The conclusion of the county championship season 2019, a busy week and a photography prize.
I will be covering a lot of ground in this post, hence the title. As well as stuff about this week I will be looking ahead a couple of days. Before moving on to the main body of the post I start with…
THE END OF THE ENGLISH CRICKET SEASON
The last round of County Championship fixtures was largely spoilt by the weather. Somerset managed to keep things interesting in the championship decider in spite of more than half the match being washed away. Having managed 203 themselves they bowled Essex out for 141 and forfeited their second innings (only a win would do for them, so they had to go all in) leaving Essex 63 to get in 65 minutes of playing time. Essex, with no incentive to go for the runs, played time out quietly, finishing on 48-1. Elsewhere Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire secured promotion to division one in a match in which less than one whole innings was played, Gloucestershire reaching 220-7 (having at one stage been 67-6). The experienced Graeme Van Buuren made 93, and 18 year old Ben Charlesworth was on 77 not out, having not ever looked like being dislodged – expect to see more of that name in the future. The decision to abandon the final day’s play without a ball being bowled may very well have denied him a maiden first class hundred.
Had the big match at Taunton been allowed to go the distance I suspect that Somerset would have won it and claimed their first County Championship, but as it is their wait for a title extends into its 129th year. Essex too would probably have preferred matters to be settled on the pitch rather than by the weather, as they will know that this title, their second County Championship in three seasons, will always have an asterisk against it in people’s minds due to the ruination of this final game. Somerset meanwhile will rue the way they collapsed to Kyle Abbott at Southampton in their penultimate match, which allowed Essex to move to the top of the table, leaving Somerset needing a win in the last game.
A BUSY FEW DAYS
Here is what I have been doing since I last posted here:
Tuesday – Yes I Can 2 at the Corn Exchange. I was there for the duration of this important event, and the NAS West Norfolk stand attracted plenty of interest.
Wednesday – Drop In Centre at the 7th Scout Hall, Portland Place. It was also on this day that the 2020 aspi.blog wall calendars arrived.
Thursday – physio session at Tapping House in the morning and CBT with Dr Daglish in the afternoon.
On Sunday I will be journeying to Norwich for the Disability Pride Photographic Exhibition, having just been notified by the organizers that one of my photos has won third prize – yes folks, I am now officially a prize winning photographer. I have not yet been told which the prize winning photograph was, but it was one of these:
A look at the early stages of the ‘winner takes all’ match between Somerset and Essex for the County Championship.
One of the greatest of all English cricket seasons is drawing to a close, with the last fixtures thereof, the last round of County Championship games having got underway at 10:30AM today. The big game is at Taunton, where Somerset take on Essex in a “winner takes all” clash for the title. A draw would be enough for Essex as they currently head the table, having deposed Somerset from that position in the last round of games. This post looks at what is in store of the next four days.
AN EXPECTED BATTLE OF THE SPINNERS
Needing to win, Somerset had to prepare a ‘result’ pitch, and with two international quality spinners to call on it was thus no surprise, even with Simon Harmer in the ranks of the opposition that a ‘Bunsen’* was prepared. The nature of this pitch is illustrated by the fact that Somerset have included a third front line spinner, South African Roelof Van Der Merwe, in addition to Leach and Bess, while Essex have selected Aron Niijar, a slow left armer who pays 42 a piece for his first class scalps in addition to Harmer, while Tom Westley, mainly a batter, may get a go with his spinners as well. Somerset have won the toss and are batting, and have made a poor start, with Sam Cook bagging two wickets with new ball (a rather better known Cookwill be opening the batting for Essex when the time comes).
My own view is that in the situation, and given their bowling strengths, Somerset had to prepare a pitch of this nature and rely on getting the better of the battle of the spinners. Somerset’s pace bowling is in the hands of Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton, while Essex have Jamie Porter opening the bowling with Cook. Somerset have Tom Abell to provide seam bowling back up if needed, while Essex may turn to Ryan ten Doeschate and/or Ravi Bopara for help in that department. It would only be fitting for this season which has seen that World Cup Final, two last-ball finishes on T20 finals day and various other remarkable finishes to conclude with one final battle going right to the wire, and I hope that is what happens. James Hildreth’s bat is starting to sound quite sweet for Somerset, and Abell at the other end has played a number of gritty innings this season, and the could use another today.
This would be Somerset’s first County Championship, whereas Essex have won quite a few over the years, so as an inveterate underdog supporter I am rooting for Somerset. Whichever team wins this will be winning their second trophy of the season, Somerset having won the 50 over competition (the last occasion on which that will truly be a first team contest, due to The Hundred starting next season), while Essex won the T20 trophy on Saturday.
*’Bunsen’ is a piece of rhyming slang – Bunsen burner = turner.
An account of goings on the County Championship, a brief mention of physio at Tapping House and lots of photographs.
The County Championship matches currently in progress are now on day 3 of 4. In this post I will look at all of them before sharing some more of my photos.
THE STATE OF PLAY IN
THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
This is what is happening around the country…
Nottinghamshire v Essex – Nottinghamshire 187 and 157, Essex 241 and 81-1, Essex need a further 24 to win.
The Nottinghamshire batting has failed twice, leaving Essex a fairly clear run to victory. No Nottinghamshire batter topped 50 in either innings. Nick Browne made 67 in the Essex first dig, while spinner Simon Harmer destroyed the Notts second innings with 6-50. Tom Westley is on the verge of only the second half-century of the match and is being staunchly supported by the only knight of the realmcurrently playing first class cricket. Joe Clarke of my “Five to Follow” made 48 and 1 for Notts.
Kent v Yorkshire – Yorkshire 210 and 328-4, Kent 296.
Kent took what would have looked a useful first innings lead, but Yorkshire have turned this one around in their second innings. They will now be eyeing up a declaration to give Kent an awkward period of batting before the close today and then the whole of tomorrow. 81 for Zak Crawley and 103 from wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson were Kent’s main batting efforts, while Gary Ballance is 143 not out in the second Yorkshire innings. Ben Coad and Duanne Olivier each took three wickets for Yorkshire.
Surrey v Somerset – Surrey 380 and 19-2, Somerset 398.
This one could go a long way to deciding the ultimate destiny of the title as it features the defending champions (Surrey) and the form side thus far this year (Somerset). So far this shaping up as Lewis Gregory’s match – three wickets in the first innings, a magnificent 129 not out, including 10 fours and five sixes to give Somerset a first innings lead and already has a second innings wicket (the other second innings wicket has gone to the Devonian giant Craig Overton). Somerset have quite a tradition of pace bowlers who love to give the ball a wallop – Sammy Woods, Arthur Wellard, Maurice Tremlett (grandfather of Chris, father of Tim), the one with whom we do not compare up and coming allrounders because it gives them an impossible benchmark and a few other lesser names, and Gregory with the development of his batting bids fair to join them. It would be a big ask for anyone to start out in an Ashes series, but I certainly hope that Gregory will be in the winter touring parties. George Bartlett failed in the Somerset first innings but may get a second chance, if Somerset bowl Surrey out.
Warwickshire v Hampshire – Hampshire 354 and 186-3, Warwickshire 233.
I suspect that Hampshire will be looking at batting until there is an hour to go in this day’s play before sticking Warwickshire back in to face a huge target in the fourth innings. The fact that they are going at over five an over in a four-day game tells me that they are looking very definitely at victory. Alsopmade 150 in the first Hampshire innings, Sibleycarried his bat through the Warwickshire first innings for his sixth century in as many matches. 23 year-old Oliver Soames scored 62 in the second Hampshire innings, 22 year-old Joe Weatherley 46, while Northeast and Rossouware currently batting together.
Glamorgan v Gloucestershire – Glamorgan 250 and 184-1, Gloucestershire 463.
Glamorgan are making a fight of this in their second innings, but probably need to bat until teatime tomorrow to save this one after conceding such a huge first innings deficit. Ryan Higgins matched James Bracey’s century in the Gloucestershire innings, while Hemphrey and Wagg made fifties in the Glamorgan first innings. Hemphrey has made another fifty in the second innings while Nicholas Selman is on 83 not out. 20 year-old offspinner George Drissell took 4-83 in the Glamorgan first innings.
Middlesex v Leicestershire – Middlesex 349 and 147-8, Leicestershire 268. After taking a useful looking first innings lead Middlesex are making an utter Horlick’s of their second innings, giving Leicestershire a way back into the match. Sixties for Ackerman and Dearden were the principal scores for Leicestershire, while no one has reached 40 in the Middlesex second innings. Tom Taylor and Chris Wright each have three wickets.
Worcestershire v Durham – Durham 273 and 107-5, Worcestershire 390.
Durham are deep in trouble in this one. A century for Wessels and 61 for 21 year old Some helped Worcestershire to a substantial first innings lead. In the Durham second innings Burnham and Liam Trevaskis are together, the latter having picked up a wicket with his slow left-arm in the Worcestershire innings.
Essex have completed their win over Nottinghamshire. Westley fell for 49, but Dan Lawrence and the knight saw Essex home, the latter finishing with 40 not out. Jack Leach has just bagged a wicket with his slow-leftarmers, reducing Surrey to 43-3, a mere 24 runs on – defo looking good for Somerset.
Some of these photographs were taken at Tapping House where I had a physio session on Tuesday. All the exercises went well, highlighted by the arms only part of cycling, where I clocked up the equivalent of a mile in three minutes.
Some thoughts about the possible make-up of the England team against Ireland later this year.
In this post I will be looking at the claims of some potential England cricketers and at the end I will list those who at present would featurie in my plans for the summer. There will be some new names, because although it is only one match I believe that the game against Ireland represents an opportunity to give people a start at test match level, and I would prefer not to have give someone a debut against Australia, who are next up. Before looking at ‘potentials’, it is time clear the decks by first listing the…
SPINE OF THE TEAM
This, given the recent international retirement of Sir Alastair Cook and the lack of success of certain others comprises four names:
Rory Burns– He deserves more time to show what he can do at this level (here today, gone tomorrow selections plagued the 1990s when England were an aboslute embarrassment), so one of the openers slots is still his.
*Joe Root– The captain and finest batter in the side (and one of the finest in world cricket), his place is assured
+Ben Foakes– The best wicketkeeper around and averaging over 40 with the bat in his brief test career to date, I would regard his omission as a disgrace.
James Anderson – England’s all-time leading wicket taker and the leader of the bowling attack. As well as his bowling he should be working with the younger bowlers in the squad giving them the benefit of his vast experience and knowhow.
With these four names in mind we now have to decide on the rest, and the next section sets out what is…
REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE SQUAD
We have two specialist batters and a wicket keeper, and to augment them we need three more specialist batters and an all-rounder or four more specialist batters, one of whom is a regular opener. Only one bowler is listed, and we need a new-ball partner for him, at least two further pace bowlers and two front-line spinners so that we can pick an attack to meet all conditions. With this in mind I am going to start with the…
As far as I am concerned Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jenningshave both been found wanting at the highest level, so I strike them straight out. Not many openers have done big things in the first two rounds of county championship matches. Three who merit consideration are Haseeb Hameed who fared well against India before he was injured, but who has had two successive very poor seasons before coming into some runs against Middlesex to start this season, Zak Crawley who has had a superb match for Kent against Warwickshire, although his overall average is only just above 30 and his century in the match just completed was only his second in first-class cricket (from 39 innings) and Dominic Sibley whose 132 for Warwickshire in that same match was fifth century in as many games. Also worth a thought is Middlesex’s Nick Gubbins, who averages 34.92 in first class cricket with seven centuries from 61 innings, and who was one of the few Middlesex players to fare decently with the bat against Lancashire. Of these four my pick would be 25 year-old Gubbins, but with a note to look out for the scores of Hameed, Crawley and Sibley – if any of these start producing big scores on a consistent basis they could still challenge. However, I am not massively convinced by any of these potential openers, and continue to espouse the radical solution I have suggested elsewhere of giving Tammy Beaumont a go amongst the men.
THE NUMBER THREE SLOT
There are fewer options here – not many people have been scoring big at number three. I see the following possibilities:
Persuade Joe Root to go in at number three, enabling an extra middle-order batter to be selected, which could work, but may end up adversely affecting Root’s performances.
Treating him principally as a batter who will sometimes bowl short spells at high pace see if the new, responsible Ben Stokes can handle the number three slot.
Although he does not bat there for his county cross one’s fingers and pitch Joe Clarke straight in at number three.
Gamble on youth by selecting Ryan Patel of Surrey, whose 100 not out was the sheet anchor of their first innings against Essex, guiding them from 75-1 to 395 all out. Fine performance though it was, it was also his first first class hundred, though he is only 21.
My personal order of preference for these options is as follows: 3, 2, 5, 1, 4 – I regard promoting Root as too much of a gamble and think that expecting someone who is not a regular no 3 to start doing that job at test level would be a big ask, and I think Patel needs a few more big performances be can be seriously entertained, but he is on my radar.
THE REMAINING BATTERS/ ALL ROUNDERS
With the top four slots filled and a wicket-keeper in place we need either two more specialist batters or a specialist batter and an all-rounder. My possibles are as follows:
Joe Clarke– averages over 40 with the bat, started this season splendidly with 112 and 97 not out against Yorkshire, although he then failed twice against Somerset. I believe a place must be found for him, and that number five would be a good position for him to begin his test career from.
Ben Stokes – A position in the middle of the order would probably suit him better than number three, and having an all-rounder if they are genuinely good enough is always valuable.
Ollie Pope – The Surrey man’s 251 in the Champion County game showed that he is the form of his life and made his case all but irrefutable.
Tom Abell– The Somerset captain has played two valuable innings this season, the 49 in the first innings against Kent and the hundred against Nottinghamshire when his side looked in trouble, but ended up going on to win by an innings.
Kiran Carlson – A sparkling century to start his season against Northamptonshire, albeit on a featherbed of a pitch (there were over 80 runs per wicket in that drawn match), and it was only his fourth in 49 first class innings. The 20 year-old is clearly very promising but he needs to do more to earn a place.
George Bartlett – Twice in their two matches this season Somerset were deep in trouble and on both occasions Bartlett was instrumental in hauling them out of it. In the second innings of their opener against Kent his 63, backed by some hefty blows from Jack Brooks at number 11 gave them something to bowl at and they duly dismissed Kent, while against Nottinghamshire he came in after the top three had all been dismissed cheaply and with his team initially looking down both barrels produced 133, his maiden first-class ton (note that Carlson was cashing in after two of his team mates had already smashed tons). The fact that he has twice made runs when they were desperately needed suggests that he has the right temperament, so he is definitely in the reckoning.
We are looking for two or three guys to back up Anderson in this department. I see the following as especially worthy of consideration (in addition to Stuart Broad, whose claims need no amplification here):
Lewis Gregory – 5-18 in the second innings of the first match to bowl Kent out, 6-68 in the first innings against Nottinghamshire and a quick fifty to help boost the Somerset total past 400 in that same match. The 26 year old now has 223 wickets at 27.03 in first-class cricket from 76 matches and seems to have stepped things up a notch this season, with a total of 14-145 from two matches, average 10.36 per wicket.
Sam Curran – after the way he burst on the scene against India last year he should feature strongly again. He has not been involved in the early county matches because he is currently playing IPL cricket in India (and has some good performances there to his name).
Mark Wood – A bowler who propels the ball at over 90mph, though he is injury prone. I think England need at least one bowler of extreme pace in their attack, and after his efforts against the West Indies he is the prime contender. If he gets injured than my choice in this role would be…
Olly Stone– The Norfolk born quickie takes his wickets at 24 each in first-class cricket, and has the kind of extreme pace that only Wood among the others can match.
Tom Bailey– The Lancashire fast-medium bowler has 161 wickets from his 48 first-class games at 26.15 each, including 5-67 in the Middlesex first innings this season, when his illustrious tem mate Anderson bagged three. The fact that he and Anderson have experience of bowling in tandem could be useful as well.
Henry Brookes – He is just 19 years old, and his seven first class matches have brought him 24 wickets at 26.08 although he has yet to record a five-for. Also hbis ten first class innings have produced three fifty-plus scores, including a career best 84 against Kent that saved his side from an innings defeat, although Kent did manage to chase down the 124 they needed to win, an average of 29.33. He could well develop into a genuine allrounder and definitely merits consideration as a potential no 8.
From the bowlers I have named in this section Stuart Broad, Sam Curran, one out of Wood or Stone and Brookes are the ones I consider serious possibilities. I would consider Brookes if the conditions were such that I thought no spinner was warranted, in which case I would be picking four front-line quick bowlers, otherwise the question would be who missed out in the toss-up between Broad and Curran, and that would be Broad for my money, because he and Anderson are both nearing the end of their great careers, and I think Anderson can support the younger bowlers on his own. I would expect Anderson and Curran to share the new ball, with Mark Wood (if fit) or Olly Stone (otherwise) coming on first change, and Henry Brookes as fourth seamer if the pitch was a green top.
Jack Leach with his 6-36 against Nottinghamshire made his case, strengthened by a maiden test five-for in Sri Lanka, irrefutable. In the absence of any other spinners pulling up trees Adil Rashidwho also produced a maiden test five-for over the winter is the choice for the second spinner should conditions warrant such (unlikely, but in July when the next tets match takes place not impossible). Moeen Alimisses out for two reasons – he is not good enough in either department, a bits and pieces player rather than a true all rounder, and he is an off-spinner, and Joe Root (who should be encouraged to trust himself more in this area) can bowl a bit of off-spin if needed. Meanwhile I will be on the look out for a serious option to replace Rashid. Dominic Bess may get himself back into the reckoning as the season goes on, but for the moment two front-line spinners remains enough.
THE FINAL RECKONING
My squad is as follows, starting with the likely first eleven assuming normal conditions:
Mark Wood/ Olly Stoneaccording to fitness.
The reserves and circumstances in which I would consider picking them are:
Adil Rashid – plays if two spinners are needed.
Henry Brookes – plays on a green-top if no specialist spinner is deemed necessary.
George Bartlett – plays at no7 if Stokes is unavailable, on the understanding that his off-spin will come into the equation.
Stuart Broad – slots into his accustomed role as Anderson’s new ball partner if Sam Curran is injured, would also replace Anderson as senior bowler if he was injured, and may start if neither of our extra-fast bowlers is available.
Ollie Pope – in the event of injury to any of my suggested nos 3-6 he is the next cab off the rank.
Dominic Sibley – if one of my preferred openers is injured he gets the nod.
Some thoughtd on the recently concluded round of County Champ;ionship matches.
The second round of County Championship cricket matches of 2019 has just finished, with Kent completing an eight-wicket win over Warwickshire. In this post I will look at each match in turn for points of interest and singificance.
I will deal with the drawn matches first.
Glamorgan v Northamptonshire – Glamorgan 570-8 declared and 70-1, Northants 750 A travesty of a game. 1390 runs for 17 wickets, an average of 81.76 runs per wicket tells its own story of a pitch that quite clearly never offered anything to any bowler of any description. Glamorgan should be slapped with a hefty points deduction to punish them for producing such a pitch. With a maximum of 24 points available from a single game I suggest a 50 point penalty, to make this offence worth slightly more than two maximum point victories. This sort of match is far worse than a low scoring affair that finishes early.
Gloucestershire v Derbyshire– Derbyshire 291 and 388-3 declared, Gloucestershire 350 Slow batting here combined with a surface that offered little to bowlers saw a match that looked like a draw from a long way out. Wayne Madsen scored a double century for Derbyshire today and Alex Hughes reached a century.
Surrey v Essex– Surrey 395 and 324-6 declared, Essex 448 and 0-0 Surrey made the game safe, with 98 from Rory Burns, 69 from Ollie Pope and 54 from Will Jacks, before declaring to get in a quick over at Essex in order avoid being docked a point for slow over rates. There was some interference from the weather during the four days.
Now we have the games at which defnite results were achieved.
Nottinghamshire v Somerset – Nottinghamshire 263 and 126, Somerset 403, Somerset won by an innings and 14 runs Somerset’s victory was created principally by the efforts of four players. Lewis Gregory with 6-68 in the first Nottinghamshire innings and a quickfire 50 with the bat, George Bartlettand Tom Abell came who came together after Somerset had lost three quick wickets in their innings and put on 223 together, Bartlett making 133 and Abell 101, and Jack Leachwith 6-36 in the Nottinghamshire second innings did the business for Somerset. Joe Clarke failed twice for Nottinghamshire, and although there were some decent scores in the first Nottinghamshire innings no one looked capable of making the sort of runs that Clarke can when he gets going. Somerset go into the one-day tournament with two wins from two, the only team to have managed that.
Hampshire v Yorkshire – Yorkshire 554-7 declared, Hampshire 302 and 208, Yorkshire won by an innings and 44 runs This was nearly even worse for Hampshire than the actual result – at one stage they were 59-8 in their second innings before Liam Dawson (92) and Keith Barker(64) staged a resistance act that put the pitiful efforts of the Hampshire top order into perspective.
Warwickshire v Kent – Kent 504-9 declared and 124-2, Warwickshire 346 and 280, Kent won by eight wickets. Warwickshire were probably nine first innings runs short of escaping with a draw – that being the margin by which they avoided the follow-on. At one stage an innings victory for Kent looke likely, when Warwickshire were 121-7 in their second innings, but Tim Ambrose (107) and 19 year old Henry Brookes (84, a new career best), put on 144 together, which meant that Kent had a run chase to finish the game, something they never looked like failing to do. Opener Zak Crawley had a fine match with scores of 108 and 45 for Kent, and Warwickshire opener Dominic Sibley scored 132 in their first innings, his fifth hundred in as many games. Brookes is selected for his bowling (now 24 wickets at 26.08 from seven first class games), but this 84 was his third fifty in ten first innings, and he now averages 29.33 with the bat as well – a more than handy second string to his bow.
Durham v Sussex– Durham 224 and 189, Sussex 202 and 212-4, Sussex won by six wickets Stian van Zyl scored an unbeaten century to guide Sussex to victory in this match. Liam Trevaskis made 54 in the first Durham innings, and South Africa Gareth Harte 74 not out in their second, while Luke Wells hit 98 not out in the first Sussex innings.
Leicestershire v Worcestershire – Worcestershire 553-6 declared, Leicestershire 302 and 233, Worcestershire won by an innings and 18 runs. After Worcestershire piled up a huge total Josh Tonguewith 4-46 and Ed Barnardwith 3-40 did most of the damage in the Leicestershire first innings, and then Charlie Morristook a career best 7-45 in their second.
Middlesex v Lancashire – Middlesex 265 and 200, Lancashire 427 and 39-3, Lancashire won by seven wickets Middlesex were flattered by this result – two of the three wickets they took before Lancashire completed victory fell to the rarely used bowling of Sam Robson. A target of 39 presented no opportunities for big scores, but Haseeb Hameed followed up on his first innings hundred by remaining unbeaten. GlenMaxwell was the destroyer in the Middlesex second innings, the Aussie’s off-spin snaring five victims. Haseeb’s return to form has generated considerable excitement because he did well for England before an injury interrupted his progress, but he has had two successive very poor seasons before starting this one well, and it needs more than one big performance to earn an England recall – I certainly put Zak Crawley ahead of him in the pecking order, and regular readers know that I have my own unorthodox solution to England’s top order woes as well, so Hameed is definitely not above third in my personal pecking order for opening options.
I will look tomorrow at some players who could be considered for England (and bear in mind that the next test match is not until July, and is against Ireland, surely an opportunity to blood some new players) and will pick out a suggested squad.
The final post in my “100 cricketers” series, with updates from the County Cham;pionship and some of my photographs. Also features a complete listing of the 100 cricketers.
Welcome to the final post in my “100 cricketers series“, which completes the century of cricketers with a player who frequently completed centuries. The introductory post to the series can be found here and the most recent post can be found here. Before the big reveal it is time for a…
COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE
The second round of matches are now into their third day of four, and the situations are:
Hampshire v Yorkshire – Yorkshire 554-7D, Hampshire 223-5 Sam Northeastcontinues his fine start to the season, currently being on 85 not out, while he is getting support from Liam Dawson(39 not out). Ben Coad has taken two wickets for Yorkshire. If Hampshire reach 405 and avoid the follow-on this game will definitely be drawn. If they do not then Yorkshire should enforce the follow-on and hope to bowl them out a second time – failure to do so would be to accept a secon successive draw.
Nottinghamshire v Somerset– Nottinghamshire 263 and 111-7, Somerset 403 Nottinghamshire are in a spin, and it it is looking like a second straight victory for Somerset. Jack Leach, Somerset and England’s slow left-armer has taken 5-22 so far, the other two second innings wickets going to Jack Brooks. Will George Bartlett (one of my Five to Follow) get a chance to deploy his off-spin? Lewis Gregory(another of the five) augmented his first innings 6-68 with a quickfire 50 yesterday, but has not added to his wickets tally in this innings. Joe Clarke (the third of the five to be involved in this game) suffered a second failure, being out for 2 again.
Kent v Warwickshire – Kent 504-9 declared, Warwickshire 262-7 There are two results on the cards – a Kent win if they get Warwickshire out before the total reaches 355 (follow-on avoidance target) and enforce the follow-on and bowl them out a second time, or a draw if Warwickshire get to or beyond 355. Dominic Sibley, opneing the innings, is 128 not out, and Warwickshire’s hopes of escape rest largely on his shoulders. Matt Milnes has three wickets and Harry Podmore and Darren ‘Benjamin Button’ Stevens(he is now 43 years old) have two each.
Durham v Sussex– Durham 224 and 159-9, Sussex 202 A nailbiter in the making – Durham have fought back somewhat from 106-7 in their second kinnings. Liam Trevaskis could not follow up on his first innings 50, collecting a blob this time. This means that of my Five to Follow only Philip Salt, who will be batting before too long remains to contribute. David Wiese has five wickets for Sussex.
STOP PRESS! Somerset have made it two from two, beating Nottinghamshire by an innings and 14. Jack Leach took 6-36 and Jack Brooks 4-22, as Nottinghamshire sank for 126. This means two wins out of two as they go into a month’s break in the championship for a one-day tournament. Somerset are looking very strong contenders, although they will need their top order to score a few runs somewhere along the way. This effort in his first bowling spell of the new season has surely confirmed Leach’s place in the England squad. Now back to the regular updates…
Glamorgan v Northamptonshire – Glamorgan 570-8 declared, Northamptonshire 403-3 This one is being capsized by an overload of runs. Vasconcelos (South African) and Newton shared a triple century opening stand for Northamptonshire, the former making 184. The bowlers have had no chance on this pitch, so I will not quote a\ny figures.
Leicestershire v Worcestershire – Worcestershire 553-6 declared, Leicestershire 302 and 10-1 (following on) Another one that looks like the pitch is too favourable for batting for its own or the game’s good. Worcestershire have given themselves a chance by bowling Leicestershire out and enforcing the follow-on. Tongue (a 21 year old seamer who came into this match with a bowling average of 24) took 4-46 in the first Leicestershire innings, and was backed up by Barnard(a 23 year old who came into this match averaging 28 with both bat and ball) with 3-40.
Middlesex v Lancashire – Middlesex 265, Lancashire 333-4 Yesterday Haseeb Hameed claimed headlines with his 117 (196 balls, 298 minutes), today’s play has been disrupted by the weather. He had had two very quiet years prior to this season and I reckon he needs more than one century to earn a recall to the England side. Jones is currently 82 not out and Vilas 50 not out. If the weather does not win this one then Lancashire will.
Now we are ready for the…
All I have told you about the player who completes the century is that it is somebody who often did just that. So who is it? It is…
15 Test matches yielded her 1,030 runs in 27 innings, with four centuries (just better than one per seven innings) and an average of 41.20, highest score 177. 126 ODIs produced 4,101 runs at 40.20 with eight centuries and a best of 156 not out. She was also a history maker, being the first English female cricketer to have a professional contract (yes, this distinction was achieved by someone born as late as 1975!). Claire Taylor’s successes blazed a trail for others to follow, and all the top England Women now have professional contracts, as opposed to having to combine playing at the top level with earning a living doing something else, which used to be the case. Her great record would earn her a place of honour in any case, but her historic importance makes the case unassailable.
A LOOK BACK ON THE SERIES
No two people attempting a project like this would come up with the same answers, and I expect that all the cricket fans among my readers have people in mind who I have omitted and they would have selected. The problem with these exercises is the embarrassment of riches that one faces – I could have selected many more than 100. A number of young players have stood up to be counted in the early stages of this year’s County Championship.
FOLLOWING ON FROM THIS SERIES
I have a few ideas for following on from this series, which I shall be thinking about while this round of Championship matches heads to its conclusion. I will finish this part of the post by presenting for the first time the whole 100 names in one place:
The latest in my “100 cricketers” series, with updates from the County Championship, some twitter finds and some of my photographs.
Welcome to the latest in my “100 cricketers series“, finshing the ninth XI by looking at three woman cricketers who feature in it. The introductory post to the series can be found here, the post in which I introduce the ninth XI is here and the most recent post in the series is here. Now before we get into the main meat of the post it is time for a…
COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE
We are into day 2 of the second round of county championship matches, and the current situations are as follows:
Nottinghamshire v Somerset – Nottinghamshire 263, Somerset 221-3 Following Lewis Gregory’s six wickets yesterday (he is one of my Five to Follow) the Somerset innings began with a sense of deja vu as the top three in their order were despatched for 10 runs reach, but George Bartlett(another of my Five to Follow, 91 not out) and Tom Abell (82 not out) have put together a fine partnership which has their team well on top. Still, Somerset will need runs from their top order somewhere along the line.
Surrey v Essex – Surrey 395, Essex 65-2 A patient effort from Ryan Patel (100 not out while the score rose from 75-1 to the eventual 395 all out was the sheet anchor of the Surrey effort. Ben Foakes (69) and Will Jacks(88) made significant contributions in more aggressive fashion. Both Essex openers are back in the hutch already, with the wickets going to Morne Morkel and Tom Curran.
Warwickshire v Kent – Kent 504-9declared, Kent 1-0 Kent are clearly having the better of the battle of the newly promoted sides, with Zak Crawleymaking a ton yesterday, and wicketkeeper Ollie Robinsongoing on to 143 today. We wait to see how the Kent bowlers fare.
Durham v Sussex – Durham 224, Sussex 84-7 Durham owed much to the shot in the dark among my Five to Follow, Liam Trevaskis, who battled his way to 54 for their modest looking total. Chris Rushworth and potential England man James Weighell (48 first class wickets prior to this magtch at 28 a piece) each have three wickets to their credit in the Sussex innings, as they are collapsing in a heap, sadly including a cheap dismissal for Philip Salt, another of my Five to Follow. Of course the trouble with Sussex faring so poorly with the bat is that Trevaskis has not yet been givena chance to deploy his left-arm spin.
Gloucestershire v Derbyshire – Derbyshire 291, Gloucestershire 81-1 Intriguingly poised. The Derbyshire wickets were shared around, and nobody made a huge score for them. Braceyat no 3 for Gloucestershire is 41 not out, and Dent has 25 not out. Sadly for those with a sense of history Miles Hammondat the top of the Gloucestershire order does not appear to be living up to his great namesake and fellow Gloucestershire batter of yesteryear, Wally – he was out cheaply.
Glamorgan v Northamptonshire – Glamorgan 570-8 declared, Northamptonshire 50-0 This one looks like being capsized by an overload of runs. Labuschagne, Will Root and 2o year-old Kiran Carlson all made centuries for Glamorgan, Carlson’s 111 coming off 126 balls. The Northamptonshire reply has been untroubled thus far, and some of the scoring thus far suggests that the playing condition allowing the visiting side to avoid the toss if they want to bowl first is flawed – it is leading to counties producing ultra-flat pitches so that visitors cannot gain an advantage from bowling first.
Worcestershire v Leicestershire – Worcestershire 553-6 declared, Leicestershire 16-0 Another one where the bowlers have been reduced to mere serfs, existing merely for the batters convenience. Daryl Mitchell and Hamish Rutherford had centuries yesterday, and wicketkeeper Ben Coxcompleted the third ton of the Worcestershire innings today. In the circumstances, although he like all the others took some tap, Ben Mike’s 2-119 from 23.5 overs was a creditable effort.
Middlesex v Lancashire – Middlesex 265, Lancashire 126-1 Two men at opposite ends of the experience spectrum, Tom Bailey (youngster, 5-67- is it possible that over 50 years on from the retirement of the original there will again be a fast-medium bowler called T E Bailey playing for England?) and Jimmy Anderson(3-41, veteran) took most of the Middlesex wickets. Eskinazi (75) and Gubbins (55) made the only significant batting contributions for Middlesex. Jennings made 52 for Lancashire (shoiuld not be sufficient to keep his England place) while Haseeb Hameed has followed his double hundred against a load of students last week by getting to 70 not out far in this match. James Harris has the one wicket to fall.
Further update from the Nottinghamshire v Somerset game – Abell and Bartlett both completed centuries, Abell has fallen for 101, but Bartlett (one of my Five to Follow, remember) is still there on 117 not out, and Somerset with six first innings wickets standing are already 16 in credit at 279-4. Now it is time for the main business of the post, starting with…
From news of one batter who bowls offspin on the side to another, 27 year-old Stoke on Trent native Danielle Wyatt. Her princiapl successes have come in T20Is, in which format she has twic reached three figures, with a best of 124, but of late she has begun translating that form to ODIs to as well, with a few useful efforts in India and Sri Lanka. Her 46 wickets at 15.34 in T20Is, with a best of 4-11 show that her offspin is not entirely to be disregarded (she would be sixth bowler in this XI). I expect to see more big performances from her in the next year or so.
The 21 year-old off-spinning all-rounder has recently been batting up the order for the Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash League, while her bowling has been consistently effective. Being so young she is still definitely improving, and it is on future promise that she has really been selected in this XI.
The 27 year-old leggie is the smallest player in my 100, and makes use of her lack of inches to release the ball upwards, sending it in an arc that takes it out of the batter;s eyeline for much of its flight. She also bowls with extreme lack of pace (only about 60kph – 37mph) meaning that batters have to supply all the impetus themselves. As so often with the women she has not had sufficient opportunity to show her skill in test cricket, but she has 63 ODI wickets at 21.09 and 74 T20I wickets at 14.77, which are testament to the effectiveness of her methods. She has yet to achieve a five-for but has a best of 4-13 and a T20I best of 4-9. For a historic comparison involving dimunitive leggies I give you Alfred Percy “Tich” Freeman, the 5’2″ Catford born leggie, whose 592 first class appearances brought him 3,776 wickets at 18.42 (second to Wilfred Rhodes in the all-time list, and the Yorkshireman played over 1,000 first class games), including all ten in an innings three times (a record), and in 1928 a barely believeable 304 wickets in the season (again an all time record).
THE FUTURE AND A GUESSING GAME
I have one more post to do to complete this series, and will then create a page from which all posts in the series can be accessed. That post will feature the 100th cricketer in my list, and with the clue that it is somebody who was no stranger to completing hundreds I invite readers to attempt to guess who it is.
LINKS AND PICTURES
Before my usual sign-off I have some links to share…
A great twitter picture based on Branson daring to complain about the fact that Virgin/Stagecoach have been barred from bidding for rail franchises, courtesy of Michael (@PrinceJasper):
The latest in my “100 cricketers” series, featuring a Nepalese legspinner, some thoughts on the elevation of minor cricketing nations and when it is warranted, some stuff about the county championship, some links and pictures relating to the photographing a black hole and some of my own pictures.
Welcome to the latest in my “100 cricketers” series. Today we deal with the most minor cricketing nation to be represented in my list and I have some extras features. The introductory post to the series can be found here, the post in which I introduce the ninth XI here and the most recent post here. Before getting to the main meat of the post it is time for a…
LOOK AT THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
A full programme of county championship matches got underway today. So far this is what is happening:
Nottinghamshire v Somerset – Nottinghamshire 188-6
Somerset have made a strong start with the ball. Chris Nash scored 58 for Nottinghamshire with the bat but no one else has made a significant score thus far. Lewis Gregory, one of my “Five to Follow” (see my previous post) has four of the wickets to fall, including getting Joe Clarke, also in that list, cheaply. George Bartlett’s offspin has not been called on yet (he is also on that list), but his batting will surely figure later in the game even he does not get used as a bowler.
Surrey v Essex – Surrey 168-3 Surrey have been helped to make a good start in this match by some ordinary Essex fielding (two chances have been shelled, one of which is now looking very costly). Openers Burns and Stoneman both got in but failed to go on, Ben Foakes is 60 not out (having beem dropped on 0) and Ryan Patel 20 not out. Peter Siddle who may well be involved for Australia in The Ashes later this summer has two wickets.
Kent v Warwickshire– Kent 169-2 Kent are batting well in this one. Dickson and Aussie Matt Renshawhave both got themselves in and got out in the 30s, while opener Zak Crawley is 89 not out. The wickets have gone to medium pacer Craig Milesand Ryan Sidebottom, an Australian unrelated to the left-arm quick of the same name who played for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
Durham v Sussex – Durham 93-4 Durham are struggling again, which given their abysmal choice of captain can only be regarded as good news. He is yet to be involved in the action (although his first innings should not be delayed too long) but Liam Trevaskis, a fourth person from my “Five to Follow” is in the Durham team. “Scameron“ Bancroft as I now call him is 33 not out, and currently batting in partnership wioth wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley. Ollie Robinson is staking an early claim for selectorial attention with three more wickets to add to those he took last week (he came into this match with 171 first class wickets at 23.52).
Worcestershire v Leicestershire – Worcestershire 203-2
Worcetsershire are going well against Leicestershire who got away to a winning start in their first match. Veteran opener Daryl Mitchell has just reached a century (now 101 not out), and Hamish Rutherford (New Zealand, nephew of former Kiwi captain Ken Rutherford) is 62 not out. Ben Mike, a 20 year old medium pacer who came into this match with 19 wkickets from four first class appearances at an average of 20.26, has one of the wickets. The other has been taken by Will Davis, a 23 year old medium pacer who pays just over 30 a piece for his first class wickets.
Now for the main business of the post starting with…
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE ELEVATION OF COUNTRIES TO TEST STATUS
Leaving aside the two original contenders, England and Australia, every country elevated to test status (this has not yet happened for Nepal, the feature country of this post, but one has to consider future possibilities) has started slowly at that level. In their early years in the late 19th and earlyy 20th centuries South Africa were regularly hammered by both England and Australia, twice being bowled out for 30 in test matches. The West Indies did not make any series progress as a test nation until the 1950s although they were promoted to the top table in 1928. New Zealand, India and Pakistan all had to wait until the 1970s to be taken seriously. Sri Lanka, elevated in the early 1980s took until the latter 1990s to be gain serious respect. Internal politics destroyed any chance Zimbabwe had of success at the top table, while Bangladesh’s elevation was badly mishandled, and their position is routinely questioned. Afghanistan won their second ever test match, the most successful start by a test-playing nation since 1877, when Australia and England each one match. Ireland were defeated but not disgraced in that game, and we will see how they fare against England in their next test match, although they were elevated about five years too late for the move to work to best effect.
I am in favour of new countries being elevated when they are actually ready, and think that Afghanistan’s elevation has been a success. I do not think Nepal are yet ready, on the strength of one splendid cricketer, for elevation, but I hope to see it happen eventually, assuming they continue to make progress. It is now time to look at that one fine player they already have…
He is an 18 year-old legspinner and has yet to play any long-form cricket. His records for the cricket he has played are as follows:
6 ODIs, 15 wickets at 14.80 (4-24 best) , 4o runs at 10.00, 5 T20Is, 5 wickets at 24.40, 6 runs, with as yet no average, 27 List A games, 57 wickets at 17.08 (5-20 best), 40 T20 games, 50 wickets at 20.00 (best 4-10). A lot of his T20s have been played in the IPL among the big names.
If any county who do not have a legspinner of their own are bold enough to sign him as an overseas player I will applaud them for their courage – I believe that given the opportunity he would fare well in the longer game, as well in the limited overs stuff where he has already shown himself to be a fine performer. One of the reasons why Bangladesh found test cricket such a struggle when they were elevated is that their players started playing that form of the game with no background in long form cricket, and one should learn from mistakes – unless and until some Nepalese cricketers have experience of long form cricket they should not be elevated.
If Nepal do get elevated to test status both they and their star leg-spinner Lamichhane will have my good wishes, but unless their players have some long form experience before that happens I do not believe that it can be successful.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND LINKS
I have several things to share before we come to my usual sign off, starting with some stuff about the first image of a Black Hole and links to related articles:
Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun pic.twitter.com/AymXilKhKe
To lead into today’s photos I revisit yesterday’s featured image:
I have done some digging of my own to locate the species and there are two possibilities – it is either a Small White or a Wood White (see pictures from butterfly-conservation.organd decide for yourselves which looks closer):
Now for today’s pictures…
UPDATES ON THE “FIVE TO FOLLOW”
Since I wrote about what was happening in the County Championship matches, the following has happened in games involving my “Five to Follow”:
Nottinghamshire v Somerset – Nottinghamshire 263 all out
Three of the five are playing in this match. Joe Clarke failed with the bat this time around, but Lewis Gregory took 5-68. George Bartlett’s offspin was unsurprisingly not utilised, but he will bat at some stage.
Durham v Sussex – Durham 122-5
The other two of my “Five to Follow” are involved in this match. Liam Trevaskis, the outsider of the bunch, is currently batting with Ned Eckersley, more good news for those opposed to Durham’s choice of captain being that that unworthy has been sent on his way for 33, and is on 9 not out. Philip Salt, the other in my “Five to Follow” has yet to be involved, but may well be in action with the bat before the end of today, and I would be surprised if tomorrow morning does not see him at the crease.
The latest in my “100 cricketers” series, featuring updates from the County Championship and of course some of my photographs.
Welcome to the latest piece in my “100 cricketers” series, in which we look at the three big name batters from the ninth XI. The introductory post to the series can be found here, and the most recent post in which the ninth XI is introduced is here. Before getting to the main body of the piece, it is time for a…
COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE
Two of the six county championship matches have been settled and a third is on the cusp of producing a result.
Sussex v Leicestershire – Leics 232 and 252-3 beat Sussex 212 and 308 by seven wickets Paul Horton, Hasan Azadand veteran Aussie Mark Cosgroveall made runs as Leicesterhsire ended up making light work of what had looked like being a fairly tough run chase. The feature of this match was the 80 made by Philip Salt in the Sussex second innings – if he can go on to a few centuries in the near future the England selectors may just take note.
Hampshire v Essex – Hamsphire 525-8 declared beat Essex 164 and 274 by an innings and 87 runs. A century by veteran Ravi Bopara kept this game going longer than some expected, but Hampshire had been in control most of the way, and once they got through Bopara the rest came quickly, with Adam Wheater absent hurt for the second time for the match. South African Kolpak signing Kyle Abbott took five wickets for Hampshire, to back Fidel Edwards who had done likewise in the first Essex innings.
Derbyshire v Durham – Derbyshire 197 and 334, Durham 171 and 207-8
Many will be glad that Durham seem to be headed for defeat in their first match after they chose to award the captaincy of their side to a proven cheat in Cameron Bancroft.
Somerset v Kent– Somerset 171 and 243 beat Kent 209 and 131 by 74 runs
This result is just in, and it did not look likely this morning, but a last wicket stand between 21 year-old George Bartlett(63) andJack Brooks (35) gave Somerset something to bowl, Lewis Gregoryripped out three quick wickets before lunch (he went on to finish with 5-18) and Kent never looked like getting to the target. This match turned on the morning session of today, with Kent having had the better of the previous play by far. I commented on this post on Toby’s Sporting Views that if Somerset could eke out a further 50 this morning they would give themselves a chance, they actually managed 70, and ended up winning comfortably.
Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire– Nottinghamshire 408 and 329-5D, Yorkshire 291 and 181-2
This one looks set to end in a draw (although a dramatic Yorkshire collapse remains possible). Nottinghamshire’s overnight declaration with Joe Clarke97 not out, following his first innings 112 provided an early talking point. My view, expressed on this site yesterday and on twitter this morning is that Notts were right to give themselves a full day in which to bowl the Yorkies out a second time – the needs of the team have to come first. Joe Rootis currently 87 not out for Yorkshire and Gary Ballance is 52 not out.
Northamptonshire v Middlesex – Northants 445, Middlesex 271 and 294-4
This one looks like petering out as well. Full credit to Middlesex captain Dawid Malan who is 151 not out in their second innings, and would appear to have saved his side.
It is now time for the main part of this post, starting with…
112 and 83 on test debut, centuries on his debuts against two further countries (and he nearly made four), a Compton-Miller Medal winning performance in the 2009 Ashes and captaining England to Ashes success down under in 2010-11. Exactly 100 test match appearances brought him 7,037 test runs at 40.91.
77 test matches yielded him 5,444 runs at 45.36, with a highest score of 299, made against Sri Lanka when New Zealand were initially in a lot of trouble. He was one of the finest batters ever to come out of New Zealand, although the likes of Stewart Dempster (average 65.72 in his very brief test career), Bert Sutcliffe (holder of the two highest first class scores by New Zealanders – 385 and 355, the 385 coming out of an innings total of 500, while his opponents, Canterbury, managed 382 off the bat in their two innings combined) and Glenn Turner (the only Kiwi to have scored 100 first class hundreds) would all have their advocates. His first test century came against England in 1983-4 and helped to save his side after they had been over 200 adrift on first innings.
I mentioned in my county championship update section that Derbyshire were closing on victory over Durham. They have now completed the job, the result being:
Derbyshire 197 and 334 beat Durham 171 and 235 by 125 runs Openers Harte and Lees made half centuries, but apart from them only Burnham (32) and Trevaskis, the 19 year-old slow left-armer (27 not out) who I have marked as one to watch offered any significant resistance as the wickets were shared round.
The latest in my “100 cricketers” series, featuring the bowlers from the eighth XI and introducing the ninth XI in batting order. Also contains an important link and some photograp;hs.
Welcome to the latest in my “100 cricketers” series. This post features the bowlers from my eighth XI and introduces the ninth XI in batting order. The introductory post to the series can be found here, the post in which I Introduce the eighth XI is here and the most recent post in the series is here. Before I get to the main meat of my post it is time for a quick…
COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE
There has been play in all matches today, and the current situations as I type are:
Hampshire v Essex – Hampshire 525-8 declared, Essex 164 and 15-1
Only bad weather (of which there has been some in this game) can now deny Hampshire, especially given that Adam Wheater did not bat in the Essex first dig, and woiuld presumably only do so in the second if there is a serious chance to save the match. Sir Alastair Cook made exactly 50 in the Essex first innings, but had little support. Nick Browne has already had his second failure of the match, and Cook and Tom Westley are currently batting together. West Indian quick Fidel Edwards picked up a five-wicket haul in the Essex first innings.
Somerset v Kent – Somerset 171 and 53-4, Kent 209 After a poor batting effort yesterday Somerset needed to bowl Kent out quickly today, and did a fairly decent job of doing so, Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton(who already has some England experience) each taking three wickets. However, they are struggling once again with the bat, with Tom Abell once again digging in but finding little support. Somerset somehow need to conjure up another 200 runs from somewhere to give themselves a serious chance.
Derbyshire v Durham – Derbyshire 197 and 308-8, Durham 171
Derbyshire have taken control of this one, with wicketkeeper-batter Hosein contributing his second fifty of the match, and Tom Lace scoring 62 as well. Matt Critchley, a bits and pieces player who would appear from his record to not be quite good enough in either department made 51. A 19 year old slow left arm orthodox bowler, Liam Trevaskis, has taken one of the wickets – and April is not usually a great month for slow bowlers, so I am going to take a punt and say “watch this space”.
Northamptonshire v Middlesex – Northamptonshire 445, Middlesex 271 and 45-2 My congratulations to Northamptonshire on enforcing the follow-on even though they only just had the requisite lead – many teams would have taken the cowards option of batting again, but as far I am concerned going for the quick kill is the right thing to do. They may yet be baulked by the weather, which his halted this game for the moment. Nathan Buck took five wickets in the first Middlesex innings, and also has both the second innings wicket to fall so far. James Harriswith 61 not out was the only Middlesex batter to make a major contribution.
Sussex v Leicestershire – Sussex 173 and 308, Leicestershire 252 and 99-1 If the rain eases off (play is currently suspended there as well) it would seem that Leicestershire have a fairly straightforward route to victory – 131 with nine wickets in hand should not be too difficult. In the second Sussex innings Tom Taylor picked up four wickets, giving him ten in the match, while Colin Ackerman, a South African who is mainly a batter picked up five. Paul Horton has 53 not out for Leicestershire.
Now to the main business of the post, starting with…
THE FAST BOWLERS
In addition to Richard Hadlee, featured in my previous post in this series I have two other quicks, and of those I see one as third seamer, and one sharing the new ball with Hadlee. I will start with Hadlee’s new ball partner…
The only bowler to have taken 40 or more wickets in a test series on two separate occasions (both in England, 42 in 1981 in a losing cause and 41 in 1989 in a winning one). He is also unique in my 100 cricketers, in being the only one of my selections to have been on a rebel tour to South Africa. In general, since I reckon that players who participated in such tours should have been banned for life I have refused to include them, but Alderman would have been worth a pick purely for his 1981 efforts, so I have made am exception for him. He took a longish run-up, but was no more than medium-fast in pace. However, he was exceedingly accurate, and in English conditions he swung it significantly. Had he been available for the 1985 Ashes (he was banned for his South African excursion) it is likely that Shane Warne would not have been the first take 100 test wickets in a country other than his own, and that series would almost certainly have been much closer than it was.
The third seamer in this XI, he is second in the all-time list of England test wicket takers behind James Anderson. He, Alderman and Hadlee are three different types of pace bowler, which gives this XIs attack lots of variety, especially when one factors in…
THE SLOW BOWLERS
I have two of these in the XI, plus Chanderpaul’s occasional legspin (see this post for more details). I will start with the offspinner…
255 test wickets at 29.96 (he also averaged 22 with the bat by the way) from 60 matches is a fine record. Even on occasions when he did not take many wickets, such as Australia 2010-11, he bowled economically – and his 15 wickets at 39.80 in that series looks magnificent when put alongside the truly beastly combined analysis of 5-666 recorded in the same series by Australia’s spinners. Among England slow bowlers only Derek Underwood took more test wickets. Swann was a genuine spinner who gave the ball a real rip. We finish our eighth XI with a slow left-armer…
She has recently turned 24, and her international experience is limited to eight T20Is, but her record in those stands at 11 wickets at 15.09 a piece, with a best of 3-18. England Women are currently very well stocked with young spin bowlers (there are at least four aged 24 or younger who have shown signs of serious skill), but she should continue to get opportunities, and is definitely young enough to still be improving.
I will be tackling this XI in a slightly different way from they way I have tackled previous XIs due to the nature of some of my picks. Also shrewd observers will have noted that 9 x 11 = 99, and I have called this series “100 cricketers”. I am not prone to basic mathematical howlers, and I will be finishing the series with a stand alone post about a cricketer who completed quite a few hundreds in their playing days – if you fancy a guessing game see if you can identify the mystery 100th player.