County cricket: Surrey leapfrog Hampshire in two-horse title race. With two games remaining in the regular season, Surrey surpassed Hampshire to take the lead in Division 1.
The lead is the result of their fifth season tie with Northamptonshire, while their pursuers have only managed to muster one.
In the next two rounds, both teams will be keeping a close check on the results of their opponents’ games, with a little of Ben Stokes’ scorn for the draw maybe being adopted if the other team appears to be on the verge of victory.
Because of the situational nature of cricket, the importance of various difficulties varies from game to game and season to season.
The two-inning structure is sometimes compared to a slab novel, an analogy that has become overused but is nonetheless accurate.
Saif Zaib stepped to the crease with his team leading by only 32 runs, four in the second innings after Northants’ Emilio Gay and Rob Keogh exchanged centuries with Hashim Amla and a back-with-a-bang Tom Curran in the first.
A draw would assure Northants’ survival in Division One for the 2023 season, but Surrey’s pack of seamers could smell blood.
The former child prodigy (and he was, playing for his county at age 15) scored a century, helped his team earn a draw they needed, and maybe even caught a whiff of the crowd’s jubilation in Southampton.
The pitch helped him score the fifth of the match’s five centuries, but what really matters is that he came through when his team needed him most.
Due to player misconduct, Lancashire lost six points. Not for the first time, the cricketing habit of pausing in the middle of sentences only to resume them at the most crucial point in a campaign hampered the story’s forward momentum.
While I won’t go into the specifics here, I will say that mid-September 2022 is not the time to impose sanctions for crimes committed in 2021 (for which the punishment was triggered by misbehavior in June and July 2022).
Of course, Lancashire knew they needed to proceed cautiously; nevertheless, that is not the issue. Rather, the point is that justice must be delivered expeditiously and without bias.
Even if winning the pennant was a long shot, the Red Rose’s red-ball season is in danger with Essex closing the gap to within four points of third place.
Who doesn’t get excited about the possibility of a tie? A shiver of anticipation can run down your spine just by reading about this possibility after the fact.
When an engine with a unique set of wheels pulls into the station, I imagine trainspotters feel the same way. The fact that most people don’t get it only adds to the nerdy, guilty joy we feel from it.
Ben “Betsy” Coad’s late-order heroics (he made 69 from No 9, which was the highest score of the match) helped Essex get to the 162 they needed to win.
In his final year with the White Rose, 17-year veteran Steve Patterson had a five-for, but Shane Snater was on strike, nine down, with the scores tied. Snater was still not out at No. 8 with 65 runs when the ball fell into the leg side, giving Essex the 20 points they needed.
Short match over the required three days, but Essex’s entire season has been nothing but ups and downs.
Edgbaston was haunted by the specter of relegation as Warwickshire and Somerset battled to a draw despite both teams’ best efforts. The result just reinforced that both teams still face the prospect of playing Division Two cricket in 2023.
Half-centuries from Lewis Gregory and Sajid Khan helped the visitors reach 219, a score that looked much better when the home side could only produce 196 in reply, a sight that Somerset fans had become accustomed to this season as the scoreboard read 82-7 and the like.
Captain Tom Abell was able to declare thanks to George Bartlett’s 111 since he had spent four hours out in the middle observing the pitch’s condition. For the win, he had Warwickshire score 364.
A draw, which was always the most likely result after Somerset’s batters and not Warwickshire’s openers came from the pavilion at the start of the fourth day, eventually arrived despite the radio commentators’ attempts to inject suspense into the match and a flurry of late wickets.
Only once the season concludes can we know if Abell made the right call (Warwickshire was six down in the 64th over when hands were shaking).
There was a sense of urgency on a Monday at St. John’s Wood. Streams of elderly men, carrying lunches and binoculars and walking with a certain lack of fluidity, came from the underground station. The turnout for the promotion battle was respectable but not exactly the type to make marketing execs go weak in the knees.
Batting at 10:30 a.m. in September is no easy task, but Glamorgan’s batsmen went into the game with the mindset that there was a ball coming shortly with their name on it, and it was ideal to play a few shots, one a ball for some.
After being down to 70-5 after only an hour of play, they eventually reached 200 thanks to some typically astute play from Chris Cooke and some excellent late-order biffing from Ajaz Patel.
Mark Stoneman’s century paved the way for late middle-order runs and a 176-run lead for the home team, who played significantly better in the conditions.
Despite an early 123-run stand between David Lloyd and Eddie Byrom, Middlesex’s seamers shared 20 wickets to reduce the visitors to 220 all out.
It was a dismal performance from the guests, especially since the points they gave up cost them the chance for promotion.
Whether the first morning’s performance revealed apprehension about batting in the conditions or was just the product of an overly optimistic attitude, it set the tone for a match in which the outcome seemed inevitable within the first hour.
Despite being left off England’s roster and watching his successor and opponent, Ollie Robinson, show that he had the conditioning to match his undeniable skill, Matthew Potts showed tremendous spirit by coming roaring back for his county.
The Durham pacer returned to his regular duties, pacing the team to a resounding victory by sweeping through Leicestershire twice (6-52 and 7-52).
The fact that he ran in hard for 39 overs in Division Two demonstrates that Potts’s positive attitude was not just for the show early in his Test career.
In a sport where players sometimes complain about their workloads and the action often drag to a ludicrous crawl, Potts appears to enjoy nothing more than standing at the top of his mark, ready to deliver another over.
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