Warwickshire’s Half Term Report

As we approach the end of June we are pretty much halfway through the season and halfway through all three domestic compettitions. So it seems appropriate at this stage to assess how the Bears have done so far this season and to decide what we can expect to have achieved in each competition by the end of the season!

Six of the best young Master Bear!

So here I present Warwickshire’s Half Term Report:

Subject: T20 Cup

Performance in the T20 has been disappointing so far. A couple of early wins followed by a seven game run that reads W 1 L5 NR 1. Two of those games seemed certain victories but they were thrown away. The last T20 game at Edgbaston against Lancs has been described by many fans as the worst Bears performance they have ever seen.

So where can we hope to go from here?

Qualification for the quarter finals will probably go down to the wire in the Bears group. 4 teams going through from a league of 9 means a lot of teams are in with a sniff of a chance right down to the last round of matches!

I can see us being in with a chance of qualifying right up until the end but sadly I think we will fail to qualify for the quarters for only the second time in the competitions history!

Hopefully the Bears prove me wrong!

Subject: CB40

40 over cricket has been the Bears specialist subject over the last couple of years – winning Div 2 of the Pro40 in 2009 and the CB40 last year!

This year’s CB40 campaign has not gone all the Bears way with some great batting performances going hand in hand with some very poor bowling performances.

The CB40 group stage is very unforgiving. As there are no quarter finals there are only 4 semi final places up for grabs. The winner of each group goes through – as does the best runner up out of the 3 groups.

Warkwickshire are currently third in Group B behind Surrey and Northants! The Bears have also played a game more than both those teams.

It is looking like the Bears will need to win all of their 6 remaining games to qualify – and that includes home and away fixtures against group leaders Surrey!

So what can we expect?

I am sorry to say that I am once again not confidant of us getting out of the group stages of this competition either! But who knows we may just get second and if we do it will be down to the results in the other tables to see if we go through . . . .

Subject: The County Championship

It is in the area of 4 day cricket that Warwickshire have made the most progress so far this season!

Having been prime relegation candidates for most of last season the Bears just about managed to stay up.

This season has been much more positive so far.

They have done the double over Worcestershire and Somerset – and beat Notts at Trent Bridge too!

Despite some early season talk that we could win the Championship two defeats to Durham and a loss to Lancashire have brought the Bears back down to earth a little!

So where will we be in the County Championship by the end of the season?

I believe that Warwickshire should be aiming to finish third – the ‘best of the rest’ as it were – behind Lancs and Durham. And who knows if one of those teams falters we could even finish second.

Third would be an admirable achievement considering last years 6th place finish and our 8pt penalty for the pitch against Worcestershire. It would represent real progress and could help us attract some of the top class players that we are often being reported as trying to sign – such as Leicestershire’s James Taylor!

Targets for the rest of the term:

Ensure that third place in the County Championship is secured.

If qualification into the knockout phase of either the T20 or CB40 is achieved it would be a bonus!

Apologies in advance if any of my fellow Bears feel I am not being gung ho enough regarding the Bears prospects for the rest of the season. I have tried to look at things realistically for a change!

Of course, I secretly still hope that we win every game between now and the end of the season and complete the treble!

Cmon You Bears!

Mark

Twenty20 Cup: Is this our year?

So, here we are again, about to embark on our campaign to win our first ever Twenty20 Cup. The finals day is at Edgbaston this year so that give us even more incentive to get past that tricky quarter-final hurdle!

Twenty20 Cup: Is this our year?

The competition begins on June 1st with a repeat of last years final – Somerset v Hampshire. The Bears first game will be a tough one against Durham Dynamos at Chester-le-Street on Thursday.

It is a good chance for us to wipe the slate clean and forget the disappointments of the Championship defeats against Lancashire and Durham (twice), and our precarious position in the CB40 table after narrow loses to Hampshire and Northants!

Neil Carter and Ant Botha are possibly returning from injury for the first game – so thats great news to start the campaign with!

My XI (assuming Woakes not fit) would be:

Chopra
Carter
Porterfield
Troughton
Barker
Maddy
Clarke
Ambrose
Botha
Patel
Piolet

So how do my fellow Bears think we will do?

What should our first XI for T20 cricket be?

And who will be our star performers this year?

Over to you . . . .

Mark