Associate player roundup from Round 2 of the Bob Willis Trophy

Isaac Lockett provides a run-through of the Associate Nation players performances during matchday 2 of the Bob Willis Trophy.

Development in nations like Nepal and the Netherlands are stifled and no over-achievement can fix it with the ten-team World-Cup stifling growth.

With the second round of fixtures of the Bob Willis Trophy concluding, there is another opportunity to look at the performances of Associate Member players; there were nine in action which is a fantastic reflection of the ability within the emerging ranks.  

Cameron Steel (Durham / USA)

Cameron Steel would have been looking for an improved performance during his second game of the Bob Willis Trophy. With Durham welcoming Lancashire to the Emirates Riverside, Steel and his fellow batsman were going to be up against a challenging bowling attack. Durham won the toss and elected to bat, and following an early wicket Steel, who was batting at 3, found himself at the crease with only three runs on the board. He was unable to show his true quality at the crease and was only able to score one run before Luke Wood struck him on the pads and was adjudged LBW for 1. 

Steel was not needed to bowl in Lancashire’s response to Durham’s first innings score of 180 all out. Lancashire scored 308 all out which meant that Durham trailed by 128 going into their second innings. It would not be unfair to say that Durham struggled with the bat during the game being dismissed for 110 during their second innings meaning that the side lost by an innings and 18 runs. Steel continued his lean patch with the bat and was dismissed for a duck during his second stint at the crease in a very similar dismissal to his one in the first innings, being trapped on the crease by Luke Wood by a fantastic ball.     

Josh Davey (Somerset / Scotland)

Josh Davey will have been looking to continue his good form after his initial showings in Somerset’s first game against Glamorgan. Davey would be first trying to make an impact with the bat in hand with Somerset captain Tom Abell winning the toss and electing to bat first. Davey came in at number 10 but was unable to get going, scoring 1 off 11 balls before edging a ball from Luke Procter to Gareth Berg at third slip. 

Davey shared the new ball with Craig Overton, as he had been done against Glamorgan. Once again, Davey impressed and claimed some vital wickets to help Somerset restrict Northamptonshire. Ben Curran was Davey’s first wicket, the batsman looked in fantastic touch however Davey was able to find Curran’s outside edge with his opening partner taking a fantastic catch. The bowler then claimed the wicket of Rob Keogh LBW. Continuing to maintain a stump to stump line, Davey’s final wicket, that of Luke Procter, saw another leg before appeal upheld. Davey really excelled during the first innings and bowled with amazing control; finishing with the figures of 10-4-23-3. 

Josh Davey celebrate his wicket of Rohan Mustafa hen playing for Scotland against the UAE in 2019

With Somerset’s attention then turning to score runs with the bat in hand, Davey played a vital inning for his team despite not scoring many runs. Sometimes it is not the runs that a player scores that make an innings important but how long they are at the crease. Davey entered the fray at a time where Somerset was really looking to set up a total for Northamptonshire to chase. Davey and Jamie Overton were able to build a 36 run partnership together which was vital in the context of the game. The Scot may have only contributed 5 runs before he was dismissed by Ben Sanderson, however, it was the 27 balls that Davey faced which allowed this partnership to blossom. An innings can only be understood through its context and Davey should be given a lot of praise for his performance. 

Moving into the final innings of the innings, Davey once again shared the new ball. Davey gave his team an early breakthrough getting the wicket of Ben Curran; once again drawing the batsman into a loose shot but the only difference being that it was J.Overton taking the catch. Then Davey took the vital wicket of Ricardo Vasconcelos. Vasconcelos had scored 52 and looked in fantastic touch with the bat, but then Davey rose to the challenge and drew an edge from the bat of Vasconcelos for J.Overton to take the catch. Davey again bowled with fantastic control during the game and seems to have found his rhythm at the start of the season; if his form continues Davey will be a key bowler for Somerset this season.        

Dieter Klein (Leicestershire / Germany)

Following his good performance with both bat and ball against Lancashire, Klein would be looking to keep up his good form against Derbyshire. Leicestershire welcomed their opposition to the Fischer County Ground and elected to bat first. Coming in at number nine for his team, Klein was clean bowled first ball by Derbyshire’s offseason signing Dustin Melton. 

But the lack of runs should not have perturbed Klein, as he has developed a reputation as a vital part of Leicestershire’s bowling attack with his left-arm medium-fast bowling. Sharing the new ball with fellow seamer Chris Wright, Klein impressed. Bowling with good pace and consistently pushing batsman onto the backfoot, Klein had a good amount of success, picking up two wickets. Klein’s first wicket was of well-set batsman Leus du Plooy with a fantastically directed short ball which was edged behind to wicketkeeper Harry Swindells. Then Klein found success as he pitched the ball up to Anuj Dal with a ball that came into the batsman and struck him on the pads. Klein had a heavy workload during Derbyshire’s first innings; bowling 23 overs during the innings he showed great fitness and consistency and finished with figures of 23-3-79-2. Klein also had an impact in the field, with a fantastic throw-in from the boundary leading to the run out of Derbyshire opening batsman Luis Reece for 56.   

With Leicestershire needing 209 runs just to match the first-innings deficit, the team needed a solid batting performance. However, Derbyshire’s Mathew Critchley took 6 wickets during the second innings and heavily restricted Leicestershire’s score. Klein, who again came into bat at number 9, edged his first ball behind off the bowling of Critchley to complete a King pair.

With Derbyshire only needing 12 runs to win, Klein was an unused bowled in Derbyshire’s second innings. Despite a shocker with the bat, Klein performed fantastically during Derbyshire’s first bowling innings and really proved what he is capable of. 

Colin Ackermann (Leicestershire / The Netherlands)

The Foxes skipper won the toss and elected to bat in the teams game against Derbyshire. Ackermann found himself at the crease with the scoreboard reading 15-2 and must have walked in to bat with the aim of stabilising the innings. Ackermann scored 12, including two boundaries, before edging behind off the bowling of Melton well caught by Du Plooy. 

Colin Ackermann in action for Leicestershire during their T20 campaign during 2019. (Photo Credit: ICC)

Ackermann’s left-arm orthodox bowling is quickly becoming an important part of Leicestershire’s bowling attack. Once again, he has the lowest workload of any Leicestershire bowler but had an immediate impact. Bowling 9 overs, Ackermann picked up the wickets of Matthew Critchley, who has previously played for the England Lions squad, and Alex Hughes. Ackermann bowled a good ball to Hughes drawing a fine edge from the batsman which was caught by Swindells. Finishing with figures of 9-3-24-2, Ackermann once again proved that he is an all-rounder who is capable of contributing with both bat and ball. 

Although, Ackermann was not able to have the desired effect with the bat this game. Ackermann scored 22 in the second innings and looked in fantastic touch and looked largely comfortable at the crease. It was going to take a fantastic bit of cricket to get out the batsman, however, that is exactly what happened. A fantastic ball from Critchley, with the perfect amount of drop on an exceptional length, produced Ackermann to edge the ball but then required an exception one-handed effort from Wayne Madsen in the slips to complete the wicket.

Despite Ackermann bowling two tight overs during Derbyshire’s second innings, with the team only needing 11 Ackermann only bowled 2 overs before the team chased down their target.  

Gareth Berg (Northamptonshire / Italy)

Gareth Berg, the 39-year-old experienced county championship veteran, came into Northamptonshire’s matchday squad for their game against Somerset. Having previously played for Middlesex and Hampshire, Berg joined the Northamptonshire squad permanently after a loan spell at the club during the 2019 season. Somerset won the toss and elected to bat. Berg’s bowling effort during the first innings may not have been the most economical, going at 5.14 an over, he did pick up the wicket of Tom Banton who recently featured in England’s series against Ireland. In the field, Berg showed his quality taking two good chances; first taking the catch to complete the dismissal of Craig Overton off the bowling of Ben Sanderson at gully and then snaffling one at third slip off the bowling of Luke Proctor to see the end of Josh Davey’s aforementioned vigil at the crease.   

Berg was one of four ducks during the Northamptonshire reply, coming in at number 8 Berg tried to dig in for his team and help them level the score. After facing 26 balls without getting off the mark he was dismissed by Jamie Overton, with an assist going to Somerset legend James Hildreth for a fantastic catch at first slip. 

The second Somerset innings was a contrasting one for Berg, as it was for many of the Northamptonshire bowlers. Berg started off exceptionally helping his team restrict Somerset’s lead from growing, and took three wickets to really put pressure on the somerset batting line up. First, he took the wicket of Hildreth with a ball that started on leg stump and moved away striking the batsman on the pads, then again got Banton with a good length ball that was edged behind into the gloves of Adam Rossington and finally claimed the wicket of Steve Davies with a ball that clipped the top of the bails. However, due to a late Somerset fightback Berg then became expensive with the ball. Finishing with figures of 10-0-64-4, with the fourth wicket being Craig Overton caught by Ben Curran, Berg’s figures were expensive but any time a bowler takes four wickets praise must be given. 

In a game to forget for the Northamptonshire squad, Berg once again failed to make a real impact with the bat. This time Berg edged behind, again caught by James Hildreth, off the bowling of Jack Brooks.   

Brandon Glover (Northamptonshire / The Netherlands)

Glover made his debut, and received his county cap, for Northamptonshire against Somerset looking to use his pace to make instant waves in the Bob Willis Trophy. Having impressed with during the T20 World Cup Qualifiers, Northamptonshire fans were excited about what Glover would bring the team, and after Somerset chose to bat, the fans got to see their new signing in action. Glover shared the new ball with Ben Sanderson and immediately made an impact, announcing himself during his second over when he coaxed an edge from Eddie Byrom to Rossington behind the stumps. Bowling 15 overs, which included 3 maidens, and only conceding 49 runs showed that Glover was able to bowl with control along with fantastic pace, and was one of the most impressive bowlers during the first innings. He claimed his second wicket quickly after his first, this time it was Somerset captain who was caught flicking at a ball down the leg side with Rossington completing a good catch. 

Glover’s first innings for the club, and county cricket, only lasted three balls before he was bowled by the impressive Craig Overton. Glover would be looking to scoring his first county championship run during Northamptonshire’s second innings, but his attention after being dismissed was back on bowling, once again taking the new ball, he was able to get the team off to a fast start, bowling a good ball to Tom Lammonby that caught him on the crease and trapped him LBW. Glover again impressed with the ball and was one of the highlights for a game to forget for the county. He bowled 9 overs during Somerset’s second innings and again showed good control despite a late order recovery from Somerset. Glover’s second wicket put an end to an impressive inning from fellow Dutch international Roelof van der Merwe thanks to a fantastic catch from first slip Ricardo Vasconcelos. 

Glover was, unfortunately, able to get off the mark during his second innings for the club, completing a pair on debut, edging the ball to van der Merwe off the bowling of Jack Brooks. Despite not shining with the bat, Glover should be extremely proud of his first efforts for his club and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to impress.  

Roelof van der Merwe (Somerset / The Netherlands) 

Roelof van der Merwe would be looking to kick start his season during the game against Northamptonshire. After wining the toss, and with many of Somerset’s top-order batsmen struggling on The County Ground, van der Merwe came in at number 8 and managed to score some vital runs for his team. With Somerset looking to build a respectable first-innings total, the right-hander came in and looked to be positive with his running between the wickets and showed real intent with his shot-making. When he came to the crease with the score at 77/6 Somerset looked in a little bit of trouble, however, van der Merwe remained unperturbed and when the innings came to a close van der Merwe remained not out on 20 helping his team to 166. 

van der Merwe’s bowling was not called upon by captain Tom Abel, meaning that the focus then was quickly back on his batting. Once again van der Merwe came to the crease with the side in trouble, Somerset was in danger of failing to set Northamptonshire a competitive total to chase at 53-6. Once again, the Somerset lower-order excelled and van der Merwe brought excitement to the fans watching the online stream. In an innings which contained four boundaries and one maximum, scored a crucial 30 and provided much-needed support to C.Overton to allow him to play with freedom. 

van der Merwe’s left-arm spin once again remained unused in the second innings, however, with the Vitality Blast scheduled to start on the 27 August 2020 it will not be long before the Dutchman is making a telling contribution with both bat and ball. During the second innings, van der Merwe once again proved he is a fine fielder taking a good catch off the bowling of Jack Brooks which was the last wicket to fall during the Northamptonshire innings which sealed the win for Somerset. 

Timm van der Gugten (Glamorgan / The Netherlands)

Glamorgan travelled to Blackfinch New Road to face Worcestershire, with Timm van der Gugten coming into the matchday squad. With Worcestershire winning the toss and electing to bat, van der Gugten took the new ball. Bowling with immaculate line and length, Timm really restricted the opposition’s ability to score runs. Going at only 2.62 per over, van der Gugten really made use of the new ball and prevented Worcestershire from getting off to a fast start. Although the Dutch international did not get a wicket his first innings performance was something to be proud of and was a fantastic display of how to open the bowling in a first-class cricket game. 

Following the fantastic performance during the first innings, van Der Gugten then scored some important runs for his team coming in at number 10. With Glamorgan looking at a first-innings deficit, it was vital that van Der Gugten scored as many runs as possible. With a good inning that consisted of four 4’s, van Der Gugten helped his team to reduce the deficit finishing on 23 not out off 34 balls. The importance of the innings should not be understated, as without this knock Worcestershire would have had an even bigger platform from which to build a mammoth lead. 

Timm van der Gugten in action for The Netherlands against Nepal

With already behind, Glamorgan needed a tight bowling performance and despite the team overall struggling to take wickets, van der Gugten had another strong performance. Once again opening the bowling, he once again bowled with good control and was eventually rewarded with the wicket of Tom Fell who edged behind to Glamorgan wicketkeeper Chris Cooke. The Dutch bowler was then not required to bat with the two captains agreeing to shake hands and call the game a draw. In his first appearance of the season, van der Gugten really impressed.   

Delray Rawlins (Sussex / Bermuda)

Delray Rawlins was part of a Sussex team that travelled to face Kent at The Spitfire Ground. Rawlins would first be in action with the bat as Sussex captain Ben Brown won the toss and asked his team to set a good total in the first innings. Rawlins came in at number 6 for his side and looked in fine form, hitting 4 boundaries on his way to 20 including a very stylish straight drive back over the bowlers head. Rawlins could have done nothing about the ball that got him out with a ball that seemed extravagantly back at the Bermudan batsman from Harry Podmore with Ben Brown collecting the edge behind. 

Rawlins would then be needed to bowl more overs then he is used to for his side, due to a record-breaking partnership between Jordan Cox and Jack Leaning which really tested Sussex’s bowling depth. Rawlins bowled 18 overs and whilst picking up a wicket bowled with a reasonable amount of control when compared to the bowlers around him. 

Sussex were unable to really get to grips with the gauntlet laid down by Kent during their first innings, in reply to Sussex’s 322 all-out Kent amassed 530-1. Sussex’s second innings consisted of batsmen making good starts but being unable to capitalise on them. Rawlins again looked good at the crease and scored a run ball 19, which again included some fantastic shots and really provided views a glimpse into what he has to offer in the longer format of the game. However, Rawlins was then bowled by the ever-present and effervescent Darren Stevens. Rawlins despite not really making that big score showed moments of excellence during his two innings and it is only a moment of time until the Bermudan turns a game on its head for his team.   

Ian Holland (Hampshire /  USA)

Ian Holland once again really impressed with both bat and ball during Hampshire’s game against Middlesex at the Radlett Cricket Club ground. Hampshire won the toss and elected to field, with Holland being introduced into the attack as the team’s second change bowler. Bowling 10 overs during the first innings, Holland once again displayed his ability to bowl with good control and did not let up the pressure that the two opening bowlers had created. Despite not taking a wicket, Holland played an important role with the ball for his team. The American national team player’s catching ability was then in the spotlight, taking two good catches during the first innings. First taking a good catch off the bowling of Keith Barker to signal the end of Middlesex opener Max Holden’s innings then a smart grab at slip off the bowling of Liam Dawson. 

Holland then came in at number 7 for Hamshire in their first innings and tasked with taking the team closer to a first-innings lead. Holland performed well with the bat, scoring 22 off 57 balls and looked in control at the crease. However, retired Ireland international, Tim Murtagh found the outside edge of Hollands bat as he edged to Sam Robson at second slip. 

Holland then excelled during Middlesex’s second innings, with the medium-pace bowler taking two wickets. Holland helped his team find a vital inroad into Middlesex’s batting when he bowled a fantastic out-swinging delivery that found the edge of Robson’s bat, with Joe Weatherley taking a good catch in the slips. Holland’s second wicket was that of Nathan Sowter who hit a good shot to be cover to only be caught be sub-fielder Scotland international Brad Wheel. Holland finished with figures of 15-3-39-2 and once again showed his quality with the ball. 

Holland scored some vital runs during Hampshire’s run chase. With England international Dawson being unable to bat due to an injury, Holland came in to bat at number six in a pressure situation. Holland scored 17 off 32 balls and provided some structure during Hampshire’s innings. Holland impressed with both bat and ball during the game and is proving to be a really important player for the county during the early rounds of the Bob Willis Trophy.            

During the second round of fixtures of the Bob Willis Trophy, there was some real stand out performances from Associate nation players but it is important that these players are known for both their exploits in the county game whilst ensuring that they are given recognised as international cricketers.

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