Saturday, 27 April 2013

Michael Klinger: No runs, but good common sense

Day 4: Northants beat Gloucestershire by 7 wickets.

There were no miracles today as Northants predictably wrapped up victory just before lunch. Glos could add only 19 runs to their overnight score but did then manage to take 3 Northampton wickets which, if nothing else, will make the defeat look less comprehensive in Wisden next year.

Speaking after the match, captain Klinger said that Gloucestershire need to learn from Northants 'mature' brand of cricket. Fair point. He praised the way that Northants bowled in pairs and made sure that they never lost clusters of wickets when batting. As much as these are good points, they are also the sort of points that you shouldn't really need to point out to professional cricketers.

If the result wasn't disappointing enough, injuries prevented both Benny Howell and Liam Norwell from taking the field in Northants second innings. Benny apparently has a bruised hand; Norwell has a groin strain. Both are doubtful for Wednesdays trip to Leicestershire (on a completely different point; isn't it nice that championship games have fixed start days) Back to injuries. Before this season started we noted that the squad was painfully thin. Injuries to Ian Saxelby and Paul Muchall and now Benny and Norwell. Those are the sorts of things you can't afford when you are struggling for a quality first xi. Presumably Ian Cockbain will be on stand by for Benny and young Craig Miles will take Liam Norwell's spot. Norwell's injury is a particular concern given his fragile body over the past couple of seasons.

As much as Michael Klinger might be talking common sense perhaps we can add a few extra things that he didn't actually say, but is probably now starting to think. "Christ mate, I wish we had some bloody mature gritty county trundler who can run in all day and put the ball on the spot". Gloucestershires most experienced bowler is Will Gidman, a man with only two full seasons under his belt. Compare this to Northants who can add the grizzled Andrew Hall and test credentials of Trent Copeland to their young stud, David Willey. Anyone know whether John Lewis is bored of playing in Surrey's 2nd xi?

Next week Gloucestershire travel to Leicestershire. Does county cricket have the equivalent of the relegation six pointer?

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