County Championship 2014: Round 1 Team of the Week
The first round of matches in England’s County Championship have reached their conclusion at the beginning of what is always a long, hard slog of a season for all concerned.
Already, a number of individuals have been enormously impressive with bat and ball, making superb starts to what they hope will be a successful year in county cricket.
In recognition of their efforts, how would an XI made up of the best players from the opening round of County Championship matches stack up?
Who would open the batting and the bowling, and who would make up the middle order?
Read on for a best XI from the first week of matches.
Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire): Fresh off his exploits in the World Twenty20 for England, Alex Hales slotted straight back into the Nottinghamshire middle order and weighed in with 61 in their first innings.
Sean Ervine (Hampshire): Still going strong at 31 years of age, Sean Ervine looked promising for Hampshire as he scored 93 in their first innings and did well with the ball.
Jon Lewis (Sussex): Jon Lewis seems to have been around county cricket forever, and on debut for Sussex he looked mightily impressive with the ball, taking six wickets as they hustled Middlesex out twice for low scores.
1. Jimmy Adams (Hampshire)
Opening up for our team of the round is Jimmy Adams of Hampshire, whose 67 in the first innings helped his side build a decent total.
In a round dominated by the ball in helpful early-season conditions, Adams battled hard against the seamers and showed he still has what it takes at this level.
2. Daryl Mitchell (Worcestershire, Captain)
Alongside Adams comes Daryl Mitchell of Worcestershire, who scored a mightily impressive 172 not out to help his side take a big lead in the first innings.
His big innings was his 15th first-class century and meant Worcestershire were never really in any danger of losing their opening game of the season.
3. Ashwell Prince (Lancashire)
In at No. 3 for our team of the round comes South African Ashwell Prince, who scored exactly 100 as Lancashire looked to stave off defeat against Nottinghamshire.
It may have been in vain, but the 36-year-old Kolpak player showed he is still a dominant player on the county scene.
4. Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
Were it not for Samit Patel’s battling 93 for Nottinghamshire, they would likely not have been in such a strong position after their first innings.
Normally known as an all-rounder, Patel looked very handy with the bat in this game and even chipped in with a couple of wickets in the second innings.
5. Riki Wessels (Nottinghamshire)
Alongside Patel comes his Nottinghamshire colleague Riki Wessels, who was in the runs during the second innings to help his side push for victory.
His 90 from 109 balls was a wonderfully unselfish innings and allowed Notts to set Lancashire a target of nearly 350 to win.
6. Matt Prior (Sussex, wk)
A welcome return to form for Matt Prior, who batted brilliantly and kept very well to ensure he has a happy start to the 2014 season.
He will be delighted to be in the runs so early, especially as he looks to regain his place in the England team for their upcoming summer internationals.
7. Tom Smith (Lancashire)
All-rounder Tom Smith had a match to remember for Lancashire, as he scored runs and took wickets to nearly help his side take a win.
A total of 118 runs across two innings coupled with five wickets in the second innings made it a very satisfying personal performance for the 28-year-old.
8. Steven Magoffin (Sussex)
The evergreen Steven Magoffin looked mightily impressive with the new ball as Sussex made Middlesex suffer.
Magoffin exploited helpful conditions to take 3-21 in the first innings and 5-56 in the second as Middlesex collapsed twice, a satisfying return for the Australian.
9. Graham Wagg (Glamorgan)
Leading Glamorgan’s seam attack was Graham Wagg, especially in the second innings as Surrey were dismissed for just 81.
His 6-29 was a career best, and a superb return for the left-armer.
10. Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Another England hopeful to show some promise was Steven Finn, who shook off some early rust to once again take a healthy amount of wickets.
His 6-80 was a superb effort in Sussex’s first innings, and his 26 runs with the bat in the second innings will give him plenty of heart, despite Middlesex’s defeat by an innings.
11. James Anderson (Lancashire)
One of England’s best also makes our team, with James Anderson showing he is right on the money, even at this stage of the season.
His 5-55 in the first innings was a superb return in helpful conditions, and he has once again shown himself to be one of the best English seamers available.