A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

County Championship 2014: England Watch Vol 1.0

Posted on April 11, 2014 by in First Class


The County Championship in early April is somewhat like tucking into a bowl of Gino Ginelli in mid-November: it satisfies a very base urge, but you know deep down it’s so very, very wrong. But as we’re mainly degenerates here at 51ao, we settled down and tucked in this week anyway.

Here’s how England’s likely and not so likely lads fared in the opening round of fixtures. Beating up 19 year olds who’d been out all night drinking snakebite and black and telling vaguely attractive girls that they preferred the Levellers’ “early, less commercial stuff” doesn’t count. Unlucky Ravi.

Hampshire 263 & 27/1 vs Worcestershire 350/7 dec

MA Carberry 0 & 6
JHK Adams 67 & 10*
JM Vince 0

MM Ali 3-0-8-1 & 9-2-16-1

MM Ali 69

JM Vince 4-0-10-0

In all honesty, we don’t expect Michael Carberry to feature again for England. While he didn’t do an awful job in Australia, his selection always screamed short term and he appears to have taken the Nick Compton road of ingratiating one’s self with the selectors. Six runs across two innings against a modest Worcestershire attack won’t have helped matters either. The man who took his wicket in the second innings, the wonderfully bearded and dreamy Moeen Ali, has far more of a chance. We’re not entirely sure how he fits into the limited overs teams – if at all – but the Test team surely isn’t that good to be turning down consistent run scorers who can bat anywhere in the top six and also bowl better than part-time spin. Think Mark Ramprakash with less snazzy dance moves. Oh, and left handed.

We have started this bandwagon and you'll damn well jump on it.

We started this bandwagon and you’ll damn well jump on it.

Nottinghamshire 272 & 220 vs Lancashire 144 & 303

MJ Lumb 4 & 38
SR Patel 93 & 0
AD Hales 61 & 0
HF Gurney 0 & 0

JM Anderson 22-11-55-5 & 16-1-53-2
SC Kerrigan 7-0-24-0 & 12-3-35-0

SC Kerrigan 11 & 33
JM Anderson 0 & 12*

HF Gurney 15-4-41-2 & 21.5-2-81-4
SR Patel DNB & 18-2-72-2

This was a bit of a snorter of an opening fixture, Lancashire almost pulling off an almighty chase only to fall short when Ashwell Prince fell to Harry Gurney. The very little we saw of Gurney last season revealed two things to our gin-addled minds: 1) he is a left arm seamer 2) he has an annoying shit eating grin when he runs in to bowl. The England selectors are able to see past Jade Dernbach’s multiple physical flaws so we assume that second point won’t bother them and while left armers remain more en vogue than an early 90s girl band, he has a shout of making a squad of some kind before the summer’s out. Otherwise Jimmy Anderson rekindled his love affair with Trent Bridge – how long ago that first Test of the real Ashes seems! – and Samit Patel did pretty well too. Although it seems England have made their minds up on the chubby funster now. Comedy’s Simon Kerrigan took a grand total of no wickets.

The girls were coolly impressed by Samit's rendition of "Never Gonna Get It", as well as his heavy hitting and left arm filth.

The girls were coolly impressed by Samit’s rendition of “Never Gonna Get It”, as well as his heavy hitting and left arm filth.

Surrey 280 & 81 vs Glamorgan 209 & 156/0

SM Davies 67 & 10
SC Meaker 35 & 2*
CT Tremlett 27* & 2

SC Meaker 16-3-57-4 & 11-0-33-0
CT Tremlett 14-3-42-0 & 6-2-19-0

Ah, Surrey. We thought you getting relegated and actually having Graeme Smith available to play would end the likelihood of us laughing at your ineptitude for a year or so. We were wrong. Comically bundled out for 81 by a popgun attack (left arm dibbly dobbler Graeme Wagg taking 6-29) they were absolutely routed by a Glamorgan team containing absolutely no-one on our radar. At some point we’re going to have to take Chris Tremlett off this list, although demoting such a hunk goes against everything we stand for. Stuart Meaker took four in the first innings which might remind people that he actually exists. It’s still less than 18 months since he was on an actual England tour. Yes, really.

Stuart went for the formal look for this year's Surrey photoshoot.

Stuart went for the formal look for this year’s Surrey photoshoot.

Middlesex 105 & 154 vs Sussex 386

SD Robson 11 & 1
EJG Morgan 0 & 2
JAR Harris 6 & 10
ST Finn 6* & 26

MJ Prior 125

JAR Harris 19-2-78-1
ST Finn 21.3-3-80-6

In a stunning round of fixtures for London teams, Middlesex followed Surrey’s lead and also got royally humped, chiefly due to batting like erm, England. Eoin Morgan has eschewed the funhouse of the IPL to further his Test claims; we respectfully suggest he shouldn’t have bothered. The good news though was clearly the returns to relative form of Matt Prior and Steven Finn, two men we dearly love here, two men we were desperately sad to see struggle so badly over in Australia on The Tour We Are Trying Not To Mention Wherever Possible. An England team with a potent strike bowler and a bona fide world class wicketkeeper/batsman looks so much better. We genuinely hope to see both in the fold sooner rather than later as both are really too good to slip away from the picture in whatever the opposite to a blaze of glory is.

Whatever it is, it's better than this pile of goat shit.

Whatever it is, it’s better than this pile of goat shit.


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