The ongoing Test match between West Indies and Sri Lanka may be a tightly fought low scoring tussle with plenty of excitement but to this point, only two of the 29 wickets to fall has gone to a spinner (as I write), so let’s turn our attention to the County Championship.
It was the first day of a round of games today, several of which were with the pink ball, under lights, so inevitably, seam dominated. The biggest story might be that of Dominic Bess getting the wicket of his England team-mate Alastair Cook, for 96. Some thanks for Cook’s guidance during his first two Test matches. He added debutant Michael Pepper, to finish the day with 2 for 74 from 35 overs, a hard days work rewarded.
Another off-spinner impressed, for Surrey up at Scarborough, as much with his celebrations as his wickets, bounding halfway across the outfield when each of his two wickets against Yorkshire. Amar Virdi might be the greater talent than Bess in the long term; he rips the ball appreciably and doesn’t have the favourable surfaces that Bess has thrived on.
Dropping into Division Two and Callum Parkinson for once outshone his brother – currently a non-playing member of the England Lions squad – with 3 for 50 against Derbyshire.
Apart from that… not much. Solitary wickets for Worcestershire’s Ben Twohig, Middlesex’s Ravi Patel, and Lancashire’s Stephen Parry – all left-arm spinners, if that means anything.
Lancashire are the only team I’ve seen go into this round of games with two spinners, Parry and Arron Lilley, so they’ll expect to come heavily into the game later on.
Adil Rashid’s column for SkySports makes interesting reading, mostly confirming what seems obvious about his role in the side and how Eoin Morgan never puts pressure on him to keep the run-rate down, just to take wickets.
More bad news for Jack Leach from the last round of County Championship games: hit on the head whilst batting and replaced by a concussion substitute. It’s another setback for the Somerset left-arm finger-spinner, after the time already missed to a thumb injury and you’ve got to hope he can get some overs under his belt when the County Championship returns. It may already be too late for the 1st Test against India, with just one Championship game before then.
CricBuzz have an interesting story about Mujeeb ur Rahman, illustrating the relative advantages he’s had, compared to someone like Rashid Khan, but also how quickly he adapted to playing in the IPL.
A few more quick things, Yasir Shah is back in the Pakistan squad after the injury that kept him out of the England tour. Mehidy Hasan will miss the first tour game in the West Indies because his visa has been delayed.