Warwickshire v Somerset, Edgbaston, 2nd day August 21, 2013

Evans and Javid fulfil promise

Paul Edwards at Edgbaston

Warwickshire 283 for 3 (Evans 130*, Javid 103*) trail Somerset 340 by 57 runs

Cricket coaches rather like quiet batsmen. By this they do not mean those who sit silently in the corner of the changing room listening to Bach's Cello Suites; rather, they are referring to those unflamboyant players whose acquisition of runs is so gentle as to be almost unnoticed until one finds that they have 30 or 40 to their credit. On this evidence, Warwickshire's Laurie Evans is, to some degree at least, a quiet batsman, but he also showed himself capable of being an impressively expansive one.

In company with Ateeq Javid, who is hardly a rabble-rouser, Evans added an unbroken 245 runs for the fourth wicket to restore his team's fortunes after they had slipped to 38 for 3 in the first session of the second day. "All day Bears!" roared a home supporter from the Edgbaston pavilion and, to uninitiates, this yell suggested some sort of CBeebies marathon. "All day Laurie," he shouted a few moments later, and Laurie carried out his injunction to the letter.

By the close, Evans had made his second century in little more than a month of what is proving to be a breakthrough season for him and Javid his maiden first-class hundred. The pair have built a foundation from which the home side can establish a decisive first-innings lead and it was noticeable how each man constructed his innings as conditions eased during the day. Evans, for example, hit just seven fours in his 127-ball half-century but stroked another ten boundaries in getting to a hundred, which came off only 64 further deliveries.

"I knew Ateeq was going to get to his hundred," said Evans, who had leapt with delight when Javid reached three figures. "I'm really happy for him. We're new on the scene and we help each other out along the way."

"You train all your life to get your maiden first-class hundred," Javid said, "and this just shows that the hard work has paid off. Tomorrow we've got a big job to do because we can put our side in a winning position. Somerset bowled very well with the new ball and Steve Kirby did really well from one end. It was just a case of staying in there and realising that there was going to be a release ball."

Apart from the excellent Kirby, most of Somerset's bowling responsibilities were entrusted to the spinners George Dockrell and Piyush Chawla, whose efforts were contrasting. Dockrell was impressive; an admittedly rusty Chawla was not. Even if one allows the Indian the degree of licence normally given to legspinners his bowling before tea merely allowed Javid and Evans to milk him with ease. Conceding 55 runs in 13 overs is unlikely to impress Marcus Trescothick.

If Chawla bowls like that at Taunton he will disappear into the Tone at one end and either the churchyard or the splendid sandwich bars at the other. In fairness, he managed a little more accuracy after tea but his analysis still compares unfavourably with Dockrell, whose first 18 overs cost a niggardly 23 runs. By the close Dockrell had conceded 62 runs in 28 overs while Chawla had gone for 77 in 20. Neither, though, was as economical as Kirby whose 20 overs cost just 37 runs and whose spell with the second new ball tested both batsmen.

Kirby, who is one of the most competitive cricketers on the circuit, can also be praised, along with all his team-mates, for congratulating both centurions when the serious business of the day was done. That's the way to play this game.

By the close Somerset's hopes of achieving only their second win at Edgbaston in 16 attempts spanning 29 years were receding very rapidly. Indeed, Trescothick's players were looking back fondly on a first session in which Peter Trego had removed Ian Westwood for eight and Dockrell had claimed the wickets of both nightwatchman Recordo Gordon and Warwickshire captain Varun Chopra for 13 apiece.

Gordon, who bats No. 11 for the second team, resisted stoutly against the new ball for 72 minutes but even his efforts paled when compared with Evans and Javid's careful forbearance and well-judged aggression over the next two sessions. The pair's chanceless partnership may yet prove to have been vital if Warwickshire manage to defend their title over the last month of a season in which so many issues await resolution.

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  • Richard on August 22, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    @JG2704 - Thomas was signed for Warwickshire as an overseas player not as a Kolpak

    @Neil Dyer - Only Clarke and Wright have had more than 2 counties in the Warwickshire squad, so cannot be really be accused of a squad of journeymen players. And Clarke only had so many as he took a while to mature, which as a squad is probably at the better end of the scale of county cricket teams.

    Of this team out today Chopra, Evans, Ambrose, Clarke and Maddy joined from other counties. Ambrose opted to leave Sussex to get more glove time so was a development move, Chopra left for more first team opportunities and Maddy traded up from Leicestershire. Evans was released several years ago from Surrey and has spent a good deal of time developing in the seconds and even Clarke wasn't the finished article. So most were signed earlier in their career before fully establishing themselves - of course Warwickshire have attempted to sign established players but it hasn't worked for some reason.

  • Carl on August 22, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    @JG2704 and @Neil Dyer those players would have been picked up by other Counties. I recall Warwicks were looking at Broad (and also KP) before they were picked up by other sides as they could offer a better chance of 1st team cricket.

    The reason Warwicks have Clarke and Maddy is because they need to have 11 players for a team and with 4 players on Eng duty are they just supposed to play a team of kids and get beat every week? Plus two players doesn't exactly compare to some of the other County sides.

    A lot of the smaller counties aren't operating ok and rely heavily on ECB handouts. I don't want to see a County side fold, just maybe if the smaller Counties were given less money for their lack of current Eng players (thus the semi-pro comment where they would less relient on handouts.) this might lead to them developing more talent.

    Of course the protection for robbing players should be increased, maybe that a previous club gets a % share of the ECB handout for that player.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Re JG2704, good point re production of players. Interesting thought but War. also have Rankin (Ireland) and Trott (South Africa) who have gone on to play for England. Of the current side, Chopra, Evans, Clarke, Maddy and Ambrose were all let go by other counties - while it is to War.'s credit that they got the best out of them, they are hardly 'local' players. That said, half of their side still is undoubtedly theirs, which is not a bad record. Ian Bell is of course their home-grown star and nobody would dispute that England owe them a huge debt of gratitude for him.

    But I was wondering about a very different county on those lines. Does anyone know who the last England regular to be produced by Notts was (Patel isn't a regular). Pietersen, the Broads, Swann, Read and now Taylor all learned their cricket elsewhere. Might it actually be Bruce French? And if so, should we suggest Notts become a 'semi-pro' county on the basis that they are no good at finding players?

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    @Pyketts and to back up @JG2704, I believe Boyd Rankin was originally at Derbyshire. If you want journeymen look no further than Darren Maddy and Rikki Clarke! Perhaps Warwickshire should be the ones to fold!

  • John on August 22, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    @ Pyketts on (August 21, 2013, 20:48 GMT) re

    "Of course if they perform too well Warwicks might lose more players to Eng and sides who employee journeymen, Kolpak and overseas players can be free to win the CC.

    About time something was done to reward sides who supply more Eng players and if that means we lose some smaller counties or they go semi-pro (Leics, Derby, etc) who cares."

    1 - Re Kolpak players - well we know which county Thomas played for pre Somerset 2 - Re seeing the smaller counties go - Why? If they are operating ok?

    Leicestershire produced Broad and Taylor (both probably nailed on for Eng future teams) before Notts got their claws in

  • Andy on August 21, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Well played Dougie Brown!! He may no longer feature in the scorecard for the Bears, but he helped develop both Laurie and Ateeq in the 2nd XI. He must be delighted tonight, to see their talent develop and both play so well from a difficult situation - 38/3 did not look good!!

  • John on August 21, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    I said (half) in jest - when one of the guys who regularly trolls the England national threads and regularly/uncannily has a knack of getting all predictions wrong - that after he said ".chawla will take wickets at an average of 20-25 ,that i predict " That I dreaded another similarly accurate outcome.

    Judging by the report my fears are coming true

  • Carl on August 21, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    Some good has come from Warwicks significant loss of players to the Eng cause, two young players showing some talent and grit.

    Of course if they perform too well Warwicks might lose more players to Eng and sides who employee journeymen, Kolpak and overseas players can be free to win the CC.

    About time something was done to reward sides who supply more Eng players and if that means we lose some smaller counties or they go semi-pro (Leics, Derby, etc) who cares.

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