Sunday, 22 May 2011

By hook or by crook, it's five out of five

I figured today's CB40 against Hampshire would be a high scoring affair even if the last meeting between the two teams produced just 283 runs for 16 wickets. At Whitgift though the sky is the limit and today saw 586 runs for 17 wickets. Over the five days of the Whitgift festival a mammoth 2,029 runs have been scored.

And the good news is we have maintained our 100% record, recording a comfortable (in the end) win by 36 runs. Once again the opening partnership failed, although today's partnership of 34 was the highest of the season - a major disappointment after last season's fireworks. Roy and Hamilton-Brown got together to put on 62 in under 8 overs and give the innings real impetus but again two quick wickets fell to check the progress slightly.

Maynard and de Bruyn did a superb job if re-building though, they put on 118 in 16 overs. And when the innings looked like it might be stalling with 3 quick wickets for 27 runs Schofield and Arafat rescued it towards the end. Chasing a total of 311 is well out of reach on most grounds but not so at Whitgift.

Hampshire got off to a fine start, reaching 80 inside 10 overs and Yasir Arafat went off injured in the middle of his third over (both he and Meaker must be concerns for Tuesday's game against Glamorgan, down to the bare bones in the seam bowling department now). Benny Howell played a quite superb innings but no one batted around him, though he was out in the 39th over for 122 none of his team mates passed 30. Chris Schofield in particular was excellent today in returning 2-31 and de Bruyn ably assisted him in bagging 3-47. Linley was too expensive but collected two scalps, Jordan was even more expensive and collected none. Batty bowled just 3 overs for 17 runs, I can't help feeling if he'd bowled some of Jordan's overs the win would've been even more comfortable.

It was by no means a faultless performance but it was a good one. Our first proper 40 over batting performance with two rapid fifties in the top five and contributions from two others, plus decent cameos from the lower order. The bowling was ok, and its unfair to be too hard on the bowlers at Whitgift. Five wins from five is a superb effort, but the business end of this group stage begins in 8 weeks when we play all of Durham, Warwickshire and Northants twice, those games will be a real test for this side.

Update: Batty apparently had an elbow problem, could cause further problems for Tuesday.

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