September 25, 2022
Recent Match Report – Warwickshire vs Glocks 2022

warwickshire 255 for 8 (Sibley 105*, Briggs 65, Gohar 4-59) vs. Gloucestershire

Dom Sibley may have been the guardsman at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. He has a sense of duty about himself. He is an honest kind of person who knows how to be completely still. He can move over time as the pitch instructs him, never too slowly, never too fast. Untamed, someone called him, and he was exactly that. You just need what you need in times of crisis.

He reached his third championship century of the season, and 18th of his career, as soon as the lights went out, close to 15 minutes. There was no spare – there was nothing all day – just a workday clip through wide mid-on against left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar, the kind of functional shot he can and probably does in his sleep. Gohar put Gloucestershire together, bowling 32 overs on a pitch that offered a gentle first day to finish with 4 for 59. They would have been out this season without him.

Sibley had imagined that Warwickshire had taken a slight lead at 255 for 8. He deserved that consideration as he had to work hard for his runs, but the pitches in Bristol have ease.

Sibley doesn’t score as many centuries as logs him out. It’s surprising they haven’t made more than 18; It is also surprising, then, that he is only 27 years old, as he seems to have been shrugging off attacks for a long time. He was removed from Tom Price at 14 at backward point by substitute Dom Goodman, a ball that had gone up a length over him and brought much buzz and pitch-tapping before the resumption of play. As for Goodman, after the over was over, he departed the hangdog.

Dutiful winds are not really in vogue. As long as the Stokes/McCullum axis is dominant, he is unlikely to feature in his 17 Test caps. He is returning to Surrey at the end of the season to form an opening partnership with Rory Burns: two top-order batsmen wondering whether England’s opportunities had passed. Maybe London will notice him again.

His immediate task is to save Warwickshire from exile. Champions last season, they are in equal second with Kent with two matches. In his last match, he plays Hampshire. At least Hampshire could lose momentum in the final week if Kent takes a surprise win at the Ageas Bowl. So many permutations.

A win is essential against bottom club Gloucestershire, who are virtually in relegation. At 138 for 6, they were bogged down before Danny Briggs, with a bold 68 in easy conditions, made his top score of an unproductive summer far and away. Briggs was also given up, another costly miss, this time by Jack Taylor in the slips off Ajit Singh Dale for the first time.

How did this come about for Warwickshire? Perhaps they won the championship in 2021 by playing the grinding style of cricket, in which every player gave no quarter. In the midst of the Covid crisis, it was perhaps a serious mood swing for its time.

Rob Yates, who has made such an impact on the top-order, has been under runs this season, but the most obvious difference has been in bowling returns where Oliver Hannon-Dalby is again in the credits, but this time with less support, notably From former Gloucestershire duo, Liam Norwell and Craig Miles, who have been either injured or out of form. They’ve only won once – against Essex at Edgbaston – and that was back in mid-April.

As we have reached the climax of the championship with seven of nine counties battling either title ambitions or fear of relegation, the competition has a chance to rediscover its importance in the fabric of English cricket , except that many people think differently these days. The ECB has gradually done untold losses, steadily weakening the competition compared to the previous generation. Andrew Strauss will make an announcement about his High Performance Review on Wednesday. Of course there will be much talk of the need to meet England’s needs and very little about the need for a holistic solution. These days there is only one field to serve and there are many infantrymen.

As September rolls in on itself, cricket writers of a certain vintage traditionally turn to Keats and grope references to fog and mellow fruitful weather. It is highly inappropriate for Keats to praise autumn during a crisis of survival, liable only to bring an eye of suspicion and advise wearing a second sweater.

By the time Sibley scored his first towel-down of the day, Surrey was down two. Rob Yates, at first slip, and Alex Davies, driving an inswinger, both played with haste, a point that was not lost on Sam Hahn, who managed only one run in his first 45 balls, said Singh. Dell submitted for them. Boundary and fell in the next over (10 off 74 balls), short leg from an inside-edge as Gohar took his first wicket.

Sibley and Will Rhodes promised to rebuild. Sibley’s half-century was announced in a melodious voice, but Rhodes next bowled Tom Price to his brother Ollie at second slip. As soon as the border rope was crossed, sweet voices were heard again and this time the shortest voice of the festival appeared.

But Gloucestershire could not finish the job for the first time this season. Zafar removed Briggs with a twist that was just in time for a comical final wicket: Singh Dale, hit with convulsions at the end of his run, extended his left leg precariously, ran it awkwardly and A long long hop which was cut by Henry Brooks straight to third man, where Singh Dale, delighted to treat the forward, fell to the ground.

David Hopes writes for ESPNcricinfo on county cricket @davidkhopps

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