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Thread: Path of Self-Destruction: A Season (or Ten) with Northants

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    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    Path of Self-Destruction: A Season (or Ten) with Northants [ICC 2005 saga]

    After playing for five years or so with Gloucestershire, it was apparent that unbridled, deserved success clearly wasn't my style. So as soon as I received the golden handshake from the pimply receptionist at 'The County Ground', I was off like a shot. We start with with a home NL game against Worcs.

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    Last edited by LongHopCassidy; 30-12-2005 at 05:15 PM.
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    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    The Curtain Raiser: Northants v. Worcs, NL

    Good start, I thought!

    Our lack of a fifth bowler had us coughing and spluttering throughout the middle overs. Monty Panesar copped it especially as he maintained a vice-like pressure by bowling outside off-stump to a leg-field. And Hick just wouldn't die (or better, get out).

    The batting effort also asked a few probing questions of this flowering Northants side. A horrendous start of 2-23 became a foregone conclusion at 6-116. Panesar again left his stamp by getting us past 200.
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    Last edited by LongHopCassidy; 30-12-2005 at 05:34 AM.

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    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    Gloucs v Northants - NL

    About time. Jones bowled especially well to pin them down, aided ably by Panesar and Brown bowling outside-off to defensive fields. I was a bit dirty that we didn't bowl them out - they were 6 for 90 when Taylor (a wily batsman whose skill belies his salary) cut loose. Not fussed, though.

    We were 2 for single figures when Sales stopped the bleeding and carried us past 50. Wickets fell regularly, but they couldn't get Brophy. We never looked like losing.
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    Derby v Northants - CC

    Pulsating game. Shafayat had the Derby bowlers tapping to his tune for most of our innings, and deserved his award. There was nowhere to hide, though, when we sickeningly collapsed from 2/200 to 315 all out.

    The perennial whipping-boys of the CC were then reduced to 5 for 160 thanks to a furious spell from Wright. Runs flowed, however, in a series of infuriating lower-order partnerships that netted them priceless points and inched past our first innings.

    Taking a more positive approach in our second dig, we lost both openers cheaply before Sales set out his stall for most of Day 3. Ball after ball pitched up to his legs was smited through midwicket and extra-cover as the rest of the middle order was content to bat around hm and feed him singles. I had the luxury of declaring early on Day 4.

    Would two and a half sessions be enough? Louw certainly thought so as he disposed of the openers either side of lunch. Adnan stood firm amid the chaos and took Derby to tea only 5 wickets down. Panesar finally found his line in the third session as he outwitted Adnan and his dead-batting goons. Louw returned to take the last two wickets and seal a famous win.
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    Encouraging signs? No.

    Lost the toss and were sent in as Mascarenhas bowled incisively for his 5-fer. Now I could say that the toss decided the game, and that the pitch contained more grass than Kurt Cobain's basement, and that we threw our wickets away to push the scoring along, and that the guy talking with Sales before the game had the shifty eye of a bookie, but saying that would detract from the perky all-rounder's skill and talent. Dross pitch, though!

    The Hawks' innings was less eventful - never looked in the hunt after an opening stand of 80. Jones and Brown were the only ones to look predatory.
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