After a couple weeks morphing between English pubs and south London where the man'dem and wah gwan had me lappin' up some culture, it's time to get back to Kiwi County Tour business. I sparked back into action with a preview of our kiwi lasses in the Kia Women's Super League competition and that's due to get underway right about now, which coincides with a few County games being squeezed in among the Men's T20 Blast competition.
We welcomed Tom Latham on board the bus, he's opening the batting for Durham and it's cool to see Tommy playing alongside Paul Collingwood. Collingwood's still a beast for Durham and skippers the team, so here's hoping Tommy downloads all sorts of information from Collingwood. Before he linked up with Durham, Tommy and I bonded over Dizzee Rascal's new album and a coffee in Brixton. We didn't, but I wish we did.
Before zoning in on Tommy and the back-seat bandits of the Kiwi County Tour bus (Lord Jeetz and James Franklin), we gotta show some love to our adopted cuzzy Mohammad Amir. When Neil Wagner left Essex prior to the T20 Blast, they had already lined up Amir and it's fair to say that with all respect due to Wagnut, Amir is the premier left-arm seamer in the world right now. Matt Quinn's still out injured for Essex, so Amir's the homie.
Amir steam-rolled his way through Yorkshire's batting line up to give Essex a big win, with Amir taking 5-for in both innings, leading to Yorkshire being skittled for 113 and 150. Amir took 5 @ 1.58rpo off 11 overs and then backed it up with 5 @ 3.17rpo off 17 overs, so here's some gorgeous left-arm swing bowling for y'all to enjoy:
Durham vs Leicestershire
Only two innings were to be had in Leicester, Durham batted first and declared on 525/8 followed by Leicestershire being stranded on 124/4. Durham got an early example of what Latham is capable of in their hefty first innings as he debuted with 124 and a casual 234-run opening partnership with California-born 21-year-old Cameron Steel. Steel's an interesting case given he was born in the States and then spent time in England and Australia throughout his junior career, he's knocking around with a First-Class average of 43.29 as well.
Our man Tommy's got a FC average of 41.81 #JustSayin. Not much else to report here, sit back and enjoy an opening partnership that Durham will be hoping stays consistent over the rest of the season. We obviously want Latham to continue to learn the craft of opening in long-form cricket, the regularity of competition and strength of bowlers he'll face should see him develop nicely.
Jeetan Patel/James Franklin
Warwickshire vs Middlesex
In the battle of the back-seat bandits, we did get a result and Lord Jeetz not only gets all rights to the back seat for the next week, he also snapped up his 700th FC wicket and guess who his 700th victim was?
Jeetz has found some form in the T20 Blast and he's carried that confidence over to County cricket where he took multiple wickets in both innings. He was called on to bat first up though and as Lord Jeetz has a tendancy to do, he top-scored as Warkwickshire were dismissed for 126. Jeetz hit 24 batting at No.9, annoying his opposition skipper with four boundaries in the process.
Franklin however did get to have a say as he also top-scored in his team's innings. Middlesex were dismissed for 161 and Franklin reached 55 at No.6 before Jeetz got his scalp. Jeetz was only required to bowl 4.2 overs, he still managed two grab 2 wickets and only conceded 3 runs of those 4 overs.
Jeetz had his poles knocked over for a duck in Warwickshire's second dig and Franklin did give himself a bowl, he didn't take a wicket but only conceded 2rpo in his 8 overs. Warwickshire took control in this innings, hitting 361 and setting Middlesex a target of 326 to win. The Londoners could only muster 136 though and Franklin followed Jeetz's second innings example, only contributing 1.
Chipping in with a couple lower order wickets (2 @ 3.80rpo off 5 overs), Jeetz took his tally to 4 wickets for this game and his Bears enjoyed the spoils of war.
Northamptonshire vs Gloucestershire
This was a low key sensational week on the KCT tour, rounded off by Noema-Barnett hitting 59 and taking a few wickets for Gloucs in their draw against Northants. Noema-Barnett took 2 @ 2.81rpo in his 19.1 overs to help Gloucs dismiss Northants for 343 and Noema-Barnett put in a hefty shift, despite being the fifth bowling option used.
Only opening bowler Liam Nowell bowled more overs (23) than Noema-Barnett and he then chipped in with the bat, hitting 8 boundaries and a couple sixes in the second-highest score for Gloucs as they were dismissed for 265. Noema-Barnett batted No.7 and is playing a very similar role to Franklin and he wasn't required to bowl in Northants second innings as this fizzled to a draw with Northamptonshire on 50/5.
Peace and love 27.
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