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Leg Glance
(Login legglance)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 23 2016, 11:19 PM 

Just got back.

So good to enter the ground to see Jonny filming an ad for the ECB. Oh the irony

A curious day's cricket with Middx seeming to make no effort to set up a chase as they blocked even the last 10 overs before the new ball before 'discussions' took place. I am still not sure if they would have done without Yorks instigating them.

6 an over sounded generous but, considering the state of the pitch, the lack of fielding restrictions and the fact that, during normal play, the scoring rate througout was just over 3 an over it was not that magnanimous.

Seeing as we can't chase a lost dog it was going to be difficult but did we really have a plan? Willey, lees & Ballance out to unnecessary slogs and, when the magnificent Bresnan was given out ( was it out?) the game was up.One playing an anchor role and nudging it around with some sensible licence at the other end might have produced the desired result

Magnificent and deserved reception for the team and Dizzy at the end. Was Gale's wave one of farewell?

Congratulations to Middx, rather them than Somerset

One last question.Did Strauss do a John Terry and change into his whites for the presentation?

(Login WibseySimon55)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 1:16 AM 

Final day.

Yesterday I said it might be an anti-climax, and it might be a thriller. Well, not sure how cricket can do this, but it turned out to be a bit of both, and at the same time, moreover. I guess in the same way that light is both a particle and a wave -- contradictory, can't explain it, but it's true.

Gibbons and Malan were a class act this morning, and we just could not break through. When Rafiq caught Gubbins off his own bowling, everyone looked surprised -- batsman, bowler, fielders and 5000 spectators. Felt a bit sorry for the lad, seven runs short of his second century in the match, because a Hameed Mark II was in the making. Alex Lees must have had a bit of a pang too, remembering Headingley earlier this month.

We gave it another go with the new ball straight after lunch, but after eight or nine overs, there was still nothing doing. Middlesex found us hard to get away though. Eskinazi (who slaughtered us at Scarborough remember) looked all at sea. You can't criticise their poor run rate -- we were bowling too well, just not well enough to get the wickets we needed.

And so to the strangest Lyth Lees partnership ever seen. Bowling. And I hope never to have to see it again. It was ugly. I don't have a problem with the principle of contrived finishes -- forfeited innings, declaration bowling, 50:50 chases were pretty common in the three-day game of my youth. But it was cringe-making to watch. You do wonder, when cover point swerves away from a medium-hit ball that's just heading for the ropes (legal, fair) how different that is from cover point kicking a slightly-less-hit ball over the boundary (not legal, brings game into disrepute)?
But anyway, the pundits, the captains, the powers-that-be, and even (with reluctance, but considerable grace) the Somerset senior players, have all said it's OK, so I guess it's OK. And we would all be spitting with rage (self included) if this game, of all games, had petered out to a tame draw and handshakes all round at 5 o'clock! That was never on the cards, was it, and neither was "chase 180 in 20 overs", so what we got was the only alternative.

One redeeming feature was Jack Brooks pulling a one-handed catch out of thin air as the ball whistled past him and the umpire at square leg, about two feet above their heads. It was pure instinct, because he wasn't meant to do that, of course. Lees, who ended up with two wickets for 51 in four overs (his strike rate of 12.00 bettering his economy rate of 12.75 -- some kind of bowling record??), looked disgruntled at taking a wicket. Not a rabbit either, but Malan, on 116 to boot.

Like most observers and WRF commentators I thought the declaration that followed was generous to us. And I assumed the quid pro quo was a promise that we wouldn't shut up shop if it looked beyond reach, but would carry on 'Swinging to the last man' (as Bressie had apparently said on Look North last night). Gale said afterwards he didn't see it as generous, and of course that turned out to be right. All the same, he delivered on the promise; our last three or four men went down still fighting, when it was crystal clear they couldn't score at ten an over. Well, perhaps not actually fighting then, but behaving like the Polish cavalry against German tanks in 1939.

That said, it had been a fair gamble on our side. Any one of Lyth, Lees, Willey, Ballance and Bresnan could have struck lucky. One of the steepling catches in the deep could have gone down. Bressie might have got more benefit of the doubt on his LBW. However, by the time it was Hodd and Rafiq, who had already earned their keep in this match, against Roland-Jones and Finn, it was pretty clear the tall men would win. But, you know, the Middlesex supporters around me, on the evidence of what they'd seen this match, still rated our "batsmen's" chances. Such is the respect our players are held in.

In sum, congratulations and plaudits to Middlesex, who are worthy champions this year. The season's record rather than the final game earned it for them. Commiserations to Somerset, who miss out again, for the 127th time, or whatever. And huge, huge credit to our players, who took it right to the wire, in the face of some pretty big obstacles this year.


(Login dpressed)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 8:49 AM 

Staus has just been interviewed and was talking about India in November as why he couldn't play. November!!!!

Btw a good piont was made earlierabout the total being higher if Jonny had played.

And yes this will always be the Strauss Championship to me ..... Even though Middlesex deservedly whooped up at Scarborough

(Login Tyke1950)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 9:45 AM 

A lot of talk about declarations and time. I wonder how the game might have developed had time not been lost on days one and three - about three hours in total. The match would have taken a different course and so might the Championship.

Well done Yorkshire. An excellent game. The better team over the entirety of the season won the Championship.

Our top order batting proved too unreliable at several critical points and the bowling just fell away a little compared to 2015. Injuries and international calls proved, this year, to be just too much to cope with.

Watch out for Surrey next year. Middlesex will still be strong. I'm not so sure about Somerset.

(Login EastYorkshireTyke)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 9:54 AM 

Do we think that Trevor Bayliss and for that matter Paul Farbrace will be considering their England futures given, according to members of this forum, Strauss and the "ECB" seem to say when England players can and can't play. Surely this undermines their positions?


(Login SpireTyke)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 10:24 AM 

Thank you for all the reports, once again I have enjoyed reading them. I thought at the time that it was a challenging target on that pitch, against that attack, for a fragile batting line up.

I think I met have felt better if I was there rather than sat in my living room. Were the majority of the Yorkshire supporters on the top deck in the sunshine and did the team walk across to acknowledge them? i think I caught a glimpse of this, but Sky did not cover it.

Leg Glance
(Login legglance)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 11:05 AM 

We were and they did ST.

They got a magnificent, well deserved, noisy, appreciative reception and , to a man, they returned the applause.

It was a poignant end to an ultimately disappointing day but there is a bond between the team themselves and the supporters that is , in my experience, rarely found.

(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 11:10 AM 

A slightly mischievous posting EYT!!

Can I just point out that several posters did not feel it was a conspiracy, just a complete cock-up, but def. not a deliberate ploy. IMO, the ECB do not have enough "brains" between them to actually plan anything (apart from ruining the CC). As far as they are concerned they do not give a toss about CC, and doubt if they even realised that Yorkshire were playing Middlesex this week. They are not bovverred!

This message has been edited by StuartRA from IP address on Sep 24, 2016 11:14 AM


(Login SpireTyke)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 24 2016, 12:24 PM 

Thank you leg glance, it must have been a poignant moment.

I should have gone. The weather forecast was set fair. I looked at Trainline on Thursday night and they were quoting £79 for a same day return at a specified time. It would have been quite amusing to ring my boss from London on Friday morning asking for a day's leave.

I feel more disappointed than I would expect this morning. I think it is because not only our team missed an opportunity, but so did I.

(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 25 2016, 9:25 PM 

Went on day 4.

Saw a fair wack of the day from the top tier of the pavilion and some from the Compton upper. I was also very near Emburey and Strauss so we had a right WRF collection in that area. I had planned a whole day in the pavilion but unexpectedly an old school friend texted me to ask if I was there so i sat with him when he arrived about 3pm.

Its all been said really but a few observations:

I had no problems ethically with setting the game up in the way we did. My only problem is that Middlesex totally played for this. By refusing to take any risks they took away any chance we had of a conventional win by bowling them out as they looked to push on.

240 in 40 seemed fair enough but scoring on a pudding of a pitch was very hard. Hitting boundaries with 7 men out difficult.

Middlesex bowled outstandingly well and I thought set clever fields. Get them way behind and they'll gift wickets. It was John Player League tactics circa 1975. We didn't play smart cricket, someone from Lyth, Lees or Ballance had to make a run-a-ball 80+ and that could have been done. Willey, if we were planning to promote him, should have been opening.

Briefly towards the end of the Gale / Bres partnership I thought we had a chance. Once Bres went, the game was up.

Bres was heroic, people will write of the Bres / Sidebottom partnership in years to come. I've never been more proud of the team and the club.

(Login Spanishnick)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 26 2016, 9:34 AM 

First chance to read forum since returning from Lords on Friday. As always it was a real pleasure to be at Lords. And it was a particularly special day/event that gave the county championship a real profile boost. Wife said twitter/social media were all over it...
After the first half hour it was obvious that the "joke" bowling was the only way to set up a win for either team. Unusualy for me, I did actually figure out 240 off 40 whilst enjoying a nice lunch in the pavilion. I was gobsmacked when I was proved spot on.
It was a fair target in the circumstances, but one which I didn't think we'd achieve. Pitch very tough to score quickly on and ball increasingly refusing to bounce.The main disappointment for me was that we panic slogged too early, which resulted in us falling way short, when I thought we could have got much closer. Sadly, that was all too predictable.
I can recommend a lay-by just off the M1 at Northampton to get a good nights kip in your car. Hope the hundreds of Middlesex and MCC members enjoyed their first live experience of watching a day of county cricket.
No complaints, the best team in the league this season won the title and that is how it should be.
But a good day, a cracking season and a huge effort from the team throughout.

Idle man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: Where's Jonny ?

September 26 2016, 3:53 PM 

Agree the match was a fitting end to another great season. Still feel we had the worse of the deal, if as it seems, we had ruled out shutting up shop. For Middlesex it made tactics simple, make it hard for us to score and we would get out. If they'd had to keep us in it to win, the final overs might have been very different.

Overall however, agree that the season's best side won it.

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