Lancashire v Hampshire, Southport, 2nd day

Kerrigan begins to put England horrors behind him

Paul Edwards at Southport

August 29, 2013

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Lancashire 421 (Procter 66, Prince 63, Chapple 63, Kerrigan 62*, Reece 50) and 39-0 lead Hampshire210 (Vince 106, Hogg 5-39, Kerrigan 3-48) by 250 runs

Simon Kerrigan's Test debut was a painful affair, England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day, August 21, 2013
Simon Kerrigan succeeded with bat and ball to begin to put the horrific memories of his Test debut at The Oval, as pictured, behind him © Getty Images

Those who fall under the thrall of cricket should prepare themselves for rapture and torment. Anyone doubting the game's multi-faceted power might do worse than have a chat with Simon Kerrigan but they would probably be wise to wait a few months or so, until the dust of the last week has settled.

Seven days ago the slow left-armer's Test debut in the final Ashes Test was documented in all its horror. Plainly his return to first-class cricket against Hampshire at Southport this week was bound to be scrutinised very closely. The presence of the ECB's Lead Spin Bowling coach Peter Such, plus Jack Birkenshaw, one of the most highly-regarded spin bowling coaches of his generation, was evidence of that.

Let us take a Gradgrindian refuge in facts for a moment. On a day which Kerrigan will remember for the rest of his career, he made 62 not out, his highest first-class score, to help Lancashire amass an impressive 421 in their first innings; he then took 3-48 in Hampshire's innings, taking his fiftieth Division Two wicket when he dismissed James Vince for 106.

Lancashire then opted not to enforce the follow on and had established a lead of 250 by the close. A declaration sometime after lunch tomorrow seems in prospect. The league leaders occupy the 2s 6d seats in this game and are very warm favourites to win it.

So far, so adequate. But the full variety of Kerrigan's day has yet to be explored. For example in mid-afternoon the England spinner had bowled four overs for 27 runs, figures which barely reflected the mediocrity of his performance. Long hops and full tosses were served up and dealt with, mainly by Vince, whose high-quality innings is in danger of being obscured on this most eventful of days.

Kerrigan, though, is a tough little hombre. Anybody with half a cricket brain who has watched him regularly knows as much. Until last Thursday he responded to every challenge, whether with Lancashire or England, with phlegmatic dedication and quiet relish. All of which made his agony at the Oval seven days ago all the more surprising and painful. This was not the nuggety cricketer who, although still only 24, the county correspondents knew and admired.

A week, though, is a long time in the life of a young cricketer. Precisely seven days on from his Kennington collapse, Kerrigan responded to his poor display before tea by taking three for 21 in 10.5 overs after the second break.

Adam Wheater was splendidly caught by Paul Horton running back from mid-off, Chris Wood was bowled trying to make room to drive, and by the time Vince skied Kerrigan to Chapple at mid-on to end the Hampshire innings, the spinner was back to something within calling distance of his best. It was good to see and the home crowd responded to his very success with heartwarming enthusiasm.

But the Southport public had more than one opportunity to salute Kerrigan's fighting qualities on Thursday. In the morning session he had made a career-best 62 not out, and shared in the highest 10th wicket stand in games between Lancashire and Hampshire. Kerrigan's partner in the 114-run stand was his captain Glen Chapple, who made 63 not out and who has received almost all the game has on offer bar a Test cap, which remains a matter of deep resentment in the Rossendale and Ribble valleys.

So maybe there was no better man to accompany Kerrigan on his attempt at redemption, no cricketer more likely to remind the newest England cricketer that when the game kicks you in the teeth, you simply mop up the blood and get on with it.

Kerrigan has worked hard on his batting and fielding; he wants to be as good a cricketer as he can possibly be. In 2011 he made his previous highest score against Somerset and received a bat off Farveez Maharoof and a bottle of Jagermeister off Gareth Cross. (Lancashire won the title the same day, so the bat lasted longer than the booze.)

Thursday was a vital day in the career of this young cricketer, who still has all before him, including, his supporters will insist, a decent Test career.

Yet the second day of this game was also a triumph for Kyle Hogg, whose figures of 5 for 39 included the first four Hampshire wickets to fall. On a Trafalgar Road wicket which still contains few terrors, Hogg used the new ball in exemplary fashion, pitching it up and letting it swing and seam.

He removed the cream of Hampshire's batting in his first eight overs and returned to get rid of Matt Coles, caught behind first ball, to clinch his third five-wicket return of the season, Helped by Chapple, who had Sean Ervine well caught at slip by Ashwell Prince for 12, Hogg offered an unrelenting threat.

Hampshire will plainly do well to save this game. That, though, little concerned the paying public as they left this beautifully presented outground on the second day of this match. They had seen 374 runs scored and 12 wickets fall. They had seen one young English batsman make a superbly-crafted century and another recover from a mauling to impress with both bat and ball.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 23:36 GMT)

Here in Ormskirk we have no doubt of Kerrigan's talents, been a legend for us, glad to see him back firing.

Posted by android_user on (August 30, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

I think the inconsistency in his bowling is still very much apparent, especially when the pitch is not offering much as in his first spell here. At test level this is exposed to a much greater degree. It would definitely help if he could develop his batting and it was hugely encouraging to see him get a career best knock. Perhaps the performance squad tour to Australia would better suit him at this stage of his career. He's still learning and as Graeme Swann has shown, spinners often are at their best in their late 20s and early 30s.

Posted by SDHM on (August 30, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

Fantastic report. Feared the worst following the game on the live blog when he was carted around for his first few overs. The wonders a wicket will do, eh?

Posted by george204 on (August 30, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Good for Kerrigan for bouncing back. It was agonising to watch a front foot thumper like Watson take him apart, and disappointing he didn't get another chance with the ball at The Oval.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

No player should be dropped after a nervy debut for England, especially during an Ashes series, so I hope to see him again wearing the England shirt.

Most commentators overlooked the fact that he looked very correct with the bat and not overawed. His 62 for Lancs shows he is worth taking to Oz. Good lower order batsmen are worth their weight in gold......ask the Aussies!!

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 8:48 GMT)

Some fantastic comments below. I am a firm believer that Kerrigan will succeed at test level, jmcilhinney, you are correct Swann will not go on for ever and, more than likely it will be sooner rather than later. Can really see no reason not to blood him on this ashes tour. In the past we took too many players with "scars," back down under for another trouncing. If we play marginally better in Aus than we played here (lets be honest 5 players under-performed) the series will be wrapped up before the Sydney test, give him a go there if the Ashes are in the bag already? Thoughts?

Posted by ChristopherG on (August 30, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

On a day of eminently watchable first class cricket, Kerrigan, Hogg and Chapple all notched up their 50th wicket for Lancashire this season. With the addition of Kyle Jarvis who took 5-31 in the second eleven in his first match for Lancashire, and assuming Chapple continues next year, Lancashire will have a competitive bowling attack to tackle the first division if they get promoted.

I don't by any stretch of the imagination believe that Kerrigan's disappointing England debut will seriously hinder his progress towards further England caps and if Lancashire do lose him to the England team, Arron Lilley, a promising young spinner will step up to the plate, as he has done this year in one-day games.

Anybody who watched yesterday's game cannot fail to have been entertained; any wicket that allows for almost 400 runs in a day and a hatful of wickets to fall should be applauded. Hats off to the Southport groundsmen for a wicket that's set up to provide positive, attacking cricket.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

As someone who's watched Kerrigan a fair bit for Lancs, and was there to witness his career best 9-for the year we won the Championship, it's been botn amusing and frustrating to see the amount of press Kerrigna has received. Like someone else has said, those of us who have seen him know he'll bounce back.

Posted by lankymanky on (August 30, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

Most Lancashire fans will tell you if Kerrigan had been given the ball again especially after Watson was out against Oz, he would have bounced back there too. He does not yet have the consistency of a Swann or Panesar, and until this season, was not even a good 2020 domestic bowler. He learns though from every experience and will continue to improve as the years go on. There is no better young first class spin bowler in the country at the moment, they all seam to now be better at limited overs cricket or have become batsmen like Rashid and Brothwick. Like Swann did he will get better with age and become international class, whether that will be enough for England to ever select him again we will see. Gary Keedy like Chapple is a player who England managed to overlook for years when he was the best spin bowler full stop in this country. There is no guarantee they will not do the same with Kerrigan now.

Posted by anver777 on (August 30, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Good all round display, after a failed debut against Aussies..... wish he will regain that much needed confident & play for Eng once more !!!! Best of Luck !!!

Posted by notimeforcricket on (August 30, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

did not see it but the description sums up the issue. a bad first spell and a good 2nd spell. such inconsistency is punished more severely at the top level. However, it does look pretty promising. hopefully he can develop his batting and becme more consistent. Swann can't go on for ever. Hopefully they can dust Monty down for this tour. can't see any obvious advantage in taking another unproven spinner as 2nd spinner. might as well take the risk on kerrigan if Monty really cannot make it as there is a pretty good chance that the other options woudl fair just as badly

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 30, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

I've no doubt that we'll see Kerrigan back for England at some point. They won't have lost faith in him just because of a poor debut, even though it was very poor. He won't be part of the Ashes touring party because they need someone who they can trust to fill in for Swann if he's injured, but he will likely be with the Lions of EPP in Australia at the same time. Whether or not he has what it takes to be successful on the international scene remains to be seen. Even if he does, living up to Swann's level of performance will be difficult, especially while he's still young. I have no doubt that he'll get the chance to try though.

Posted by DesPlatt on (August 30, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

Two terrific reports from first two days Paul. I've highlighted on Lancs Cricket Forum what terrific resilience SK has before. Two points I'd like to add. 1)As an SK fan from his first spell in county cricket, don't want to see over the wicket to right handed batsmen again even if it could be justified today and 2) loathe the way Lancs approach bowling to a batsman and a tail ender; today the 50 runs it cost were insignificant.

Posted by   on (August 30, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

This day may have been unique in the history of the County Championship as first Kyle Hogg, then Glenn Chapple and finally Simon Kerrigan passed 50 championship wickets for the season. At least if you consider 50 wickets the equivalent of the 100-wicket haul of bygone eras. When was the last time three bowlers from the same county passed 50/100 wickets for the season in the same innings, let alone match? Great to hear that Kerrigan has bounced back!

Posted by Grapefish on (August 29, 2013, 23:45 GMT)

I think one of Lancashire's main strengths this season has been the number of all-round options in the team. Out of the team playing today, all but keeper Cross, Horton and Prince are viable bowling options. Although they've usually not been needed this season, it surely must be reassuring for Messrs Hogg and Chapple to know that they've got Luke Procter, Tom Smith and Luis Reece to back them up if anything goes wrong. So too the batsmen. Lancashire's wins have so often been inspired by a tail-wagging, courtesy of Chapple and Hogg, whose batting is more reminiscent of a strong number 8 than the 9 and 10 that theyve been coming in at.

Posted by TurningSquare on (August 29, 2013, 22:58 GMT)

Simon will be back, those who have followed his progress know he is the long-term successor to Swann.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
County Results
Glamorgan v Gloucs at Cardiff - Sep 24-27, 2013
Glamorgan won by 8 wickets
Kent v Lancashire at Canterbury - Sep 24-27, 2013
Kent won by 2 wickets
Notts v Somerset at Nottingham - Sep 24-27, 2013
Match drawn
Surrey v Yorkshire at The Oval - Sep 24-27, 2013
Match drawn
Sussex v Durham at Hove - Sep 24-27, 2013
Sussex won by 6 wickets
All recent results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days