County Championship round-up: Jinx strikes Jones again as Harmison raises Durham's hopes
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Friday 19 June 2009
A tale of England's Ashes past. As the selectors sit down to finalise their squad for this summer's main event, two of England's leading men from four years ago suffered contrasting, if familiar fortunes, with Simon Jones's latest comeback ending in utter disappointment and Steve Harmison making his traditional late push for inclusion with a flurry of wickets for Durham.
Jones's career has been on seemingly permanent hold since he played an integral role in the 2005 triumph, and he is now out for the rest of this season after a scan revealed that his troublesome knee is still not healed. The 30-year-old needs a "longer period" to recover and yet more rehabilitation following an operation in April.
Worcestershire, whom Jones joined from Glamorgan ahead of last season, have said that "no decision" has been made about Jones' future with the county. Their director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: "This is very disappointing news for both the club and for Simon himself. He has gone through so much work over the last year that we were all really hoping he would come through this. There will inevitably be speculation about Simon's future with the club but I must stress that no decision has been made at this stage."
Harmison took five wickets in two spells against Warwickshire at Edgbaston to resurrect Durham's hopes of a third successive Championship victory. Ian Bell, another with an eye on the Ashes, is unbeaten on 79 with the home side 20 short of avoiding the follow on with one wicket in hand. Harmison's 5 for 39 is his best of the season.
Michael Vaughan made his highest first-class score for nearly a year, but that only amounted to 43 and it was left to centurion Andrew Gale and Tim Bresnan, who fell three short of a hundred of his own, to give Yorkshire parity against Worcestershire at New Road. Vaughan top-edged a pull for six after a cautious start but two balls later he cut Chris Whelan straight to Gareth Batty in the gully.
Chris Nash scored his first hundred of the season to give Sussex the chance of an unlikely victory over Somerset at Hove. The 26-year-old finished unbeaten on a career-best 111 with Sussex 169 for four, still needing 181 to win on the final day.
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