Cricket: Honours Even as Warwicks See Ackerman Lift Tyro Cobb; LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP LEICESTER (First Day, Leics Won Toss): Leicestershire Have Scored 288 for Six V Warwickshire

The Birmingham Post (England), July 31, 2008 | Go to article overview

Cricket: Honours Even as Warwicks See Ackerman Lift Tyro Cobb; LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP LEICESTER (First Day, Leics Won Toss): Leicestershire Have Scored 288 for Six V Warwickshire


Byline: By George Dobell Chief Cricket Writer, at Grace Road

There have been some harsh words exchanged between the management of Leicestershire and Warwickshire in recent weeks.

Divergent views over the Kolpak issue have reduced the relationship between Ashley Giles, Warwickshire's director of cricket, and Keith (KD) Smith, Leicestershire's chief executive, to stony silence.

That's a shame. There should be far more that unites than divides them and both have much to offer English cricket. While Giles has clearly made an excellent start to the enormous job of rebuilding Warwickshire cricket, Smith has evidence to suggest he is also making progress. Both want the same thing - to develop young English-qualified players - but disagree on the methods.

While Giles believes Kolpak signings simply impede the development of young Englishmen, Smith insists that the right choice of import can help their progress. With four youngsters in the England age-group sides (including two in the Under-19 team who would have played in this match) it would suggest there is some logic in his methods.

On the evidence of yesterday's play here, both will feel their approach has been vindicated.

Warwickshire, delding 11 England qualified cricketers, worked their way through the hosts' batting on a blameless surface and begin the second day with their noses in front.

For a side lacking both opening bowlers, Chris Martin (hamstring) and Chris Woakes (England U19 duty), that's not a bad effort.

Leicestershire could also feel some satisfaction, however. Led by the admirable HD Ackerman, their side (which contains three Kolpak registrations and an overseas player) recovered from a perilous start and was boosted in particular by the contribution of 17-year-old Joshua Cobb.

Their batting has been awful of late. Not since May 31 had they picked up a batting bonus point (meaning they failed to reach 200 in their first innings for three matches in succession), so to resume this morning on the brink of a third is, relatively, plentiful.

It also reflects somewhat on the Warwickshire attack. This pitch is slow and bat and there was precious little swing available. Ian Salisbury found some turn with his leg-spin but generally this is another surface that will only encourage attritional cricket.

In such conditions Warwickshire's seam attack, sans Woakes and Martin, looks thin.

Though Jimmy Anyon bowled an impressive ten-over opening spell (two for 30), Naqaash Tahir was distinctly underwhelming and Jonathan Trott, a somewhat surprising choice of first change, bowled a tight but unthreatening spell. In such circumstances, the new ball takes on even more importance but Naqaash's insipid seven-over opening spell troubled none of the batsmen. It was telling that he was not recalled into the attack until the second new ball was taken.

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Cricket: Honours Even as Warwicks See Ackerman Lift Tyro Cobb; LV COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP LEICESTER (First Day, Leics Won Toss): Leicestershire Have Scored 288 for Six V Warwickshire
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