Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Championship – Week 12

Again better weather for those having the week off than those who played, although there were some brilliant personal performances.

Div 1
Worcestershire and Lancashire didn’t even get started as New Road is doubling as an outdoor swimming pool again. It will be interesting to see whether this game is deemed worthy of a replay following the dangerous precedent of earlier in the season.

Yorkshire had their third game lasting under two days in a row. Surrey started strongly as Yorks elected to bat, but an unbeaten 91 from Adil Rashid and good support from the tail got the home team up to 307 and three bonus points. Surrey also struggled for runs reaching 229, with Darren Gough getting his 2nd 6-fer of the season. However, this was enough to give Mark Ramprakash 1000 runs for the season. Yorks were then 2 for1 after an over of their 2nd innings before time was called.

A lop sided game at Canterbury where Kent opened up with 550-9 and centuries for Martin van Jaarsveld, Geraint Jones and Yasir Arafat. Warwickshire managed just 107 in reply, with Rory McLaren getting five wickets. The weather and Darren Maddy, though, held Kent up as the Bears reached 268 for 7, with Maddy unbeaten on 148.

The most exciting game came at Durham where the home side recovered from 19 for 5 to make 229, thanks largely to a ton from Dale Blenkenstein. Ottis Gibson then took all ten wickets as Hampshire made only 115, Michael Brown carrying his bat for 56. Durham declared on 221 for 5 second time round to set Hants over 300 to win. Gibson took the first two wickets, and despite five wickets for Paul Wiseman, Hants held on at 262 for 9 for the draw, Brown again carrying his bat for 126.

Div 2
There was a similar disappointment for Glamorgan albeit in slightly more contrived circumstances against Derbyshire. The Welshmen opened up with 298, David Hemp falling three short of a hundred. Derby then declared on 150 for 3 before skittling Glamorgan for 127 with Kevin Dean taking 5 wickets. Needing 275 to win, Derby were struggling on 195 for 9 at stumps. Six wickets for Robert Croft not quite being enough to get them over the line.

Barely a day’s play was possible at Leicestershire as the home team declared on 403 for 5, HD Ackerman getting a ton. Middlesex could only manage 34 for 1 in reply and that was that.

The weather also wrecked Essex’s chances of making up ground on opponents Somerset at Taunton. Batting first Essex scored 282 which was enough for a healthy first inning lead as the home team managed just 153, with Andy Bichel getting 6-fer. Essex had reached 294 for 6 when the match finished, Ravi Bopara continuing his fine form with another century.

England Player Watch
Stuart Broad
took the one Middlesex wicket to fall, but despite England suffering the same fate as Glamorgan and Durham, the England team looks fairly settled for the rest of the summer.

Player of the Week
No positive results this week, but two magnificent individual performances at Durham. In any normal match Michael Brown carrying his bat twice for half of Hampshire’s runs would see him as the stand out player. However, taking all ten wickets in an innings happens so rarely, than this week’s Player of the Week has to be Ottis Gibson


Tim said...

Another good summary Richard.

Weather permitting - who is your tip for the title? With Mushtaq approaching his best, I'd be inclined to say Sussex, but, unlike in the Premiership, it remains very open.

Richard Lake said...

I think it's realistically a two horse race now between Yorks and Sussex. Also, if it ever stops raining, it could be a battle between Mushy and the Yorkshire spin twins of Rashid and Lawson.

It was from about this time last season that Yorkshire really kicked on, on the back of the spinners running through teams. However, with the pitches damper this year than last (remember last summer was a drought!) it may be the seamers that are critical.

One last thing in Yorkshire's favour is that Vaughan and Hoggard will be available for most of the run in due to the lopsided test summer.

In short Tim - I don't know, but they play each other in the penultimate round of matches. I hope Sky realise this could be a cracker and get the cameras there.