With Part 1 posted we move into July and the cricket still came quick and fast!
Tom Curran – Essex v Surrey T20 – 7th July 2017
I’ll confess I am an Essex member and fan, but I’m also a Surrey member and fan of the Curran brothers, so this is a performance that had a great deal to do with my team being beaten! Surrey scored 188 in their 20 overs, Essex went into the 20th over needing 8 runs to win, Curran, 22, had the ball for the final over. He bowled brilliantly, taking the wickets of Ravi Bopara and Ashar Zaidi, Surrey won by 2 runs!
Moving onto the test series between England and South Africa, Joe Root gave an outstanding performance at Lords, scoring 190, but i wasn’t there so it can’t be one to feature here. England won that first test and most were writing South Africa off, however Trent Bridge was a very different matter, I was there for 4 days to see most of a South Africa win at a canter. Hashim Amla scored 165 classy runs across 2 innings, it was an enjoyable 4 days at a lovely ground, but no stand out moments for me.
Anya Shrubsole – England v India – Women’s World Cup Final – 23rd July 2017
England set India 228 runs to win the final, and they looked to be cruising to the trophy, in stepped Anya Shrubsole. She not only took 6 wickets for 46 runs but also ran out a 7th batsman, it was one of the most exciting cricket matches I attended in 2017! Puma Raut made 86 for India and must get a special mention.
Alastair Cook, Ben Stokes, , Toby Roland-Jones, Dean Elgar – England v South Africa – The Oval – 27th – 30th July
I had a ticket for all 5 days but was at a very lovely wedding on Day 5, so missed Moeen Ali’s hat-trick to finish off the game. However I did witness (most of) 4 outstanding performances. England had a point to prove and Cook started things off with a very considered 88 from 200 balls, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so disappointed to be out. At 120 for 4 England needed something special, along came Ben Stokes. He played a wonderful innings making a total of 112, he reached his 100 as he was running out of partners with a 6 and followed it up another, it was probably one of the best innings I saw all summer.
Toby Roland-Jones on debut, took 5 for 57 in South Africa’s first innings and 3 for 72 in the second. A debut he’ll remember!
I didn’t see all of Dean Elgars’ innings, but I saw 72 of his 136 runs, he was one of the only bright things during the match for South Africa.
Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali – England v South Africa – Old Trafford – 4th – 6th August 2017
I had 3 days booked at Old Trafford, with a trip to Scarborough planned for the Monday. Two of my favourite England players excelled, Jonny Bairstow came in with the score on 187 for 5. He was last man standing with Jimmy Anderson and on 99, when he went down to sweep a ball from Maharaj, teh appeal went up, then the finger,, Jonny appealed and the agonising wait saw that hated answer of Umpire’s Call! Jonny was out on 99! So disappointing! England were 362 all out.
Jimmy Anderson bowling from the Jimmy Anderson end for the first time must get a mention here, he took 4 wickets for 38, the whole crowd was willing him on to get 5, but the others kept striking!
South Africa were all out for 226 and England came in to stretch their lead. we had the familiar sight of 4 wickets falling for less than 100, 72 to be precise. Joe Root scored 49, but it was Moeen who shone, he scored 75 in total of which I saw 67 before rain stopped play. He was magnificent! Coming down the wicket to Maharaj he was a total joy to behold!
Mohammad Amir – Yorkshire v Essex – County Cricket – 7th August
I’d watched the happenings at Scarborough from Old Trafford and was amazed to see Yorkshire skittles out for 113, with Amir taking 5 for 18! I was meeting my good friend Stella, we’d planned to watch the remaining 3 days of cricket. To my distress Essex lost 8 wickets on day 1! Falling to 188 for 8 with only captain Ryan ten Doeschate getting runs. We arrived in time to see Yorkshire coming in to bat again with Essex having made 231, 88 of which were contributed by ten Doeschate.
I had heard that Amir had been the focus of some taunting on day 1, that didn’t get too much better as he went through the batting line up again! A highlight if the day was an elderly Yorkshire fan sat behind us uttering Chuffing Norah, when Amir took his 3rd wicket. He ended up with another 5, for 54 runs, a total of 10 for 72 – outstanding! Jack Leaning made 70 from Yorkishire’s 150, but Essex were left with a small total to win in 2 days. They lost 2 wickets for the 34 needed, but did indeed beat Yorkshire in 2 days!
Aaron Finch – Surrey v Sussex – T20 – 13th August 2017
I’m not able to get to the Oval to watch Surrey very often, but wow I’m glad I went to this one! I’d seen Jason Roy fail more than once in an England shirt in 2017, but he scored an entertaining 50 in 33 balls with Aaron Finch opening with him. Finch went a whole lot further, he scored a truly wonderful 114 from 64 balls hitting seven 4’s and seven 6’s, well worth the trip into London.
Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Stuart Broad – England v West Indies – Edgbaston – 17th – 19th August
This was an historic first day/night test in England, and those in the Hollies Stand made sure they made the most of things. Involving the players in their antics on the final evening as they shouted for their ball back, there was laughter all around, including in the middle!
As an Essex member and fan it always gives me great pleasure to see Alastair Cook score big runs, at Edgbaston he batted for just under 10 hours and scored 243 runs, with 33 fours in the total. He’s a graceful batsman to watch in full flow and I enjoyed every run!
Joe Root was in the mood for scoring too and amassed 136 runs in just under 5 hours, hitting 22 fours. The bowling attack wasn’t the strongest, but the runs had to be made.
This match was noteworthy for being the one where Stuart Broad took his 384th wicket, passing Sir Ian Botham to become the 2nd most prolific bowler in England, it was a delight to be there to witness it!
Jamie Porter – Essex v Somerset – County Cricket – 28th-31st August 2017
Jamie Porter, what can I say about this exceptional young cricketer? Essex lost 2 key bowlers at the end of 2016, but this lad and Simon Harmer were vying to be top wicket taker in Division 1 throughout the summer, Jamie took top spot with 75! During this match Porter took 5 for 40 in the first innings and 7 for 55 in the second! Harmer had taken 14 Middlesex wickets in June, but I was cold, so missed the finale, He took 9 for 95 in their second innings.
Sam Cook – Essex v Yorkshire – County Cricket – 25th – 28th September 2017
In what was a full team effort Essex had been confirmed as Champions with 2 matches to spare. I had a ticket for Englands’ ODI against the West Indies at The Oval, but I couldn’t miss a moment of this final County game of the summer. As had been the way throughout this summer several Essex players performed, but it was a young player in his first professional season who shone. I’d watched Sam play in a park for Chelmsford CC in 2016, he took 5 Yorkshire wickets for 20 runs in their second innings, Yorkshire were all out fro 74! They must have dreaded playing Essex for a second time even without Mohammad Amir!