Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Richardson runs through the usual suspects

Day 1: Glos 234 v Worcs 65-0.

If we were to ask Gloucestershire fans which two batsmen got themselves into positions to put their team into a commanding position today, only to throw it away, you wouldn't need too many guesses. Hamish O'Marshall and Gidders made 45 and 41 respectively and then perished. Now we'd love to tell you how they perished, but the ECB were so disgusted with O'Mish and Gidders plundering cheap runs against the universities last week that they have refused to post highlights of the first days play. Thus, without any evidence to the contrary we are left to presume that Gidders was bowled by not moving his lumbering feet out of the crease to a full ball that maybe angled in a bit. O'Mish on the other hand was almost certainly caught in the slips driving loosely. Any one going to contradict us? Thought not.

In fairness, having been asked to bat first 234 probably is a par score. It could have been much better when Benny and O'Mish were going well, but it could have been much worse had Alan Richardson not been so old that he could only bowl in short spells.

Effectively there were two games going on today. The one when Richardson was running through us on his way to career best figures of 8 for 37. And the game when Richardson wasn't bowling and Gloucestershire were flogging the rest of Worcestershire's pop gun attack for 5 an over.

Richardson is a man to whom the abject mediocrity of county cricket is tailor-made. He trundles in as fast as his 38 year old legs can carry him and just about manages to propel the ball to the other end. His height gets him a bit of bounce and he nibbles the ball around. Modern day batsman who are unable to cope with anything that isn't straight and full seem bamboozled by someone who can consistently bowl a line and length, and perish. If you want to know how bad modern county cricket is then Richardson is your man. He made his debut in 1995, shuffled around unconvincingly at Derby, Warwickshire and Middlesex before ending up at Worcester. Having been canon fodder for most of his career he then discovered that two tier cricket is great as it condenses all the really really shit players in one division where you can then plunder to your hearts content. Perfect. Incredibly, Richardson then discovered that county cricket is so poor that he could even take 73 wickets in division 1 in 2011 (something that Wisden were so shocked about that they made him one of their cricketers of the year in 2012). This might be slightly unfair on Richardson who is a perfectly nice, honest journeyman.

As a Gloucestershire fan at the moment you could argue he is exactly the sort of bowler Glos could do with in order to allow the youngsters the opportunity to be fast and loose at the other end. However, who really wants to see journeymen pro's still pottering about the outfield as they approach 40. We've said this before, and we'll no doubt say it again (probably many times) but if we are going to be crap, we might as well be crap with a bunch of kids.

Gloucestershires kids were crap at the start of Worcestershire's innings. They now need to have a big first session tomorrow to keep themselves in the game.

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