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County Championship 2022

Englandwatch: Root tons up and spinners shine ahead of squad announcement

Yas Rana by Yas Rana
@Yas_Wisden 4 minute read

Here’s a look at how England players – those who have played Test cricket since the start of 2021 and/or were part of the squad on the recent tour of the Caribbean – fared in the most recent round of the County Championship.

Dom Sibley – Warwickshire

52 v Northamptonshire

Sibley followed up his century against Lancashire in the previous round with a half-century against Northants in a run-fest at Edgbaston. 1,165 runs were scored in the match for the loss of just 10 wickets; despite his 50, Sibley may feel that he missed out as others around him cashed in. Sibley averages 53.83 from five County Championship games so far this season.

Rory Burns – Surrey

30 v Kent

Burns played second fiddle to his in-form opening partner Ryan Patel as the pair put on a century stand on the opening day at Beckenham. Surrey would go on to amass a score of 671-9 in an innings that saw no batter reached three figures. Burns has 256 runs at 36.57 after Surrey’s first six matches of the summer.

Ollie Pope – Surrey

96 v Kent

Pope fell agonisingly short of what would have been his 14th first-class hundred, edging behind an innocuous delivery angled down the leg-side from Darren Stevens on 96. Pope’s first-class batting average for Surrey stands at an astonishing 72.73 after 39 matches for the county.

Ben Foakes – Surrey

91 v Kent

After a disappointing tour of the Caribbean with both the gloves and with the bat, Foakes needed a good start to 2022 to put forward his case for retention for the first Test of the summer. He has done just that, with his 91 actually taking down his average for the 2022 County Championship. With 395 runs at 98.75, Foakes is the leading run-scorer in Division One among regular wicketkeepers.

Sam Curran – Surrey

78 v Kent

Curran’s wait for his maiden first-class hundred continues. Curran was stumped for 78, losing his balance while trying to drive South Africa left-arm spinner George Linde through cover. Remarkably, it was the 22nd time that Curran has got to 50 without reaching three figures in first-class cricket. With his bowling workload still under close management as he recovers from a stress fracture to the lower back, Curran delivered two overs of left-arm spin on the third day to go along with five overs of seam earlier in the game.

Zak Crawley – Kent

17 & 35 v Surrey

Crawley’s underwhelming County Championship campaign continued against Surrey. The Kent opener averages 25.67 across his last 19 first-class games on English soil, a run stretching back to the start of last summer. But with a century in the Caribbean and an impressive 77 at Sydney over the winter, he is still likely to retain his place for the first Test of the summer, with the squad to be announced later this week.

Matt Parkinson – Lancashire

4-90 & 2-53 v Yorkshire

A solid outing for the uncapped Lancashire leggie. In another high-scoring game, Parkinson toiled away to pick up six wickets in the match. Parkinson is now the second-leading wicket-taker in Division One with 23 wickets at 23.47.

James Anderson – Lancashire

1-83 & 2-17 v Yorkshire

A decent week for the 39-year-old who was making his third County Championship appearance of the summer. In Yorkshire’s second innings, Anderson bowled his long-time England teammate Joe Root with a beautiful inswinger that raised Lancashire’s hopes  of forcing a final-day victory.

Dawid Malan – Yorkshire

23 & 23 v Lancashire

The first time this season Malan hasn’t registered a score of note. Malan, who batted three for England in last winter’s Ashes, is currently the third-leading run-scorer in Division One.

Joe Root – Yorkshire

147 & 4 v Lancashire

A 37th first-class hundred for the former England captain was crucial for Yorkshire as they hung on to avoid defeat against Lancashire at Headingley. Responding to the visitors’ 566-9, Root’s knock represented nearly 40 per cent of Yorkshire’s first-innings total.

Dom Bess – Yorkshire

3-151; 17 & 5 v Lancashire

Bess was relatively expensive with the ball – going at nearly four runs an over – as Lancashire racked up an imposing first-innings score. It was a performance slightly out of kilter with his season so far. Bess has otherwise exhibited good control with the ball, even if the wicket-taking column has remained slightly bare at times.

Craig Overton – Somerset

35*; 0-57 & 2-28 v Gloucestershire

Overton overcame a brief injury scare in Gloucestershire’s first innings to contribute two second-innings wickets in a comprehensive victory for Somerset over their local rivals. With so many England bowlers unavailable for selection through injury, Overton has a decent shot at making the XI for the first Test of the summer.

Jack Leach – Somerset

5-49 & 3-41 v Gloucestershire

One of the standout performances in the country this week for England’s first-choice spinner over the winner. A timely reminder of his pedigree soon before the squad announcement for the first Test of the summer.

James Bracey – Gloucestershire

39 & 9 v Somerset

Bracey has had a tough time of it since he struck hundreds in the first two rounds of the County Championship season. His first-innings 39 was his first score to exceed 15 in six innings; Bracey is probably only an outside bet to occupy the No. 3 berth for the Lord’s Test having looked a frontrunner not so long ago.

Alex Lees – Durham

44 & 61 v Glamorgan

A pair of decent contributions for Lees in a hard-fought Durham win over Glamorgan at Chester-le-Street. Lees currently averages 98 in Division Two this season, surely enough to have sealed his spot for the first Test New Zealand Test.

Ben Stokes – Durham

82 & 26, 0-69 v Glamorgan

Stokes briefly threatened to recreate some of the carnage that he had unleashed the previous week but had to make do with a 110-ball 82 in Durham’s first innings. Stokes was wicketless and went at nearly a run a ball in the first Glamorgan innings and did not bowl in the game’s fourth innings.

Ollie Robinson – Sussex

0-0 & 1-45 v Leicestershire

A week that will not allay concerns over Robinson’s general level of fitness. Robinson bowled just a solitary over in Leicestershire’s first innings after suffering from an upset stomach, before recovering to bowl 20 in their second (though some were off-breaks rather than his conventional seam). It would, however, perhaps be harsh to judge Robinson’s current fitness on a suspected bout of food poisoning.

Haseeb Hameed – Nottinghamshire

112 & 5 v Middlesex

Hameed reeled off an excellent first hundred of the season against Division Two pace-setters Middlesex at Lord’s. Though, given it was just his second 40-plus score of the season, Hameed is unlikely to be in the frame for the summer’s curtain-raising Test.

Stuart Broad – Nottinghamshire

3-44 & 0-24

Broad cleaned up the Middlesex tail in the home side’s first innings but rain on day four blocked Notts’ pursuit of victory.

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