County Championship Division One Review

October 3, 2008 at 11:58 am 1 comment


With the end of another exciting county championship, I took a look at the season and reviewed the season for Division 1 of the County Championship. Click on the link below or click the heading to read the review and comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Durham

 

PL16 W6 DLBATP37 BWLP41 DED0 Pts190

 

An amazing season for the county, securing their first ever County Championship title on the final day. They were boosted massively by the availability of Steve Harmison who took 52 wickets for his county as he returned to top form. They were also helped by overseas signing Chanderpaul who reproduced his international form. The bowling was helped by the occasionally bowler friendly Chester le Street track and gathered 41 bowling points and only 37 batting points but their ability to secure wins ensured they finished on top. In the limited overs formats, Durham’s team on paper looked balanced and promised so much after last years achievements. They will be disappointed in the FP Trophy having reached the semi final only to lose to Kent. It was the same opponent who defeated them in the semi of the Twenty20 cup as well. The team brought in the likes of Shaun Pollock and Albie Morkel into the team but it was mainly the batting that let them down with only three players averaging over 30 in the FP Trophy.

 

Best Player: Steve Harmison takes it with a stunning return to the county scene that earned him a recall into Pietersen’s England side. He took 100 wickets overall for Durham including 60 in the county championship. Durham will miss him next year as he is likely to feature in the Test and ODIs for England next summer.

 

Next Season: Will look to challenge again for the County Championship title but will have to do it without Harmison. They will also want to reach a final of the limited overs tournaments as their team has the ability to do so.

 

 

Nottinghamshire

PL16 W5 D8 LBATP37 BWLP43 DED0 Pts182

An excellent season for the county even if they missed out on the county championship just a year after being relegated to the second tier. It is an amazing turn around for a county full of so much talent but couldn’t push home enough pressure to win the final match. They were fortunate that they won’t as badly affected by the rain as some other counties but it was their ruthlessness in batting and bowling that helped them to secure 6 wins out of 16. Wagh ended up their highest run scorer with 1033 runs but it was the consistency in the batting and bowling department that won it for Notts. The season started badly with the departure of captain Stephen Fleming but Chris Read showed over the summer how good a leader he is for the county leading from the front with 673 runs. Notts will be encouraged that they can again for the title next year by the consistency and great improvements being shown by their senior and younger players. In the limited overs scene it didn’t go as well for Notts. They crashed out in the quarter finals of the FP trophy, finished 4th in the pro 40 and didn’t make it past the group stages of the twenty20 cup.

 

Best player: Samit Patel. Tough choice but Patel’s allround performance in all compettions has seen him pip Pattinson and Shrek. His excellent performances have seen him break into the England ODI team, scoring 970 first class runs.

 

Next season: Will be looking for more of the same, however, their chances may be affected by possible England and lions call ups for the likes of Swann, Patel, Sidebottom, Broad and Pattinson.

 

 

Hampshire

PL16 W5 D7 LBATP33 BWLP47 DED0 Pts178

Will be pleased to have mounted a serious title challenge after lying last in the standings with 7 or 8 games to go. No one expected them to challenge for the title following the huge loss of skipper Shane Warne, with Masceranhas given the tough task of following Warne. Their title challenge was effectively started with 7 games to go when Hampshire acquired Pakistan A leg spinner Imran Tahir. He turned around the fortunes of the club providing the sort of leg spin that Warne provided during his years at the club. In the end they left their title charge too late and failed to catch up to the early pace setters in the Championship race. The Hawks found life difficult in the shorter formats of the game without the impact of Warne. Last years runners up failed to get past the group stages of the FP trophy and the twenty20 cup. However they finished second in pro 40 division one, which will be encouraging to fans.

 

Best palyer: Imran Tahir. Bowled excellent spells of leg spin that captured 44 wickets in only 7 championship appearances. He was their catalyst and spark in their late, late charge for the title.

 

Next year: Will be delighted to have secured Tahir for a further 2 years, he will be required for Hampshire to challenge for any titles next term. Team has the talent to challenge but still lacking the big players to take them across the line.

 

 

Somerset

PL16 W3 D11 LBATP37 BWLP41 DED0 Pts174

They thought they could go all the way and will be disappointed not to have. It is not often a team that has lost just one game fails to take top spot, but the 11 draws had badly affected their chances. Credit should be given to Somerset for the way that they approached the games to get a positive result and not just for survival after promotion last year. There is a real aggression in the strokes played by the top and middle order batsmen. The top two partnership of Trescothick and langer has wielded over 2300 runs in the county championship with both averaging over 44. In the bowling department Charl Willoughby has been the pick of the bowlers with 49 first class wickets at an average of 27. The Sabres have had a disappointing season. Their batting line up which is generally full of so much aggression struggled to set decent totals when it has mattered and their bowlers also struggled to take wickets at key points in the game.

 

Best player: Marcus Trescothick. England’s loss is Somerset’s gain with Trescothick forming an impressive partnership with Langer and providing the impetus for the Somerset innings. Nominated for the PCA player of the year in a season in which he was the first to reach a 1000 runs.

 

Next season: Will expect to once again challenge for the title but will need a few new faces to lift the title.

 

 

Lancashire

PL16 W5 DL9 BATP24 BWLP40 DED0 Pts170

Will be very disappointing to never realistically be in the race for the title. Only 2 defeats but the lack of wins ensured that it would be a season of survival rather than a title challenge. It has been a frustrating season for the fans, expecting a challenge for silverware but the lack of batting points has indicated that this was not going to be their year, picking up only 24 batting points, the lowest in the division. Only three batsmen made it past 500 runs, with Horton top with 966 runs at an average of 42. Overseas signing Yousuf showed his class for the county in his two matches but was unable to complete the season, along with Hodge, who had other commitments. Overseas signing Du plessis didn’t make a big impact as expected. Flintoff’s short stint helped their cause bowling wise but an England call up and and injury to then top wicket taker Mahmood left them a little short of quality in the bowling department. The limited overs campaign didn’t go to well either. They were relegated to the second division in the pro 40, didn’t make it past the group stages in the FP Trophy and lost out in the quarterfinals of the twenty20.

 

Best player: Paul Horton. Lack of candidates in a poor season by their standards, but Horton stood out as Lancashire’s leading run scorer.

 

Next year: Would expect a challenge for the title and not to be in a relegation scrap. Will need to sign a quality overseas player and need their batters to improve if that is to happen.

 

 

Sussex

PL16 W2 D12 L2 BATP45 BWLP38 DED0 Pts159

Will be disappointed to never really be in the title chase but Mushtaq’s injury problems badly affected their season. Only 2 wins and 12 draws suggests a lack of cutting edge in the bowling department after the huge loss of Mushtaq Ahmed. Their batters did quite well with 5 batsmen passing 700 runs but only two averaged over 50. They were boosted this season with the availability of Matt Prior, who scored 931 runs at 51.72, but it was Murray Goodwin who stood out with 1343 runs at an average of 58, including 6 100s and 5 50s. It was also Murray Goodwin who guided Sussex to the Pro 40 Division One title with an unbeaten 87. Next season they would have to do it without Chris Adams who has announced his retirement from the first class game. However, he is likely to take up a managerial role within the club.

 

Best player: Murray Goodwin. Without him Sussex would have been dragged closer to relegation. Scored the most runs for Sussex this season and will look to do the same next year.

 

Next year: Will look to finish higher than 6th and not be in the relegation fight. But to do that they would need to urgently bring in a quality spinner to replace Mushtaq.

 

Yorkshire

PL16 W2 DL5 BATP50 BWLP45 DED0 Pts159

A county like Yorkshire will expect far more than a relegation battle. They just didn’t seem to have enough to force out results, securing only two wins. Despite picking up 50 batting points and 45 bowling points, there was something lacking in their experienced team. The bowling relied heavily on Adil Rashid, Bresnan and Hoggard who picked up 149 wickets between them. Darren Gough in his final year never really seemed to have enough left in his tank to grab 4 or so wickets in a match, ending up with only 9 first class wickets before announcing his retirement. In the batting department, Rudolph was in unstoppable form scoring 1292 runs but there was a lack of contribution among the other batters who all averaged below 40. In the limited overs format, Yorkshire had a better season but couldn’t reach the quarterfinal for any competition. They finished second behind Essex in the pro 40 division two and lost to the same opponents in the FP Trophy Quarter finals.

 

Best player: Adil Rashid. 62 wickets making him the leading wicket taking spinner this season. Always looked a threat and is progressing nicely and could soon have a same effect on the county championship as Mushtaq Ahmed.

 

Next year: Will hope for better but will need to bring in a quality bowler with Hoggard losing a yard of pace and Gough’s retirement. Will have Vaughan for a part of the season and will hope he rediscovers his form

 

Kent

PL16 W4 D4 L6 BATP30 BWLP44 DED0 Pts154

Frustrating season in the championship. Look to be heading for a relegation scrap before a turn of results saw them close the gap on the top, however, they fell away again later on and suffered a surprising relegation. Their team were inspired by big hitting South African Martin van Jaarsveld who ended up the PCA Most Valuable Player and PCA player of the year. However, it was the other batsmen that were the problem with the side only securing 30 batting points. Key and Denly formed an successful, aggressive opening partnership in the limited overs format but couldn’t transfer that on to the first class games. There is wickets in the team with the wealth of bowling all-rounders, but they didn’t take wickets as ofter as they would have liked. It was also a frustrating season in the limited overs format. The team showed great balance and aggression but they narrowly missed out on the trophies despite being in 2 final. They first loss to Middlesex in the 2020 final as Henderson ran loose, then lost in the FP Trophy final to Essex before being defeated by Essex in the final match of the pro 40 which could have won them their title.

 

Best player: Martin Van Jaarsveld. 1150 first class runs, leading run scorer in FP Trophy, PCA most valuable player, PCA player of the year. There can be no one else.

 

Next year: Will have to get over their disappointments from this year, but are likely to go straight up. They would expect a Trophy this year after their exploits last year.

 

 

Surrey

PL16 W0 D11 L5 BATP45 BWLP36 DED1 Pts124

Very disappointing season for Surrey who have suffered relegation for the second time in four years. They seem to be unable to challenge in the first division, failing to secure a single win in a torrid season. They were heavily reliant on three batsmen, Rampakash, Afzaal and Newman for their runs. Before his injury Mark Butcher showed his class at this level, but his injury badly affected the team. Mark Rampakash was not as prolific as previous seasons as his mind was occupied with the chance of his 100th Hundred and taking over as captain for the season. The team really lacked a cutting edge in the bowling department with Saqlain their leading wicket taker with only 38 wickets out of 153 wickets. Their seemed to be a lack of threat and even end of season signing Shoaib Akthar taking just a sole wicket. The Brown Caps also struggled in the limited overs format. The bowlers were too expensive and their batters failed to make the big scores.

 

Best player: Mark Rampakash. 1235 runs in a season in which he secured his hundred 100 at average of 61. Seemed to lead the batting line up by himself, done well under pressure but couldn’t single handily save his side.

 

Next year: Will need to improve their bowling if they are to go straight back up, and will also need to rely less on rampakash.

 

 

 

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jonas  |  October 6, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Good summary review of the CCDiv One.
    As a Surrey fan i am dissapointed by this season and agree if it wasn’t for Ramps it would have been far worse.

    Reply

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