County Championship round-up: Worcestershire's Daryl Mitchell proves his consistency with fifth century of the season
Tuesday 22 July 2014
Batsman of the day
No one seems to talk much about Daryl Mitchell as an England candidate, yet there is no more consistent batsman in county cricket than the Worcestershire opener, who also happens to be their captain. The 30-year-old, Evesham-born right-hander carried his bat for 167 not out in Worcestershire’s total of 395 at Cheltenham, his fifth hundred of the season, taking his aggregate for 2014 to 1,207 as the country’s leading run scorer in first-class cricket.
It is no one-off feat, either. In seven seasons since he established himself as a first-choice pick at New Road he has amassed 7,116 first-class runs, passing 1,000 in the season four times.
In reply, Gloucestershire crumbled to 68 for 8 before Tom Smith, aided by Craig Miles and then Liam Norwell, restored some respectability to the score. Miles’ 29 followed his five wickets, which took the 20-year-old seam bowler to 50 first-class wickets in just 15 matches.
Bowler of the day
The veteran former England Lions all-rounder Darren Stevens added four more wickets to take his score for the season to 38 as Kent secured a 10-run lead in a high-scoring match at Guildford. The 38-year-old is Kent’s leading wicket-taker with 38 victims this season, with a career tally of 240 wickets as well as more than 12,000 runs.
Steve Kirby, the Somerset fast bowler, has been forced to retire from county cricket because of a shoulder injury.
The 36-year-old former England Lions bowler, whose 20-year career took in a spell playing for his native Yorkshire that coincided with their first Championship title for 33 years in 2001, underwent surgery during the winter and appeared to be making good progress until a setback last month.
He played 167 first-class matches, the last in August, bowing out with 572 wickets at 28.74 runs each, having also played for Leicestershire and Gloucestershire. He hopes to remain in the game as a coach.
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