Monday, 3 June 2013

Can we keep 40 over cricket?

The irony that Gloucestershire might finally be getting the hang of 40 over cricket in its final season of existence is not lost on us. When the domestic limited overs competition reverts back to 50 overs next season, the Jessop Tavern is already looking into the possibility that Glos might be able to translate their new-found competence in this format of the game by joining a local village 40 over league somewhere. We're still not sure if Ed Young would get any wickets though.

One man who certainly wouldn't look out of place playing on a village green would be Gloucestershires latest debutant, 17 year old off-spinner Miles Hammond.

Hammond has already represented England Under-19s, so clearly has something about him. However, with Jack Taylor currently suspended and Ed Young nursing a wrist injury, Hammond has suddenly become Gloucestershires frontline spinner. A bowling attack of Craig Miles (18) Graeme McCarter (20) and Hammond (17) is the sort of lineup that is more likely to have been associated with the Jimmy Saville enquiry than a first class cricket team.

Despite all of this, Glos produced a remarkably characterful performance against Yorkshire in chasing down a total of 241, only a day after grinding out a remarkable rearguard action in the championship draw with Lancashire.

Michael Klinger continued his fine form in this competition with a 98 ball 96. Klinger now has 264 runs at an average of 66 in the YB40 to go alongside his two hundreds in the longer form of the game. A recent (and also the very first) email sent to the Jessop Tavern (hello Martin; so you're the guy who reads this crap!) asked us what we made of Klinger. Whilst he's blown a little bit hot and cold in the championship, he is an opener and it is still the first part of the season. Not exactly prime time to be filling your boots at the top of the order. We reckon that these stats are a pretty decent return so far and he seems to have done a pretty good job marshaling the nursery school bowling attack.

Klinger also got good support from O'Mish and Gareth Roderick, who responded well to his pair in the Lancashire game. In fact the only downside is news that Chris Dent injured himself whilst fielding and is likely to miss this weeks championship game against Glamorgan. Presumably this will open the door for Ian Cockbain who has opened in the past. We like Cockbain a lot and would like to see Dent's place really threatened. Dent clearly has the talent but seems to be struggling to really stamp his authority on anything even close to a consistent basis.

If Cockbain can assert some pressure on Dent, and presumably Housego, then these early season injuries will suddenly have developed something approaching a fairly competitive and reasonably deep squad. At the start of the season we commented on how the squad looked painfully thin. With the emergence of Miles and McCarter with the ball, Roderick with the gloves and Benny doing a fairly passable Will Gidman impression, the squad suddenly does have some depth to it.

After yesterday's win Glos continue to sit on top of Group C, admittedly having played more games than anyone else. Still, considering the injuries we've had, to be still competitive is a fine enough achievement in itself. Well done boys.

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