Klein in hot wa­ter as Azad and Slater pun­ish weak Lan­cashire at­tack

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Cricket - Bob Willis Tro­phy By Scyld Berry at Worces­ter Le­ices­ter­shire (183-2) trail Lan­cashire (322) by 139 runs

Don Brad­man and his dou­ble-hun­dreds have for­ever linked New Road at Worces­ter with the start of the English sea­son. Ex­cept this county sea­son has be­gun in Au­gust, not April, and this Bob Willis Tro­phy match does not in­volve Worces­ter­shire at all, but is a home game for Lan­cashire.

Such anom­alies have hap­pened be­fore – Mid­dle­sex hosted a game at Chelms­ford on the eve of a Lord’s Cup fi­nal, while Sur­rey re­lo­cated to Lord’s in 1914 when the Oval was req­ui­si­tioned for war – and this game was to have been staged at Leices­ter un­til their lock­down.

There­upon it be­came a Lan­cashire home game, ex­cept they did not have a ground be­cause Old Traf­ford is be­ing pre­pared for Wed­nes­day’s first Test against Pak­istan, and Aig­burth is un­avail­able.

Both Lan­cashire and Le­ices­ter­shire are stay­ing in the newish ho­tel at the ground, but on sep­a­rate floors, which should en­sure there are no reper­cus­sions or reprisals fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent when Le­ices­ter­shire’s left-arm pace bowler Di­eter Klein threw the ball at, and hurt, Lan­cashire’s Danny Lamb.

It is for the match ref­eree, Alec Swann, to de­cide whether there should be any punishment be­yond the five-run penalty im­posed at the time by the um­pires.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened when Lan­cashire were ex­tend­ing their overnight 265 for six to 322 on a dry pitch, be­fore Le­ices­ter­shire replied with 183 for two.

Klein, bowl­ing round the wicket, was straight-driven by Lan­cashire’s young all-rounder Lamb, one of many young­sters try­ing to make an im­pres­sion in this mini-sea­son in the ab­sence of most overseas play­ers.

Lamb mid­dled his straight drive so the ball sped back to Klein, who threw the ball back and hit Lamb on his left foot. Klein walked to­wards the bats­man with his arm raised in ad­mis­sion of his er­ror, but Lamb was slumped on his knees and look­ing at the ground.

Klein had pre­tended to throw sev­eral times be­fore, on days one and two, but throw­ing the ball as he did was a clear in­fringe­ment of Law 42.3 on the sub­ject of “throw­ing the ball at a player, um­pire or another per­son in an in­ap­pro­pri­ate and dan­ger­ous man­ner”.

It was not a mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stance that a witty tweeter was to ob­serve that the in­ci­dent marked a se­ri­ous “D. Klein in play­ers’ be­hav­iour”. Klein is also an in­ter­na­tional crick­eter: born in South Africa, he has rep­re­sented Ger­many in T20 in­ter­na­tion­als, and had a good game against Spain.

The se­nior um­pire, Nick Cook, who had im­posed a five­point penalty be­fore for the same of­fence, strolled over to his square-leg col­league, Rob White, to check that Lamb had not tried to take a run – if Lamb had moved out of his crease, it was only a few inches, but there was no side-on cam­era to con­firm.

Cook passed judg­ment as the cathe­dral bells tolled noon. Both in real time and as a re­play the in­ci­dent was un­ac­cept­able, but not the gravest vi­o­la­tion.

The rest of the day be­longed to Le­ices­ter­shire, rather sur­pris­ingly, as they had fin­ished bot­tom of the Se­cond Di­vi­sion last sea­son, whereas Lan­cashire had topped it.

Their open­ing pair of Has­san Azad and Ben Slater put on a first-wicket stand of 153 at an old-fash­ioned pace of 58 overs, with Slater go­ing on to his sixth first-class cen­tury and fin­ish­ing on 104 off 223 balls. He has been loaned by Not­ting­hamshire for a fort­night, that is for a cou­ple of Bob Willis Tro­phy games, and might have that ex­tended as a rare case of a Notts player go­ing to Leices­ter, rather than the other way around.

Lan­cashire are lack­ing a whole co­hort of bowlers: James An­der­son, Richard Glee­son and Saqib Mah­mood are on Eng­land Test or one-day in­ter­na­tional du­ties, Matt Parkin­son was in­jured on ODI duty, while Gra­ham Onions nig­gled his back on the morn­ing of this game and Luke Wood is also in­jured.

This left Lan­cashire hav­ing to select three first-class debu­tants: a right-arm pace bowler in Ed Moul­ton, a tall left-arm spin­ner in Tom Hart­ley, who is start­ing to find turn, and last year’s Eng­land Un­der-19 cap­tain Ge­orge Balder­son, a com­ing all-rounder.

Hart­ley took his maiden first­class wicket when Azad edged a bat-pad catch to short leg. As left­handed open­ers go, Azad is more cau­tious than Slater, and has the man­ner­ism of point­ing his bat in the air above the bowler’s head be­fore bring­ing it down.

But it is noth­ing quirky com­pared to Rory Burns, and he used his feet to pace and spin to avoid be­ing bogged down.

At least Lan­cashire and Le­ices­ter­shire have only had to en­dure plague and pesti­lence, whereas Worces­ter has suf­fered flood as well – six in­un­da­tions last win­ter.

Good start: Ben Slater, on loan at Le­ices­ter­shire, hit an un­beaten 104

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.