AT the halfway point of the County Championship season, I’m fairly happy – we are sitting nicely in the league and have played some good cricket, but we’ve still got plenty left in the tank.
I think we’ve still not played to our full potential. But we are still pretty pleased with the way things have gone.
We know the areas we need to improve on and are working really hard to improve those. Once we play some consistent cricket, we will be in a good place at the end of the season.
This week against Notts, we were in a commanding position and didn’t take the game away from them when we should have done in our first innings. We should have scraped to 300-350 to give us a 100-150-run lead and that would have made it very difficult for Notts to come back into the game.
But through poorly executed shots, we let them back in and they are the areas we need to improve on.
Going into the last day, we had a fantastic first session and got three wickets. But then Chris Read came in and played quite aggressively and took the game out of our hands.
That said, I was pretty surprised they didn’t declare earlier to give themselves more time to bowl us out. It would have made it an interesting game; I did ask the question with them if they wanted to set a game up, but they felt they could win the game with it taking its natural course. But they probably didn’t give themselves enough overs.
There were some good personal contributions from us and I thought Jack Leaning played really well in one of his first games, while in his first Championship game of the season, Rich (Pyrah) batted nicely and Patto has come back in during recent games after being left out and showed why he nearly got fifty wickets last year.
We just lacked a couple of match-winning contributions, whether it be a couple of five-fer’s or big hundreds.Now it’s Sussex at Arundel and it’s maybe 2006 since I played there.
Obviously, it was great to sink Lancashire in the T20 game last week. We won in a controversial fashion if you like, but we got over the line. It was a fantastic performance to knock 180 off and I thought Aaron Finch’s innings was special. You do not see knocks like that week-in, week-out.
It was some spectacle watching that. It was special and the sixes he hit were massive. He hit one onto the point was something like 120 or 130 metres. He’s certainly got some big forearms.
He showed he is the No1 Twenty20 player in the world and timed his innings to perfection. He was actually pretty gutted in the end to not see it through and get us over the line himself.
But it all gives us a lot of confidence as there’s no better feeling than going to Old Trafford in front of a full house and winning. The lads got a lot of pleasure from that.
Obviously, the rain had made things difficult for league cricket at times already this season and it’s tough for them. Looking at our lads in the second team, we’ve had a run where our lads have had a run of three weeks without playing much cricket. I have also been keeping an eye on league results and seen how they have been badly affected by rain and the weather conditions we have had over the last month have been quite abnormal. Hopefully, we have now turned the corner.
The World Cup got underway in Brazil on Thursday and our dressing-room sweepstake at Yorkshire has been drawn out and I have drawn Spain out! I have never won a sweepstake while I have been at Yorkshire, so I am hoping this is my tournament at last. Jack Brooks is our social chairman and he’s got it up and running with a bit of help from Patto. So having got Spain, fingers crossed.
We had actually gone into bat and I heard what was happening in the background and they were drawing it out and I heard: ‘Galey, Spain,’ and just thought ‘Yes.’ It certainly gave me a boost before I went out to bat.
I think Dan Hodgson has got Brazil or Argentina and he’s got a habit of winning these sweepstakes after winning the golf one we had.
I think Argentina will be tough to beat. Germany are also a pretty well organised side with a good defence and they will be able to sneak a goal and get a few 1-0 wins here and there.
Those two teams will be up there, along with Spain of course. I hope they get the job done and obviously have all the flair players.
Good luck to England against Italy. I am sure all the lads will get together and watch the game in the hotel and we will be rooting for an England win.