LV= Insurance County Championship 2023: Round 13 - Sept 6th Day 4 - All Matches - Live Cricket Streaming, Match Reports, Results, Scorecards
Here are all the LV= Insurance County Championship 2023 Round 13 Day 4- Live Scores, Match Reports, Results, Stats and Scorecards – September 6th
Top Tournament Stats: LV= County Championship 2023 Division 1
Essex (304 & 319-7 dec) beat Middlesex (179 & 147) by 297 runs
Essex overseas pair Simon Harmer and Umesh Yadav teamed up to share eight wickets and bowl Essex to their sixth successive win in the LV= Insurance County Championship while putting pressure on top-of-the-table Surrey.
South African off-spinner Harmer returned figures of five for 43 for xxx to pass 50 wickets for the sixth time in seven English seasons as Middlesex were beaten by 297 runs. Indian debutant Yadav, meanwhile, opened his Essex account by steaming in from the Hayes Close End and taking three wickets in a devastating eight-over spell either side of tea.
Set a nominal 445 in a possible four-and-a-half sessions, relegation-threatened Middlesex collapsed to 55-5 before sinking to 147 all out. It left Essex 18 points adrift of Surrey with two games to play.
Sir Alastair Cook had laid the foundations for Essex’s 319-7 with a phlegmatic 84 from 178 balls before Matt Critchley’s belligerent run-a-ball 65 hastened the declaration an hour after lunch. Middlesex off-spinner Josh de Caires added two second-innings wickets to post the first 10-wicket match haul of his embryonic career at a personal cost of 190.
When Middlesex started their forlorn chase, Simon Harmer made immediate inroads as Sam Robson turned the off-spinner’s second ball to Dan Lawrence who took a spectacular, full-length diving catch at leg slip. A second wicket followed quickly when Joe Cracknell played back and was lbw.
Enter Yadav. He had been unable to take a wicket in the first innings but his pace soon had Middlesex on the skids. Jack Davies played at one that moved away to end up in first slip’s hands and Mark Stoneman’s 47-ball six was ended when he diverted another to third slip. Middlesex were 42-4 at tea.
Max Holden lasted four overs after the interval before he became Yadav’s third wicket – and 350th in first-class cricket – when the left-hander dangled his bat and was caught behind.
John Simpson and Ryan Higgins stalled Essex for 19 overs while eking out 42 runs. However, when Critchley switched ends, he had Simpson trying unsuccessfully to fend off a turning ball and was lbw.
Harmer’s return after a brief break brought instant reward as with his third ball he had Luke Hollman snaffled by Nick Browne at silly mid-off. Middlesex were 113-7 which became 115-8 when de Caires fell to the same catcher-bowler combination.
With eight wickets down, and the light fading on another sun-baked day, Essex claimed the extra half-an-hour. And in the sixth additional over Critchley bowled Ryan Higgins to end his two-hour vigil for 21 from 96 balls.
In a frantic climax, with seven minutes remaining, Toby Roland-Jones flicked a long hop from Harmer against Browne at bat-pad from where it ricocheted to Adam Rossington.
It had been more serene earlier in the day. Cook and Westley took Essex’s advantage past 300 before their second-wicket partnership of 114 was ended when Westley swished over a ball from Ethan Bamber and was lbw for 47.
The pair were circumspect, taking 130 balls to put on the first fifty of their stand, but speeding up noticeably with just another 69 balls required for the seocn fifty.
Cook departed three overs after his captain, rocking on to the backfoot in an attempt to execute a trademark punch past point only to nick behind and become occasional leg-spinner Robson a first wicket of the season to mark his 200th first-class appearance.
The tempo increased post-lunch with Critchley reserve-sweeping four off de Caires that brought up the fifty partnership with Lawrence from 49 balls.
After his eight wickets in the first innings, de Caires had to wait 25 overs for his ninth of the match. Lawrence, having scored a rapid 26, bounced down the wicket and lofted to deep extra cover.
The 21-year-old off-spinner claimed his milestone 10th victim when Paul Walter followed Lawrence’s ill-advised heave and holed out in the deep.
A lofted straight drive from Critchley landed just inside the rope off Hollman, but next ball did clear the boundary to complete his eighth score of fifty or more this season.
Adam Rossington perished reverse-sweeping Robson, who was then carted for 18 in an over as Harmer found the short boundary with four, four, six off successive balls.
Critchley was dropped on 63 by Holden at deep midwicket off Higgins but next ball stepped out of his crease in attempting another mighty blow and was stumped. The declaration followed shortly afterwards.
Essex leg-spinner Matt Critchley said: “That’s six wins on the bounce now to keep the pressure on Surrey. We are playing some good cricket and that’s probably as good as we’ve played on a wicket that was spinning, we got over 300 twice. ‘Ports’ (Jamie Porter) bowled beautifully in the first innings and Harmy did the same in the second and overall, it was as good as a performance that you could have hoped for.
“Yadav bowled really well, to get wickets on a flat wicket and look as if he could get two or three wickets an over was very impressive. He’s obviously an international performer and to come in and have that impact shows his quality. That four-man attack with him and Simon Harmer, Jamie Porter and Sam Cook, the way they bowled in this match was probably as good as you are going to get in this country. It’s a helluva attack to face.
“We’ve got two more games to go and hopefully, we can keep our winning run going.
“I’m pleased with my bowling, I broke into the team at Derbyshire as an 18 or 19 year-old as a leggie and then was pretty much their first spinner throughout most of my career there. Obviously since moving to Essex, when you are behind someone like Harmer, you might not get as much of a bowl as you would like sometimes.
“But one of the reasons that I moved to a good team like this was that you get opportunities to bowl and get a few wickets and help win the game in the fourth innings.
“Overall, it’s been a pretty successful season for us so far but we want to go on and win the championship title. There were a few results earlier in the season when the rain didn’t quite help us out so that was a little disappointing but we’ll be trying to do all we can in the last two games.
“We can only do what we can do, win our last couple of games and hope that somewhere along the line, results go our way. If they don’t, well far play to Surrey but we’ve both a helluva lot of games.”
Middlesex captain Toby Roland-Jones said: “It was frustrating falling short in three days here. First innings, Joshie was massively impressive with the ball, used the conditions, bowled in good control, changed his pace and certainly made life tricky. I thought they probably got 30 runs more than we would have liked in the first innings, but I thought that gave us a way into the game if we could have drummed up a score.
“But we can be pretty disappointed coming up as short as we did against seam on that wicket. I think our answers on that wicket against a pretty good spin attack were pretty good and I know the guys worked hard getting the tactical and technical side right coming into this match. So frustrating to have fallen short and given ourselves too much to do.
“They played well and sometimes in this game it just takes a little bit of time for the conditions to kick in. Being a freshly prepared wicket. We definitely spoke enough times when they were going along nicely in that opening stand that once we got one it felt like we might crack it open and gain some momentum. We hung in there during that tough time and made the most of the conditions.
“We’re a bit disappointed that we weren’t a bit more obdurate and made life a bit more tricky for them. But they are fighting at the top of the table for a reason. They have got a good attack on all fronts, but at the same time you’ve got to back yourselves to find ways to counter that and be looking to be nice a positive on the flip side. But we fell short there, but we have three more games to try and get that balance right.
“There was a little bit in the middle there where we got outplayed. The way they managed to knuckle down through tough periods it made it tricky for us to make a breakthrough and we just didn’t find enough of that ourselves.
“We need to go into our last three games confident that we can find a way of winning the game. But on a flip side as a bvatting line-up we have been a little short of runs and as a bowling unit we need to make it a little easier for those guys coming in by restricting the runs. We’re going to need a few guys to put their hands up and put in some performances as well as having that full-on team performance. Hopefully that will be enough to find whatever results are needed in those last three games.”
Lancashire’s Luke Wells ripped through Northamptonshire’s lower order taking career best figures of five for 25 with his part-time leg-spin to consign the hosts to their fifth innings defeat of the summer and their fourth at home.
Northamptonshire resumed on the fourth morning of this LV= Insurance County Championship match at Wantage Road on 211 for five, still needing another 81 to make Lancashire bat again. Hartley though had other ideas as the Steelbacks were bowled out for 266 to lose by an innings and 26 runs.
Lewis McManus (24) and Saif Zaib (45) extended their overnight partnership to 56 against the spin of Wells and Tom Hartley as the visitors waited to take the new ball.
McManus chipped Hartley over midwicket for four, but his long vigil finally ended after 82 balls when he turned Wells to George Bell at short leg who took an excellent catch.
Northamptonshire started to implode with Wells picking up a second wicket when Zaib chased a wide one, Phil Salt taking the catch behind the stumps. Wells soon had a third thanks to a stunning left-handed catch off his own bowling to remove Tom Taylor (4). Jack White (6) then slashed him to Keaton Jennings at slip.
Ben Sanderson was determined to go down fighting, smashing two fours and thumping Hartley over the Family Stand at long-on for six before he became Wells’ fifth wicket, caught at mid-off with Northamptonshire leaving the field after just 50 minutes' play.
Lancashire head coach Glen Chapple said: “It was a good team performance really. We won the toss and put them in, but the pitch was pretty good and we worked hard, showed good discipline. It was a great team effort to bowl them out for 232. So, we were happy with that.
“Then we worked really hard with the bat to build partnerships and put pressure on them at the right times. Josh Bohannon played brilliantly for 175, superb innings. We lost a couple of wickets unfortunately which put us under a bit of pressure if we were going to make a big first innings lead. The lads dealt with that really well, great partnerships down the innings. Balders [George Balderson] made a brilliant 100 and great help from Bails [Tom Bailey] with 77 off 75 balls. That was superb hitting at the end which gave us a really good position.
“Again the pitch was good [when Lancashire bowled] and we had to work hard, but we showed great effort and character to bowl them out, and this morning it was a brilliant effort from the spinners.
[On George Balderson] “He's worked really hard at his game. His technique’s coming on all the time. Superb technique at the moment, stylish player, putting the ball away. He’s showing confidence and the right amount of attack and application.
“[On Luke Wells] His bowling’s developed no end. He’s really difficult to pick and when the pitch is wearing a little bit, it's very difficult to know what the ball is going to do. He hits a heavy length and gets revs on the ball. He's a real threat at the end, and all the way through, but we had a good feeling this morning.
“We don’t view him as a part-time spinner. He's developing, but he's got attributes that make him very dangerous to face. He's a wicket taker, absolutely no doubt about that, and used in conjunction with the main spinner he’s a great threat. I thought Tommy [Hartley] bowled really well in this game and was pretty unlucky not to not take more wickets and together this morning they combined to be a real threat. The fact they were so good gave our seamers an extra rest
[On Lancashire’s season] “We said at the start of the game we've been happy with our performances. If you look at the stats of the individual players, it shows we're playing good cricket. We were slightly unfortunate with the weather in some games at the start of the year. We can only prove that if we finish really strongly. We have a recent history of finishing high on the table and we are really committed to doing that again.
[On the two remaining games at Old Trafford, where it has been difficult to win] “We still think that given enough cricket, with the level of our performances, we’ll win games there. We can't get away from the fact that it's a really good cricket surface, but that has pros and cons. It's developing our players to play proper cricket, which is what we should be doing. We’re trying to find ways to make sure we can win games and we’ll keep working really hard.”
Northamptonshire captain Luke Procter said: “It was a struggling day for us and a struggling week. We've not played some good cricket to be honest.
“We’ve only got three batting points all year. We've struggled all year with the batting, and it just hasn’t been good enough. We've got to get better.
“It’s not for lack of effort. Everyone's putting in, but it just hasn’t been coming off.
[On Sam Whiteman’s contribution as overseas player] “He's added a lot of value. He has brought a lot of experience in captaincy and to average [almost] 40 in a poor season for us, he’s done a good job. He’s normally used to some bouncy pitches [in Perth] and not really having to protect his stumps that often, but he's done really well.
“We’ve got three tough games coming up. We’ve got to play for pride. As players we pride ourselves on our performances and hopefully, we can do that and get some good performances in for these last three games.”
Tom Kohler-Cadmore scored a well-made 84 but Hampshire’s patience was rewarded with their sixth LV=Insurance County Championship victory of the season.
Kohler-Cadmore and James Rew’s 107-run stand threatened to frustrate odds on favourites Hampshire – who had taken two early wickets.
But Liam Dawson plugged away with four for 85 before the second new ball opened the visitors up as Hampshire won by 185 runs before tea, with 33 overs shy of survival.
Hampshire, whose title ambitions were ended by Surrey’s victory the previous day, took 21 points to Somerset’s three – with both sides only battling for prize money in the final month of the season.
Hampshire needed eight wickets, Somerset a less likely 400 runs on the final day at the Ageas Bowl.
Somerset were rolled for 137 in the first innings and when Sean Dickson – who had completed a half-century the previous evening – was castled by Mohammad Abbas to the 11th ball of the day, it felt like a landslide victory was coming for the hosts.
Andy Umeed, who had played his part in the 68-run stand with Dickson, edged a rising Abbas delivery to second slip two overs later to make the lunch orders start to feel redundant.
But Kohler-Cadmore and Rew bedded in and ate away at the overs.
Kohler-Cadmore was skittish and refused to err from his aggressive tendencies, with plenty of plays and misses in the early part of his innings exciting the Hampshire cordon.
His lack of fear might not have been the traditional way to save a match for his team but benefited both his side and himself – with his fourth half-century of the season coming in 67 deliveries.
Rew took 16 balls to get off the mark, and at various points was three of 31 and 11 off 49 but never seemed bogged down or frustrated.
The pitch remained as slow and flat as it had been across the match, with Dawson finding some significant turn, and very occasional spit out the rough, but it was much too slow to provide a stern test.
However, the left-arm spinner did break the 107-run alliance between Kohler-Cadmore and Rew.
Rew had retaken his place as the highest run-scorer in Division One, he now has 1,077 runs, but a drive away from his body found an inside edge and was caught by wicketkeeper Ben Brown.
Kohler-Cadmore’s resistance ended on 84 with a brilliant off-spinning delivery from Tom Prest five overs before the second new ball. It caught the edge of the rough wide of off stump to turn back and bowl the slog-sweeping batter.
It was the former England under 19 captain’s maiden first-class wicket.
The second new ball pulled the rug out from under Somerset’s resolve. Lewis Gregory edged Kyle Abbott behind to the fourth ball with the new cherry.
Neil Wagner was castled by the South African quick in his following over, before Dawson bowled Jack Brooks and had Shoabib Bashir lbw to complete the victory. Somerset bowled out for 316.
Hampshire captain James Vince:
"I think the wicket lost a bit of pace in the second innings and became a hard toil for the bowlers. Once we got ahead we didn't let them back in the game.
"There was some hard graft today. A couple of key wickets for Mo set us up, then a dry spell and then in that afternoon session we closed the game up nicely.
"We expected it to be reasonably tough, we knew we wouldn't bowl them out as quickly as the first innings. Daws bowled really well but it was a shared effort across the bowlers, who all contributed with ball in hand.
"We stuck to what we set out to do with the ball and got our rewards in the end.
"Daws put the ball in the right areas and there was enough in the pitch to occasionally create doubt with the batters and stuck to his task really well.
"We want to win the two remaining games and finish as high as possible. We've been there or there about in the last few seasons and I don't think we've been in a situation where we've been out of touch. So it is a good opportunity to look at a couple of young guys and finish as high as possible."
Top Tournament Stats: LV= County Championship 2023 Division 2
A quick-fire burst of four wickets for only three runs in 24 balls during the final 20 minutes of the fourth morning set Yorkshire up for a deserved LV= Insurance County Championship 277-run victory over Derbyshire at sunny Scarborough.
Jordan Thompson and Dom Bess struck twice apiece in that spell as Derbyshire, in the face of a 571 target, slipped from health at 198 for two to peril at 201 for six.
Thompson trapped opener Harry Came lbw for 58 before Bess did the same to Wayne Madsen, who made a superb 93 off 71 balls. Shortly afterwards, off-spinner Bess also had Derbyshire captain Leus du Plooy lbw for nought, and the visitors failed to recover.
They were bowled out for 293 just before 2.20pm and lost for the second time this season to Yorkshire after a defeat at Chesterfield in June. They are the only two matches bottom side Yorkshire have won this season. But they still remain rooted to the foot of Division Two despite gaining 18 points to three for the visitors.
Bess finished with four for 79 from 24.2 overs, while Matthew Revis added three afternoon wickets to Thompson’s two. Yorkshire did gain 20 points but were docked two because of a slow over-rate.
Derbyshire started the day on 65 for one, and they were facing a home attack minus the services of fringe England Test quick Matthew Fisher due to a mild side strain.
Ben Coad had Brooke Guest caught at second slip three overs into the day - 71 for two - but Derbyshire hit back.
Such was the aggression shown by Madsen, their 39-year-old legend making his 200th first-class appearance for the county, you did wonder whether they were eyeing up that mountainous target.
He hit three leg-side sixes, reached his fifty off 48 balls and hit Bess for 22 in an over shortly before falling for his second 93 of the fixture.
He shared 127 inside 21 overs for the third wicket with the more circumspect Came, who started the day on 33 and went on to reach his fifty in 116 balls.
Yorkshire being a bowler down in Fisher was a concern at this stage on a pitch offering bounce for the seamers and turn for the spinners - but not the usual North Marine Road pace.
They needn’t have worried.
Thompson trapped Came lbw with a full ball which he looked to play to leg before Bess also trapped a sweeping Madsen in front in the next over, leaving the score at 198 for four in the 50th.
Bess’s previous over was the one which had been taken for 22 by Madsen, including four fours and a six. But revenge came quickly.
He also trapped du Plooy lbw in his next over after Madsen’s departure before Thompson had Matt Lamb caught behind off the inside edge in the next, leaving the score at 201 for six in the 53rd over.
Yorkshire’s position at the bottom of Division Two owes more to their off-field issues than it does on.
Promotion will be a definite aim for captain Shan Masood and company in 2024. So a good final month of the summer, in which three games remain, will set them up perfectly.
While Yorkshire won for the second time in 11 games, Derbyshire suffered their fourth defeat.
After lunch, Yorkshire’s second-innings centurion Matthew Revis had Alex Thomson caught behind five balls into the session - 211 for seven - before some respite for the visitors.
Anuj Dal and Zak Chappell shared 78 in entertaining fashion, the latter clubbing three sixes in 33 which saw Yorkshire employ the short ball tactic.
And it worked when he miscued Revis to Bess, who took a smart catch at square-leg tumbling backwards, leaving the score at 289 for eight in the 69th over of the innings.
Revis got Sam Conners caught at long-leg with the same tactics in his next over before Dal was stumped by Bess for 33 to wrap up Yorkshire’s large margin of victory by runs in first-class matches for them against Derbyshire.
Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson said “It’s a good win, and I’ve been telling you for a while that we’ve been playing some decent four-day cricket. If not for the weather, we would have won a few more games.
“It’s good to get four good days of weather, and for the lads to perform the way they did was fantastic. I’m really proud of them this week.
“Day three, we were scoring so freely and at such a rate, and Scarborough’s pitch is so good. We were always thinking that if we can get as far ahead as possible and give ourselves 120 to bowl them out, that should be enough.
“The fact we had a 500-lead meant we could leave fielders in for a bit longer. Scoreboard pressure meant that they had no chance of winning the game. It gave us the opportunity to attack a lot more. We did that and got our rewards.
“Personally, I don’t think we batted as well as we could have done on the first day. To be bowled out for 297 was a bit below what we thought we should have got.
“But I thought we bowled really well in their first innings as well.
“Jordan Thompson came back from the Hundred and bowled as well as I’ve seen him bowl for a while. It was unfortunate to lose Matthew Fisher. It’s a mild side strain that he’s got, and hopefully it doesn’t hang around too long.
“Even then, the likes of Matthew Revis really stood up when Fish went down. George Hill continues to be a very good all-rounder for us. We’re blessed in that area. Dom Bess also bowled nicely and controlled the game.”
Derbyshire bowling coach Ajmal Shahzad said “After coming out of a real tough 50-over campaign, we are trying to be real positive in these four Championship games. We tried to approach this game in particular with a slightly different mindset - having that intent with bat and ball, looking to take wickets and keep the scoreboard ticking. Ultimately, the game’s moving forwards consistently then.
“It went really well for us on day one. The boys started well with the new ball. To take 10 wickets, we felt we were in it. Even, having lost Harry Came early, I thought Mitch Wagstaff was fantastic.
“On day two, when we lost sessions, we lost them badly. We lost seven wickets for 70 after lunch.
“Then for the lack of intensity to spill over to the new ball in their innings, we were behind the eight-ball. Then we were trying to claw it back.
“I thought the boys stuck at it and dug in. It was hard work (with the ball on day three). It was hot, and the ball got soft and the wicket flatter.
“We then felt it was impossible but improbable to chase those runs down. Saying that, the way Wayne Madsen went about it this morning - being the player and class act he is - we felt there was a sniff there.
“He was backed up by Camey, and we felt we could score runs quite quickly.
“But, as things have happened for us in this game, they’ve happened quite quickly. And the back end there was disappointing to see the way we collapsed.”
Durham 505 for nine declared and 57 for three beat Sussex 266 & 295 - Durham won by seven wickets
Durham are on the verge of promotion to LV= Insurance County Championship Division One after defeating Sussex by seven wickets in their clash at Seat Unique Riverside.
The home side required only one wicket to wrap up the Sussex second innings after reducing the visitors to 263 for nine on day three. Fynn Hudson-Prentice and Henry Crocombe defied the Durham seamers for 45 minutes before Matt Parkinson secured the final strike to finish with figures of four for 80, and eight for 138 in the match.
Durham lost three wickets in their chase of 57 as Jack Carson found turn out of the fourth day pitch, ending with figures of three for 15. But, Alex Lees and Ollie Robinson guided their team over the line to secure maximum points from the contest.
Durham need only five points to secure promotion in their next outing, although if Leicestershire fail to beat Sussex next week, the North-East outfit will secure their spot in Division One.
Resuming day four with a slender lead of 24, Sussex needed a special effort from their last-wicket pair to put the pressure back on the home side. Hudson-Prentice and Crocombe frustrated Ben Raine and Matthew Potts with the new ball, fending off their attempts to wrap up the Sussex innings.
Raine almost prised out Crocombe, but his outside edge flew through the vacant gap between slip and gully. Scott Borthwick turned to Matt Parkinson and he got the breakthrough in his second over, ending the stand for 45 as Hudson-Prentice advanced down the wicket and failed to connect with his drive, allowing Robinson to whip off the bails
After bowling out Sussex for 295, the hosts required only 57 runs to secure their sixth win of the season. Carson caused a mild stir in the ranks as bowled Michael Jones before removing Scott Borthwick and David Bedingham in the space of three deliveries. But, the hosts closed out the victory as Ollie Robinson slammed a drive to the fence, taking Durham to the brink of promotion.
Sussex coach Paul Farbrace said: "They're the best team in the division and they played the best cricket. We showed some fight and character in terms of how we played on days two and three. We didn't chuck the towel in, which I didn't expect us to. We kept going and bowled half-decently. Unfortunately, we shelled too many chances and we missed some decent opportunities. We haven't played well enough. We're learning a lot about ourselves as a team. Unfortunately, we haven't got the experience on the field when you get into tough situations to deal with them.
"That's a big problem for us. We've got a lot of players who don't know how to win games and therefore they don't expect to win when they get into those tough situations. When you play against a Durham team, who are the best team in the division, when they were put in positions where they could capitalise they knew how to do it. With played against teams this year that have strong experienced cricketers. We're a team of potential, which means that we don't have experience and we don't have a great deal of leadership on the field.
"And we don't have a great deal of understanding of how to win games. That fundamentally is our issue. You can't suddenly change that. What we can do in the winter is recruit well. We need to recruit two or three players, who can come straight into our side with great experience, who know how to win and know how to compete and can help our best youngsters. We need to know who our youngsters are that can battle and keep them in the team and surround them with experienced players, who can help them through phases of the game. One of the phases the dressing room will be sick of me talking about is what the game means at the time, and not enough players understand it.
"They get out at the wrong times. In this game, we lost wickets to the new ball having fought so hard. We have a lad who's 50 not out gets out with a wild slash outside of off-stump rather than seeing the new ball through. They're times that we don't recognise what's needed and we play the same game every day without learning. But, we've got a lot of people that have only played 15 or 20 games in Championship cricket. So, it's no surprise when they're put under pressure by a senior team like Durham they don't know how to cope with it."
Durham captain Scott Borthwick said: "I thought we played some outstanding cricket. We always strive for perfection and over the three-and-half days it was very close. There were some outstanding performances with bat and ball. Graham Clark has been outstanding all year. He's come in at times when we've been in trouble and other times when we've been 300 for four. The partnership between him and Bas de Leede on day two was brilliant. We wanted to get 250 ahead and then we had a 20-minute burst and got a crucial wicket.
"Matt Parkinson is like a boomerang, he just keeps coming back. He has fit into the dressing room perfectly, he's a likeable lad and his bowling has been amazing. He's got great control with his bowling for a leg-spinner to bowl 25 overs and go for under three an over is impressive. He'll always create chances with the revs that he puts on the ball and he deserved his eight wickets in the game. Batting with Alex Lees, sometimes it feels as though I'm batting with Kumar Sangakkara because he doesn't miss. He has been in incredible form and long may it continue. He's dominating and putting bowling sides under pressure. We're batting really well as a unit.
"We just want to win our next two games of cricket and if we do that it sends a statement that we've dominated the league and are ready for Division One. We've been amazing all year and we want to finish strongly. If we win the title at Worcestershire then amazing, but we want to win the last two games and finish on a high. I knew this team had the potential to be champions and dominate this league. We've played with a lot more freedom this year and attacked a lot more to try and win games of cricket. We're always trying to win and not thinking of the negative side of things. With the potential we have in the dressing room, it was always possible. The shackles were off and we've played some amazing cricket."
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