It seems that batting collapses are the norm for this season and having seen one at the Oval on Thursday and one at Lord’s yesterday I’m spoilt for choice as to where the next one will come!
At the Oval Kent begin the day at 80/4 – almost parity with Surrey having lost three wickets last evening for two runs. Crawley and Billings – Test players both – should give confidence in terms of staying power, grit and determination to make a game of it.
But no! In the space of 16 overs and just over the hour Kent collapse (again) to 141ao. No one innings of note just poor batting and application. Kent lost 6 for 61 today and 9 for 63 in the innings; this is on top of the disaster that was Thursday!
Lawes (a youngster of some 20 summers) ripped through Kent last evening and today taking 5 for 22. He is a talent to watch and note. If he can keep fit (and Surrey know about these things) England honours cannot be far away – remember you saw it here first!
Surrey knock off the 58 runs in time for an early lunch and leaving us with an unanswered question – would the umpires have called lunch if Surrey had needed, say, only 10 more runs?
I’ve seen some poor teams in my time but Kent look a very poor outfit. More suited to the one-day stuff I would suggest.
So rather than calling it a day, a dash across London to Lord’s could fill my afternoon but Middlesex too are prone to collapsing. By the time I arrive, minutes into the afternoon session, they had managed to lose five wickets in the morning session and so are facing either an innings or heavy defeat.
As I write they need 71 to make Somerset bat again but only have four wickets standing. All of my plans for cricket watching tomorrow are now in complete disarray!
And within 90 minutes it’s all over.
Middlesex’s tail/lower order wags a bit (in truth provides most of the batting) but even a bit of rough hitting by TRJ and application by Higgins (the player of the season for the Middle) cannot prevent an innings and 13 run defeat.
Overton takes 5/46 and Siddle 3/57 – just showing that if one bowling combination doesn’t work in one innings, it will in the next. Henry goes wicketless. As I intimated yesterday, Somerset could yet be a force to be reckoned with this season.
All of this means my plans for tomorrow have gone up in smoke but that’s cricket – witnessing three collapses in three days (to go with the others so far this season) suggests that either the bowling thus far has been excellent, or the batting poor or pitches are below standard (and give credit to all ground-staff considering the cold, wet spring we’ve had). I think the answer sits somewhere in the middle of that triangle!
Let’s hope for better contests once the Championship resumes in mid-June and teams have had the chance to reassess; I fear tho’ the overhang of the thrash and bash may play on players minds…but let’s see.