Thursday, 5 August 2010

The new allrounder and a cloud burst

It's fair to say that James Tomlinson is enjoying 2010 more than 2009. 23 wickets so far will not get him near his country topping feat of 2008, but he will be happy with the haul that puts him second in terms of wickets taken (Cork has 28 at an average of 20.5). What has been perhaps more impressive is Tomlinson's improvement with the bat. Though he has never been a rabbit, batting previously in a side containing Mascarenhas, Tremlett and Tahir firmly made Tomlinson the number 11. However with Mascarenhas out of the side and Cork making the number 8 spot his own, Tomlinson is quickly becoming a firm number 9. With his current innings against Durham standing at 31*, batting at 7 as the nightwatchman, his batting figures for the season currently stand at 159 runs from 13 innings with 4 not outs at an average of 17.67. A career best 42 was scored this season in an innings turning partnership with Slug, whilst he has currently scored 50 runs in his last two innings, with the possibility of more to come today. Hampshire are in a stronger position too. After the wobble on Tuesday night left them 373-5, only 11 overs were possible yesterday but Vince and Tomlinson quickly took the score to 421-5 and maximum batting points. A particular highlight was Tomlinson's cover driving off Thorp to really get the innings motoring as Vince added 4 more boundaries to his total too. Rain in the morning delayed the start until early afternoon, but a thunderous downpour ended all play for the day after the 11 overs, the outfield too wet to get cleared up in time to play again. Apparently some of the rain has managed to get into the wicket, which will be music to Cork and Tomlinson's ears as they go about trying to force a result on a third day that should offer the full 96 overs of play.

Both teams will be hoping for weather similar to the first day (above)

In other news, Hampshire have managed to register Dan Christian for all forms of cricket as our overseas player until September, and he will be a welcome boost to the lower middle order in the one day side. However, I'm not sure if fitting him into the Championship side would be a good idea. Also, there was saddening news that Neil McKenzie will have to return to his South African side the Highveld Lions in order to play in the Champions League. He will miss the last month of the season. This news was tempered though by the announcement that replacing him would be Aussie Phil Hughes, the 21 (or 22, depending upon which newspaper you read) year old who scored runs for fun for Middlesex at the start of last season. He will be a very welcome addition to the side, though Chalky will have some headaches about which order to play a top 4 that is made up of 4 batsmen who all regularly open in various forms of cricket. I wouldn't be suprised if Hughes bats at 3 with Lumb at 4, keeping the Adams-Carberry partnership intact. If he gets going then Hghes could be a match winner, as he not only scores big but he scores quickly too. He'll play in three Championship matches - away to Lancashire, away to Kent, and home to Warwickshire. He'll also play in the CB40 match against Leics at Grace Road. Of course the loss of Macca is a huge one and not one anyone would have done through choice, but I'm pleased, very pleased in fact, with the replacement Chalky and Bransgrove have found. Let's just hope he turns up.

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