WThe hat was the best role you’ve seen this summer? It must have been 136 Johnny Bairstow pinching his arms this afternoon at Trent Bridge – right? Although Jos Butler’s superb pick-up for Friday’s Dutch bowling attack was a standout throw. Remember Joe Roots two centuries ago in the first two Tests against New Zealand? That blow to the Trent Bridge, all the appetizing tissue paper and scandalous posture, was the fastest hundred test.
For context, the first hundred years of Ole Pop’s reign must be north of the Thames – the last blossoming of his talent. surely? But don’t forget Phil Salt’s first international hundreds, as he moved into the role of Bairstow at the opening of the ODI in Amsterdam. Or push cute David Malan into the limiters after coming off the West Indies Tour, or the fastest 50s one-day England ever from Liam Livingstone, the talking and walking scatter gun.
It was basically a riot. Throwing in Daryl Mitchell’s 190 at Lords and his second Test hundreds, as well as Tom Blondell’s 109, making him the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to score a Test century in England, English cricket fans were ridiculously spoiled.
It’s not just in the testing arena. There was a similar boom in high scores in the Zone Tournament. However you choose to explain it—dry spring, flat tones, or that elusive early batch of Dukes balls—the run flowed. and flow.
There were 13 doubles: by Chris Dent (Gloucestershire), Sam Heine (Warwickshire), Keaton Jennings and Josh Bohannon (Lancashire), Jimmy Smith (Syrian), Azhar Ali (Worcestershire), Ben Slater (Nottinghamshire), Tom Haines (Sussex) And in the last round of New Zealander Rashin Ravindra, who scored 263 strength in his only match with Durham. Not to forget Chitchwar Pujara, who danced for double horns in three matches for Sussex, or Pakistani Shan Masood, who added horns in a row for Derbyshire.
Honorable also mentions Harry Brooke of Yorkshire, the next cab in the rankings for the test team, who failed with just 194 against Kent with an average of 115.75. And Ben Compton, Kent, great-grandson of Dennis and provider of 988th championship races, hoisted the flag of the late champion at 28 and 11th for cricket onwards.
On Friday at Trent Bridge, three days after Birstow’s exploits on the same ground, the Birmingham Bears broke the record for a 261-for-two blast against the Notts outlaws – Sam Hain and Adam Howes sealed the deal with 174 on just 70 balls.
Meanwhile, at Amstelveen, Butler rushed the farthest along with Salt, Malan and Livingston, losing balls at an astonishing rate. Falling into the woods, bouncing off logs and once falling into the school hall, an enterprising man with a ladder brought them. The hosts will prepare for more penalties in the second of the three-match series on Sunday.
Butler, head of the robbery, spoke with admiration from Salt, who only made it to the team because England players of all shapes are busy with the Test series. “It’s like another one from the production line that looks like it’s in England with the white ball rackets,” Butler said. “I really admire watching him up close in the days before that and he hits the ball incredibly today, putting my bowlers under a lot of pressure, he’s very brave, playing Jason Roy driving the thing. He has a great future.”
Salt also pointed to Roy, who spent most of the rounds watching from the locker room as his cousin Shane Snatter threw him in the second inning. “I love chatting with J-Roy about the game because he’s very clear and very destructive about what he’s doing.
“That goes for most guys here. I’ve tried to learn from everything, trying to take the things they do best and add that to my game. J-Roy has definitely made an impact and I’m lucky to have people around me who are willing to take their time and have these conversations and want you to be okay .
“tomorrow [Eoin Morgan] He explained how people are expected to play if they want to wear the England shirt and that’s something I’ve been shopping for since day one of being with this team. It’s a no-brainer what you have to do if you want to play for England.”
Salt has played in a number of leagues including the Big Bash, Pakistan Super League and Caribbean Premier League, and a move from Sussex to Lancashire at the end of last season boosted his game. “It’s a huge club and I love playing there. Again, cricket is like a franchise – the density in this dressing room is also higher than many other places, so yes, I’m really enjoying my time there.
“I hope to keep doing things like this and put my name on the list [England] Hat, I hope to cause a headache to the selectors.”
What a welcome headache for England selectors, who searched in vain for a run last winter but now find them streaming in from all directions.