MCC v Warwicks, Champion County Match, Abu Dhabi, 2nd day March 25, 2013

Wright burst leaves MCC in deep trouble

ESPNcricinfo staff

MCC 73 for 7 (Wright 4-23) trail Warwickshire 561 for 6 dec. by 488 runs

Those questioning the continuation of the champion county match would have looked on day two as the fixture's death knell after a sublime spell from Chris Wright ended the contest with two days to play.

Wright reminded the England selectors of the talent that is around the counties with a burst of four wickets in 14 balls that destroyed the MCC innings. Together with the run out of Sam Northeast - backing up - Wright had removed five of the top six, with Joe Denly having retired ill, within 28 overs.

Wright struck in his second spell, beginning with wickets with the first and last balls of the third over after being brought back on. He found some away swing to beat Dale Benkenstein playing across the line and then produced a similar ball to the left-handed Dawid Malan to wrap him on the pads.

More away movement produced an edge from Peter Trego to slip before Jimmy Adams played carelessly outside off and was also caught in the cordon. Further wickets for Rikki Clarke - Ned Eckersley pulling to midwicket - and debutant Oliver Hannon-Dalby - Simon Kerrigan lbw shouldering arms - left MCC staring at a mammoth defeat.

The collapse was in stark contrast to the untroubled progress that Warwickshire continued to make on the second day. They batted on into the afternoon to grind MCC into the desert. Laurie Evans and Jim Troughton both made half-centuries in a stand of 111 and further brisk cameos from Tim Ambrose, Clarke and 21-year-old Ateeq Javid - playing his ninth first-class game - racked up a big total.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on March 26, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Just checked Joe Denly's stats. Excluding Strauss and London, who played 4 and 1 match respectvely, only Chris Rogers averaged more than his 35.0 last season (Rogers averaged 38.2). More surprising to me was the Dawid Malan scored more runs than Denly last year, but at a lower average. However, here, I stick to my guns: I can see him moving county, as Nick Compton did, if he has another poor season with the bat.

  • Stephen on March 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    @ blink182alex Presumably the point of this match is that it is day/night? therefore the only people who might be watching are the ICC, or rather, not watching but awaiting a report from the officials. Are they using a pink ball? I do however think that it would have been far more interesting to have it played in England (snow permitting) with the MCC team full of England hopefuls...such a game would also need to be well advertised and promoted, I went to the England Lions game last year at Old Trafford (v Aus 'A') and was so disappointed with the numbers in the crowd.

  • Mark on March 26, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    @trevorleesafro Interesting and challenging comments. He has 9 ODI caps, 5 T20s caps and has played for the Lions. He also moved to Middlesex from Kent to try to get back into the England frame. True, he is not going to get a call up right now because he had a poor season, even by the standards of a Middlesex batting unit that was not particularly impressive last season but, if you work on the basis that "form is temporary, class is permanent" you would expect the selectors to be watching him for signs of recovery. He would most certainly have entered last season hopong to catch the eye and he will undoubtedly have hoped that a good match against the Champion county would attract attention. Personally though, I would be more worried about Dawid Malan, who seems to have flamed out completely over the last 3 years and has gone from real England prospect (at least in T20/ODI) to someone who will be sweating on a new county deal if he has another poor season.

  • Alex on March 25, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    Waste of time this match, there is prob about 7 people in the ground and no one cares, it has no meaning attached to it. What they should do is have the county champions play at home against the best of the rest 11, 1 week after the last county game, so mid late September. Put it on Sky, have a few of the genuine Eng prospects in the side and it will have meaning, guys will want to show what they can do before Eng go away on tour in the winter. Instead this match is pointless, Lancs beat MCC last year and then got relegated months later.

  • Ohhhh on March 25, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    MCC team should have been: Hales, Lyth, Bopara, Taylor(c), Hildreth, Patel, Davies(wk), Rafiq, Shahzad, Dernbach, Roland-Jones.

  • Michael on March 25, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    It is a very weak MCC side. Does anyone know who or how it is selected? Perhaps it's time to do a public vote, one player from each county is selected. To make it worthwhile a second match should be played at Lord's so we can see the side we voted for play.

    For CricketingStargazer, Denly is nowhere near an England call-up, he is so one-dimensional (like so many of the batters who were called up for one-day matches when he was). I had the privilege of watching many Denly innings last season (against Surrey of course, which was the privilege) he was probably the fifth most impressive of the Middlesex XI behind Robson, Rogers, Dexter and even the slogger Malan. He is pretty rubbish and I like the bloke!

  • Mark on March 25, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    I disagree that this is a wea MMC side. There are some players in the MCC team with serious hopes of an England call-up (several of the attack and Joe Denly, to start with). Players like Steve Kirby have been close to England recognition. Either they are seriously under-motivated, or England have been looking at the wrong players. Mind you, bearing in mind some of the doubts about England reserve strength, players like Chopra, Clarke and Wright to start with, have done their case no harm at all. A decent start to the County Championship and one or more of them may be in with a serious chance of getting into the squad for Tests or Champions Trophy.

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    If the MCC selected a better team to play the Champions then this would be a worth while game.

  • No featured comments at the moment.