County Championship 2014: Round 6 Team of the Week

Chris Bradshaw@@BradshawCDFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2014

County Championship 2014: Round 6 Team of the Week

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    Yorkshire's thrashing of Warwickshire was the standout performance in the sixth round of County Championship fixtures which drew to a close today.

    There was a dearth of runs at the top of the order and spinners were largely absent as middle order batsmen and seamers dominated the latest round of matches.

    A number of England players boosted their international credentials though while some old sweats showed the youngsters how it's done at this level.

    Read on for the pick of this week's County Championship performers.

1. Joe Root (Yorkshire)

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    Runs at the top of the order were at a premium in the latest round of matches with Graeme Smith the only opener to reach three figures.

    England fans will be pleased to see encouraging signs from Joe Root. Opening the batting for Yorkshire against Warwickshire, Root scored a crisp 69 from 84 balls.

    An England recall seems highly likely.

2. Graeme Smith (Surrey)

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    Surrey have splashed big bucks getting Graeme Smith to the Oval, and after a sticky start, the former South African skipper is starting to deliver.

    The 33-year-old's 103 in the second innings against Gloucestershire was crucial in helping the south Londoners chase down a potentially tricky target of 267.

3. Ian Bell (Warwickshire)

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    Warwickshire put on a horror show against Yorkshire with Ian Bell one of the few shining lights for the men from the midlands.

    Bell looked in fine touch while making 97 in the first innings. Consider that the next highest score from a Warwickshire player in the match was just 28.

    England fans will be hoping for more of the same from one of the game's most stylish batsman when international action resumes later this month.

4. Kumar Sangakkara (Durham)

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    Kumar Sangakkara has chosen Test preparation with Durham rather than a fat cheque from the IPL this spring. That decision will be a wise one if the Sri Lankan takes his county form into the Test series against England.

    The left-hander's 159 against Sussex included 18 fours and two sixes. England bowlers, you have been warned.

5. Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)

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    Eoin Morgan did his chances of filling the Kevin Pietersen-sized hole in England's middle order no harm at all by scoring a century against Lancashire.

    The Irishman's 103 was the first time he had reached three figures in the County Championship for more than five years. The innings was a timely nudge to the selectors about his skills in the longer form of the game.

6. Riki Wessels (Nottinghamshire)

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    It had been a frustrating start of the season for Riki Wessels. The Nottinghamshire batsman passed 40 in five of his first eight Championship innings this season without reaching three figures.

    The 28-year-old put that right against Northamptonshire, though, smashing 158 from just 152 balls as Notts cruised to an innings victory.

7. Ben Brown (Sussex)

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    Ben Brown's six previous County Championship innings produced just 75 runs. The Sussex stumper more than doubled that total in a career best effort of 163 against Durham this week.

    With Matt Prior no longer a certainty for England selection, the competition for the 'keeping spot in Hove could be about to warm up.

8. Peter Siddle (Nottinghamshire)

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    After a slow start to the 2014 County Championship season, Peter Siddle is starting to show the form that caused England so many problems during the winter.

    The Aussie seamer picked up eight wickets against Northamptonshire and formed a dangerous partnership with Ajmal Shahzad.

9. Tim Murtagh (Middlesex)

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    While Stephen Finn has hogged the headlines, Tim Murtagh is quietly enjoying a fine start to the 2014 season.

    The Irish international collected six wickets in the second innings as Middlesex thrashed Lancashire at Lord's.

    Murtagh's latest haul takes his total to 20 wickets in four matches this year.

10. Jack Brooks (Yorkshire)

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    If he'd been playing in the bad old days of the 1980s and '90s, Jack Brooks could have expected a Test call if a juicy-looking green top was on offer at Headingley.

    Sporting the best headband in sport since Brighton defender Steve Foster, Brooks keeps it simple and keeps taking wickets. Bowl at a decent lick, pitch it up and nibble it around and there are plenty of Championship wickets to be had.

    The 29-year-old added seven more for just 76 runs as table-topping Yorkshire thrashed Warwickshire by an innings.

    There's still time yet for a Neil Mallender-style international debut.

11. Ajmal Shahzad (Nottinghamshire)

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    The forgotten man of England fast bowlers, Ajmal Shahzad thoroughly enjoyed his second Championship outing of 2014.

    The Nottinghamshire quickie finished with match figures of seven wickets for 90 runs as the home side thrashed Northamptonshire by an innings. Throw in an unbeaten 36 with the bat and it was an encouraging return to form for England's one-Test wonder.