Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Championship Week 16

Bit late and quite short this week as I’m moving house. Finally a win for Worcestershire, while the weather continues to frustrate those chasing Sussex at the top.

Division 1
Durham
had the chance to go top, if only for 24 hours as they took on Surrey a day earlier than the other two Div 1 matches. They started nervously and were indebted to 81 from Shivnarine Chanderpaul to get to 232. However, this was enough for a first innings lead, with Surrey being bowled out for 183. Durham did better second time round and declared on 397 for 7. Surrey never looked like going for it and a ton for Jon Batty meant that they secured a comfortable draw and Durham stay 3rd.

They do close the gap on Yorkshire, who having lost ground on Sussex in recent weeks needed to be aggressive against bottom team Worcestershire. They started reasonably, scoring 319 with Adil Rashid getting his maiden ton. Worcester avoided the follow on but then declared on 172 for 5 in the hope of forcing a result. Despite being reduced to 10 for 4 by Kabir Ali, Jacques Rudolph and Rashid again were able to set Worcester 337 to win, which they got for the loss of just four wickets, Ben Smith finishing unbeaten on 98 at nearly a run a ball.

Kent travelled to Warwickshire needing to do better than Surrey to pull out of the relegation places. They bowled the Bears out for 213 before reaching 400 for 4 declared (153 for Rob Key). Unfortunately the weather meant that no more was possible, but the bonus points took Kent back above Surrey.

Division 2
Just the two games in Division 2 with no more than a scramble for bonus points possible in either. Somerset bowled out Glamorgan for 198 before reaching 400 for 6 for maximum bonus points. Justin Langer scored a ton. Meanwhile Middlesex also declared on 400 (for 9 in this case) with Owais Shah and Ed Joyce both hitting tons. In reply Northamptonshire reached 335 for 9 when the game ran out of time.

Player of the Week
A good week for two players on the fringes of England selection with Rob Key and Owais Shah both scoring 150+. However, both were in effectively dead matches. For the innings that took Worcester to their first win of the season, this week’s Player of the Week is Ben Smith