I forgot to mention in my previous column that I took my 200th first-class wicket in the recent game against Warwickshire – a little milestone which I can give myself a pat on the back for.
I did have a quick moment to reflect on my career that night.
When I started out, I didn’t set any goals for stats and averages as I genuinely thought that I may only have a year in the game.
I just wanted to enjoy it and make sure I had the odd memory or two.
To still be playing six seasons later and having turned myself into one of the leading seamers in the country I can be pretty happy.
But I always want more and I always strive for bigger and better.
Hopefully I have got another few seasons to prove that and showcase my skills.
Ihave recently had the quietest schedule for as long as I can remember in my career, featuring in only one first-class game and not being involved for five T20’s over an eight-day period.
Although the body is still a little tired, I feel a little undercooked as I only netted a couple of times.
This was the first time I had trained for about two months because of the amount of cricket I was playing.
In the Championship game with Durham I felt I bowled pretty well.
I didn’t manage to pick up any wickets in the first innings, but got on a bit of a roll in the second and ended up with another four-wicket haul.
As satisfying as that was, it was very frustrating to only end up with a draw in a game we should have won.
We were in charge of the whole of the game, but didn’t get the win.
Racking up a big first-innings total at Headingley usually means you can dictate play over the remainder of the game.
However, you have to then be prepared to field for long periods and be patient as the wicket can flatten out, especially with the sun shining.
We ended up fielding for 205 overs consecutively trying to bowl Durham out twice.
We backed ourselves to do so, but ultimately we were left frustrated as Durham blocked out when eight wickets down.
As they had a small lead, we had to shake hands and call it a draw.
I slept well that night as 205 overs is a very long time to be bowling and fielding.
The next day I could barely walk and made friends with my sofa and a few ice packs!
- WE have got ourselves back in contention for a quarter-final berth in the T20 Blast after a mixed bag of wins, losses and rained off games – including the big Roses clash at Headingley which left a full house of spectators disappointed.
We had 8,000 people come and watch it rain, with the same amount again in the pubs and bars around the ground getting themselves well oiled.
I was involved in the squad at Durham and witnessed Jonny Bairstow’s innings in which he whacked a century in 50-odd balls.
Aaron Finch said afterwards it was one of the best T20 innings he had seen.
For someone who is one of the best batters around and who has played arguably the best T20 innings when he scored 156 against England to say that means it was a serious knock.
Jonny is one of the brightest talents in England right now.
Unfortunately, when you tour with England but don’t play, you find yourself out of form and under constant scrutiny from media.
Your technique and character are questionned every day.
He came back after the winter and needed to work hard and show plenty of character. He has been a massive plus for us.
He strikes the ball so naturally and hits it harder than most – it’s great to watch when he comes off with a big innings.
Some of the sixes at Durham that evening were absolutely monsters.
I almost played in the Derbyshire game on Sunday, but we went in with the extra spinner instead which made sense on a worn flat club wicket.
I was happy to watch us perform another T20 masterclass with Alex Lees this time putting Derby to the sword with 67 not out off 44 balls.
For those that don’t know the name, look out for Leesy as he will be opening the batting for England in the future.
He is a big imposing left hander who has an even mix of power and elegance in the form of Matthew Hayden.
- HAVING watched some of the Test match against India at Trent Bridge, it’s disheartening to see the pitches being produced this summer so far.
I know the weather possibly hasn’t helped, but it really is not entertaining with wickets so slow and flat.
People don’t want to watch cricket at the best of times, so why would this sort of Test match attract more people?
I’m all for home advantage and preparing tracks to help your own team and not the opposition.
But a quick pitch with a bit of pace and carry promotes good cricket whether it be with bat or ball.
Hopefully this Test wicket at Lord’s has more in it.