14/04/2024

James Pattinson was instrumental to Nottinghamshire's 10 wicket win over Derbyshire on the weekend. (Photo: cricket.com.au)

As the County Championship season enters a three-week break for the start of the England T20 Blast, some Australians had the opportunity to help their respective sides secure some vital points for the red-ball campaign.

As the County Championship season enters a three-week break for the start of the England T20 Blast, some Australians had the opportunity to help their respective sides secure some vital points for the red-ball campaign. 

The Inner Sanctum takes a look at how the six Aussies in action fared in the most recent matches to be played across Divisions One and Two. 

Peter Handscomb (Middlesex):

Handscomb had limited impact during his side’s six wicket win against Durham, with the game marking his last outing for Middlesex this season. The Victorian was dismissed cheaply for 14 off 42 balls in the first innings after being clean bowled.

However, the 31-year-old went on to produce a vital unbeaten knock of 39* off 50 balls on the final day of the match to steer his side to victory.

It has been an up and down campaign for Handscomb from a batting perspective, averaging 31.42 across eight innings. Nevertheless, he will be pleased that his side currently sits top of the table in Division Two, having not yet been defeated thus far.

Matthew Kelly (Northamptonshire):

Kelly performed commendably for Northamptonshire in their drawn clash with Kent. After Northamptonshire won the toss and elected to bowl first, Kelly made the first breakthrough in the second session of play, dismissing young English batter Zak Crawley for 62 and in the process ending Kent’s opening partnership of 93. The West Australian went on to finish with figures of 2-116 off 24 overs for the first innings in what was an extended period of time spent out in the field by his side.

Not for the first time this season, Kelly was deployed as nightwatchman during his side’s batting innings. The 27-year-old was successful, adding a handy 25 off 67 balls with the bat to contribute to his team’s first innings total of 430.

Kelly only bowled the five overs in the second innings, conceding two runs. 

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James Pattinson (Nottinghamshire):

Pattinson has been in fine form of late and showed no signs of slowing down against Derbyshire. In what was a compelling contest, the Victorian seam bowler struck early on Day One, claiming the big wicket of Pakistani left-handed opening batter Shan Masood for 18. Shan Masood is the current leading run scorer in Division Two, making him a prized scalp. Pattinson finished with figures of 2-85 off 20 overs in the first innings to help restrict Derbyshire to a total of 260.

The 32-year-old also had an impact with the bat, blasting his way to a quickfire 21 off 13 balls to contribute to his side’s 98 run first-innings lead. Pattinson’s entertaining knock included three fours and a mammoth six.

Pattinson continued to show his class with the ball in the second innings, taking 3-59 off 21 overs to set his team on the path to a comprehensive 10 wicket win. He has now got 16 wickets to his name so far this season and judging by his exuberant celebrations, is relishing his time in the UK. 

Nottinghamshire currently sit second on the table in Division 2, having only tasted defeat once so far this season.

Peter Siddle (Somerset):

Despite Somerset’s crushing 10 wicket loss to the in-form Hampshire, Siddle was a shining light for his side. The 37-year-old veteran claimed figures of 4-80 off 25.3 overs in the first innings, giving his side a glimmer of hope heading into the second innings.

However, it wasn’t to be for Somerset, with the home side bowled out for a paltry second innings total of 69 to hand Hampshire the victory.

Matthew Renshaw (Somerset):

Just like his team, Renshaw struggled to have an impact against Hampshire. The Queenslander reached 27 off 63 balls in the first innings before being dismissed. This was only followed by a brief stay at the crease in the second, compiling 11 off 21 balls.

Across eight innings this season, Renshaw has amassed 371 runs at an average of 46.38.

Somerset are currently positioned third last on the table in Division One.

Nathan McAndrew (Warwickshire):

In his first season in the County Championship, McAndrew continues to impress for reigning champions Warwickshire. Having shown some strong form of late, the 28-year-old fast bowler collected 4-111 off 34.3 overs in the first innings of his side’s clash with Yorkshire. This marked McAndrew’s second four-wicket haul of the campaign and increased his wicket tally to 11 for the season.

The next round of County Championship matches will begin on June 12, with the England T20 Blast commencing this Thursday.

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