Thursday, 27 November 2008

Ben on...domestic cricket round up, round 3

The third round of the State Championship is just finishing, so it would be good time for me to wrap up round 2, and round 1 for that matter.

Round 1

Just to throw the points table completely out for the whole season, round 1 of the State Championship consisted of just one match, Auckland v. Canterbury:

Auckland 398 & 175
Canterbury 169 & 331
Auckland win by 73 runs

Top batsman: Tim McIntosh scores the first century of the tournament, 140 (&9), inevitably prompting the suggestion that he be picked to open for the Black Caps.
Top bowler: Brandon Hiini gets a 7/148 match. He's compiling a very good record, now just in his third season.

Round 2

Now the business starts. All teams involved in this round.

Northern Districts 275 & 181/7
Otago 277
Match drawn

Central Districts 213 & 335
Auckland 207 & 203
Central win by 138 runs

Wellington 428/8 dec.
Canterbury 162 & 224
Wellington win by inn. and 42 runs

Top bat: Matthew Bell is back with 146, his 18th century for Wellington, a record number for a province. 18 doesn't sound like much of a record and I was intrigued at how many the century machine Glenn Turner had managed, so I looked him up. The point about the record is of course that the centuries were scored for one province. Turner scored 13 for Otago and 1 for Northern Districts, so he isn't even all that high for total NZ provincial centuries. Of course, he has 7 for NZ, 9 for the 'New Zealanders', 1 for South Island and a staggering 72 from his 284 matches with Worcestershire, for a total of 103.
Top bowl: Ewen Thompson had a 7/79 match in destroying Auckland. Of special mention however is the return of James Franklin, who picked up 4/56 over two innings. I think he was taking it fairly easy. I went down to watch a session of the Wgtn/Cant. match, but Franklin didn't get a spell.

Round 3

Again three matches, though the round was largely doomed from its early stages where rain at a couple of venues delayed play, then not helped by certain batsmen's utter reluctance to get out. An aggressive declaration by Canterbury, conceding a 178 first innings lead to Otago ensured that game went to four innings.

Wgtn 533/5 dec.
Auck. 441/7
Match drawn

ND 325 & 249
CD 479/9 & 99/2
CD win by 8 wickets

Otago 352 & 113/5 dec.
Cant. 174/5 dec. & 285/7
Match drawn

Top bat: Where to begin? Eight centuries in total this round. Starting from the smallest: Sinclair 101, Woodcock 102, Watling 111, Bell 122 (increasing his record and pushing for another place in the BCs?), Boom 140, McIntosh 191 (another huge century, but I maintain that he is not consistent enough for the BCs), Franklin 219 (he's back as a batsman as well as a bowler), Ingram 247 (a CD record)
Top bowl: It really was a batsmen's round and I'm tempted to not even mention any bowling. Under the circumstances though, decent bowling performances must be worthy efforts. We actually had a five-fer: Burtt 5/119, which he followed up with 0 in the next innings, meaning that his team mate's 5/54 match was actually the much better haul. [Edit: The team mate was Ellis.]

Points table

Phew, that was a lot of work. I'm not sure I can keep this up all season.


Suave said...


I'm glad you're reporting this, as my mate Tarun Nethula (North Middlesex CC's 2008 overseas player), has been promoted to the Auckland first side! He's currently 21st in the MVP for the season, and is a legspinning, big hitting all-rounder!

I think facing me in the nets, and the suave batting style, which tested him all summer, has obviously improved his game so much, that he got the promotion from the 2nd XI!

He's also a top lad.

Suhas said...

The way Matthew Bell was treated after his return last year was disappointing. He had a bad home series against England, but he is the sort of player who will eventually come good if you stick with him. It looks like the selectors will stand by SoR for a while, but Bell might have been a better investment.

I noticed Ian Butler is playing for Otago these days. Can you tell me in what capacity? As a fast bowler just like the old days, or as an allrounder because his injury forced him to take up batting as well?

Ben said...


I'll keep an eye on him.

For those who don't know what this MVP thing Suave is talking about is, check this out. (Heh. Styris on negatives for his bowling.)

Ben said...


I thought Bell got a good run last year and showed pretty clearly that he is out of his depth at test level. Many of his dismissals were appalling and he looked terrified at the crease. Redmond is proving himself no better, but I don't think giving Bell another go right now would be the solution to our opening problem.

I'm willing to reconsider later in the season though.

I know nearly nothing about Butler. I think I was out of the country when he had his short cameo in the BCs so I'm barely familiar with him. I thought that his injury was so serious that he had to give up fast bowling, so I would guess he's keeping his pace down now.

Leg Break said...


Bell scored a test century on his recall to the NZ side. He was in top form at this stage last year in all levels.

But he needs to keep on batting. After the Deshi tour we then had two full months of limited overs cricket, a form that doesn't suit him.

He was batting at 5 and lower for Wgtn and totally loft confidence and form.

By the time the Poms rocked up he was a totally different player.

Given his start to the season he should play against the Windies. And then in the mid-season giggle fest he should b made to play for Wellington "B" in the 2nd XI 4-day comp to keep it going.

Leg Break said...

"Lost confidence" even

Ben said...

I don't know, Legs. I don't think that explains it. Just how bad can you be at limited overs if just being expected to play can have such a drastic effect on your form? And how much form can you lose in a month and a half?

I'd love to see Bell play in tests like he does for Wellington. What a Christmas present that would be! But in my opinion, everything points to him not having a test-level temperament.

I've softened in my opinion of Bell a bit since the England series last season, and I wouldn't object to him having another shot, but my hopes aren't high.

Leg Break said...

The point is that during that mid-season spell last year Bell just did not bat.

They were only playing 2 matches a week, and in most of those he was coming in with fewer that 10 overs to bat.

So it's not necessarily the quality or type of practice he was getting; it was the total lack of it.

And he's the kind of guy who needs to bat and bat and bat...