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County Championship team of the week

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

There were plenty more twists and turns in the latest round of the County Championship which edges ever closer to the halfway stage. With big wins for Essex, Kent and Lancashire, find out who performed well enough to merit selection in our county team of the week.

1. Hasan Azad (137 & 100*)

Notched his maiden first-class century on day one for the Foxes and followed it up with his second on the final day. Alongside fellow centurion Neil Dexter, the pair recorded Leicestershire’s highest ever second-wicket stand (320) in the County Championship, eclipsing the 289* that Chris Balderstone and David Gower shared against Essex at Grace Road in 1981.

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2. Chris Dent (176)

In response to the Foxes’ mammoth total of 487, captain Dent played the anchor role superbly and partnered with Ryan Higgins to give Gloucestershire a lead of 84 on what proved to be a batters’ deck at Grace Road.

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3. Neil Dexter (180)

Crashed 27 fours and a six at Grace Road as Leicestershire racked up a huge first innings score of 487 against Gloucestershire.

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4. Joe Denly (8 & 167*)

Was this the innings that confirmed Joe Denly’s Ashes spot?

In desperate need of a score to convince the England selectors ahead of this summer’s Ashes, Denly proved instrumental in setting up victory for the hosts with a dazzling 167* including 16 fours and five sixes to back up another hundred from young Zak Crawley for the hosts. Perhaps a timely World Cup reminder too with Jason Roy currently struggling with injury.

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5. Paul Stirling (138 & 8*)

The Ireland right-hander is back in the red-ball fold at Middlesex and seized his chance with both hands. His Championship best of 138 alongside an impressive 107 from opener Sam Robson saw the hosts record 410 in the first innings against Glamorgan at Radlett.

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6. Tom Cullen (50 & 5 catches)

Australian-born ‘keeper Cullen managed five catches and scored a handy 50 in the middle order to hold Middlesex at bay during their rain-affected draw. The result means the Welsh side stay in second place in Division Two.

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7. Ryan Higgins (199)

Two centuries in as many games for Gloucestershire’s Ryan Higgins

Heading into day four with his second century in as many games already recorded and closing in on a maiden double ton, Higgins fell agonisingly short of the milestone after being bowled by Chris Wright for 199. On his way to a career-best score the Zimbabwe-born all-rounder passed 1,000 first-class runs and with his current run of form you would think there’s many more to come.

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8. James Pattinson (6-73 & 2-67)

Playing his last game for Notts before joining up with Australia A, Pattinson only helped his chances of getting a recall to the Aussie side for this summer’s Ashes with 6-73 in the first innings against Kent. His best figures since 2012 weren’t enough to prevent defeat for Notts who remain winless at the foot of Division One.0

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9. Simon Harmer (5-23 & 7-38)

Simon Harmer proved to be the star of the show in Chelmsford against title hopefuls Hampshire

The South African was the stand-out performer of the week and instrumental in the capitulation of Hampshire’s batting line-up in both innings. After taking his 29th first-class five-wicket-haul in the first innings, the Essex offie led his side to an innings victory in Hampshire’s second innings with 7-38, which left him with match figures of 12-61.

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10. Graham Onions (3-19 & 5-38)

The combination of Onions and Anderson proved far too much for Derbyshire, who narrowly avoided an innings defeat to Division Two table-toppers Lancashire. The former England seamer, who is featured in July’s issue of the Wisden Cricket Monthly, ripped through the home side’s top order in the second innings to claim match figures of 8-57 and a 29th first-class five-for.

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11. James Anderson (5-18 & 4-29)

It’s safe to say that 28 wickets at an average of 8.64 isn’t bad form to be taking into a home Ashes series, and Anderson continued his domination of Division Two batsmen with another strong display against Derbyshire. After sending down 17 first-innings overs for just 18 runs including five wickets, the Lancashire seamer fell narrowly short of 10 wickets in the match in a dominant performance by the Red Roses.

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