An account of Warwickshire completing the red ball double by adding the Bob Willis Trophy to the County Championship.
At 11:40AM today, just 1 hour and ten minutes into the fourth of five scheduled days, and with weather interruptions shortening two of the previous three days Warwickshire completed victory over Lancashire by the crushing margin of an innings and 199 runs to add the Bob Willis Trophy to this years County Championship. This post looks back at the match.
A 440 RUN LEAD
On day 1 Lancashire were rolled for 78 (and it might have been worse – at low water mark they were 12-6) and Warwickshire replied with 120-0 (seehere). On day two Warwickshire steam rollered on, leaving 400 behind them as Rob Yates (for the fifth time this season) and Will Rhodes (for the first time of the season) each topped three figures. The sole bright spot for Lancashire lay in the bowling of Parkinson who emerged from the carnage with figures of 3-71. On day three, which through a combination of work and major weather interventions I missed the whole of, Warwickshire extended their innings to 518, Parkinson claiming a fourth wicket along the way. His figures in FC cricket are now 102 wickets at 23.35, comfortably the cheapest average of any current English spinner have 100 or more FC wickets. While Leach has an unquestionable claim on the no1 spinners position for the Ashes, Parkinson should also be in the party, along with Liam Patterson-White of Nottinghamshire. Lancashire then stumbled to 171-6 in their second innings.
THE LAST RITES
There was some overnight rain in London, but these days Thomas Lord’s third ground is one of the best draining cricket venues in the world, and play started bang on time. Although the Lancashire batters provided a little entertainment there was never any doubt about the eventual result. In the end it was Liam Norwell who had the distinction of claiming the final wicket, Tom Bailey top edging an attempted pull and Michael Burgess doing well get under the catch. It was his third wicket of the innings, a distinction he shared with left arm tweaker Danny Briggs, while Miles, Johal the debutant and Bresnan each had one wicket. Balderson scored 65 for Lancashire. The first Bob Willis Trophy final between Somerset and Essex last year was drawn, with the trophy going to Essex for being ahead on first innings. This year, Warwickshire, for whom ‘big Bob‘ played for many years became the first county to win this match outright, and they did so mightily impressively.
A look at the early stages of the Bob Willis Trophy match between Warwickshire and Lancashire, plus a couple of links and some photographs.
As part of the arrangements for men’s first class cricket in the 2021 series it was decided that the teams who finished first and second in the county championship would finish the season by playing off for the Bob Willis Trophy. Lancashire led the championship going into the last day of the campaign, with only Warwickshire able to overhaul them. Warwickshire played a superb day’s cricket to secure the win over Somerset that gave them the title, and commiserations are due to Nottinghamshire who were very impressive in beating Yorkshire but finished half a point short of qualifying for the second spot. Thus Lancashire and Warwickshire headed to Lord’s for the showpiece match, scheduled for five days, starting today and ending on Saturday if it goes the distance.
RED ROSE WILTING
Warwickshire won the toss and chose to field first. This course of action requires wickets to back it up. Liam Norwell (right arm fast medium) and especially Craig Miles (right arm medium pace) obliged in sensational fashion, reducing Lancashire to 12-6 with their opening burst. Miles had four of the wickets, and Norwell two. Josh Bohannon and Luke Wood put on 35 for the seventh wicket before Manraj Johal, a 19 year old right arm fast medium bowler making his first class debut, got Bohannon for 18. Johal also took the next two wickets, Tom Bailey for a twelve ball duck and Jack Blatherwick, also for a duck, at which point Lancashire with 57-9 with Wood 31 not out. Wood and Matt Parkinson, the young leg spinner who may well be part of the Ashes squad, added 21 for the final wicket before Parkinson played a poor shot to become Miles’ fifth victim, leaving Wood unbeaten on 46 from no8. For the record this is not the lowest position in the order from which over half an innings total has been scored – Asif Iqbal scored 146 for Pakistan v England, coming in at 53-7.
The Warwickshire openers, Dom Sibley and the youngster Robert Yates, who has hit four centuries this season, have enjoyed some good fortune in the early stages of the reply, but as I write they are still together at 27-0. There have been a couple of minor interruptions for rain, but unless said rain not only returns but becomes positively Noachian it won’t help Lancashire – if the match is drawn the trophy goes to whichever team had the higher first innings total, and it is the Bank of England to a pack of chocolate coins that that will not be Lancashire!
LINKS AND PICTURES
Yesterday Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK posted a twitter thread which subsequently became a post on his blog which I recommend you all read. Also from Richard Murphy comes the tweet below about tax:
There are six reasons within tax justice to raise tax and not one of them is about raising money to balance government budgets. pic.twitter.com/trz8WMD0Cw
Continuing my all-time XIs series with a look at Warwickshire.
Welcome to the next post in my “All Time XIs” series. We are now in the middle of our virtual trek round the first class cricketing counties, and appropriately for such a position we will be looking at the most landlocked of all the 18 first class counties, Warwickshire.
WARWICKSHIRE ALL TIME XI
Dennis Amiss – the only Warwickshire player to have score 100 first class hundreds. He also had the knack of going on after reaching three figures – his test best was 262 not out to save a match in Kingston, Jamaica, and he also scored a double century at The Oval in 1976 when Michael Holding was the only bowler on either side able to extract anything from the pitch (14-149 in the match for the speedster).
Willie Quaife – a diminutive batter (exact height unknown but estimates vary between 5′ 2″ and 5′ 5″) who showed great endurance in two ways – he played a number of very long innings for his county, and his career was exceptionally long – his last first class century, scored just before his retirement was made at the age of 56 years and 4 months making him the oldest ever first class centurion (a record previously held by W G Grace who played an innings of 166 on his 56th birthday). He and his son Bernard Quaife created a first and only in first class cricket when playing for Warwickshsire against Derbyshire they opened the batting together against the bowling of the Billy and Robert Bestwick, who were also father and son. He also bowled serviceable leg breaks.
Jonathan Trott– an adhesive rather than flamboyant no 3 whose finest hours (and there were many of them, especially at Brisbane and Melbourne) came during the 2010-11 Ashes. His England career could still be going now but for mental health issues that forced him to abandon international cricket.
Ian Bell – one the best timers of a cricket ball ever seen and possessed of a good range of shot.
*Tom Dollery – possibly the first professional cricketer to be entrusted with the captaincy of his county (for a long time the very notion of a mere professional being a county captain would have been laughed at) on an official basis, a fine middle order bat and also a serviceable wicket keeper.
Frank Foster – an attacking middle order bat with a career best of 305, he was also an excellent left arm quick bowler (on the 1911-12 Ashes tour, when England won the series 4-1, he and the legendary S F Barnes shared the new cherry and Foster took 32 wickets to Barnes’ 34 for the series) and a splendid fielder.
Dick Lilley– my pick from various possible wicketkeepers. He was an England regular for many years, playing 32 Ashes matches in which he made 84 dismissals behind the stumps. A career high first class score of 171 shows that he could bat as well. In “Jessop’s Match” of 1902 he shared a partnership of 34 with George Hirst that took England to within 15 of victory, which remaining runs were accumulated by Hirst and Rhodes.
Percy Jeeves – a fast medium bowler and talented lower middle order batter, he was just beginning to establish himself when World War 1 broke out. He was one of the very many who died in that conflict. One of his better performances caught the eye of P G Wodehouse (who played in an Authors vs Actors match in 1907 with Arthur Conan Doyle and A A Milne among his team mates), and encouraged that worthy to give the name Jeeves to Percy Wooster’s valet.
Bob Willis – a right arm fast bowler, and my envisaged new ball partner for Frank Foster. He took 325 test wickets in a long and distinguished career. His finest hour came at Headingley in 1981. After Australia had made 401-9 declared in their first innings, a total that their captain Kim Hughes described as ‘worth about a thousand on that pitch’, an assessment endorsed by England skipper Mike Brearley, England were bowled at for 174, followed on and were 135-7 when Botham and Dilleyadded 117 in 80 minutes for the eighth wicket, Botham and Old added 67 for the ninth wicket, and Willis himself lasted long enough in Botham’s company for a further 37 to be scored. Australia needing 130 were cruising at 56-1 when Willis who had bowled an unsatisfactory spell from the Football Stand End was put on at the Kirkstall lane end for one last effort to save his career. 11 overs later (six of them from Willis in that spell), Australia were 75-8 and six of the wickets had fallen to Willis. Dennis Lillee and Ray Bright then had a last fling that yielded 35 in four overs before Lillee miscued a drive and Gatting (of all people) took a running diving catch at mid on. Alderman was dropped twice in the slips off Botham, before Willis produced a yorker that shattered Bright’s stumps to give England victory by 18 runs. Willis had taken 8-43 and a career that had nearly been over was revived with a vengeance – he would go on to captain England and would bow out of international cricket at the end of the 1984 season. Mike Brearley’s “Phoenix From The Ashes” tells the story of the 1981 Ashes, while Rob Steen and Alastair McLellan’s “500-1” (based on the odds given against England at one stage of the match) is a book devoted to Headingley 1981 specifically.
Lance Gibbs – an offspinner who was briefly the world’s leading test wicket taker, with 309, and my choice for overseas player.
Eric Hollies – a legspinner who has the record ‘wrong way round’ disparity between runs scored (1,673) and wickets taken (2,323) in first class cricket. He once went 71 successive first class innings without reaching double figures. It was his googly that denied Bradman a test average of 100 (a single boundary in that innings would have seen Bradman both to 7,000 test runs and a guaranteed 100 average).
This team consists of a solid top five, a top class all-rounder in Foster, a top class wicket keeper who could also bat, and four well varied bowlers. It is true that with Willis as high as number nine the tail looks a long one, but I think there is enough batting to cope with that.
To many people the most glaring omission will be that of the holder of the world test and first class individual scores (the latter of which he made for Warwickshire), Brian Charles Lara. As is so often the case I considered that there was enough home grown batting strength and that the single overseas player I am allowing myself was needed to strengthen both the depth and variety of the bowling. This also explains why I opted for Gibbs ahead of Allan Anthony Donald, a right arm fast bowler whose presence would have changed the balance of the bowling attack. Similarly had I opted for Shaun Pollock, right arm fast medium and useful lower order batter, as overseas player it would have meant a side with a different balance to it.
Among the home grown batters MJK Smith, Dominic Ostler (a fine middle order player in the 1990s who was resolutely ignored by the England selectors), James Troughton (a contemporary of Ian Bell, and at one stage considered to be at least as likely an England prospect), John Jameson, Nick Knight and Bob Wyatt would all have had their advocates.
Tiger Smith, Tim Ambrose (although please note he was called up for England while still at Sussex) and A C Smith (who once stepped in as an emergency bowler and collected a hat trick) would all have their advocates for the gauntlets, and someone utterly obsessed to the exclusion of all else with getting runs from their keeper might even point to Geoff Humpage.
Fast bowler Harry Howell, fast mediums David Brown, Gladstone Small and Tim Munton might all also attract attention. Offspinner Neil Smith might be pointed to from certain quarters, but he paid 37 runs per wicket, which is expensive.
I look forward to your comments, although if indicating someone else should be in the team, please also indicate who you would drop to make way for them.
Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.
An odd combination of topics to appear in a title, but all will be made clear in the course of this post. There will of course be some of my photographs as well.
The English cricket season is well underway. Because of an alteration to the structure of the two divisions of first class counties last season to a first division of eight teams and a second division of ten teams, it is now possible for all 18 first class counties to be in action simultaneously, as was not the case when there were nine teams in each division. Over this Easter weekend, for the first time since 1999 (the last season of the single division championship) all 18 of said sides have been in action. Glamorgan lost heavily to Worcestershire before today was underway. Leicestershire had also suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire. Essex and Somerset also finished early, a century from Alastair Cook anchoring Essex in their fourth innings chase of 255. Warwickshire only kept their match against Yorkshire alive into the fourth day because of some assistance from the weather, and having started the season with back to back innings defeats, and three shocking batting performances out of four innings, they must be considered heavy favourites for one of the relegation spots from division 1. Of the five remaining matches, Nottinghamshire are nearly done and dusted against Durham (since I wrote this Nottinghamshire have completed the job as expected, with nine wickets in hand), and it would also seem to be only a matter of time before Kent finish the job against Sussex (this match has also subsequently reached its predicted conclusion). A draw looks the most likely result in the Surrey versus Lancashire, although Surrey are not out of the woods yet. Hampshire and Middlesex also looks like being a draw, although again the Londoners are not quite safe yet. That leaves only…
DERBYSHIRE VERSUS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
Overnight this also looked like a draw was the most likely result, with Derbyshire 128 runs to the good with 10 second winnings standing. However, some behind the scenes discussions obviously took place, since Northamptonshire spent the morning session of today feeding Derbyshire easy runs, handing Reece (168) and Godleman (156 not out) a new record opening stand for Derbyshire. A declaration at 351-1 left Northamptonshire two sessions to score 326 for victory. Whatever happens in these two session neither team will emerge from this match with much credit in my book. While Northamptonshire’s motivation was obvious, Derbyshire could easily have declined the offer, backing their batsmen to score off proper bowling.
The long Easter weekend is when the Classic FM Hall of Fame is unveiled. It is assembled from listener votes. Each participant votes for their first, second and third favourite pieces of classical music, and the votes are all tallied up. The Hall of Fame comprises the top 300 pieces that emerge at the end of the process, and they are played counting down from 300 to 1 between 10AM and 10PM on each day of the weekend (it used when it first started to be 9AM to 9PM). This is the first occasion on which there has been a clash between the Hall of Fame and live cricket. I have resolved that clash by listening to the cricket when it has been on five live sports extra, and to the music at other times. The only exception to this was on Saturday afternoon, when it was time for…
A shortage of available NAS West Norfolk Committee members meant that I was there for both sessions. The attendances were unsurprisingly low in both sessions. However, those who were able to make it had a good time. In the second session I renewed my acquaintanceship with Scratch 2, and next time I shall be moving on to another aspect of this program. Here are some pictures…
Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subjectI said that I was between Labour and Green, and leaning towards Green. Since then, although I have yet to receive anything from any candidates a search of the King’s Lynn & West Norfolk borough councilwebsite turned up the following information about who was standing:
In view of the fact that there are three candidates in this list of four for whom I am absolutely unwilling to vote and that I regard failing to vote as unacceptable my vote will therefore go to Mr Collis, and I urge others who are voting in this election to cast their votes for Mr Collis as well.
Moving on from my own area, there also elections taking place much more extensively in Wales and Scotland.
The big debate in Scotland at the moment is over whether or not there should be a second independence referendum (#IndyRef2) following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, when Scotland was strongly pro-remain. It is not for me as a Sassenach to comment on whether or not Scottish independence is desirable since the only people who should be making decisions about the future of Scotland are the Scots, but I do believe that brexit is a sufficiently major change in circumstances as justify #IndyRef2, especially since one of the main claims of the no camp in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would not be able to join the EU. It would appear, if the article to which I link at the end of this section is anything to go on that the Tories seek to make the local elections in Scotland a sort of ‘pre-referendum’. Anyway, here courtesy of the website indyref2.scot, is a post that goes into detail on the issue, titled “Sending a message“.
I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…
ENDNOTE – CRICKET REVISITED
During the time it took to put the above photos up both Middlesex & Hampshire and Surrey & Lancashire have shaken hands on the predicted draws. These means that only the ‘declaration bowling’ game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire is still to be settled.