County Championship round-up: So far, so good for Liam Plunkett at Yorks

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The Independent Online

Bowler of the day

The tale of Liam Plunkett looked to be heading for an unhappy ending at Durham, where the former England bowler had spent the best part of two seasons desperately trying to relocate his form and confidence. His move to Yorkshire was therefore taken to be his last chance, but so far, so good. Under Jason Gillespie's careful guidance, there are signs of a recovery, as Plunkett demonstrated at Edgbaston when three wickets in 18 deliveries reduced the troubled champions from 42 for 1 to 46 for 4. He ended the Warwickshire innings on a hat-trick, dismissing Chris Wright and Boyd Rankin from consecutive balls for figures of 5 for 32.

Batsman of the day

Middlesex's Sam Robson, after his double hundred against Warwickshire, could only add 42 to his season's tally against Somerset but with 621 first-class runs so far he has an outside chance of succeeding where Nick Compton just failed last season in clocking up 1,000 by the end of May.


Less than eight months after he led Derbyshire to the Second Division title, it might seem a bit soon to be calling their captain, Wayne Madsen useless at the toss, but he plainly is. So far it's five matches back in the First Division and five coin tosses lost for the South African, who has seen his side made to bat first each time.

If the disappointment of Kolkata Knight Riders' demise in the Indian Premier League were not enough, Yusuf Pathan, the India all-rounder, suffered the rare and unwelcome distinction of being given out obstructing the field in the defeat to Pune Warriors. Pathan (below), who had made 72, dug out a ball from Pune's Wayne Parnell, pushing it back down the pitch. He set off for a run and touched the ball with his foot just as Parnell moved to pick it up. The umpires, with the help of television replays, ruled it to be a deliberate kick and gave Pathan out, much to his ill-disguised fury. The dismissal left Kolkata 148 for 6 with 13 balls left, chasing 171, and they ultimately fell eight runs short.