Away from the approaching thrills of the Hundred, Cumbria’s homespun kids tackle Lancs
Lancashire 383 for 7 (Jennings 103, Wells 86, Vilas 82, Jones 56*) beat Cumbria 174 (Boyce 107, Wells 3-16) by 209 runs
And so we’ve returned to Sedbergh. For a number of days this week at the very least, one in every of cricket’s caravans will relaxation within the shadow of the Howgill Fells. At distant stadia gaudier pantechnicons will roll up, full of noise and novelties, nevertheless it was simple to neglect such issues on a summer season morning in England’s North Nation, when the warmth lay like a cloak on one in every of England’s best grounds.
At present Cumbria hosted Lancashire in what was classed as a warm-up sport for the Royal London Cup, which begins right here on Friday when Sussex are the guests. And the irony of ‘warm-up’ video games was plain on a day when drinks breaks had been frequent, formidable shorts revealed unlucky legs and spectators hid like bitterns within the shadiest spots. But not one of the folks who ringed the bottom this morning or sat underneath the timber on the Loftus Hill aspect thought they had been lacking out on something besides solar cream.
The final time Lancashire visited this floor, a World Cup was being performed and we had been trying ahead to an Australian summer season. As if to mark that second, James Anderson bowled Cameron Bancroft for 77 within the first innings earlier than injuring his calf within the second and leaving the Durham captain to safe the draw with 92 not out. This event was totally different, extra parochial in the easiest sense. Most of Cumbria’s gamers characterize golf equipment inside the county boundaries and on Saturday they may compete towards one another in league matches. At present, although, the rivalries between Cockermouth and Carlisle, Workington and Furness had been forgotten and eleven cricketers got here collectively in a aspect solely three of whose members play for golf equipment outdoors the county boundary.
“Ben and Liam are clearly two notable gamers however you have additionally acquired Jordan and Graham Clark and Liam Trevaskis,” Atkinson identified. “So to a sure extent we could be punching above our weight in producing first-class gamers. And these video games are a useful alternative for kids who aspire to enjoying first-class cricket to see the type of requirements concerned.”
Considered in that context, a sport which may have appeared little greater than a one-sided hammering attains a wider significance. But the issue for the nationwide counties is that skilled batters play with much less worry than they did a decade in the past and have added new photographs to their repertoire. The put-it-on-a-sixpence line-and-length which may as soon as have been sufficient to keep away from dismemberment now solely invitations a scoop, a ramp or their reversed first cousins. It isn’t that nationwide counties cricketers have no idea these strokes; a few of them have performed first-class cricket. However they hardly ever see them utilised with such freedom towards balls that in virtually all different video games would require respect.
As appears the norm throughout such gourmandising, somebody has to go with out and this afternoon it was Steven Croft, who was caught on the wicket first ball off Sempill. Simply as he had finished on this floor two years in the past when bowled by one which saved low, Croft tossed his bat within the air and it carried out a somersault earlier than he caught it once more. The fathomless charms of Sedbergh could also be misplaced on him.
For the remainder of us, they hit the mark as precisely as ever, and Lancashire’s later batters additionally savoured this true pitch. Dane Vilas, who has hardly been in his greatest type, made 82 off 46 balls and Rob Jones helped himself to a half-century earlier than we settled down to contemplate a type of over-limit matches during which the second half bears restricted relation to the primary.
Nobody ought to blame Lancashire for this. Individuals could blather on concerning the Royal London Cup being a growth competitors and for some counties it in all probability shall be. However the resolve of the Previous Trafford coaches was made clear after they took seven of Saturday’s T20 aspect to Sedbergh and their success in dismissing Cumbria for 174 in 43.3 overs was hardly a shock. One of many newcomers, Jack Blatherwick took the primary two wickets in 4 overs earlier than being compelled from the sphere with a again damage.
No matter Blatherwick’s damage, although, Vilas would have thrown the ball round. It was no shock that eight bowlers had been used with each Liam Harm and Jack Morley getting eight-over spells prematurely of the Royal London Cup programme. Luke Wells ended the sport when he took his third wicket and Cumbrian supporters needed to take what consolation they might from the gritty 35 made by the skipper, Gary Pratt, and the 38 compiled by Michael Slack, who had additionally picked up a few wickets. Pratt’s youthful gamers, alternatively, have seen what the first-class sport is about. It’s intriguing to ponder what they now make of it.
Paul Edwards is a contract cricket author. He has written for the Instances, ESPNcricinfo, Wisden, Southport Visiter and different publications