2006 Season Review M-Y

Winners, losers, ups and downs

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

Andrew McGlashan

September 26, 2006

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In the second part of the final edition of The County Week, Cricinfo takes a brief look at each county and how they have fared during 2006. Click here for counties D-L



Nick Compton was rare bright spot in a dismal season for Middlesex © Getty Images
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Middlesex

Championship 9th Div One Pro 40 9th Div OneC&G Trophy 2nd South Group Twenty20 6th South Group
Few can remember a more wretched season in St John's Wood, and the fears after last year's narrow escape were realised with a double relegation. The batting was not too bad although Ed Joyce and Ben Hutton missed chunks of the season through injury. The main worry was the bowling, which never looked remotely good enough. John Emburey, who became director of cricket at the start of the summer, is under pressure and this current squad does not look to be good enough to bounce straight back.
Player of the season Chris Silverwood - without him a dire season would have been catastrophic.
Rising star Nick Compton - grabbed his chance with a hundred in the first match and was the first Middlesex batsman to pass 1000 runs
Disappointment Where to start ... but Johan Louw and Chad Keegan talked the talk but looked second division when it mattered.

Northamptonshire

Championship 6th Div Two Pro 40 2nd Div One C&G Trophy 10th North Group Twenty20 Quarter-finals
Rocked by the departure of Kepler Wessels midway through the summer and shorn of Monty Panesar for much of the Championship left an uphill battle at Wantage Road. To their credit they didn't implode as David Capel brought some control and Panesar shone during his brief end-of-season return. But the good times are still a long way away and expect some winter shuffling.
Player of the season Lance Klusener - a born-again player, especially with the bat
Rising star No one staked a claim as they stuck with the tried and tested
Disappointment Falling into the trap of signing Sourav Ganguly



Relegation followed promotion in a tough season for Stephen Fleming at Trent Bridge © Getty Images
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Nottinghamshire

Championship 8th Div One Pro 40 4th Div One C&G Trophy 4th North Group Twenty20 Runners-up
They needed just seven points from their final two matches to confirm first division safety but failed. Mick Newell called it an 'embarrassment' and 'the worst day of his career'. The Championship title appeared a lifetime ago as they struggled to keep their heads above water. An aging side was shown up and already the rebuilding as begun with the signing of Will Jefferson. Expect more significant names in the near future. Twenty20 finals day was a minor bonus.
Player of the season Charlie Shreck - outstanding after his recovery from a back injury and brought height, pace and bounce to the attack
Rising star Samit Patel - hinted that he is ready to become a regular, but still needs better shot selection
Disappointment Paul Franks - a far cry from the potential England player and averaged a shocking 59 with the ball in four-day cricket

Somerset

Championship 9th Div Two Pro 40 7th Div Two C&G Trophy 6th South Group Twenty20 5th Midlands/West/Wales
No Twenty20 trophy to appease the supporters despite the record-breaking form of Cameron White who hit two centuries. This won't be a season the club will want to dwell on for too long after losing Ian Blackwell for most of the summer with injury. The failure of the young batsmen to kick on is a disappointment while Andrew Caddick continued to shoulder the bowling duties - and kick at the foot holes.
Player of the season Cameron White - destructive with the bat in all forms before leaving on Australian duty
Rising star Sam Spurway - early signs from the young keeper with bat and gloves are promising
Disappointment Matthew Wood - the opener went backwards at an alarming rate, even with featherbed Taunton tracks to bat on

Surrey

Championship Winners Div Two Pro 40 4th Div Two C&G Trophy 8th South Group Twenty20 Semi-finals
Achieved the minimum requirement - promotion in the Championship - with plenty to spare, but nothing else. Never short of runs from their experienced top order while the return to form of Ian Salisbury was one of the pleasing stories from the season. The Butchers appear to work well together, but they'll want to get more from their young seamers in the first division. Went AWOL on Twenty20 finals day and still capable of Jekyll and Hyde performances.
Player of the season Mark Ramprakash - a cut-above at the crease, let's see about the dancefloor
Rising star James Benning - an awesome striker of the ball with an ODI future
Disappointment Their shocking performance on Twenty20 finals day



Sussex were the team of the season with the Championship and C&G double © Getty Images
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Sussex

Championship Winners Div One Pro 40 3rd Div One C&G Trophy Winners Twenty20 4th South Group
Sussex's greatest season as they completed the Championship-C&G double, pipping Lancashire on both occasions. Chris Adams has developed a side with a real killer instinct and everywhere you looked there was a player making a vital contribution. James Kirtley's match-winning effort in the C&G final was particularly well received. The top seven provided plenty of runs then Mushtaq Ahmed and his helpers could go about dismantling the opposition.
Player of the season Mushtaq Ahmed - 102 wickets, endless match-winning performances and forever part of Hove history
Rising star Carl Hopkinson - a solid opener who slotted into the role vacated by Ian Ward
Disappointment Duncan Spencer - his return to first-class cricket lasted two matches

Warwickshire

Championship 5th Div One Pro 40 5th Div One C&G Trophy 9th North Group Twenty20 3rd Mid/West/Wales
Disquiet off the field and a struggle on it. All is not well at Edgbaston under Mark Greatbach and their season never really got going. Heath Streak looked tired by the middle of July but they scraped enough points to ensure their first division place before the final round of Championship matches. They'll need a heavy run-scorer to take the place of Nick Knight and some seamers who are more than military medium.
Player of the season Jonathan Trott - the best of an under-performing bunch with 1128 Championship runs
Rising star Lee Daggett - a useful seamer if he can stay fit
Disappointment Alex Loudon - A long way off international class and rumours of being unhappy at Edgbaston



After a slow start, Graeme Hick showed he was still a major force with the bat © Getty Images
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Worcestershire

Championship 2nd Div Two Pro 40 2nd Div Two C&G Trophy 3rd North Group Twenty20 6th Mid/West/Wales
Promotion in both leagues when it twice appeared to have slipped away means the club now has the chance to make the most of its talent. Graeme Hick found another lease off life just as people were writing him off, Zaheer Khan was a model overseas pro and Steven Davies's development was watched with interest by England. Vikram Solanki and Kabir Ali bounced back from their one-day international horrors, with Solanki becoming an increasingly impressive captain throughout the season. Along with the ground development, maybe it's a new era at New Road.
Player of the season Zaheer Khan - never shirked his responsibility and must hope the Indian selectors were watching
Rising star Steven Davies - no keepers have central contracts so Davies could make a claim next summer
Disappointment Stephen Moore - failed to make a Championship century

Yorkshire

Championship 6th Div One Pro 40 9th Div Two C&G Trophy 7th North Group Twenty20 3rd North Group
Times are changing when Yorkshire field two legspinners, but it was an exciting season for the future of English cricket. Adil Rashid grabbed the main headlines but Mark Lawson was equally productive and the pair engineered a vital win over Nottinghamshire which helped them avoid relegation. Darren Lehmann left a permanent mark of Yorkshire history and he'll leave a big hole to fill however, the season confirmed that Jason Gillespie is a shadow of his former self.
Player of the season Darren Lehmann - went out on a massive high with 339 against Durham
Rising star Adil Rashid - it's so tempting to get carried away by his all-round potential but there's no need to rush him
Disappointment Richard Dawson - a bowling average of 87 and released at the end of the summer

Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

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