THE LV= County Championship Division Two win over Kent was really pleasing and it was great to back up the display against Hampshire.
We did well in the opening game of the season at the Ageas Bowl, but had a few different people contributing this time and it was a really good team performance.
Bumpy (director of cricket Steve Rhodes) told us Kent had four Test players and two Lions players in their side, so it was nice to get a result against a team like that.
Some of our youngsters stepped up and did a great job — Ben Cox in particular.
That was a match-changing innings from Ben on Tuesday, while Charlie Morris bowled with unbelievable control in both innings and probably didn’t get as many wickets as he deserved.
The accuracy of our bowlers made it easier for me as captain to set fields.
Our plan on a slow, low wicket was simply to bowl at the stumps as straight as possible and all three seamers did that fantastically well.
We earned 12 lbw decisions in the game, which just shows how straight we bowled — we probably out-bowled Kent.
It is good to mix it up with the variety we have in our attack and, on that sort of wicket, you must be disciplined. Our natural variety helped in taking the wickets.
Gaz (Gareth Andrew) and Shants (Gareth Andrew and Jack Shantry) tend to swing the ball, while Mozza (Morris) is a seamer.
Then we have left and right-arm off-spinners (Shaaiq Choudhry and Moeen Ali, respectively), which makes it a nice balance and gives me plenty of options.
It’s early days for Mozza and he is still about 400 wickets behind Richo (Alan Richardson), but certainly has similar control and attitude.
Like Richo, he is a model professional, works as hard or harder than anyone else, is fit as a fiddle and bowls it on a dinner plate, which is all you can ask for.
Ben’s innings would suggest he is coming of age as a batsman. It was a tough time to bat as we were under the cosh having lost five wickets.
But the partnership between Ben and Ross (Whiteley) after lunch was outstanding, while Coxy then cashed in batting with the tail, which is never easy.
We have a week off now and, after a win like that, I’d prefer to keep going but we’ll get four days’ practice in before the Derbyshire game.
Saeed Ajmal’s no-objection certificate has come through from the Pakistan Cricket Board now, so it will be good to add him into the mix.
We’re looking forward to Saeed coming along. – Mo (Moeen Ali) speaks to him a lot and has said he is itching to get cracking with us, so I’m looking forward to seeing the magician in action.