Yesterday’s Outcomes and Today’s Predictions

An account of the outcome of yesterday’s matches and prediciions on all of those matches from today that were still going at the time of writing.

INTRODUCTION

In this post I cover the outcomes of yesterday’s matches and make halfway predictions on today’s matches.

YESTERDAY’S MATCHES

I made predictions about two games yesterday:

  • Middlesex v SussexSussex 298 (48 overs), Middlesex 176 all out (33-3 overs), Sussex won by 122 runs.
    Luke Wright’s magnificent innings seemed to have taken this game right away from Middlesex, and so it proved. Middlesex’s effort was surprisingly spineless. Eskinazi top scored with 42. Mir Hamza had 3-43, George Garton 2-35, and left-arm spinner Danny Briggs 2-11 from five overs.
  • Kent v PakistanPakistan 358-7 from 50 overs, Kent 258 all out (44.1 overs) Pakistan won by 100 runs.
    Kent fared respectably faced with a huge total from Pakistan but were never in the contest. Alex Blake made 89, but did not have enough support, the next best effort being 49 from Ollie Robinson. Yasir Shah took three wickets but also got smashed for 90 runs in his ten overs. Fakhar Zaman, Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali all took two wickets, and the first Ashraf was outstandingly economical as well (just 16 conceded in five overs).

Thus I called both correctly, meaning that my overall record now stands at 23/36…

TODAY’S PREDICTIONS

Unfortunately Leicestershire’s incompetence has denied me the opportunity to make on prediction as that match is already over – I will cover it at the end of this section. Here are the remainder:

  • Worcestershire v WarwickshireWarwickshire 315-5 from 50 overs
    Sam Hain’s 161 was the backbone of a decent total for Warwickshire (offspinning allrounder Liam Banks was second with 44). However, Worcetsershire have made some big totals already this season and I back them to chase this one down. There were no notable bowling efforts from Worcestershire.
  • Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire Yorkshire 213 all out from 42.2 overs
    A poor total for Yorkshire, and I fully expect Nottinghamshire to cruise home with time to spare. 63 for Adam Lyth and 39 from Harry Brook were the best batting efforts. Jake Ball with 3-32 was the most successful bowler.
  • Gloucestershire v Somerset Somerset 242-9 from 50 overs
    Not a huge total for Somerset, but given their bowlers and their record thus far I fully expect them to defend it. Lewis Gregory top scored with 52 (if the Somerset bowlers do what I expect he will be serious candidate for player of the match), and there were forties from Azhar Ali and Tom Abell. Benny Howell with 3-45 and Tom Smith with 2-36 were the pick of the Gloucestershire bowlers.
  • Glamorgan v Surrey Glamorgan 323-7 from 50 overs.
    A big total for Glamorgan, and one that shoukld be enough even for them to be able to defend it. Billy Root, younger brother of England test skipper Joe Root, made 113 not out and Marchant De Lange 58 not out. Morne Morkel took 3-47 for Surrey.
  • Essex v Hampshire Essex 341-6 from 50 overs
    A fine total by Essex, and one that they should defend without too much trouble. The leading Essex scores were 89 a piece from Ravi Bopara and Ryan Ten Doeschate (the latter’s coming off just 53 balls), while Tom Westley hit 48. In amongst Essex’s revenge for their county championship humiliation by Hampshire at the start odf the season bits ‘n’ pieces man Liam Dawson took 2-39 from his 10 overs.
  • Durham v Derbyshire Derbyshire 255-8 from 50 overs
    A so-so effort from Derbyshire, and the fact that Critchley (49 not out) and Lace (48) were the top scorers leads to me to suspect that Durham will chase these down. No one had stand out figures among the Durham bowlers, although Liam Trevaskis was once again the most economical with 1-21 from five overs. 

So my predicitions are Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Glamorgan, Essex and Durham, which leaves the one I was denied an opportunity to predict:

Lancashire v Leicestershire Leicestershire 80 all out from 37 overs, Lancashire 83-1 from 19 overs, Lancashire won by nine wickets with 186 balls.
A disgraceful show from Leicestershire. Harry Dearden made 20 and Ben Mike 18, and those were the only double figure scores for Leicestershire, while Saqib Mahmood took 5-14 to continue a good season fo him, Liam Hurt, whose profile on cricinfo remains very incomplete, though I can reveal from Lancashire’s own records that he is a 24 year old right arm seamer, took 2-24. Although Jennings contrived to lose his wicket to Dieter Klein, Steven Croft (37 not out) and Haseeb Hameed (29 not out) took Lancashire to a ridiculously easy victory. Leicestershire should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for this capitulation. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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A Classic Test Match

some thoughts about the recent test match between England and the West Indies, declarations and umpires.

INTRODUCTION

This post is devoted the second test match of the current England versus West Indies series, which ended at about 6:45PM on Tuesday. 

THE EARLY EXCHANGES

England batted first and reached 258 only because Ben Stokes (100) and Joe Root (59) were reprieved early in their innings by bad West Indies fielding. Kraigg Brathwaite (134) and Shai Hope (147) were the cornerstones of a the West Indies response, which eventually reached 427, a lead of 169. In the second England innings no-one reached three figures but there were solid efforts all the way down the line, and at 490-8 Joe Root decided to declare and give the West Indies a little session of batting just before the close of the fourth day. 

THE FINAL INNINGS

The West Indies made it to the close of the fourth day without losing a wicket. Brathwaite made 95 in this second innings, coming within five of becoming the first batsman ever to score twin centuries in a first-class match at Headingley (and this was the 534th such fixture at the ground), a feat that was finally achieved by player of the match Shai Hope, who also received support from Roston Chase (30) and Jermaine Blackwood (a rapid 41 in the closing stages) who ended up 118 not out, and appropriately enough scored the winning runs. 

There are two features that I am going to make specific comments about, starting with…

JOE ROOT’S DECLARATION

For all that the end result was not what he would have wanted I still say, as I said on twitter at the time, and again a day later when the result was imminent, that this was a good declaration, and that Root was entirely right to go for victory. I remember (though few others will as it was not actually a pafrticularly good match) the Australia v West Indies test match at Adelaide in 2009 when the West Indies were one match down in the series after being soundly defeated at the ‘Gabbatoir’ (a nickname for the Woolloongabba stadium in Brisbane, also known as the Gabba) based on what often happens to visiting teams there) but declined to declare, batting on into the final day. Australia faced a target of 330 off 81, and skipper Ponting decided to settle for the draw rather than going after this target. By the end of the day there were not many people left in the ground (I know whereof I write – I was one of the few who did stay right to the end). I condemn Ponting for this decision to preserve his team’s 1-0 lead in the series rathwer than trying to make it 2-0, as also I condemn the decision of Ryan Ten Doeschate today to extend the Essex second innings into the final afternoon rather than make a serious attempt to win the match by declaring at or even before lunch. PS when I wrote this paragraph I did not realise that Somerset’s “resistance” would be quite so utterly spineless – it now looks like Essex may get their victory after all.

While I do not quite as far as the legendary Sammy Woods (who played for Somerset in the lat 19th and early 20th centuries) who once responded to an enquiry about whether his team might have played for a draw in a game they ended up losing responded with “draws…they’re for bathing in” but I do not hold the draw in high regard and would much prefer a team take risks in the attempt to win than see them play safely for the draw. In the special case of a team being one match to the good going into the final match of a series I would condone a more cautious approach being taken, although Kevin Pietersen’s magnificent series clinching innings at The Oval in 2005 was hardly cautious!

To finish this section: Joe Root was justified in declaring when he did (as was David Gower at Lord’s in 1984 when the result was even more embarrassing for England, courtesy of a magnificent 214 not out from Gordon Greenidge), and this result stands to the credit of the West Indies batting, especially that of Brathwaite and Hope and not to the debit of Root’s declaration. 

SOME SENSIBLE UMPIRING

According to the strict letter of the law play in a purely day game cannot continue if the floodlights are providing more light than the natural light. I congratulate the umpires in this match for not acting with Emeritus Professor of Biosophistry like pedantry and curtailing play due to the light, thus depriving the West Indies of their well-earned victory. There seems little doubt that the light was bad enough to have warranted taking the players off, but the umpires realised given the match situation was such that the players should be kept out there. 

Here are a couple of links relating to this test match:

LOOKING AHEAD

The final match of this series should be good, and almost certainly will feature a moment of history as James Anderson goes into it with 497 test wickets to his credit. Then England have the task of taking on Australia in Australia. This is a seriously tough task, but I think that this England squad can do it.

PHOTOGRAPHS

As always I end this post with some of my own photographs:

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