Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Championship Review - Week 6

Away from the excitement of the Test at Old Trafford, in Division 1, the Champions beat the league leaders while in Division 2, Middlesex and Essex hung on for what could be vital draws. And Ramps is still waiting for his 100th hundred…

Division 1
Starting with the leaders, Nottinghamshire had Sussex in all sorts of trouble at 74 for 6 until Matt Prior and Robin Martin-Jenkins put on 142 for the 7th wicket, Prior ending up with 131. Notts scored 251 in reply and with Sussex getting 259 in their second innings, Prior again top scoring, Notts needed 286 to win. With Corey Collymore taking four wickets for the second time in the match, Sussex won by 73 runs as Notts made 212. Notts have had a flying start to the season, Sussex have had a poor start to the season. However, there are now just six points between them as the table closes up again.

Ryan McLaren took 5 for 31 as Kent bowled Somerset out for just 202. Kent then made 273, with Martin van Jaarsveld hitting 95. A Marcus Trescothick century brought Somerset back into the game, and their score of 335 meant that Kent were chasing 270 to win. Joe Denly hit 149, but the Kent effort finished 20 runs short and Somerset record their first win of the season to move 4th with a game in hand on all of those above them.

Bizarrely, one of the teams above Somerset, Surrey, are still to register a win, although their strong batting line-up means that there are bonus points a-plenty. The game against Yorkshire was no different as Surrey declared on 466 for 8, with Mark Butcher scoring 205 and Matt Nicholson 133, the pair of them putting on 231 for the 6th wicket. Mark Ramprakash managed just 29 with 14 in the 2nd innings meaning that he remains on 99 centuries. In reply Jacques Rudolph (121) and Andrew Gale (150) also had a stand of over 200 as Yorkshire racked up 525, thanks also to an unbeaten 84 from Tim Bresnan. Losing three wickets before making up the deficit, Surrey were wobbling. However, Yorkshire were a bowler light due to injury to Rana Naved (Yorkshire’s 5th pace bowler to be injured this season along with Gough, Hoggard, Shahzad and Morkel) and an Usman Afzaal century saw Surrey to safety, closing on 299 for 6.

Division 2
Northamptonshire batted first at Glamorgan an scored an impressive 531 for 8 with Niall O’Brien and David Sales both scoring hundreds, Sales getting 173 of just 151 balls. In reply, Jamie Dalrymple offered solid resistance, with 82 off 212 balls, but the Welshmen were bowled out for 278, well short of the follow-on target. They batted even more poorly second time round, making just 154 for Northants to run out winners by an innings and 99 runs.
Glamorgan feels the South African heat in Swansea.
Northants Nicky Boje and Johann Louw above.

Forever Swansea. Glamorgan's display versus Northants spoilt their annual visit to the old St Helens ground, a fans favourite (Pics c/o RTE).

My pre-season favourites, Middlesex, have started poorly and managed just 297 at Warwickshire, with Darren Maddy picking up four wickets. In reply, the Bears made 438, with Tony Frost top scoring on 90, putting on 152 for the 5th wicket with Ant Botha. Starting their second innings 141 behind, Billy Godleman hit 87 while Eoin Morgan and Shaun Udal had made an unbeaten stand of 117 as Middlesex finished on 335 for 7 and a draw.

The most exciting finish of the week was at Chelmsford where David Masters took 6 for 24 as Leicestershire made just 159, Paul Nixon and Jacques du Toit putting on 86 of these for the 6th wicket. However, Essex did little better, Nadeem Malik taking 6 for 46 as they made 164 for a lead of five runs. In a complete turnaround, the Foxes then made 449 second time round, with HD Ackerman getting a ton and Paul Nixon unbeaten on 92, despite Ryan ten Doeschate taking 5-fer. Needing 445 to win, Essex were always struggling but hung on for a draw thanks to a gutsy lower order resistance, mainly from James Foster scoring 88 from 212 balls, but also Masters scoring just 5 from 87 deliveries, and Tony Palladino with 2 from 53 deliveries.

England Player Watch
Ravi Bopara followed a golden duck with 87 for Essex as the pressure builds on the out of form Paul Collingwood, while his main contender for the next batting place, Owais Shah made 36 and 50 for Middlesex. Joe Denly also started with a golden duck for Kent, but followed it with 149, while Rob Key got two starts with 48 and 26. However, change at the top of the England batting line-up seems unlikely.

Matt Prior kept up his stellar start to the season with a century and a fifty in Sussex’s win, and should be in consideration for a specialist batsman’s role as well as putting pressure on Tim Ambrose. Also keeping up the pressure on Ambrose is Chris Read, who scored a fifty for Notts in the same match and James Foster, whose 88 saved Essex from defeat.

Bowling wise, Tim Bresnan took four wickets on a batsman friendly track, while his good form with the bat continues. However, the more likely next bowlers in line for England, Chris Tremlett and Graeme Onions both had the week off.

Player of the week
Mentions to Mark Butcher for his double century, David Sales for his brutal attack on Glamorgan and David Masters for six wickets and surviving 87 deliveries as Essex saved the game against Leicestershire. However, the player of the week is the second wicket-keeper of the season to win the award. No other Sussex batsman made a fifty, while he got a ton and a fifty as Notts were defeated, the Player of the Week is Matt Prior.

4 comments:

River Taff End said...

Richard,

providing you're agreeable to it, I'll add 1 or 2 small pics from the Swansea game later.

Richard Lake said...

Excellent stuff - look forward to seeing them.

Thought you might have been wanting to forget the match happened though...

Tim said...

Prior is batting incredibly well.If only he can sort his keeping out...!

Chrispy said...

Prior could be pressurising Colli (Test) and Cook (ODI) for their places. I tell you this, Prior didn't make mistakes in ODI's for England and if they want the wk to open, then we might as well put in Prior for Mustard and stop pretending that leg side bullying is a viable option up top. His keeping isn't good enough for Tests though where the mistakes are more harshly felt over a longer period of time. His runs can't be ignored for much longer the way he is playing!