WE enjoyed ourselves in the sun against Middlesex at Scarborough in the County Championship and it was a fantastic win. We held our nerve really well.
We probably would have liked one or two more wickets down by tea. But in the end, we got our rewards for bowling well throughout the day.
I couldn’t have asked any more of the lads and when you bowl as we did, you usually eventually create a few chances. We also held a couple of fantastic catches and Adam Lyth took a terrific one off Chris Rogers which changed the course of the game. While after tea, it was spinning quite big and Adil Rashid always does well against the tail and did it again for us.
Personally, I always seem to do well at Scarborough and the pitches there seem to suit my game with the pace and bounce in the pitch and fast outfield.
I was actually disappointed to get out in the fashion I did in the first innings. But when I got in for the second innings, I made sure I really cashed in. It was a valuable knock for the team in the circumstances of the game.
We had contributions from all over the team and you need that. You are not going to win the championship with one or two performances from players. You need everyone all down the team doing well.
Lythy did well in the first innings and put his hand up when it was tough and seaming around with a fantastic ton, while Ryan Sidebottom’s seven-for kept us in the game. Then there was Jack Leaning’s second innings which pushed us along and it was a selfless innings. Everyone contributed in their own way.
We don’t play next in the championship until mid-August and ideally, it would have been nice for the fixtures to come thick and fast now. You have to question the scheduling really in us not having a championship game in three weeks at the time probably when the weather is best in the summer.
That’s a little disappointing, although if someone said at the start of the season that we would be going into the last eight weeks of the season with everything to play for, I’d have bitten their hands off.
The Royal London One Day Cup started today and with there not being a lot of championship cricket in the next few weeks, we can afford to play close to our strongest side.
The only one we will probably need to look after a bit is Ryan Sidebottom. All the other seamers have had rests at stages of the season. Steve Patterson had a rest when Liam Plunkett was in the side, while we gave Jack Brooks an extended break earlier in the Twenty20. Tim Bresnan rested up at the start of the season as well.
All the bowlers are really raring to go and we must make sure that continues.
We still want to win this competition, but are still running in the championship as well and need to find a balance.
Although this little bit of a break is personally nice for me. I only saw my new-born baby for one day before I left, so I have been on the night-shift now!
It will nice to spend a little bit of time home with the family as I haven’t seen much of them in the last few months.
Much has been made of the situation with England and more especially for the captain, Alistair Cook.
It’s a tough situation for him. I have been there myself – when you are out of form and trying to lead the side.
But at county level, you are under nowhere near as much scrutiny as with England. It must be ten times worse for Alistair.
But for me, the guy is a top-class performer who has been consistent with England for many a year.
In terms of captaincy, he will still be learning and there’s areas in which he will think he can improve.
But he’s having to do it at the top of the tree; I have been lucky enough to do it at county level.
I just hope for Alistair that he can have a change of fortune and score a big innings. Having played alongside him a little bit, he’s a good lad and I want him to do well.
First and foremost, he is in the side for his runs and his captaincy is secondary to getting in the side. He will be feeling the pressure on his shoulders at the minute. If I was him, I’d go out and try and play a few shots and try and get to 20 or 30 as quickly as you can. If you do that, you can build then.
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