The Wisden County Championship Team of the Week for the week commencing Saturday June 29.
In a batsman-friendly week, both Somerset and Essex secured crushing victories to maintain their positions at the top of Division One, while Nottinghamshire’s winless campaign continued.
In Division Two, Northants picked up their first win of the season, while the other three matches ended in draws.
The 300-run mark was passed in 16 innings this week, but who provided the individual contributions that made the difference?
1. Nick Browne (Essex; 163)
The opener’s 163 off 370 balls yielded 27 boundaries and helped Essex force a Nottinghamshire side to spend 167 overs in the field before being skittled. With Ravi Bopara also notching 135, Essex secured an innings victory which keeps them abreast of Somerset at the top of Division One.
2. Marnus Labuschagne (Glamorgan; 106 & 100)
Glamorgan’s overseas signing continued his excellent form as he passed 1,000 runs for the season after only nine games. Two speedy hundreds, off 139 balls and 113 balls respectively, saw Glamorgan setting Worcestershire 224 to win. Whilst the bowlers could not prevent the match from being drawn, Labuschagne’s form remains vital in maintaining his side’s place at the head of the division.
3. Dom Sibley (Warwickshire; 244)
The 23-year-old’s relentless 244 for the Bears came from 409 balls and contained no fewer than 31 boundaries. In doing so, he registered the highest score of the County Championship this season. It will do no harm to the England hopeful’s Ashes prospects, though England Test opener Mark Stoneman also registered a century this week after a challenging start to the season.
1⃣0⃣0⃣ for Dom Sibley against Kent
1⃣0⃣ FC centuries
Leading Division 1⃣ run-scorer
Ashes opener? pic.twitter.com/MSIi4qr2Nx
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) 2 July 2019
4. Dawid Malan (Middlesex; 199)
Malan batted for seven hours and 57 minutes to rescue Middlesex from 159-4 and secure a draw against Derbyshire. A crucial 185-run partnership between Malan and John Simpson responded to a powerful Derbyshire innings to stop Middlesex sliding further away from the pack at the bottom of Division Two.
5. Daniel Bell-Drummond (Kent; 166)
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) 1 July 2019
Having signed a new three-year contract in 2018, Bell-Drummond continues to show why he is so valuable to this Kent side. After a phenomenal effort from Kent’s batsmen this week, he narrowly edges a place in this team over Sean Dixon, with his own 161. The pair’s monster partnership of 197 took Kent to 383-3, and set up a huge score. Bell-Drummond also somewhat unexpectedly returned to bowl 14 overs during Warwickshire’s innings and grabbed a scalp.
6. Dane Vilas (Lancashire; wicketkeeper; 72 & 85)
Lancashire were especially indebted to their captain’s efforts this week after they lost talismanic bowler James Anderson to injury in the first innings. Vilas scored two gritty half centuries, including a vital 87-run partnership with Steven Croft that gave his team a target to defend on the final day.
7. Brett D’Oliveira (Worcestershire; 7-92 & 103)
Brett D’Oliveira’s week could hardly have been better, after he managed seven wickets in the first innings before hitting a century from No.9 in the Worcestershire order. A last-wicket partnership of 68 between D’Oliveira and Adam Finch dug their side out of a serious hole to stop Glamorgan running away with the game. The spinner also picked up two wickets in the following innings, returning 9-182 in the match.
8. Nathan Rimmington (Durham; 4-74, 53 & 4-42)
Rimmington produced a fine all-round display for Durham this week. The pacey Australian returned match figures of 8-116 and ground out a half-century in between. It was not enough for Durham to force a win, but their much-needed draw against the second-placed side in Division Two owed much to Rimmington’s efforts.
9. Simon Harmer (Essex; 4-35)
Simon Harmer’s off-spin polished off the Nottinghamshire batting line-up to secure his side an innings victory. Notts returned from lunch on the final day five wickets down, and Harmer picked up three of the tail-end wickets within an hour to finish with 4-35 off 40 overs, with a remarkable 24 maidens.
10. Jamie Overton (Somerset; 5-70 & 2-24)
Jamie Overton helped Somerset show why they are sitting pretty on top of Division One this week, as he took seven wickets in their match against Hampshire. His two-for in the second innings followed 5-70 in the first, and helped reduce the opposition to 104-9 before play ended due to an injury preventing Hampshire’s Joe Weatherley from batting.
11. Ben Sanderson (Northants; 6-37 & 4-18)
Ben Sanderson achieved career-best figures this week with a six-for in the first innings and a four-for in the second, giving him match figures of 10-55 at Hove. Along with a quickfire 4-32 from Brett Hutton, he skittled Sussex for 103 to give Northants their largest ever runs victory. He also chipped in with a handy 28 from No.11 in Northants’ innings.