A forum for Northamptonshire CCC fans
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By Bucksman
#25704
Has anybody been watching this one?

A highly creditable all-round performance, admittedly in favourable conditions, over the first seven sessions, put us in firm control of the contest.

Sadly, on the third afternoon, once the sun started to shine and the ball softened up, the Northants Benevolent Society cranked back into action... byes, byes and more byes seemed to be the order of the day, not to mention 5 penalty runs amongst all the extras.

Never have I seen so much bowling down the leg side, all four main seamers equally culpable in this respect. The performance of keeper Vasconselos was truly heroic in the circumstances, diving full length one way and the other in his brave attempts to cut off the constant stream of wildly directly wayward deliveries coming his way. No wonder the poor fellow was eventually obliged to leave the field injured!

We now face the prospect of a tense final day (with or without Duckett?), with the opposition attack highly unlikely to be anywhere near as generous in the provision of free runs!
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By Bucksman
#25709
saintcobbler wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:45 pm
Looks like we're finding a way of losing this one!

We effectively started the process yesterday, particularly in the final session.

Quote by David Ripley...

“We didn’t do a lot wrong today, we showed a lot of heart, bowlers kept coming in but two guys got stuck in and built a stand and that’s what we’ll need tomorrow.”

I don't know if the head coach was aware, especially, of the 28 byes conceded, but if he is genuine in that belief, I think the man has become seriously deluded.

As I type this, at least we're still fighting!
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By Bucksman
#25710
"Tim Murtagh's bowling for Middlesex's helped inflict a first-ever defeat on Northamptonshire after asking an opposition team to follow on"

The likes of Murtagh don't mess about when they get a sniff of a chance... I rest my case!
By Den Buckett
#25711
This really was dreadful again. Once we made the mistake of making them follow on, it was all downhill. Surely we should have batted again, even a poor display could have set them 350 which is always difficult in the 4th innings. Instead the tired bowlers were wheeled out again and struggled to get through Middlesex and the type of chase we often mess up was left.

The batting by the middle order today was really brainless. Wakely out yet again by leaving a straight one. How many times?..yet next match no doubt he will be in again. Surely a decent batting coach should have sorted this out by now. Wakely will never be good enough for this level and we need to move on rather than giving him any more chances. Crook and Kleinveldt come out swinging like we were in a rush when we actually we had all day and the pitch wasn't bad enough to suggest they needed to crack on before they got a ball 'with their name on it'. Then 9 & 10 Buck and Hutton actually showed the batsmen how to do it, but the task left was too much.
I think we all realise we are one of the smaller counties and cannot challenge the big names, but we are still entitled to see good decision making, tactical awareness and professionalism.
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By Bucksman
#25714
Den Buckett wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:10 pm
This really was dreadful again. Once we made the mistake of making them follow on, it was all downhill. Surely we should have batted again, even a poor display could have set them 350 which is always difficult in the 4th innings. Instead the tired bowlers were wheeled out again and struggled to get through Middlesex and the type of chase we often mess up was left.

Whether or not to enforce the follow-on is usually a contentious issue but, in this case, it seemed the sensible course of action at the time, considering the prevailing cloudy conditions were still largely in the bowlers' favour... remember that Middlesex were then reduced to 166-6, the main batting gone, a lead of just 7 runs. It was only when the sun made a lasting appearance on the third afternoon that matters (such as maintaining a steady discipline and control) started going awry.

The problem yesterday seemed to be that two key wickets (Procter and Vasconcelos), after a solid partnership, fell just before and after the lunch interval, from which point onwards it became a procession with the middle order lacking the calm common sense to continue the sound work of the second wicket pair. It just required someone to hold the innings together in the latter stages!

The Wakely 'factor' remains an ongoing and seemingly insoluble issue. Clearly, his batting is not going to improve at this stage of his career, and the time soon has to arrive to re-appraise not only his abilities as captain, but his place in the team overall.
By onemorerun
#25716
I was disappointed to see Zaib opening in Duckett's absence - to me, it said something about the team attitude at the moment, that with a stand-in opener needed, none of the senior batsmen stepped up to fill the space; instead, the 20-year-old, who batted at 7 in the first innings, was sent in. Effectively a night watchman at 11.30 am.

Vasconcelos is far ahead at the top of our batting averages. My concern is that the more he is exposed to Northants' coaching, the worse he will get. Also, is he actually contracted for longer than the current season?

Vasconcelos 423 runs at 47.00
Crook 351 runs at 39.00
Procter 354 runs at 32.18
Wakely 457 runs at 30.47
Newton 175 runs at 29.17
Levi 358 runs at 27.54
Duckett 375 runs at 25.00
Cobb 136 runs at 17.00
Rossington168 runs at 15.27
Keogh 62 runs at 10.33
Kleinveldt 45 runs at 9.00

If, as stated above, Wakely is not good enough for this level, that would seem to apply to virtually everyone else.

Can you imagine what it would have been like if we hadn't been deducted those points last year and had spent this season in Division One?
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By Bucksman
#25720
Was Zaib asked to open or did he volunteer to step into the breach, I wonder? Whatever, the failure of the move won't exactly have boosted his confidence.

Vasconcelos was signed initially for just the 2018 season, but it must be hoped that he will be prepared to commit himself to a longer term if an offer is forthcoming.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/43281145

Certainly, Wakely, statistically, is no worse than anyone else and dropping him won't solve the on-going lack of top order runs, as currently there is no one else with his experience to replace him. The frustration with him is that with his natural ability, and now 29 years of age, he has never effectively built upon the promise he showed when making his debut in 2007.

"Can you imagine what it would have been like if we hadn't been deducted those points last year and had spent this season in Division One?"

It doesn't bear thinking about for one second!
By Den Buckett
#25721
I agree that most of the other batsmen are just as bad as Wakely, but some of these are also bowlers, some are youngters who may improve and some have had really good seasons in the past so we know they can do better. Unfortunately we know that Wakely wont do any better now. Would dropping Wakely improve our results at the moment?..probably not, but it would do a few things. Firstly it would give him an indication that he can't keep getting a 'free' place in the team. Secondly if he scored big runs at a lower level, the longer stays at the crease may help him. Thirdly we might find a captain who is ready to take over.

Regarding the follow-on, we were always likely to end up with a tricky target and we rarely get over the line. We are much more likely to win a match by bowling a team out. If we had set them 350 and got them 160-6 there would have been huge pressure on their tail-enders. the forecast was set fair so no reason not to expect 4 full days of play.
By onemorerun
#25723
Bucksman wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:34 pm
Was Zaib asked to open or did he volunteer to step into the breach, I wonder? Whatever, the failure of the move won't exactly have boosted his confidence.
I almost wrote about that. Even if he did volunteer, more senior people (notably coach/captain) should have overruled him.
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