County Championship team of the week: Dawid Malan, Rory Burns and Sam Cook make the cut
Do you agree with our side? Tweet us your XIs to @SkyCricket...
By Sky Sports Cricket
Last Updated: 08/05/18 12:21pm
It was a scorcher of a Bank Holiday weekend in the Specsavers County Championship, with the action on the field just as impressive as the fine weather provided for it.
There were striking contributions from England players - the good: a timely hundred for Dawid Malan, the bad: a duck for captain Joe Root in his first knock of the season, and the ugly: Jimmy Anderson's striking white-dyed hair.
Malan makes our XI, but which other England hopefuls have also been included? Read on to find out and then tell us who you would have picked on Twitter @SkyCricket...
Steven Mullaney (Nottinghamshire)
A plethora of England left-handed openers of days past - Marcus Trescothick, Michael Carberry and Keaton Jennings - were in the runs this week, while a future hopeful, Nick Gubbins, joined Trescothick and Jennings in notching a first century of the county season. But, all are unfortunate to miss out with our spots reserved the slightly bigger scorers of Nottinghamshire's Mullaney (130 in the second innings of their win over Hampshire) and...
Rory Burns (Surrey)
Burns went even bigger, and better, with his 'daddy hundred' of 193 for Surrey in the draw against Worcestershire sure to have him on the England selectors' radar too. Burns, and Mullaney, could potentially both lay claim to the captaincy too, but more on that in a bit...
Harry Brook (Yorkshire)
It might seem strange to include a Yorkshire batsman in a week where they were skittled for 50 in the first innings against Essex, an innings in which 19-year-old opener Brook was the first to fall for a three-ball duck. But, it makes the resilience shown by the young batting talent in scoring a maiden first-class century in the second innings - a crucial 124 off 187 balls as Yorkshire overturned a 92-run first-innings deficit into a 91-run win - all the more remarkable. A special mention too for Somerset 20-year-old George Bartlett, who too notched a maiden ton against a Lancashire attack featuring a certain Jimmy Anderson.
Joe Clarke (Worcestershire)
Bartlett is just edged out of our team by Clarke, another man firmly on England's waiting list but whose stock had been dropping with lowly contributions of 20, 15, 0, 7, 42 and 4 to accompany Worcestershire's step up to first-division cricket - he returned to form with a bang this week though, belting Surrey for 157 in a score of 526 on a scorching Oval batting track.
Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
Sticking with the England theme: on a Bank Holiday weekend in which Joe Root and Alastair Cook were both dismissed for ducks, there was some positive news at least - with the first Test against Pakistan on May 24 looming on the horizon - as Malan struck a fine 119 for Middlesex. Having conceded 93 first-innings runs to Sussex and slipping to 9-2 inside the first three overs of their second, Malan put on 234 for the third wicket with Gubbins to give his side a chance of a final-day victory only for their south-coast opponents to chase down the testing 230 required with three wickets remaining.
Dane Vilas (Lancashire, wicketkeeper)
The South African-born Lancashire man is the standout batsman from this round of fixtures, scoring a simply stunning 235 not out - containing 27 and four sixes - in the draw with Somerset. He is unfortunate to slip down the order from No 4 to No 6 in our side, but does so in order to accommodate him taking the gloves, as he was forced to this weekend after regular Lancs keeper-batsman Alex Davies was unable to continue behind the stumps following an injury to his finger.
Darren Stevens (Kent)
Kent were once again involved in an absolute wicket-fest - only once in four completed matches this season have they scored more than 200 (the tour match against Pakistan) and only once have they conceded 200 plus (this week against Glamorgan). Stevens, as he tends to, was the man to benefit most - along with Glamorgan's Timm van der Gugten, who took 7-42 in the first innings - as he claimed 6-26 to skittle Glamorgan out for 94 first up, and returned to take two further wickets in the second. He edges out Van der Gugten for a spot in our side due to his added value as a batsman - even if that value amounted to only two runs this week, including the winning one, in Kent's six-wicket success.
Ollie Robinson (Sussex)
Talking of value added with the bat, Sussex's Robinson struck 52 crucial first-innings runs after having dismantled Middlesex in their first dig, picking up 7-58. When Robinson came to the crease, Sussex trailed their Hove visitors by nine runs at 221-7, before his counter-attacking half century lifted them into a healthy lead. He added a further second-innings strike to his name and was there to see his side home with the winning runs in a nervy run-chase.
James Weighell (Durham)
Leicestershire somehow contrived to lose a game they were leading by 256 runs after the end of the first innings, forcing Durham to follow on. But, the Emirates Riverside hosts were much-improved second time around, scoring 403, and set Leicestershire (a still surely gettable) 148 to win. Enter medium-pacer Weighell, who ripped through the visitors with staggering figures of 7-32 in 9.5 overs to earn Durham an incredible 46-run win. Given the slender margin of victory, Weighell's 29 first-innings runs and 38 in the second were also hugely valuable.
Jeetan Patel (Warwickshire, captain)
Our captain is Warwickshire overseas veteran Patel, who skippered his side to a fine eight-wicket win over Derbyshire, in which the Kiwi offspinner claimed 10 wickets - including 6-76 in the second innings - to ensure Surrey youngster Amar Virdi's six-for isn't good enough to see him take the spinner's spot for the second week running.
Sam Cook (Essex)
What an incredible game it was over at Chelmsford! Yorkshire, bowled out for 50 by Essex on day one, somehow managed to turn things around and earn an ultimately comfortable 91-run win, with Steven Patterson claiming 6-40 in the second innings for the white rose county. But, he is edged out by Essex's Cook - no, not that one - for the final spot in our side. Their 20-year-old seamer Sam did the damage on that first morning, taking 5-28 in nine overs, including the high-prized wickets of England names, Root, Jonny Bairstow, and Adam Lyth and Tim Bresnan for good measure too.