Monday, 8 September 2008

Championship - Week 18

A good week for those with a week off as the weather plays havoc with this round of matches. In Division 2, Worcestershire are almost home at the top, although their home ground is under water again.

Division 1
Somerset met Nottinghamshire in a top of the table clash, and were indebted to 86 from Peter Trego to get them up to 252 all out in bowler friendly conditions. Charl Willoughby then took two quick wickets, but Notts could only get up to 46 for 2 by the end of the match as less than a full days play was possible.

Also looking to make ground at the top of the table were Durham against struggling Lancashire. Durham got up to 280 for 3, with the impressive Will Smith scoring an unbeaten 144. Unfortunately that was it and Lancs suffered another game with very few points.

Slightly more play was possible at Scarborough, where Sussex and Yorkshire got into the second day before the washout came. Sussex collapsed from 195 for 2, with Andrew Hodd and Chris Nash having put on a hundred for the second wicket to 265 all out, Adil Rashid taking four wickets. In reply Yorkshire struggled to 133 for 7, with Michael Vaughan’s 19 looking better and better as the innings went on. Yorks are still in the relegation zone, but level on points with Lancashire and still only 21 points off the top.

A Mark Ramprakash century got Surrey to 307 for 9 against Kent. Joe Denly and Rob Key then put on 159 in 21 overs in an attempt to get to bonus point territory. However, the weather stopped even that, with Kent finishing on 160 for 1.

Division 2
Worcestershire and Warwickshire ironically played as much cricket as anyone before New Road reverted to being a public baths. Worcester made 339 in their first innings, although at 200 for 1, they would have expected more. Neil Carter took six wickets and Chris Woakes four as the Bears fought back. Jon Trott then made an unbeaten 88 as Warwickshire made 251 and Worcester made just 45 for 1 when the rains came and Worcestershire will be moving to Kidderminster for the rest of the season, although they ought to secure promotion at Glamorgan this week.

Graeme Wagg took 5 wickets as Derbyshire dismissed Glamorgan for 348, Gareth Rees scoring his second ton of the season. Derbyshire were on 225 for 5 at the close of the game, which ends their promotion push.

Gloucestershire made 218 as Alan Richardson took 5 wickets for Middlesex. Jon Lewis also took five wickets, although a Billy Godleman ton led Middlesex to declare on 313 for 7. Gloucester had wiped off the lead and reached 161 for 4 before the close of the game and remain bottom, three points below Glamorgan. Middlesex’s season finished with the 20Twenty win and they will remain in Division 2 next season.

England Player Watch
Michael Vaughan made 19, which ended up being Yorkshire’s second top score against Sussex. Rob Key and Joe Denly made a rapid 76 and 80 respectively in the hunt for bonus points, while Andrew Strauss’s 43 was overshone by a Billy Godleman century as he pushes for a winter Lions spot.

Adil Rashid’s fine form with the ball continues with four wickets while Darren Pattinson took three to keep himself in the selectors minds.

Player of the Week
Durham’s top order has a very international look. However, it is a young Englishman who tops the averages and has scored more centuries than the rest of the Durham batsmen combined. Initially selected as replacement for Paul Collingwood, he’s made the position his own and looks a decent bet for a Lions tour this winter. For an unbeaten 144, the Player of the Week is Will Smith.

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