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Left Duck: Season Review

18 October 17 words: Gav Squires

With the season over, it's time to have a look back at how Nottinghamshire fared this summer.

Nottinghamshire celebrate winning the One Day Cup

As we said way back in April, the main goal for this season was promotion in the County Championship and after 11 games, Notts were unbeaten and looking like they were going to cruise to the title. Two defeats and a draw saw them limp over the line but the goal was achieved nonetheless. In addition to that, some amazing performances in the limited overs games saw Notts win both the One Day Cup and the T20 Blast.

 

Following such great successes, we have a look back at the players who helped Notts to such heights.

Samit Patel bowling

Samit Patel

 

CC 906 runs at 53.3, 19 wickets at 35.89

OD 539 runs at 674, 9 wickets at 55.2

T20 405 runs at 40.5, 16 wickets at 27.3

 

Left Duck player of the year. Fantastic consistency over all three forms of the game in his testimonial year, he was Notts top scorer in the County Championship and the One Day Cup and along with Brendon Taylor was of the reasons that Notts won the T20 final. If it weren't for Moen Ali, another batter that bowls, Samit would surely be in consideration for an international place.

Chris Read leaves the field at Trent Bridge for the final time

Chris Read

 

CC 622 runs at 38.9, 53 catches

OD 143 runs at 23.8, 12 catches

 

A true Notts legend, this season saw him go past 15,000 runs in the County Championship. While his stats in his final season might not have been outstanding, two performances stand out - in the final four-day game he scored 124 runs to ensure Notts got promoted and he was the only batter that was able to support Alex Hales in the One Day final. Notts will miss both his leadership and his knack of pulling Notts out of some sticky situations with his lower-order batting.

 

Rikki Wessels

 

CC 823 runs at 48.4

OD 302 runs at 30.2

T20 559 runs at 40.5

 

Another player who has done well in all three formats this year and no other Notts player scored more than his 559 in the T20 Blast competition. He also scored them at a strike rate of 151 so if England are looking for a replacement for Alex Hales following his recent off-field indiscretion, they could do worse than look at Rikki.

 

James Pattinson

 

CC 197 runs at 49.3, 32 wickets at 12.06

OD 34 runs at 11.3, 13 wickets at 36.5

 

A brilliant overseas signing and his bowling was far too good for the second division as he took 32 wickets in just five matches. He also proved himself pretty handy with the bat and could almost be considered a proper all-rounder. Could well feature against England in the Ashes this winter.

 

Steven Mullaney

 

CC 620 runs at 41.3, 25 wickets at 19.44

OD 378 runs at 63, 8 wickets at 39.1

T20 173 runs at 24.7, 8 wickets at 43.8

 

Great performance with the bat and ball in the County Championship after missing the first 3 games. He also weighed in with some useful runs in both white ball competitions.

Alex Hales batting at Lords in the One Day Cup final

Alex Hales

 

CC 424 runs at 47.1

OD 434 runs at 72.3

T20 507 runs at 33.8

 

Missed a lot of County Championship cricket due to England call-ups and one big score at Derbyshire aside struggled a little in the red ball game. More than made up for that with his form in limited-overs cricket. There were calls for him to make the Ashes squad but he would probably have missed out even before his little late-night altercation in Bristol. Personally, I think that this is the point in his career where he should focus on playing white ball cricket where I think he could go on to be a really great player for England. That could all be dependent on the outcome of the police investigation though.

 

Luke Fletcher

 

CC 139 runs at 17.4, 36 wickets at 22.44

OD 3 runs at N/A, 4 wickets at 47

T20 11 runs at N/A, 1 wicket at 43

 

Lost a lot of weight last winter and looked lean and mean at the start of the season, narrowly missing out on his first County Championship 100 in the opening game. A sickening injury in a T20 game at Warwickshire saw him miss most of the season but his 36 wickets in the County Championship were second to only one other Notts player. Hopefully, he'll be fit and firing come the start of next season.

 

Stuart Broad

 

CC 171 runs at 42.8, 16 wickets at 20.88

OD 42 runs at 14, 10 wickets at 47

 

Didn't get to play much cricket for Notts this year due to his international commitments but never let the side down when he did get a run out.

 

Brett Hutton

 

CC 210 runs at 16.2, 37 wickets at 26.89

 

Notts top wicket taker in the County Championship who has already signed to play for Northants next season. It's a shame as he's a decent player but he wanted to play more white ball cricket and that didn't look like it was going to happen at Notts. I thought he looked more like a first change bowler rather than an opener and while he knew which end of the bat to hold, I thought that the announcements of him joining Northants describing him as an all-rounder were a little generous. Will be missed though.

 

Jake Ball

 

CC 174 runs at 34.8, 27 wickets at 25

OD 4 runs at 2, 5 wickets at 59

T20 5 runs at 5, 22 wickets at 19.5

 

Another one that was in and out of the side due to international call-ups. I always think that he looks better bowling with a red ball, and he's been called up for the Ashes this winter, but he was Notts top wicket taker over the T20 campaign. Notts could really use his next season in Division 1 but if he does well over the winter, he'll probably spend next summer with England instead.

 

Harry Gurney

 

CC 60 runs at 8.57, 27 wickets at 36.48

OD 2 runs at N/A 13 wickets at 41.2

T20 0 runs at N/A 21 wickets at 23.8

 

When he's hot, he's hot but when he's not, the ball could land anywhere. He was dangerous and took wickets in T20 Finals Day but in the three County Championship games afterwards, he looked innocuous. Having a left-arm seam bowler is always handy but Mark Footit's fitness could determine how often he plays next season, especially in the four-day games. I think that anyone who saw his 42 not out in the final game of the County Championship will be talking about it for some time to come.

 

Billy Root

 

CC 150 runs at 50, 3 wickets at 9.67

OD 259 runs at 64.8

T20 78 runs at 78

 

As they say, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Billy Root went to the top of the County Championship Division 2 bowling averages with his three wickets in the final game of the season and was second in the T20 batting averages as he was only dismissed once. It's been a good season for Billy though and he has been rewarded with his first professional contract in recognition of a year that featured both his first centuries in both List A and First Class cricket.

 

Luke Wood

 

CC 199 runs at 33.2, 18 wickets at 28.44

T20 1 run at 1, 5 wickets at 29.2

 

A bit like Brett Hutton, he was in and out of the side depending on whether Broad, Ball and Pattinson were available. Never let the side down but will need a touch more quality in Division 1 of the County Championship.

Notts celebrate a wicket

Brendon Taylor

 

CC 123 runs at 24.6

OD 376 runs at 53.7

T20 351 runs at 35.1

 

Sadly left Notts before the end of the season in order to go back to spend time with his family in Zimbabwe. There were rumours circulating that he may have been heading back to international cricket next season anyway and Notts will definitely miss his experience in the limited-overs side. This year he played some crucial knocks in both the One Day Cup and T20 Blast and I was hoping that he could have been convinced to stay next season to take the gloves off Chris Read. Of course, we can’t let him leave without a mention of the time that he got a little drunk after celebrating a win and woke up the following day in the back of a stranger's car in West Bridgford that had been unlocked.

 

Michael Lumb

 

CC 292 runs at 32.4

OD 311 runs at 31.1

T20 17 runs at 8.5

 

Forced to retire due to injury half-way through the season. He struggled in the County Championship but hit a good century in the One Day Cup (in fact, 6 out of Notts 7 dedicated batters hit a century in the competition)

 

Jake Libby

 

CC 464 runs at 24.4

 

Played in every County Championship game but will be a little disappointed with just one 100 and no 50s. Notts believe in him though and he has been rewarded with a new two year contract but he will need to improve against the superior bowling in Division 1 next year.

 

Cheteshwar Pujara

 

CC 333 runs at 27.8

 

Hit a 50 and a 100 during his initial spell as Notts overseas player but really struggled when he returned following some games with India. Slightly disappointing performances from a player who can't have been cheap.

 

Greg Smith

 

CC 91 at 30.3

 

Opened the batting while Steven Mullaney was injured at the start of the season but couldn't get back in the side after he returned and retired from cricket midway through the season.

 

Matthew Carter

 

FC 33 runs at 33, 4 wickets at 40.25

 

Only played in the final game of the season and while he held his own with the bat, he got some tap when bowling before taking a few wickets in the second Sussex innings.

 

Mark Footit

 

FC DNB, 4 wickets at 23.75

 

Signed midway through the season from Surrey but only played one game due to injury. He's a good player and it's not that long ago that he was on the fringes of the England squad and if he can get himself fit for next season, he should do well for Notts.

 

Ish Sodhi

 

T20 20 runs at 5, 15 wickets at 30.9

 

There are two types of spin bowler in T20 cricket - those who don't take many wickets but get figures in the region of four overs for 20 runs and those who finish their spell with 3-35. Ish Sodhi was neither of these, he went for far too many runs and didn’t take enough wickets. There were some massive scores at Trent Bridge this season as the boundaries were brought in so it can’t have been easy bowling there but Ish looked like a waste of an overseas pick.

 

Dan Christian

 

T20 356 runs at 35.6, 11 wickets at 23.6

 

The successful T20 skipper just got better and better as the season went on. The best fielder in the Notts side by a mile, took crucial wickets and scored crucial runs. The rightful heir to David Hussey at Notts and deserved his call-up back to the Australian limited-overs squad.

Tom Moores batting

Tom Moores

 

CC 1 run at 0.5

T20 191 runs at 19.1

 

Chris Read's replacement behind the stumps next season? It would be harsh to judge him on his failure in his single County Championship game but he didn't convince in the T20 either. He tried to smash everything to the boundary without the nous to realise that there are times when you have to just take singles off certain balls. Having said that, he's reasonably tidy with the gloves and the batting might improve if he ignores his dad just telling him to hit every ball to the boundary.

 

So, 23 players pulled on the Notts kit this season, four have already retired from cricket and another has signed for another county. However, they have already announced the signing of all-rounder Paul Coughlin from Durham, much to Ian Botham's chagrin. He captained their T20 side this season and should prove to be a very useful addition to the team and additional leadership is a good thing. Notts are going to need reinforcements next year though and it will be really interesting to see what they do with the overseas player spot in 2018. Mick Newell and Peter Moores will have a busy winter ahead of them, but for now, it's time to celebrate this year's successes.

 

Left Duck will be back next season, enjoy your winter and see you in the spring.

 

Nottinghamshire Cricket Club website

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