged just over 40 in test cricket.
Eric Bedser – right handed batter, off spinner. His averages are just the wrong way round – 24.00 with the bat, 24.95 with the ball (833 first class wickets in total), and he is the first of three members of the XI not to have played test cricket.
GF Grace– right handed batter, right arm medium pace bowler. In his case his sudden death from a freak illness prevented him from having a better record – he was 29 years old and just two weeks previously had played in the inaugural test in England, and had there been such a thing in 1880 his catch to dismiss George Bonnor would have been a shoo-in for the ‘Champagne Moment’. He averaged 25 with the bat and 20 with the ball, and the former figure puts him on a par with Richard Daft, rated no2 to WG Grace in the 1870s, GF’s decade.
Alec Bedser – right arm fast medium bowler, useful lower order batter. Eric’s identical twin brother – and they used to wear identical clothes as well apparently. Because they considered playing for separate counties unthinkable they tossed a coin for who would stick to medium pace, and who would work on batting and off spin, and Alec won. There is a story that once in a benefit match Eric finished an over that Alec had started, and no one noticed the substitution, which suggests that Eric remained quite useful as a medium pacer.
+Thomas Mycroft – wicket keeper, right handed batter. The most obscure of my choices, but he did average almost three dismissals a game in his brief first class career, and his presence enables me to give some much needed punch to the bowling by selecting his brother…
William Mycroft – left arm fast bowler. 138 first class matches, 863 wickets at 12.09 each, and hopefully a suitable new ball partner for Alec Bedser.
This team is strong in batting, and the three Graces plus Eric Bedser should between them be able to provide sufficient bowling back up to the new ball pairing of Mycroft and Eric Bedser.
I might have opted for a new ball pairing of half brothers, Fidel Edwards and Pedro Collins, with Alec Bedser coming on first change, but that could only have been done by giving Andrew Flower the gauntlets and dropping the Mycrofts, and I prefer my no3 not also have to keep wicket. Although both captained England neither Arthur nor Harold Gilligan had a record to merit inclusion, and I certainly could not accommodate both. The Pitheys of South Africa were good rather than great. John and Hugh Trumble and Richie and John Benaud were two pairings that each had one weak link and so could not be accommodated. Johnny and Ernest Tyldesley were also in the mix, but would you drop either the Flowers or the Waughs for them? Richard and Dayle Hadlee could also have been picked to share the new ball, using the same method as for Edwards and Collins.
Ron Headley – left handed opening batter. The Headleys provide three members of this side. He opened for Worcestershire for many years, although his two matches for the West Indies were not a great success.
Vic Richardson – right handed batter. He was not an absolutely regular opener, but he did do the job at test level. We shall meet one of his grandsons at no4 in this order.
George Headley – right handed batter. Averaged 60.83 in test cricket, and no3 was his regular position. The first of the family to play top level cricket.
*Greg Chappell – right handed batter, occasional right arm medium pace (started as a leg spinner), excellent slip fielder, captain. Averaged over 50 in test cricket, one of three grandsons of Vic Richardson who all played test cricket.
James H Parks – right handed batter, right arm bowler. The only player ever to have scored 3,000 runs and taken 100 wickets in the same first class season.
+James M Parks – right handed batter, wicket keeper. Son of James H Parks, a fine batter/ keeper for Sussex, and had today;s attitudes to selecting keepers existed in the 1960s he would have played many more times for England in that role than he did.
Maurice Tate – right arm fast medium bowler, right handed lower middle order batter. One of the greatest of all bowlers of cutters, and the first bowler to be able to use the sea fret at Hove to facilitate movement in the air.
James Lillywhite jnr– left hand batter, left arm orthodox spinner. England’s first test captain; 1,210 wickets at 15.12 in first class cricket. Nephew of…
William Lillywhite – right arm fast roundarm bowler. Known as the ‘nonpareil’ such was his superiority to other bowlers of his era.
Dean Headley– right arm fast medium bowler. The third of the Headley family trio, he played for England and would have had more success had he not been plagued by injuries.
Fred Tate – off spinner, good close fielder. His one test appearance, coming late in his long career, was undistinguished, but 1,331 first class wickets at 21.55 confirms that he is not just here to get his son into the side.
This side has a solid batting line up, and the bowling looks adequate, albeit that Fred Tate is the only front line spin option.
OTHER CRICKETING FAMILIES
Sussex have a grand tradition of cricketing families, as the above team shows – and I did not include the two members of the ruling family of Nawanagar, ‘Ranji’ and ‘Duleep’. The Tremletts produced three generations of first class cricketers, but accommodating all three would have been a challenge. Chris Broad would have been preferable to Ron Headley as opening batter, and Stuart preferable to Dean as a bowler, but if I had made that call I would have had to drop George Headley, and likewise dropping Vic Richardson would have necessitated dropping Greg Chappell. The Cowdreys are the only cricketing family to have produced four successive generations of first class cricketers, but of them all only Colin was truly top class. I would have liked to include the D’Oliveiras but to do so I would have to have found room for either Damian or Brett, so Basil missed out. Charles Townsend, the Gloucestershire leg spinning all rounder would have been useful, but I would have to had to find a place for either his father Frank or his son David, neither of whom were genuinely top class. I could have selected Jonny Bairstow as a batter and David as a keeper in place of the Parkses, but considered JH’s bowling to be a valuable asset. Perhaps the biggest miss caused by my criteria of demanding at least two members of each family feature was Denis Compton, but that would have necessitated finding space for his grandson Nick. The Gunns of Nottinghamshire also missed out. Billy Quaife would have been a solid opener, but I would have had to accommodate his son Bernard, less good, as well. The Quaife’s once faced up as opening batters to Billy and Robert Bestwick, likewise related, but again Robert Bestwick would not have been worth his place. Len Hutton would have strengthened the batting, but accommodating his son Richard would have been a challenge, while the same applies even more strongly to Herbert and Billy Sutcliffe. The great-grandfather/ great-grandson pairing of William Cooper and Paul Sheahan obviously appealed, but neither were really of the highest class. Richard Hadlee missed out because there was no way to accommodate his father Walter. Vinoo Mankad was another in this mix, but again his son Ashok was not good enough to warrant a place. Had I been willing to forego Greg Chappell I could have had an adhesive opening pair of Hanif and Shoaib Mohammad.
The contest for the ‘Cowdrey-Tremlett trophy’ (honouring two of the great cricket dynasties) would be a good one, with a splendid contest within a contest between Alec Bedser and Maurice Tate at the heart of it. I think the better balance of the intergenerational side just gives them the edge.
Continuing my series of all time XIs with Worcestershire.
Welcome to the next post in my series of All Time XIs. Today, following from the opening post which featured Surrey and the second about Gloucestershire the focus is on Worcestershire.
Peter Richardson – an England opener in the 1950s, and an obvious choice for this side.
Don Kenyon – from the same sort of era is Richardson, and unlucky not to play more international cricket than he did.
Graeme Hick – a massively prolific batter at county level who was badly mishandled at international level. The rules of qualifying for England by residence were changed in his favour and he was then rushed into the side at the first opportunity, struggled badly against a four-pronged West Indies pace attack and was then left out of the one-off match against Sri Lanka which should have been earmarked for his debut. He never fully recovered from this at the top level and finished with a test average of 31. He is the only person to have scored first class triple centuries in three different decades (1980s, 1990s and 2000s), although W G Grace scored two of his three in 1876 and the third in 1896.
Reginald Foster – a superb middle order batter who had the big occasion temperament – 171 in the Varsity Match, a century in each innings for the Gentlemen against the Players in 1900 and 287 on test debut at Sydney (one of two records he still holds, and the other of being the only man to captain full England teams at both cricket and football will definitely remain his).
Wilfrid Foster – a second member of an extraordinary family, seven brothers from which played for the county. I have opted for him in spite of his brief career rather than his brother H K Foster because he and brother Reginald once achieved a family double of each scoring two centuries in the same game – proof of how well they could bat together (this dual feat of high scoring was later emulated by Ian and Greg Chappell playing for Australia against New Zealand).
Basil D’Oliveira – attacking middle order batter and useful medium pacer who came late to first class cricket due being born in apartheid South Africa with non-white skin. With all due respect to Kevin Pietersen’s astounding Ashes clinching innings of 2005 he remains the author of the most influential innings of 158 ever to be played at The Oval – his effort triggered a series of events that led to South Africa spending a quarter of a century in cricketing isolation. Test series between England and South Africa are (when circumstances permit) contested for the D’Oliveira Trophy, currently in English hands after a very convincing victory in South Africa just a few months ago.
Robert Burrows – a speedster who still holds the record for sending a bail the furthest distance from the stumps (67 yards and six inches) and also capable of useful contributions with the bat.
*Norman Gifford – a slow left arm bowler who played for Worcestershire and Warwickshire at different stages of his very long career.
Len Coldwell– a medium pacer who spearheaded Worcestershire’s bowling the first two times they won the county champtionship (in 1964 and 1965, by which time Coldwell had already been on an Ashes tour).
Glenn McGrath – my overseas player, he would of course open the bowling, probably with Coldwell, possibly with Burrows. The second highest tally of test wickets by a pace bowler (behind James Anderson)
I could have picked any number of fast-medium bowlers who have played for Worcestershire down the years, but I think that Burrows’ outright speed combined with the control of Coldwell and McGrath would work well, with Gifford providing the main spin option. D’Oliveira and Hick could also both bowl some overs, and each would bring something different to the table in that department. The batting also looks solid.
Some thoughts on The Royal London Cup and England v Australia, and plenty of photographs.
Somerset are heading for a comfortable win over Hampshire in the final of the Royal London Cup – the only question being whether they will complete the job before I finish this post or not. Meanwhile at the Ageas bowl England are trying to beat Australia in a World Cup warm up match (the tournament proper begins on Thursday.
A CRICKETING WATERSHED
This final is a ‘last’ in two different ways. It is the last to take place at Lord’s, and it is the last domestic 50 over final to involve anything approaching full strength sides, because next year this tournament will be taking place at the same time as “The Hundred”, a new competition in which sides will contest matches of 100 balls per innings, and the best players will all be involved in that competition. Fortunately, although Somerset have been definitely the better side it has been a decent match. Hampshire were 180-8 at one point in their innings, but boosted that to 244-8 so that at least Somerset had some work to do. 56 from Northeast and 55 not out from Fuller (this latter contributg to the final fling mentioned above) were the top scores for Hampshire. Jamie Overton took 3-48, Josh Davey 2-28 from eight overs and remarkably Tom Abell, mainly a batter, had 2-19 from five. 69 from young wicketkeeper/batter Tom Banton at the top of the Somerset innings is the highest score of the day so far, Azhar Ali the other opener made 45, and James Hildreth is currently 45 not out, batting now in the company of youngster George Bartlett.
England are very much in the game against Australia, in spite of the fact that Australia were allowed to play a team of 12.
First, a new find for me – a couple of tiny little birds I spotted while out on a short walk earlier today and which (with help from Lynda Keen on twitter as well as my bird book) I have been able to identify as goldfinches:
The first round of County Championship matches in season 2018 is drawing to a conclusion. Where there has been action (Yorkshire’s failure to get their ground into playable condition caused their game against Essex to be abandoned without a ball being bowled). I also have some photos to share, and will provide answers to the last problems I posed.
RAIN, WICKETS AND THE ODD RUN
A lot of drawn games have resulted due to poor weather before and during the matches. However, those matches which have had definite results have been absolute crackers. Only one game remains in progress – Sussex against Warwickshire, with the former’s David Wiese having scored the only century of this first round of fixtures (and off a mere 94 balls, helped along by 14 fours and three sixes). Sussex are building are useful lead, but it will take something spectacular in what is left of the match for anything other than a draw to eventuate. Gloucestershire beat Kent in a very low scoring affair (the largest team total in any of the four innings was only just over 150). Middlesex also won their match in short order, completing the job early on yesterday. Two other matches had definite results:
HAMPSHIRE V WORCESTERSHIRE
Worcestershire generally have a lot of away games scheduled for early in the season to give the New Road ground an apportunity to recover from its winter inundation (it is very close to the river Severn, so this is pretty much an annual event), and this year is no exception. Their match against Hampshire at Southampton (I refuse on principle to refer directly to grounds that are named after a sponsor) saw many twists and turns, but Hampshire were pretty well always ahead of the game. James Vince’s spirited 75 on the opening day was a fine effort, but yet again he failed to turn a good start into a really significant score. All-rounder Gareth Berg matched Vince’s score. Worcestershire fought back from a dreadful start in their own first innings to top the 200 mark, but they still conceded a deficit of 79, and Hampshire then scored 244 in their second innings to leave Worcestershire needing 324 to win. Worcetserhsire were so far short of threatening this target that it took a defiant last wicket partnership to get the final margin below 200 runs.
LANCASHIRE V NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
Lancashire were all out for 158 in their first innings, Nottinghamshire responded with 222, and overnight Lancashire were 58-2. Harry Gurney and Jake Ball (Left-arm Fast and right-arm Fast Medium respectively) bowled magnificently this morning, and Lancashire’s last eight wickets scraped together a measly 15, which meant Nottinghamshire needed just 10 to win. Nottinghamshire themselves managed to lose four wickets while chasing down this target, making the score for the day 25-12.
These are all from this morning:
I posed these problems on Friday, in a post titled “Solutions (And New Problems)“
Deck of Cards:
This is a multi-choice question, the possible answers being:
a) Less than 50% b) More than 50% c) Exactly 50% This problem generated a huge amount of controversy among solvers on brilliant (many of those who opted for exactly 50% being unable to accept that they were wrong and arguing over it). The answer is “less than 50%” – whatever colour the top card in the pack is there remain 51 cards of which 25 are the same colour as the top card and 26 are the other colour. Hence the probability of the bottom card being the same colour is the top card is 25/51, which is just less than 50%. The more cards the deck contains the closer to 50% the probability gets, but it never reaches 50%.
This one caused such confusion to solvers om brilliant that over half of them got it wrong. The answer is A, since the groyne acts as a block against waves approaching it from the right as you look at it, and therefore the reduced speed of those waves causes sediment to deposited on that side of the groyne.
Producing a photographic wall calendar has become a tradition for this blog, and courtesy of a magnificent offer at Vistaprint (25 calendars plus postage for £129) this year’s are now on order (eta with me October 25th). The rest of this post gives you a preview.
Most of the pictures for this calendar come from my Scottish holiday, so they do no relate to particular months. There are one or two exceptions as you will see.
My next piece comes from Vox Political, who got direct from the person whose story it is, Paula Peters. The title of the piece “Bus driver subjects disability activist to humiliating discrimination” gives you a good idea of the nature of the story. British law on this matter is unequivocal – the bus driver is legally obliged to give wheelchair users priority over mothers with buggies (this courtesy of a court ruling in January). Given the completeness of the information Paula provides, the bus company in question have only one option open to them both legally and morally – they must sack the offending driver and must make sure that all their drivers are aware of their responsibilities to disabled passengers.
I started this post with a couple of science and nature related links, and now as we approach my photographs we are finishing where we started with stuff about nature, first of all Cindy Knoke with a wonderful post about a castle that has been dedicated to raptors, titled “Castle Rapture“.
With the last word before my photographs is Anna, who has recently posted part 13 of her amazing Paradise on Earth series, this time focussing on some of the smaller creatures who live in and around Trosa.
I will start this set of photographs with some of the smaller creatures I have recently captured, before finishing with some general pictures. These pictures were all taken yesterday.
If the illusion defeats you, you can find out where the circles are by going to the original post.
I finish this little section with a nod to the mathematical website Brilliant, which I am a regular visitor to (I am currently on a 64 day problem solving streak). As a sample here is a problem I solved today, rated at maximum difficulty by the site, pretty close to minimum by me:
You can look at solutions to this problem on the website, and I will reveal the answer on this blog tomorrow.
My second link is to the petitionsite, regarding a young women in El Salvador who having been raped and then had a miscarriage has then been jailed for 30 years due to the Catholic church influence anti-abortion laws of that country. The screenshot below is formatted as a link to take you to this petition to sign and if possible share it:
I finish this section on a lighter note, courtesy of whyevolutionistrue. This little piece titled “Where is North Korea? Some Americans have no idea” reminds us how unacquainted USians are with that area known as the rest of the world! Here is a screenshot of the opening paragraph:
I usually end my blog posts with some of my own photographs, but this photograph section has an additional feature – as a nod to the principal subjects of many of the photos that follow I offer you a musica prelude – Ottorino Respighi’s “The Birds”:
A couple of classic autism infographics I spotted in the last 24 hours and some photographs of my own.
The photographs which will be appearing in two tranches at the end of this post are mine, all taken yesterday. The two autism related infographics are shared from elsewhere (credit given at appropriate points). I saw the first of these yesterday evening and the second this morning.
First, courtesy of Patricia, who tweets as @pgzwicker, comes this gem:
The second was originally posted on Our Autism Blog this morning, and I link to that post so that you can comment on it there should you wish:
The first of the two sets of my photographs that I am putting up here were taken while out walking yesterday morning:
The last few pictures for today were taken yesterday afternoon while sitting outside my parents house in East Rudham. These are probably the last shots I will have from there as my parents are moving to Plymouth.
A post focussing on me giving a radio interview. Some mention of a roller-skating session and of the current test-match. And of course some photographs.
The title part of this post refers to one of the things I did yesterday. I also have some pictures to share.
AN AUTISM CENTRED MORNING
Of course, as branch secretary of the National Autistic Society’s West Norfolk branch and an #actuallyautistic person there is a way in which autism is always at the heart of what I do. After three days carrying out my concatenation of roles at a James and Sons auction (operator of the system that enables us to take online bids, database administrator, query fielder, in-house ‘Gordianus’, occasional customer service person – see here for a full account) I had a day on which my only preset commitment was to supervise a roller-skating session at Lynnsport between 11 and 12. In the absence of direct confirmation of a time that would be convenient to speak to Ashleigh at KLFM 96.7 (our local radio station) about our upcoming 10th anniversary I decided that I would set off early for Lynnsport and see if I could speak to her on the way or as a fall-back arrange to call in on my way back.
Ashleigh was able to fit me in straight away, and the interview went well (she will be sending me both a recording and an online article that will accompany the actual broadcast), and I left for Lynnsport with my spirits high – I had helped myself, advertised our upcoming 10th anniversary event and due its connection with the foregoing also made mention of our gardening grant and the allotment on Ferry Lane + plans for a sensory garden in part of the plot. It is because of this gardening stuff that we gained the use of the magnificent garden where our 10th anniversary celebration will be held.
The roller-skating passed without incident and I was able to listen to some of the action from the third test-match (even assuming I had both the ability and the willingness to pay the Biased Bull****ting Conservatives £150 per year I would choose to follow cricket by listening to radio commentaries rather than watching on TV). Yesterday was truncated by rain, but England have had a good day today – first reaching 353 largely thanks to a magnificent innings from Stokes and now bagging a South African wicket before tea – debutant Toby Roland-Jones breaking through.