County Championship round-up: Graham Napier hits fifth half-century in nine innings
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Batsman of the day
Graham Napier will always be best known for his extraordinary ability to hit the ball out of the ground – he has twice struck 16 sixes in an innings, in a Championship match as well as his then world record Twenty20 innings against Sussex in 2008 – but those monstrous feats naturally did not happen every week. Nowadays, he is more of a little-and-often contributor for Essex by comparison. Against Kent at Chelmsford his fifth half-century in nine innings, one of which he converted into a hundred, took him to 451 runs for the season so far at an average of 90.20, which for someone who bats at No 8 is fairly impressive. No batsman in the Second Division has more, and his count of 14 sixes comfortably outstrips the field.
Bowler of the day
Lest anyone should think that his 7 for 22 against Kent last week was a freakish throwback to his prime years, the 38-year-old Worcestershire seamer Alan Richardson did it again with interest at New Road, finishing with career-best figures of 8 for 37 against Gloucestershire. His analysis was also remarkable for its economy, given that he bowled 30 per cent of the overs yet conceded only 16 per cent of Gloucestershire's total of 234. He now has 20 wickets in his last match and a half.
Interestingly in an Ashes summer, a poll on the cricket website Cricinfo asks readers to vote for the shrewdest overseas signing of the season so far – and three of the four nominees are Australians. One of them, Sussex's 33-year-old Queensland-born seamer Steve Magoffin, blew away troubled Somerset at Horsham with career-best figures of 8 for 20, including one burst of four wickets in the space of eight deliveries without conceding a run. Somerset, who had won the toss, were dismissed for 76 in just 22.4 overs, a worrying sign so soon after they were thrashed by Middlesex at Taunton. Magoffin has 24 wickets for the season so far, one more than his team-mate, Chris Jordan. Only Tim Murtagh of Middlesex, with 30, has more in the First Division.
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
The Google future, including microphones in every ceiling and data sent directly to your brain
Comment: David Moyes paying the price of Manchester United's virtual abstinence from top-level transfers since 2006. Can he refire their ambition?
Transfer news: Manchester United will not be forced into panic buys, says David Moyes
Gerard Deulofeu - Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
DJ Campbell one of six men arrested over spot-fixing allegations, confirm Blackburn Rovers
Ashes 2013-14 match report: Alastair Cook future in jeopardy after another woeful display sees England lose to Australia by 218 runs to go down 2-0
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 5 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis