Cricket showed herself to be the fickle mistress we all know and love this week, as not one of the players from the Round 1 Team of the Week make this eleven. A perfect example of what a cruel game cricket is saw Ben Slater – who scored a career best 172 last week – bag a pair this time around.
This week’s selection sees 2 players from Kent, Glamorgan and Worcestershire, with the others coming from Derbyshire, Northants, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Essex. Let us know if you agree with the selection.
- Jake Libby (Worcestershire) 184 and 44, plus 2 wickets
Libby moved to New Road at the end of last season from Nottinghamshire and, like Slater last week, has showed the Trent Bridge club what they are missing. His 184 in the first innings helped Worcestershire amass 455 for 8 before the 120 over limit was up. He also added 44 second time around, as the Pears looked to set a total for Glamorgan to win. Then, as they chased it, he took two wickets as Worcestershire pushed in vain for a victory
- Jordan Cox (Kent) 238, DNB
As a 19 Year old making your way in the game, you must dream of making an impact like that which Jordan Cox made this week against Sussex. Sharing an unbroken partnership of 423 with Jack Leaning, guiding Kent to a total of 530 -1 in their allotted 120 overs, thus ensuring they only had to bat once. His side then bowled out Sussex to complete the victory that such a stand deserves.
- Jack leaning (Kent) 220, DNB
If Jordan Cox makes the side then his partner in crime against Sussex bowlers is also in the side. Coming in at first drop, Leaning set about amassing 220 runs off 308 balls, and ensuring the total was insurmountable for Sussex. Leaning showed great powers of concentration in his knock and then, four balls into Sussex’s reply, he took a screamer of a catch in the slips to show his mind was still fresh. Leaning joined Kent from Yorkshire and would have been wanting to make an impression. I think he managed that in his second game.
- Wayne Madsen (Derbyshire) 103, 2*
If the top three of this week’s selection were looking to make an impression at new clubs or at the start of their careers, Wayne Madsen is the complete opposite at Derbyshire. People expect Madsen to score runs and big runs, and that’s exactly what he did this week – as he so often does. His century set up the score that gave Derbyshire a lead over Leicestershire, which enabled them to set a total that would give them a good chance of victory.
- Billy Root (Glamorgan) 118, 34
Anyone who has a more successful sibling must look at Billy Root with sympathy. He is an excellent batter in his own right, though, and he showed it this week against Worcestershire. He made a century in the first innings, as they searched for parity, and then a patient 34 off 62 with wickets tumbling around him. He helped stop Glamorgan’s fall towards defeat and ultimately take a draw.
- Brett D’Oliviera (Worcestershire) 174, 22
First innings runs are a hugely sought after commodity. D’Oliveira provided that for Worcestershire this week and was unlucky not to be selected in the team of the week last week, too (he was surely devastated to get the news). D’Oliviera’s 174 and partnership of 318 with Jake Libby helped Worcestershire to gain a huge position of strength in the match. He also scored a quickfire 22 off 28 balls, to help set a total to defend as they pushed for victory.
- Chris Cooke (C) (WK) (Glamorgan) 0, 73, 9 Dismissals
It might seam strange to select a player who scored a duck in one innings, but Cooke’s battling 73 in the second innings ensured Glamorgan drew a match they might otherwise have lost. That 73 took up 133 balls and, more importantly, 179 minutes. While keepers’ runs are always important, their contributions behind the sticks are even more so, and the 9 dismissals Cooke claimed in this match, equalled a Glamorgan record and ensured his bowlers got value for the chances they created.
- Ryan Higgins (Gloucestershire) 4-54, 7-42 1,51
Higgins has turned into such a dependable performer for Gloucestershire since joining from Middlesex, but this is probably the most outstanding performance of his career to date. Taking eleven wickets at under 9 runs each is fantastic, and then a half century in the second innings to set a total that Gloucestershire could defend. Higgins then took another 7 wickets to propel his side to a great victory. He bats much higher for Gloucestershire but, with the top order we have in this side, Higgins adds extra depth to the order.
- Simon Harmer (Essex) 6-67, 8-64, 19,14
If you need a sign of how good a bowler Harmer is, it’s the fact that I didn’t bat an eye lid when I saw he’d taken 14 wickets in an innings and bowled Essex to another victory. In fact this is the third time he has taken 14 wickets or more in a match for his adopted county in the last four seasons. He is consistency personified and, when he qualifies for England, it will be a very difficult decision to make – and an even harder one if the choice is to not select him.
- Oliver Hannon-Dalby (Warwickshire) 6-33, 6-77
Its hard to believe this was Hannon-Dalby’s first ever 10 wicket haul, but it is true – and taking 12 is a decent first effort, even if it was in a losing cause. In a bowling line up that features Tim Bresnan and the much vaunted Henry Brookes, Hannon-Dalby is consistent and reliable and always seems to take wickets for his side. The 12 wickets aside, he was also nearly a hero with the bat, as the Bears looked to bat out for a draw. Sadly for them, he fell just 4.5 overs from the end after batting for 30 balls and 57 minutes for his 18, and consigned Warwickshire to defeat.
- Ben Sanderson (Northamptonshire) 5-28, 4-61, 0, 0
On his day, Sanderson can be a world beater. A bowler of genuine pace who bowls some vicious deliveries, England have looked at him and – if they saw what Somerset saw in this game – they could do a lot worse. Like Hannon-Dalby his efforts were in a losing cause, but don’t take anything away from Sanderson. His 9 wickets for just over 9 is a fantastic haul and warrants his place in the side.