County Championship Team of the Week: Scott Borthwick, Danny Briggs and More
With the latest round of matches in this season’s County Championship having just come to an end, we have selected our Team of the Week from the seven eye-catching fixtures that took place across the two divisions.
Let us know your thoughts on the makeup of the final XI that we have gone for…
1. Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)
The tall Notts opener sent a clear message to the England selectors on day three of his side’s encounter with Sussex at Hove by recording his first County Championship century since August of 2012.
However, it was more the brutality of the innings that will surely not have gone unnoticed by national coach Peter Moores, as Hales clubbed his way to a second-innings 167 off just 133 balls, including an astonishing 18 fours and six sixes.
2. Alviro Petersen (Somerset)
The graceful South Africa opener made his first County Championship hundred of the new campaign on the opening day of Somerset’s Division One clash with Lancashire at Old Trafford.
Petersen, coming in at No. 4, put on 193 for the third wicket with Nick Compton before eventually being dismissed for 155 on day two after almost six hours of hard graft and toil at the crease.
3. Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Another top-order batsman hoping to have caught the eye of the national selectors after making a near-chanceless 162 in his team’s impressive first-innings total of 476 against Surrey at Oval.
The left-handed batsman, who made his England debut in the recent Twenty20 international series in West Indies, could now be set for his Test-match bow too after this knock, which lasted 277 deliveries and contained 13 boundary fours as well as five maximums.
4. Scott Borthwick (Durham)
What a time to make your highest first-class score of 216 with the England selectors set to meet this week to pick their squad for the upcoming two-Test series with Sri Lanka, which gets underway at Lord’s next Thursday.
The 24-year-old all-rounder, who made his Test-match debut against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January, put on a mammoth 274 for the second wicket with opener Mark Stoneman (187), and also picked up two wickets as Durham drew a rain-affected Division One affair with Middlesex at Chester-le-Street.
5. Ed Joyce (Sussex, Captain)
The easy-on-the-eye Sussex skipper continued his fine early season form after making an unbeaten 164 against Nottinghamshire at Hove in what was the left-handed Irishman’s third ton already in the County Championship this campaign.
And without the former England opener’s 289-ball stay at the crease, the home side would surely not have escaped with a draw.
6. Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
The Notts all-rounder could not really have done much more so far this campaign to stake a claim for a Test recall against Sri Lanka at Lord’s next week, and Patel continued that sparking early season form by compiling a masterful 156 over the first two days of his side’s drawn contest with Sussex at Hove.
The 29-year-old, whose last Test appearance for England came against India in Kolkata in December 2012, hit an impressive 25 fours in his six-hour stay at the crease to maintain his position as the leading run scorer in Division One.
7. James Foster (Essex, WK)
The Essex captain has been mentioned in dispatches of late as a possible contender to take on the wicket-keeping duties in England’s forthcoming Test series with Sri Lanka, and the 34-year-old’s first-innings 86 against Glamorgan will not have done the stumper’s hopes of a long-awaited recall any harm at all.
8. Tobias Roland-Jones (Middlesex)
The Division One leaders were hugely grateful to the performance of their 26-year-old with both bat and ball in their drawn clash with Durham at the Riverside, where Roland-Jones bagged a five-wicket haul as well as making a half-century.
The fast bowler was easily the pick of the visitors’ pace attack after returning first-innings figures of five for 103 off 25.1 overs, including the key wicket of Scott Borthwick, in what was his third consecutive five-wicket haul in first-class cricket this season, before then also top scoring with 63 in Middlesex’s reply.
9. Jack Shantry (Worcestershire)
The left-arm paceman produced an outstanding spell of bowling of day three of Worcestershire’s Division Two match with Surrey at the Oval to force the home to follow-on.
Shantry, 29, claimed six for 53—his best figures of the season—including a remarkable spell of four wickets in the space of only 11 deliveries to spark a collapse that saw Surrey bowled out for just 206 in reply to the visitors’ first-innings total of 476.
10. Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
The occasional England slow left-armer picked up five for 50 to help bowl Derbyshire out for only 257 in the first innings of their Division Two clash at Hampshire, and seven wickets in the match, in what could yet prove to be a timely display by the 23-year-old with the national selectors convening on Wednesday to select a replacement for the now retired off-spinner Graeme Swann.
11. Reece Topley (Essex)
What a way to mark your first appearance of the season by claiming stunning match figures of 10 for 108 off 49 overs as Essex and Glamorgan played out a hard-fought draw in their Division Two meeting at Chelmsford.
The left-arm seamer’s start to the campaign had been delayed after Topley injured his back in preseason. However, the 20-year-old more than made up for that setback by bagging the second 10-wicket haul of his career, including his 100th first-class scalp.