Paul Weekes hit nine 50s in 10 innings © Getty Images
Promotion - finally - in the National League; a 16-run defeat by the eventual winners in the C&G quarters; one of only two Division One teams (Warwickshire being the other) never to be prefaced by the words "relegation-threatened": that is not too shabby for a side shorn of its most reliable batsman and bowler after the end of May.

Chad Keegan's absence had one advantage, allowing Simon Cook to nail down a regular four-day slot. Paul Weekes's mid-term sequence of nine 50s in 10 innings and Owais Shah's consistency, once relieved of the distractions of leadership, were highlights. But nobody contributed more to that 45-over title than Cook, the late-flowering 27-year-old from Oxford, whose tight wicket-to-wicketing brought him 39 wickets in the National League, more than any bowler in the country. Cook's discipline grew all the more impressive when Glenn McGrath moseyed into town; comparisons did not always favour the Australian.

None of the original pace imports had the desired impact: Nantie Hayward's on-off love affair with the South African selectors helped neither focus nor team; Paul Hutchison's body carried on rebelling; Melvyn Betts carried on declining. Ed Joyce and Ben Hutton both won plaudits deputising for skipper Andy Strauss; Joyce's desire to concentrate on his batting led to Hutton getting the nod.

Perhaps the most significant twist of fate was David Nash's hand injury, which let in Ben Scott to mind stumps with verve as well as assurance. Nash returned as a batsman only but the hirsute Scott's century against Northants may well persuade Nash to seek out all those old muckers in Taunton. The Academy-bound Shah has re-signed: one day we will complete eating all those impatient words.

Player of the Year: Paul Weekes
High: Jamie Dalrymple's Compo-beating 244 v Surrey
Low Worst disciplinary record in Division One

This article was first published in the November issue of The Wisden Cricketer.
Click here for further details.