Ian Harris' blog: Wow, what a start!


What a start to the four day season, as we speak we are currently top of the league and rightly so.

If it wasn't for the Welsh weather then we would have had four wins out of four. I travelled down to the impressive Swalec stadium to watch day three’s play on the Friday. The last time I went to Glamorgan was many years ago when Mal Loye and Rob Bailey were batting that day for Northants.

The stadium only had one main stand and the rest of the ground looked as though it could have done with much needed repair and a lick of paint.

But what a credit the ground is now with its sixteen thousand capacity. Even though it was a cold day down there it was a good enjoyable day’s play and at the end of Friday it set Northants up with a with a chance of winning on the last day, certainly something they would have done if it wasn't for the rain.

It was just frustrating on the Saturday that the weather put paid to what would have been our opening LV= County Championship win of the season.

Looking at our other three wins so far, the whole team has played as a unit which is what you need in any sporting team. Without boring you with all the details of each match it has been nice to see a new freshness about our play.

Of course there has been great individual performances, with both bat and ball but I feel the fielding so far this season has been really good. There is more energy in the field making most teams they play really graft for every run.

In the past this has not always for one reason or another been the case. Fielding now days is just as important as batting and bowling. Tight fielding produces run outs and adds pressure on the opposition.

As the old saying goes "catches win you matches" as thus so far the fielding has been excellent.

Stephen Peters has led by example being the skipper with the amount of runs he has scored at the top of the order. He was averaging 51.83 runs before the injury, some of the other lads in the top five could do with a few runs under their belts , but I am sure they will come good as the season progresses.

It shows the strength of our batting when Trent Copeland has a Australian first class hundred to his name, apparently at Glamorgan he was not to happy finding himself batting down at number eleven ! He is currently averaging 50.50. Steven Crook batting at number ten has our highest average so far with 70.33 – it’s unbelievable batting.

 Next time I see Crooky I must ask him what next week’s lottery numbers will be!

On the bowling front we currently have the top two wicket takers in the division, Steven Crook with 23 and David Willey with 20 wickets. Crooky, if he stays fit will surely already be one of the signings of the season, and if David Willey continues with his form with both bat and ball, an England Lions call up will not be too far away.

Also a word for the other two pace bowlers, Andrew Hall  without the captaincy this season seems to be revelling in his all-rounder position already taking 13 wickets to his name and averaging 28 with the bat.

Trent Copeland, our Australian overseas player can count himself unlucky not to have taken a lot more wickets than his 15 so far bowling a mean line, he must take credit for some of the other lads wickets at the other end that have been taken so far, it’s about creating pressure at one end and he certainly fits the bill for that.

Because the four pace bowlers have bowled so well this season poor old James Middlebrook hasnt had much of a looking in so far this season but I am sure once the wickets get a lot drier his spin bowling will come into play. He has done his bit with the bat so far averaging  a good 42.50.

There are not many teams that can bat all the way down to number eleven but we are one County that can boast that record so far. As I said earlier in my piece all sports are a team game and everyone at the moment is stepping up to the plate to do there bit for the county.

Let’s not sniff at some of the opposition we have faced so far, Essex at home still had a very strong team out and for us to win by a innings was certainly a great achievement, Gloucestershire away is always a hard place to get a result.

A lot of people in the media said that our biggest test so far this season would be Kent and with their strong line-up we certainly put them to bed. Northamptonshire County Cricket Club are top of the league, the sun is shining what more could a Northants supporter want ? Wait a minute, Crooky what are next week’s lottery numbers mate.............

Ian Harris' blog: Wow, what a start! www.northantscricket.com