June 22, 2012

Friends Life t20, Friday June 22

Derbyshire’s Olympiads

Derbyshire’s Olympiads

While competition from other sports provide a challenge to this season’s domestic T20, Derbyshire have recognised that they it also provide an opportunity too. They have put back their game against Leicestershire on Friday 29th June by half an hour, to 7.30pm, to allow fans to attend the City’s Olympic Torch celebrations before. Derby City Council director of leisure and culture Claire Davenport said, “The new start time is great news for cricket fans that can now enjoy the torch relay and support Derbyshire on the same evening.”

Denly’s mysterious struggles

It is only three years since Joe Denly was considered the man to give England impetus at the top of the order in the limited overs formats. His career has stalled thereafter, until being revived by his move to Middlesex this season, when he has averaged around 60 in both first-class and 40-over cricket.

But, somewhat mysteriously, Denly has been unable to transfer that form into the T20 competition, mustering only 12 runs from four innings. Perhaps the problem is simply that he is too ambitious early on, as against Essex when attempting a boundary from his second ball. With Paul Stirling certain to occupy one batting position after he returns from Ireland duty, Denly’s struggles, incongruous as they may be, cannot continue.

Phillips’ surprising success

While Denly cannot reproduce his longer format form in T20, Tim Phillips must wish he could match his T20 exploits in first-class cricket. The left-arm spinner’s career average in first-class cricket – 47 – is over double his in both limited overs formats. He hasn’t even bowled a ball in championship cricket this season, but has already shown why he was so impressive in the 2011 T20 competition, when he was the leading wicket-taker with 26 wickets at an average of 11 and economy rate of seven.

Phillips’ greatest asset is his skill opening the bowling. He is adept at teasing batsmen into attempting too much, as his dismissals of Denly and Chris Rogers within the first three overs of Middlesex’s innings were the latest reminder of.

Trending: Explosive Essex

When Essex are mentioned as T20 contenders it is largely due to their batting strength. That was visible at Lord’s, even with Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah both unavailable. While all the top six made double figures, it was Ryan ten Doeschate and Graham Napier that stood out. Ten Doeschate, who has endured a grim run of form recently, launched Tom Smith for three sixes en route to top scoring with 38.

Napier only faced 12 deliveries, but his contribution was no less significant for that. His 28 included his trademark belligerent shots over deep extra cover and mid-wicket, but also a skillful late cut for four to show he has a more rounded game than often assumed. It was enough to make one wonder, again, why Napier has only once passed 50 once in this format, when he famously hit Sussex for 152 in 2008. And, together with some skillful full-length bowling, it earned Napier the official man of the match award – even if one Middlesex opponent was more deserving.

Player of the Day: Ollie Rayner

Ollie Rayner may have been on the losing side, but he was clearly the game’s outstanding player. He conceded only one boundary, and 16 runs, from his four overs, reflecting his control and the difficulty batsmen find attacking a man whose stature – he is 6ft 5in – is untypical for off-spinners. Yet Rayner’s batting was as impressive, with the powerful sixes over square leg and extra cover in his 39*, together with Steven Crook’s late hitting, almost leading Middlesex to an improbable win.

Fixtures Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire, Bristol, 17:30 Leicestershire v Derbyshire, Grace Road, 17:30 Somerset v Glamorgan, Taunton, 17:30 Worcestershire v Warwickshire, New Road, 17:30 Durham v Yorkshire, Chester-le-Street, 18:00 Essex v Surrey, Chelmsford, 19:00 Hampshire v Kent, West End, 19:00 Lancashire v Nottinghamshire, Old Trafford, 19:00 Sussex v Middlesex, Hove, 19:10

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on January 26, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    GPFshx Fantastic blog.Thanks Again. Will read on...

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Well done Azeem Rafiq and Yorkshire. Superb performance to hang in there and pull off a win that looked hugely unlikely at 10 overs of the chase! Playing some really superb T20 at the moment. Pure belief!

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    They are not good enough anyway and many have had chances in the past few years where Glamorgan have done badly. The likes of Rees,Wright have played a lot of 40 over and 20/20 cricket. If they perform in the 40 over games and 4 day they could still get a chance as Walters and Cooke are by no means automatic selections.

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:16 GMT

    I know what you are saying about exploiting the rules but I'm all for giving English/Welsh youngsters a chance and this sort of thing stops this happening!

    I mean if Glamorgan had the two overseas players and just two of the Welsh qualified then they could have at least given two Welsh lads a try but all six seems extreme!

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    And Matthew - I doubt it. There's probably something in the IPL contracts that gives them bonuses for choosing them in the Champions' League and, with the money they pay, why on Earth should Albie Morkel choose Somerset over Chennai for example? Levi maybe, seeing as he fell out of the Mumbai team, but we haven't even qualified yet, and he'd also probably choose his home side over us I'd think!

    Personally, I think there's a greater issue at work here. I think if a player's domestic side qualifies, then that's who he should play for - Pollard and Narine shouldn't be allowed to face up against Trinidad and Tobago for example, it's massively unfair in my eyes. The whole competition is horrendously weighted so an Indian side wins anyway, why give them even more advantages?

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Problem is is how are the Welsh lads going to get experience at the OD stuff and improve if Glamorgan bring in very experienced overseas/English qualified players who will hit the ground running!

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:08 GMT

    @ Darren just in case my stand point is misread I don't agree with it either anybody that is technically England, Welsh or any nationality just because they have lived somewhere for a certain amount of time, or one parent born in that country. I say it's where you are born but if that's the rules then you may as well exploit them when your team is performing poorly.

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    Haha Justin I'm here! Top stuff from Hildreth - he's never quite cracked limited overs cricket, especially T20, like he should have, and this is the sort of innings that gets the likes of me raving about him. Might have to restart that James Hildreth for England bandwagon I had going! That game was gone at about 90-4, especially considering Glamorgan have a good limited overs attack. With Levi and Morkel to come back too, we're only going to get stronger - looks like another flawless run to the final, only to mess it all up at the last then :P

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    You are right it isn't great for Welsh cricket in some ways but at the end of the day if they had the talent in Wales to be able compete they would play them but with the current genration they simply don't. I have seen enough bad cricket from Glamorgan in recent years apart from the 4 day campaign last year, so to be honest it's great to feel you actually have a decent team in one format this year even if the bowlers and keeper are the only Welsh players. The whole bowling squad is Welsh though and many have performed well this year look at Walters in 4 day cricket.

  • testli5504537 on June 22, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    @Mathew, Technically like those born and bred Englishmen Stuart Law and Azhar Mahmood are also allowed to play for England!

    Farce springs to mind, not really great for Welsh cricket is it?

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