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Pope Wins Big At PCA Awards!

Friday, 5 October 2018 10:57:24 Europe/London

GM would like to extend huge congratulations to our very own Young Gunn, Ollie Pope, who last night was awarded the Natwest PCA Young Player of the Year award.

OlliePope

In the County Championship, Pope scored 986 runs from just 16 innings, averaging a Bradman-esque 70.42 as his Surrey side stormed to the Championship Title, losing just one match along the way. He finished with a fantastic hundred, his fourth of the year, against Essex to round off an incredible summer.

Pope’s fairy tale 2018 season culminated in a call-up to England’s Test Match squad against India in August playing in the second and third Tests of the 4-1 series win, making an assured 28 in his debut innings.

"We're delighted for Ollie who follows a long line of previous winners who have gone on to achieve great things in the game,” Thomas Coffey, GM Cricket Marketing Manager, said. “Ollie's phenomenal rise to prominence has really gathered pace in the last twelve months, and we're all extremely excited to watch him develop further, and his career continuto flourish.”

Winning the PCA Young Player of the Year means Pope has followed in the footsteps of the likes of Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Ben Stokes who have all previously won the award.

He added; “Voted for by his fellow professionals, this a deserved and fitting way to cap off a wonderful 2018 season for him. Congratulations, Ollie, from everyone at GM."

The 20-year-old’s dream season has also been rewarded with another Test call-up for the forthcoming series in Sri Lanka, where he will joined by fellow GM teammates Ben Stokes and his Surrey captain Rory Burns.

OlliePope

"It's a special year, whether that be getting my call-up or more importantly, winning the Championship and contributing in that successful side," Pope said. "It's obviously an exciting time for county cricket and this country in general. It's incredibly special and this makes it even more special. Coming from players we play against is awesome."

Pope was not the only GM winner on the night as four GM players were named in the Greene King Team of the Year; Lancashire’s Alex Davies and Dane Vilas, Hampshire’s James Vince and Pope’s Surrey teammate Burns, who was also named as captain of the side.

Greene King Team of the Year: Rory Burns - captain (Surrey), Alex Davies (Lancashire), Joe Denly (Kent), Ian Bell (Warwickshire/Birmingham Bears), James Vince (Hampshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Dane Vilas - wicketkeeper (Lancashire), Rikki Clarke (Surrey), Ed Barnard (Worcestershire), Matt Henry (Kent), Morne Morkel (Surrey)Pope was not the only GM winner on the night as four GM players were named in the Greene King Team of the Year; Lancashire’s Alex Davies and Dane Vilas, Hampshire’s James Vince and Pope’s Surrey teammate Burns, who was also named as captain of the side.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Thank You Trotty!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018 16:31:47 Europe/London

5th Test, Day 3, Saturday 22 August 2009 is the date Jonathan Trott cemented his spot in the England Test team with a century on debut against Australia. It marked a period of stability that English cricket has desperately craved since his final Test Match in 2015 against the West Indies.

At the peak of his powers, the mere mention of the word ‘Trott’ brought calm and poise to every English cricket fan, knowing that if he was at the crease for the day, so too would England be.

Statistics rarely tell the whole story, though Trott's do a pretty good job to dispell that theory. He enjoyed a fabulous career of 52 Test Matches, 9 hundreds and almost 4,000 runs at an average of 44.08. And yet his importance to English cricket in one of their most dominating periods between 2009-2013 was much more than that. His infamous appetite for runs and just his sheer presence at the crease allowed the more flamboyant and free-flowing figures in English cricket, such as Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell, to flourish.

Trott

Trott’s Test career included 3 Ashes victories, most memorable of all being the 2010/11 series in Australia in which England emerged victorious for the first time since the 1986/87 series.  Trott averaged 89 with the bat in the series, scoring two hundreds along the way to notching up 445 runs as England took the series 3-1.

Some of Trott’s idiosyncratic mannerisms became infamous during his career. In particular, his incessant scratching of his batting guard at the crease meant that in some of his longer innings (of which there were a fair few!), rather than the traditional small line most batters make to take guard, Trott would scratch away as if he were digging a trench, seemingly readying for battle with the next ball. Despite sporadic complaints from frustrated captains over the years, there certainly appeared to be method to his approach when he completed 1,000 runs in Test cricket one year and one week after he made his debut.

Since he announced his retirement earlier in the season, there have been a number of tributes from teammates past and present, highlighting the legacy that Trott the man and batsman has left on cricket in England.

The former England star signed off in typical style by helping Warwickshire to the division two title last week, as the 37-year-old continued to score prolifically for Warwickshire and only just missed out on posting 1000 runs in his final season in domestic cricket.

He will be sorely missed here at GM, and we will cherish all he has done for English cricket. The easiest way to promote a bat is to have a world-class player raise it to the crowd to acknowledge the applause, and Trott did that more often than most. But more than that, Trott was a fantastic ambassador for the sport and commanded respect from all corners of the cricketing world, and for that we thank him.

#ThankYouTrotty.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Vitality Blast Quarter-Final Preview

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 12:16:35 Europe/London

It's crunch time in the Vitalist Blast T20 competition as 8 sides compete for a spot at Finals Day on September 15. Your favourite team may be already be out of the competition, but GM fans will be safe in the knowledge that as many as 14 GM players will be involved in elimination matches this week.

Somerset v Nottinghamshire Outlaws – Sunday 26 August

The match featuring the most GM players in the quarter finals this week will be played in Taunton, where the Notts Outlaws travel to winners of the South Group, Somerset.

In action for Notts will be a combination of the GM bowling cartel, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney and Jake Ball. Gurney has led the way for The Outlaws, picking up 20 wickets to date with a best of 3/24 and a terrific economy rate of just 7.33 per over. Gurney has been ably supported by Fletcher and the all-round talents of Samit Patel who have picked up a further 18 wickets between them. Patel continues to prove his worth in all formats as he also has a 50 to his name this year.

Somerset on the other hand have been bolstered by New Zealand’s dynamic allrounder Corey Anderson who so far has smashed 460 runs with three 50’s in the campaign. His efforts have been supplemented by Lewis Gregory, who has struck 261 runs at a remarkable strike rate of 210.48. Death bowlers beware!

Notts:

SamitPatel

Samit Patel (297 runs @ 20.09, HS 52, 7 wickets)

Harry Gurney (20 Wickets, BBI 3/24)

Luke Fletcher (HS 27, 11 Wickets)

Jake Ball (3 wickets)

Somerset:

Corey Anderson (460 runs @ 46.00, 3 x 50, HS 72)

Lewis Gregory (261 runs @ 43.5, HS 62, 2 x 50, 15 wickets, BBI 4/28)

 

Kent Spitfires v Lancashire Lightning – Thursday 23 August

Kent’s fine form in white ball cricket has continued in The Blast this year, finishing second in the South Group, only behind Somerset on net run rate. Sean Dickson may be having one of his finest seasons with the bat across the other formats, but it is a testament to how well his teammates have batted that he has only needed to bat 7 times in 14 games, picking up 95 runs along the way. A lot of this is due to how well Daniel Bell-Drummond has been batting this year, notching up 372 runs with three 50’s and a high-score of 80. Much of Kent’s success this year has been down to his platform at the top of the innings and the Spitfires will be hoping his efforts will continue to see them through to the Finals Day.

Kent will be up against Lancashire, featuring the run-scoring machine that is Alex Davies, who in 12 innings has six 50’s, 510 runs and a high score of 94* to his name this year. Jordan Clark in eight innings has 159 runs with and a terrific average of 53, bolstering the lower order. Dane Vilas has struggled to replicate his red ball form in this format but in nine innings has contributed 149 runs to go along with 12 catches and 6 stumpings behind the stumps.

Kent

AlexDavies

Daniel Bell-Drummond – (372 runs @ 33.81, HS 80, 3 x 50)

Sean Dickson (95 runs @ 31.66)

Lancashire

Alex Davies (510 runs, 94*, 6 x 50 @ 63.75)

Jordan Clark (HS 41*, 159 runs @ 53.00, 5 wickets)

Dane Vilas (149 runs)

 

Durham Jets v Sussex Sharks - Friday 24 August

GrahamClark

Durham Jets got off to a flying start, with Ben Stokes featuring in the first three games, averaging 71.50 with the bat and 4 with the ball. Despite recently featuring in the Test Match against India, Stokes has been released to play as a batsman in their 1/4 final match against Sussex. The only other GM player in action for either side is Graham Clark, brother of Lancashire’s Jordan Clark. Graham has been an essential part the Jets' batting lineup, with 392 runs to his name so far, picking up three 50’s in 13 innings.

Durham

Graham Clark (392 runs @ 30.15, 3 x 50, HS 65)

Ben Stokes (143 runs @ 71.50, HS 94*, 4 wickets)

Worcester Rapids v Gloucestershire - Saturday 25 August  

Gloucester claimed fourth place in the South Group despite a loss to Hampshire in the last match of the group stages. Ian Cockbain has scored Gloucester’s only T20 century this year, making 123 against Middlesex, 96 of which came in boundaries. His teammate Miles Hammond has made 268 runs including a 50, but a strike rate of 157.64 makes him a difficult customer to bowl at, striking the most boundaries in the Gloucester side with 49 in total, including 11 sixes.

IanCockbain

Gloucester

Ian Cockbain (327 runs, HS 123 @ 32.70)

Miles Hammond (268 runs, HS 51)

 

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Made By England's Best, Used By New Zealand's Best

Friday, 20 July 2018 14:30:39 Europe/London

PlayersCricket

In all corners of the globe, cricket fans are likely to see Gunn & Moore bats sold in cricket shops. GM bats are unmatched in quality, thanks to our storied history, astounding attention to detail and the world’s most advanced cricket bat-making facility.

All of those factored combined makes it easy to see why GM are able to sponsor players from a wide-ranging number of domestic and international teams, as players and punters alike marvel at the quality of willow that GM offer.

In New Zealand, Players Cricket has made a name for itself for being one of the leading cricket specialists in the world, let alone in their own country. The image they sent us not only showed off the incredible GM range, but also shows off their astounding appetite for providing cricket equipment at all levels of the game. It’s unfortunately an increasingly rare occurrence to find such an amazing array of bats on display, in such a wide-ranging array of models and grades, but Players Cricket is proudly bucking that trend in order to offer players everything they could possibly need.

PlayersCricket1

Players Cricket is a specialist cricket shop, online and in store, where cricketers have welcoming access to the latest in cricket products, bat workshop services and technology. Their expert cricket staff, select only the finest bats, pads, gloves, shoes, bags and helmets used by Blackcaps stars such as Ross Taylor to ensure they provide the premium and most complete cricket store experience in New Zealand. Their unique cricket bat workshop, offers state of the art craftsmanship and knocking in services to ensure all Players Cricket customers are fully catered for and prepared. One of those that continues to make full use of their GM bat is Taylor, a long standing member of Team GM, who just happens to hold the record for the most ODI centuries by a New Zealander.

The bats on display are shipped direct from the GM factory in Nottingham, where all GM bats are made in-house to be sent across the world. Astute Northern Hemisphere GM fans may even notice a bat they haven’t seen before on display. Blending over 130 years of expertise with the love of the game, all GM DXM English Willow bats are made by our own staff in our own factory in Nottingham, England. Gunn & Moore make the finest cricket bats in the World. Pick up a GM cricket bat and you will instantly know from the balance, finish and ultra-high quality presentation that this is English Design and Craftsmanship at its very finest. 

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Vitality Blast Round-Up 2

Tuesday, 17 July 2018 11:15:00 Europe/London

The fixtures come almost as quickly as the runs in the Vitality Blast with GM players once again providing a number of match-winning contributions all over the country this week.

GrahamClark

Graham Clark made the highest score of the week for GM, striking a boundary-laden 65, including seven 4’s and three 6’s as his Durham side beat the Birmingham Bears. Having been asked to bat first, Clark opened the batting and put on 126 for the first wicket, laying the platform for Durham to reach 220/6. Despite a partnership worth 110 for the fourth wicket, Durham’s total proved too much as Birmingham were only able to make 202/5 from their 20 overs.

A couple of days previously, Clark was again in the runs, this time his efforts were in vein as he was on the losing side against Yorkshire. Adam Lyth got his side off to a cautious start, making 17 from 19 balls, but on a tricky pitch, no player was able to take the game away from the bowlers, with the Vikings eventually making 157/6. Clark once again opened the batting and laid another terrific foundation, putting on 77 for the first wicket before Matt Fisher broke the partnership. Clark went on to make 39 before he too fell to Fisher, with the score 99/2. Unfortunately, Clark’s teammates were unable to make the most of the platform, stumbling their way to 147/6, 11 runs short of their target, with Fisher finishing with figures of 2/26.

Yorkshire made it two wins in a row against Worcester soon after, as they racked up 179/7, with Lyth making a quick-fire 21-ball 35 to get his side off to a rapid start. His teammates continued where he left off as they made their way to 179/7 from their allotted overs. Worcester’s reply saw them lose wickets in regular intervals, meaning that their innings lacked the fluency required to mount a serious challenge, even with their hard-hitting overseas batsman Travis Head in the middle order. Head managed 23 from 23 balls, but he was dismissed with the score 58/5 which left his side struggling to keep up with the run-rate as they eventually finished 12 runs short of their target.

AdamLyth

Derbyshire, meanwhile, suffered two defeats in a row this week, firstly at the hands of Nottinghamshire. Batting first, the Outlaws made 175/8 in a game reduced to 19 overs per side. The Derby innings was hampered by some fantastic bowling displays from the GM bowling cartel of Harry Gurney, Luke Fletcher and Samit Patel. Gurney finished with figures of 2/30, including the wicket of Daryn Smit who made 15 before being trapped LBW. Patel also picked up a wicket, that of Wayne Madsen who laboured to 6 from 14 balls, before he too was out LBW, to finish with figures of 1/21. Though Fletcher didn’t pick up a wicket, his fantastic economy rate of just 4.56 helped restrict the batting line-up to just 139/9 from their allotted overs.

Alex Davies marked his return to the Lancashire side with a valuable 31 at the top of the order as the Lightning faced Derbyshire at Old Trafford. His efforts, along with Dane Vilas (11) and Jordan Clark (20*) saw the home side reach 157/8. Derby’s innings didn’t get off to the start they would have liked, losing Ben Slater in the first over for 5, before Madsen entered the fray, adding 34 runs with six 4’s. His efforts were supplemented by Smit’s 28, however they were unable to get their side over the line finishing 145/7, just 12 runs short of Lancashire. Vilas rounded off his display with the bat to take three catches and a stumping in the field.

In another rain-affected match, Gloucester hosted Somerset with only 11 overs per side available. Somerset posted a competitive 114/8, including 19 runs from their captain, Lewis Gregory. However, Ian Cockbain showcased his talents with a match-winning innings of 43* from just 22 balls, including four 4’s and two 6’s, as his side chased down their target with 5 balls to spare.

Elsewhere, Essex hosted Glamorgan in what turned out to be a dramatic run-chase. Essex had first crack at batting, beginning well with Westley (26) and Ryan ten Doeschate (43) laying a solid platform. However, a spectacular batting collapse saw them slip 117/3 to 167 all out with three run outs. Glamorgan suffered a collapse of their own, but unlike Essex, they were saved by their middle order who saw them home with a 4 off the last ball of the innings.

DbD

Finally, Kent hosted Hampshire at the always high-scoring ground in Beckenham, as Kent plundered their way to 210/4, with Daniel Bell-Drummond making 46 at the top of the order before driving straight into the hands of James Vince. Hampshire’s chase couldn’t have got off to much of a worse start, as they lost 3 wickets in the first seven balls, reeling at 3/6. However, they were superb in their recovery efforts as they managed to reduce the deficit to needing 6 runs from the last ball. They were scuppered by a good Yorker, but their fightback at the end will have given them some positivity going forward in the competition.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Vitality Blast Round-Up

Tuesday, 10 July 2018 16:02:29 Europe/London

This week saw the beginning of the Vitality Blast T20 competition in England. The most explosive and popular cricket tournament in England kicked off in fine fashion with a number of GM batsmen racking up early runs.

BenDuckett

The warm weather, flat pitches and fast outfields meant that quick runs were on the menu, typified by Northants batsman Ben Duckett who kicked off his campaign with a blistering 96, his highest score in the format, against Leicestershire. His innings came complete with 12 fours and 3 sixes before he was caught in the last over, as his efforts guided his side to 218/3. Incredibly, Duckett’s remarkable innings wasn’t enough, however, as Leicestershire’s batsmen all made fast starts to their innings to ensure they stayed up with the run-rate, before a thrilling finish saw them get over the line with two balls to spare.

Duckett continued his fine form just two days later as the Steelbacks hosted Nottinghamshire. The Outlaws batted first and posted an intimidating 219/6 from their 20 overs, with Samit Patel contributing 35 from 26 balls. Unfortunately, Northants were unable to match their efforts against Leicester as Duckett received little support on his way to 88, thrashing 13 boundaries, including 4 sixes. His wicket at 123/5 sparked a collapse in which they lost the final five wickets in under 5 overs to finish 161 all out with 2.3 overs to go, thanks largely to the efforts of Harry Gurney (3/30) and Luke Fletcher (3/21).

SamitPatel

Notts carried their strong performance into their next match against Leicester, with Patel’s 52 proving crucial as his side reached 199/8 from their allotted overs. Despite some lusty blows at the top of the order, Notts’ bowling attack proved too strong for the Foxes. Gurney, though wicketless, went at only 6 an over whilst Patel (1/19) and Fletcher (2/36) picked up crucial wickets to restrict Leicester to 180/9, 20 runs short of their target.

In another high-scoring affair, Yorkshire hosted Durham who saw the return of Ben Stokes as he returned from a hamstring injury. The Vikings were asked to bat first, and despite losing a wicket in the second over were able to rely on Adam Lyth who proved to be the glue holding the innings together, plundering 92* from 54 balls as he helped his side reach 200/3.

Yorkshire’s next match against the Birmingham Bears proved a much sterner test. Once again the Vikings batted first, this time however Lyth was unable to recreate the heroics of their first match, dismissed second ball without scoring. With their opener back in the pavilion, Yorkshire struggled to just 157/7.

AdamLyth

The Bears kicked their innings off by smashing 33 runs off the first over from Matt Fisher, which set the platform for Adam Hose to see his side home, making 51* from 33 balls as his side chased the target down with over 4 overs to spare.The reply was hampered by early wickets, but similarly to Lyth, Stokes held the innings together, finishing 90* in an innings which featured 5 sixes. However, he received very little support from his teammates as Durham whimpered to 156/4 from their 20 overs to give Yorkshire a comfortable start to the competition.

Elsewhere, Derbyshire hosted Lancashire in a comparatively low-scoring match. Having lost the toss, Derby got off to bad start, losing Ben Slater to a run out in the first over. Another wicket followed shortly afterwards, but Wayne Madsen ensured his side reached a competitive 161/4, finishing 76*. In the end, it proved to be nowhere near enough as Alex Davies and his opening partner put on 160 in 14.2 overs, losing a wicket just two runs short of the target. One ball later, the match was finished with Davies making an unbeaten 50 from 35 balls.

Lancashire made it two wins in a row a few days later when they hosted Northants who were hoping for their first win of the competition. Batting first, Levi and Duckett opened the batting for the Steelbacks but Duckett soon found himself walking back to the pavilion, caught by Dane Vilas for 10. Levi was the next man to go, but he had 40 to his name before he was caught and bowled by Jordan Clark in his only over of the innings. The rest of the Northants batting lineup struggled to get going as they slipped from 62/2 to 123/9. Lancashire’s reply got off to a poor start, losing their captain in the first over, however Alex Davies played superbly to once again make a half-century, finishing 64* as his side cruised to victory with 23 balls to spare, losing just one more wicket in the process.DbD

The final standout performance of the came from Kent’s opening batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond who struck 58 in his side’s successful chase. Somerset’s innings struggled to get going, losing three early wickets, before some middle order resistance helped them reach 159/6. Kent, in reply, whacked their way to their target with 21 balls remaining, thanks largely to Bell-Drummond, who struck four 4’s and two 6’s on course to a 101-run partnership for the second wicket.

 

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

RLODC Final

Monday, 2 July 2018 14:53:07 Europe/London

The Royal London One Day Cup Final always has a special place in the English cricket calendar. The marquee final takes Place at Lords every year, showcasing the finest talent the County game has to offer.

JamesVince

This year, James Vince’s Hampshire side faced Kent with both teams desperate to end their respective trophy droughts. It was Kent who won the toss and elected to field first, more on the notion that they prefer to chase than anything the pitch or weather suggested.

However, Hampshire proceeded to post a record total for an English domestic one-day final, thanks largely to Rilee Roussow’s 125. Hampshire’s superb opening partnership of 136 between Roussow and Tom Alsop had their fans dreaming of 400 and even after Alsop’s dismissal, James Vince’s arrival to the crease would have done little to brighten Kent’s day. As it turned out, however, the damage was done by Sam Northeast, Kent’s captain last year who moved to Hampshire to boost his credentials to play for England, rather than Vince who made 23 from 24 balls before he was caught at long-on.

Northeast’s arrival at 193/2, with 20 overs to go, meant that they were afforded the luxury of throwing caution to the wind, hoping to mirror England’s efforts at Trent Bridge a couple of weeks previously. However, when Roussow was eventually dismissed for a fantastic 125, his departure sparked somewhat of a collapse, as Hampshire slipped from 270-3 to 297-6 in under 5 overs including the wicket of Lewis McManus for 6. Unlike his teammates, Northeast remained steadfast to finish the innings 75*, with Hampshire reaching 330/7.

Kent’s reply saw GM’s Daniel Bell-Drummond open the batting with the competition’s top run-scorer Heino Kuhn. Kuhn had scored hundreds in his previous two matches in the 50-over format to get Kent to the final, however, his astounding run of form was suddenly halted when he ran himself out for 32.

DBD

 

His replacement, Joe Denly, struggled to get going before he was caught by Vince for 12 from 23 balls. Fellow GM batsman Sean Dickson looked to support Bell-Drummond, but he too struggled to keep up with the run-rate before losing his wicket. His 30 runs from 41 balls got Kent to 158/3, but the wicket of Bell-Drummond for a superb 86 shortly afterwards in the 35th over seemed to seal Kent’s fate.

The win clinched Hampshire’s first Royal London One Day Cup title and their first One Day trophy since 2012. Kent on the other hand haven’t won a One Day trophy in 40 years despite this being their eighth appearance in a final, their last victory came in the 1978 B&H final.Captain Sam Billings attempted to kick-start their innings, but he was unable to find anyone willing to stick around with him. This was made particularly difficult by three more run outs, even more so when the last six batsman combine for just 26 runs. In the end, Billings was the last man out for well-compiled 75 but his side only managed 269, 61 runs short of their target.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

GM's County Round-Up 8

Friday, 29 June 2018 16:31:57 Europe/London

This week saw the County Championship move past the halfway mark of the season with the last round of fixtures before the Vitality Blast T20 tournament beginning. It was an extremely important week for England hopefuls, with only one more round of matches before the first Test Match against India in August.

JamesVince

At Old Trafford, a high-scoring draw between Lancashire and Hampshire featured a trio of GM hundreds. The first of which was awarded to Hampshire captain James Vince who won the toss and elected to make first use of an excellent batting track.

As usual the free-flowing Vince did not disappoint, hitting boundaries with ease to bring up his second County Championship hundred of the year, moving past the 600-run mark for the in the process. Vince made 103, including 15 fours and a six, before losing his wicket with the score 187/3. Some middle and lower order resistance allowed his side to eventually reach 451 all out, despite Kyle Abbott’s three wickets.

Lancashire’s reply got off to a tricky start, reaching 70 for the loss of three wickets. However, Alex Davies remained stoic at the top of the order when he was joined by Dane Vilas, the two proceeded to add 138 runs for the fourth wicket, with Davies reaching his first Championship hundred of the year. Davies eventually fell for 115, but Vilas was ably supported by the all-rounder Jordan Clark as he reached his second ton of the year in a partnership worth 112. The score line read 320/5 when Vilas was eventually dismissed for a terrific 134. Clark, however, quickly began to run out of partners, before he was run out by Vince for 82. Two balls later the Lancashire innings was over, finishing 411 all out, 40 runs behind.AlexDavies

That left just a day in the match to force a result, however the pitch proved too good for any dramatic collapses, despite Clark’s efforts of 2/18. The draw means that both sides may be forced in a relegation battle as the two sides below them in the table have a game in hand.

An even higher-scoring match took place in Chelmsford as Essex hosted Somerset in a day/night game. Essex batted first and racked-up an enormous total of 517/5d thanks in no small part to Ryan ten Doeschate’s 173*, including a partnership worth 294. Dom Bess bowled a marathon spell of 35 overs on the trot (49 in total) to take 2/132, whilst Lewis Gregory toiled away to remove Tom Westley for 21.

The Somerset innings, whilst not featuring anything like the mammoth innings from ten Doeschate, was punctuated by a series of starts and 50’s, with nobody in the top six making less than 39. George Bartlett contributed 42 runs batting at number three, whilst Gregory and Bess provided some lower order resistance, making 22 and 35 respectively as Somerset finished 407 all out.

Essex’s second innings got off to a terrible start, losing Westley in the second over, and Gregory picking up a wicket just seven balls later to leave the hosts 1/2. Essex spent most of the morning on day 4 consolidating the early wickets, eventually declaring on 208/7d, with Bess picking up 3/81.Tendo

That left Somerset needing 319 from 50 overs, which at 64/1 after 10.2 overs looked rather doable. However, a flurry of wickets meant that they slipped to 116/5, forcing attention to turn from chasing a win to securing a draw. Gregory batted with superb concentration to help his captain guide his side to safety, finishing 15* from 90 balls.

The only result in Division One came from Scarborough as Yorkshire hosted high-flying Surrey. Yorkshire batted first but lost Alex Lees in just the second over. Adam Lyth followed in the twentieth over but by that point had 42 runs of Yorkshire's 51 to his name. A succession of middle order wickets suggested they might post a score well under-par, but their lower order allowed Yorkshire to reach 342 all out.

Rory Burns continued his outstanding season by making 59 at the top of the order, but bar Ollie Pope – who finished 69* - Surrey’s collapse at the end of the innings meant that they finished 75 runs behind Yorkshire, 267 all out.

Yorkshire would have been hoping to press home their advantage, but once again lost Lees early and Lyth shortly afterwards to leave them 8/1 in under five overs. The collapse didn’t stop there, however, as Surrey raced through the hosts batsmen to leave them reeling on 70/6. Despite the bowlers chipping in with some valuable runs, eventually Yorkshire finished 152 all out, a lead of 227.

Burns was the mainstay of Surrey's second innings but he fell agonisingly close to a third hundred of the season, caught by Lees for 97. However, the platform he laid down proved enough to get Surrey over the line as they finished 229/3 to extend their lead at the top of the table.

The final game in Division One took place at Trent Bridge as Nottinghamshire hosted Worcestershire. Notts surrendered their place at the top of Division One to Surrey a couple of rounds ago and were looking to close the gap, particularly as Surrey have a game in hand.

Worcester elected to field first, a decision they may have been ruing as they were unable to make a breakthrough until the 50th over. At 164/1, Samit Patel strolled out to the middle hoping to kick-start his Championship campaign, which he duly did by making his highest score of the season, making 76 before being bowled. Patel was involved in a partnership worth 146, but his wicket sparked a collapse of 4 wickets for just two runs. Normal order was resumed shortly afterwards though and the home side were afforded the luxury of declaring on 499/9.

With plenty of runs on the board, the Notts bowlers were set loose on a Worcester sided rooted firmly at the bottom of the table. Harry Gurney did the early lifting, removing both openers after a solid start before Luke Fletcher got in on the act, picking up numbers three and four. A further two wickets from Gurney meant he finished with figures of 4/97 to restrict Worcester to just 287 all out, with Fletcher finishing with 2/54.

Notts decided against enforcing the follow-on, hoping to quickly set Worcester a target whilst leaving enough time in the game to force a result. They did the first part of the equation well enough, scoring at 4.5 runs an over to reach 249/4d, with Patel making 71, to set Worcester an improbably 461 runs to win.

Once again, Gurney took the first wicket but unlike in the first innings, the middle order held steadfast to frustrate and deny Notts from breaking through. Gurney finished with figures of 3/91 and Fletcher 3/54 but even 115 overs wasn’t enough to secure victory as Worcester batted out the entirety of day 4 to finish 368/8, earning somewhat of an unlikely draw.

TrottTwitter

In Division Two, Warwickshire continued their run of form with a convincing win against Durham at Chester-le-Street. Bating first, Jonathan Trott entered the fray with the innings precariously placed at 52/2. Trott looked in supreme control throughout his innings to finish with a superb 170*, his first hundred of the campaign, as his side 

Durham’s reply got off to a good start, with Cameron Steel reaching his second fifty of the year, but two quick wickets for two runs stifled the early good work as the innings repeatedly stopped and started as the hosts struggled their way to 297 all out.finished 424 all out.

Another 53 runs from Trott in the second innings allowed his side to declare on 185/9, setting Durham a target of 313 to win. Steel was unable to re-create his efforts in the first innings, this time falling in the sixth over as Durham stumbled throughout, but despite some fireworks from their bowlers, they were only able to reach 226 all out .

Duckett

In Cardiff, Ben Duckett’s first hundred of the year saw Northants leapfrog Glamorgan to eighth in the table. Batting first, Northants reached 281 all out thanks to their middle order digging them out of early trouble.

Glamorgan’s first innings saw them reach 254 all out, despite Nathan Buck’s 3/77, but the real turning point in the match was Duckett’s blistering 133 from 154 balls, including 22 boundaries, in Northant’s second innings. His efforts allowed his side to declare on 406/9, setting Glamorgan an unlikely target of 434. Nathan Buck took another two wickets, including the 200th of his career, as Northants ripped through Glamorgan to bowl them out for 200.

Elsewhere, Derbyshire hosted Leicestershire in a mid-table clash with both sides looking to remain within touching distance of the leaders. Having been asked to bat first, Billy Slater (46) and Wayne Madsen (80), who passed 14,000 runs in all forms of cricket along the way, were the star performers as Derby struggled their way to 245 all out.

Despite a fantastic start to their reply, Leicestershire came up against a fired up Duanne Olivier and Hardus Viljoen who restricted the visitors’ from 105/1 to 297 all out. Olivier picked up 2/85 whilst Viljoen took 3/59.

However, the game was lost in the second innings as Derby’s top order were reduced to 47/4 inside twenty overs. Only two batsman passed 13 runs for the home side as they were bowled out for 184. Chasing only 133, Olivier (2/37) and Viljoen (2/48) once again did their best to drag their side into the game, however they received little support as Leicester chased the total down in less than thirty overs.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

GM's County Round-Up 7

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 09:21:26 Europe/London

In the background of England’s record-breaking series against Australia, the County Championship continued this week as we reached the halfway mark of the season.

With English players eyeing the upcoming series against India in August, those in the squad looked to find some form, whilst those on the fringes looked to bank as much cricket currency they could muster to force their way into the squad.

A couple of those looking to make a name for themselves are the Surrey duo of Rory Burns and Ollie Pope. Burns in particular has been in the England opening batsman conversation for the last couple of years thanks to some remarkably consistent run-scoring, passing 1,000 runs for the past 4 seasons and was the first man this year to pass the 500 mark before the start of Surrey’s match against Somerset this week.

OlliePope

Burns, having been asked to bat, continued his rich vein of form by reaching his first 50 of the competition to go along with his two hundreds in the earlier rounds of the season. When he was dismissed for 66, his Surrey side had already passed 150 for the loss of just two wickets.

By the time Pope came to the crease Surrey were 247/4 and looking to press home the advantage that Burns & co had given them in the early going. 20-year-old Pope continued the outstanding start to his career by notching his third hundred of the season, the fourth in his career, to overtake Burns as the leading batsman in Division One. Pope made 117 from 134 balls, including 19 boundaries to help Surrey reach their highest score of the season, finishing 459 all out.

Despite a solid a start from Somerset’s batsmen, a spectacular spell of 6 wickets in 3.5 overs from Ryan Patel ensured that Somerset were bowled out for 180. They were asked to follow-on and began cautiously before a top-order collapse saw them slip to 69/5, with only their stalwart James Hildreth providing any resistance. Somerset were eventually dismissed for 210 to give Surrey a victory margin of an innings and 68 runs, with more than four sessions in the match to spare.

It is the first time since 1958 that Surrey have won three games in succession by an innings and they went on to win the Championship that season as well and Surrey have now opened up a 13-point gap at the top of Division One, with a game in hand.

In Chelmsford, Nottinghamshire headed to Essex looking to make up for the last couple of results that saw them lose their spot at the top of the table to Surrey after a fast start. Having chosen to bat first, Notts were shown the way by New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor who made a brilliant 146 of his side’s first innings total of 380.

Without star bowler Jake Ball, who was away on England duty, Notts looked to the experienced duo of Luke Fletcher and Harry Gurney to deny the defending champions from leapfrogging them in the table. Fletcher responded immediately, picking up two early wickets to leave Essex reeling on 26/3, with Gurney then chipping in with the ever-crucial wicket of Alistair Cook following a re-building partnership worth 54 runs.RossTaylor

Fletcher picked up a couple more wickets in the middle order to finish with 4/43. Essex meanwhile finished 206 all out, 174 runs behind the visitors. Slightly surprisingly, Notts declined to enforce the follow-on, instead electing to press home their advantage and put the game beyond doubt. Despite a less than ideal start, Notts eventually found their way to 266 all out, to leave the equation as 411 runs needed from 131 overs.

Essex’s chase got off to a terrible start, losing 3 wickets in 11 overs and a further one off the bowling of Samit Patel at the end of day three to leave the hosts 88/4. Notts required just the morning session of day 4 to race through Essex’s middle and lower order, with Patel, Fletcher and Gurney taking 2 wickets apiece in the innings to secure a comfortable victory.

Elsewhere, Worcestershire claimed their first win of the season against fellow strugglers Lancashire in a bottom of the table clash. Asked to bat first, Worcester were in trouble early having slipped to 81/5 before some middle order resistance saw them reach 247 all out, despite Jordan Clark picking up career-best figures of 4/43.

Lancashire’s reply was almost Worcester’s in reverse as they got off to a good start before slipping from 77/1 to 112/8 in 16 overs, eventually finishing 130 all out. Alex Davies made 43 at the top of the order, but his wicket signalled the start of Lancashire’s dramatic collapse.

Worcester made amends in their second innings, posting 484/7d, 62 of which came from Tom Fell, as they scored freely to ensure plenty of time in which to force a result. Once again, Jordan Clark was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3/96.

Chasing a near impossible target of 602, Davies once again struck the ball with typical ease to race to 64, 56 of which came in boundaries. Though his dismissal didn’t spark a collapse akin to the first innings, his teammates lost their wickets regularly after getting a start, meaning that though there was hope, the reality of the situation became ever clearer as they were eventually dismissed for 399, a loss by 202 runs.

The final match in Division One saw Hampshire take on Yorkshire in a high-scoring day/night match in Southampton. Yorkshire batted first and posted 350 all out, with Kyle Abbott picking up a wicket to wrap up the innings.

Hampshire’s reply was aided by contributions of 35 runs apiece for James Vince and Abbott, but significant partnerships in the middle of the innings allowed Hampshire to reach 443 all out. Adam Lyth picked up the wicket of fellow GM player Abbott, finishing with 1/54.

Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time left in the match for a result as Yorkshire batted for all of the final day to secure a hard-fought draw.

SeanDickson

In Division Two, Sean Dickson continued his terrific run of form to score his second First Class hundred in as many matches as his Kent side took on high-flyers Warwickshire. On a pitch that seemed to get much easier as the game went on, Kent were bowled out for 197 in the first innings, before rolling through Warwickshire top order to leave them 61/7. Jonathan Trott provided the only real resistance of note, eventually finishing 51* in a total of 125, on a day where all 20 wickets fell.

Dickson’s second innings effort surpassed Yorkshire’s entire total as he scored a fantastic 133, including a 208-run partnership for the third wicket. Kent eventually declared on 446/8, setting Warwickshire a target of 519. A huge second wicket partnership saw The Bears reach 304/2, but after both centurions were dismissed, Kent continued to chip away with Warwickshire eventually falling short by just 73 runs.

In a thrilling match between Middlesex and Leicester, Dawid Malan’s side emerged victorious after chasing down the target of 381 with one wicket remaining and only 6.3 overs left in the match. After dismissing Leicester for 427, Malan himself made the most significant contribution in their first innings as he made a defiant 78* before his side slipped to 233 all out.

However, Middlesex’s bowlers did a fantastic job of restricting Leicester to just 186 all out, swinging the momentum of the match in their favour for the first time. Despite losing a wicket on just the third ball of the innings, they began to stubbornly rebuild enough to keep the chase in check, with the Middlesex bowlers able to knock the remaining runs off.

In Swansea, Derbyshire travelled to Glamorgan with both sides hoping to kick-start their campaign. The home side batted first and struggled their way to 283 all out, thanks largely to Andrew Salter’s 72*, his 8th First Class 50.

In reply, Derbyshire reached 90 for the first wicket, but lost opening batsman Billy Slater for 52 just one run later. Salter showed off his all-round ability by taking 4/105 in the innings to restrict Derby to 362 all out, which at 265/5 could have been far worse.

The home side made amends in their second innings, racking up 403/7d in just 82 overs, setting Derby a target of 325 runs in 63 overs. Derby’s chase was hampered with early wickets, meaning that in the end all they could do was scrap for a draw, eventually finishing 147/8 to share the points.

Finally, the exciting talent of Ben Duckett, who to this point has battled with indifferent form, showed why he earned a Test Match call-up a couple of years ago by playing some typically entertaining innings to set up an invaluable win for struggling Northants.

In the first innings, Duckett made 52 in 54 balls to get his side off to an electric start. Unfortunately his teammates were unable to keep the momentum going, slipping from 99/1 to 282 all out. Their bowlers, however, were able to race through Gloucestershire, bowling them out for just 62 in under 32 overs, allowing them to enforce the follow-on.

Gloucester were once again unable to mount much of a fightback, but did manage to get a lead in the match, but losing 3 wickets for 0 runs meant that they could only muster a lead of 30. Duckett was clearly in a rush, as he chased the target down by himself, finishing 32* in just 18 balls.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning

Royal London One Day Cup Semi-Final

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:04:00 Europe/London

James Vince’s Hampshire side are through to the Royal London One Day Cup Final thanks to his chanceless 171 against Yorkshire.

Vince’s innings featured twenty boundaries and four 6’s on his way to back-to-back hundreds in the Royal London One Day Cup, in an innings that encapsulated all the talent Vince possesses, frequently striking boundaries with ease and rarely looking troubled by Yorkshire’s bowlers.

Vince entered the fray perhaps slightly earlier than he would have liked, coming to the crease in just the sixth over. However, if the Hampshire supporters were concerned, Vince very quickly put them at ease hitting an early boundary that indicated he was still very much in the form of his life.

JamesVince

His 8th List A hundred was reached in just 83 balls, and he passed the 150 mark 29 balls later, before eventually falling for 171 to the bowling of Adam Lyth in the 46th over with the score 313/6. Some lower order boundaries from Lewis McManus ensured Hampshire got to 348/9 from their 50 overs, with Matt Fisher picking up 1/70 from his 10 overs.

In truth, Yorkshire’s reply stuttered too much early in their innings to mount a serious challenge, losing their first three wickets for just 47 runs. Adam Lyth was the first man gone for 11 in just the fourth over and he was joined shortly afterwards by two of his colleagues. Only one Yorkshire batsman passed 30 as they stumbled to 241 all out with over 6 overs to spare.

Hampshire will be joined by Kent in the final on 30 June 2018 at Lord’s thanks to Heino Kuhn’s fourth One Day Cup hundred of the campaign saw them home against Worcestershire.

Worcester won the toss and elected to bat first, a decision which at 48/4 they may have been ruing. The rebuild began with a partnership of 140, but two quick wickets saw them slip to 199/6. A terrific fightback saw them make a further partnership of 107 for the seventh wicket to finish 306/6 from their 50 overs.

Kent’s innings got off to a similarly sluggish start, as they lost Daniel Bell-Drummond in the first over, their captain in the third and Sean Dickson in the eighth to leave them 31/3. Kuhn, however, finally received some support from his colleagues as Kent began to rebuild and chip away at the total.

Some further lower order support allowed the chase to remain on track, before Kuhn fell just three runs short of the target with 3 balls remaining in the innings. He needn’t have feared however, as Harry Podmore immediately dispatched the next ball for 4 to see Kent home.

Comments | Posted in GM Cricket By Jack Dinning
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