After a week of county cricket that included both round 18 of the LV= County Championship and Friends Life twenty20 Finals Day, we take a look at the week’s star performers and pick the Cricket World County Player of the Week.
Six men scored centuries in the Championship last week, including Shiv Chanderpaul, Warwickshire’s new overseas player, who, despite only scoring one run in his first match for the club, hit 193 to help them to victory over Yorkshire and take them to within three points of Division leaders Lancashire.
Other centurions last week include recent England call-up Alex Hales who made 115 against Durham, Surrey wicket-keeper Steve Davies, Northamptonshire batsman Rob Newton, and Middlesex man Dawid Malan.
Will Jefferson also made a century, for Leicestershire against Surrey, which coupled with his excellent performance on a victorious Foxes Finals Day, means that he takes the award. On what turned out to be a relatively low-scoring finale to the Friends Life t20, Jefferson top-scored for Leicestershire in both of their matches, with 38 from 19 balls - including 15 in the one-over eliminator - against Lancashire in the semi-final and 35 from 29 balls against Somerset in the final.
The way that he dealt with Gary Keedy’s spin, especially the winning slog-sweep for six, in the super-over reflected well on both his talent and his mental toughness and served to underline what a crucial player he has become in all forms of cricket for Leicestershire since moving from Nottinghamshire.
Jefferson, the son of former Surrey seamer Richard - with whom he shares his middle name - was a childhood prodigy who, possibly helped by his towering presence at the crease, dominated bowling attacks at both school and university level. He eventually made his county debut for Essex and in 2002 enjoyed an impressive first full season with the club.
Unfortunately, injury problems blighted his progress and he left for Nottinghamshire at the end of 2006, where he was a relative success, before leaving for Leicestershire following another injury-ravaged season.
Since joining the Foxes, he has become the dependable batsman in a sometimes young and faltering batting line-up and is their leading run-scorer in championship cricket this season. International recognition seems to have eluded him, but there is no reason why, over the next few years, he cannot become a county run machine in the mould of a Rob Key or Marcus Trescothick.
© Cricket World 2011