The County Week - August 8-14 August 15, 2006

Maddy's mayhem and the Foxes' glory

Cricinfo takes a look back at the week of county action and some of the performances that caught the eye
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Cricinfo takes a look back at the week of county action and some of the performances that caught the eye



Darren Maddy was the star of Leicestershire's Twenty20 final win © Getty Images
Innings of the week - Darren Maddy, 86 not out v Nottinghamshire
Twenty20 cricket has given a number of players a second lease of life, but non more so than Darren Maddy. He has been tagged "Mr Twenty20" by David Lloyd and it is easy to see why. During his 86 in the final, against Nottinghamshire, he became the first batsman to pass 1000 Twenty20 runs and he knew exactly what he was doing throughout. The first six overs were not filled with wild slogging to take advantage of the fielding restrictions, instead Maddy used Richie Benuard's old adage of "being there at the end." Maddy has developed into such an effective Twenty20 cricketer - you can also throw in his bowling and fielding - that he is a fair outside bet for the squad for the inaugural World Cup next September.

Bowling of the week - James Anyon, 5 for 83 v Nottinghamshire
James Anyon had a moment of fame last summer when he claimed a televised hat-trick during the Twenty20. That is certainly not to be scoffed at, but the game was dead by the time Anyon struck so it wasn't crucial to the match. Now, though, he has played a match-winning role which no one can deny. Warwickshire were encountering some tough resistance from Nottinghamshire as they tried to save their Championship match at Edgbaston. But Anyon broke an opening stand of 109 and removed four of the top six, including David Hussey for a seven-ball duck. He returned to claim Ryan Sidebottom and complete a maiden five-wicket haul and boosted Warwickshire towards mid-table safety in the first division.

Team of the week - Leicestershire
They proved it with their first title in 2004 and proved it again in 2006 - winning the Twenty20 is not about the number of star names in a team. Surrey's all-stars collapsed in a heap and Leicestershire squeezed past a Nottinghamshire side that included Stephen Fleming, David Hussey and Chris Read. Jeremy Snape's side could even afford to leave out both of their overseas players for the final - banking on homegrown talents - without losing anything. Leicestershire have embraced everything about Twenty20 but, most importantly, have developed skills to make the most of their limited resources. Their fielding - led by Maddy - is electric and each player knows their role. Snape's 'moon-balls' have brought a new dimension to spin bowling and for Leicestershire the Twenty20 is as important as any other competition.

Forgetting the basics
One of the first aspects of cricket you are taught as a youngster is run your bat in at all times. So there must have been coaches the length and breadth of Wales cursing the TV screen when Robert Croft momentarily lost the plot. Glamorgan needed one to win off two balls against Durham, in the Pro40, and James Franklin slammed the ball to cover. Both batsmen ran, but for some reason Croft turned around to look at his partner, neglecting to notice the ball was heading towards his stumps. He was run out, Glamorgan couldn't score one off the last ball and the match was tied (courtesy of a catch by supersub Gary Pratt). Croft spent Twenty20 finals being ribbed by commentators and fellow-players and wryly said: "If I've helped out the youngsters, then I'm happy!"



It was just the cricket that caught the attention at Trent Bridge © Will Luke
A gallant failure
Cameron White must be wondering what he has to do to win a cricket match. Somerset are currently going through what seems their annual slump despite some unbelievable batting from White. During the Twenty20 he hit a world-record individual score of 141, yet Somerset lost the match, and now he clubs 260 off 248 balls and his side loses by 80 runs to Derbyshire. In truth, the damage had come earlier as their first innings crashed for 151 (White only scored 15). Somerset are now anchored at the foot of the second division, but White can't be blamed for that. And for every loser, there is a smiling winner as Derbyshire finally managed a home win in the Championship after four years of waiting.

Crash...bang...wallop
With its high pace and frenetic atmosphere the players a bound to pick up the odd knock during Twenty20, but finals day at Trent Bridge kept the medical staffs on their toes. James Benning dislocated a finger in Surrey's semi-final, yet still tried to open the batting, Chris Read lost a tooth in the same match after missing a stumping and then to round things off John Sadler suffered a broken nose as Leicestershire warmed up for the final. However, Sadler was the one able to sooth his wounds with a victory drink as Leicestershire secured the title.

England watch
Alex Loudon takes 5 for 49 against Nottinghamshire...Geraint Jones hits 40 off 34 balls against Leicestershire in Pro40...Alastair Cook makes just nine off 16 balls in the Twenty20 Cup final...Jon Lewis takes 1 for 109 on a run-filled pitch at Northampton and keeps his place in the England squad.

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo