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The same setting with the same characters and the same plot

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  • The same setting with the same characters and the same plot

    The Challenge

    To take Glamorgan from lowly county to all-conquering champions, crushing all in our wake. Just as the world should be. It’s my first campaign in CC2022 and initially I don’t plan to change my tactics from previous years so it will be interesting to see how much has changed and how much hasn’t.
    Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:12 PM.

  • #2
    Where it’s at

    Where we begin.

    The big highlight of 2021 was the massive success of winning silverware for the first time in 17 years. A great success with plenty of young players coming through. Outside of this, however, the picture was all too familiar. In the group phase of the FC we only manages two wins but this was enough to secure a place in Division 2 since both Kent and Sussex were able to win just the one match between them. Once in Division 2 we lost all but one match, which was drawn while we finished at the bottom of the table in the T20s. In truth finishing 12th was probably a bit flattering.

    Over winter the squad has been strengthened in some areas but is very thin. With the way the season is structured and the players I have there is every chance of the OD team doing well if they get some momentum going again and if all are fit and firing this could be a mid-table FC team, maybe pushing up to 3rd if all goes well. T20 cricket is harder because you simply have to have the right sort of batsmen. Which I don’t. So I expect to be struggling for runs. And maybe wickets.
    Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:12 PM.


    • #3
      Where I want to be

      Winning everything, of course. But the main focus is going to be on T20 since it is the quickest way to boost revenue. The OD cup would be nice and since there are no players in the 100 I stand a decent chance.

      So let’s take a first look at the existing squad.
      Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:12 PM.


      • #4
        The Players


        A huge issue is the lack of openers in all three formats. In FC cricket the best of the bunch is this season’s real life captain David Lloyd by an alarmingly large amount given he averages 29. Next choice is the inexperienced Edward Byrom with a FC average of 27. To contrast my first choice openers against each other I can expect Lloyd to breach the 50 mark every 4-5 games and Byrom every 6 while a century is likely to come along every other season or so for both. The remaining openers are Joe Cooke who had a fantastic OD season last year but no FC record to speak of and a 2nd XI average a shade above 25, and Andrew Salter who in real life is resolutely no opening batsman but has been used to open the batting due to injuries. Whether this is reflected in game or if he now performs like and opener will be seen but if he does then an average of 24 is awful. I think that Salter being pressed into opening the FC batting in real life speaks volumes about the fragility of the squad as a whole.

        When it comes to OD cricket it looks worse. Cooke has the highest average but wasn’t used as an opener in last year’s successful campaign, neither was Salter and Byrom has played only seven matches so much rests on Lloyd and his average of 29. At least in T20 cricket he can be used as an all-rounder with a batting average of 23.85 and bowling average of 25.33 while the other options are as inspiring as a day out to Hinckley Point.
        Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:13 PM.


        • #5

          An area that if the first choice players are available for FC matches actually has some strength this year with the signing of Sam Northeast to partner Marnus Labuschagne (when he is available). If they both start in their favoured FC positions of 3 and 4 their combined averages of 45 and 38 will be a vital building block in the innings. The next best batsmen are veteran wicket keeper Chris Cooke who averages just under 38 and who prefers to come in at 6 and Colin Ingram who averages 37.08 but is likely to mostly feature in FC games as cover for Labuschagne.

          This leaves a key opening at 5 and, if I go for a four-man bowling attack, an opening at 7. There are three main batting options, Kiran Carlson, Billy Root and Daniel Douthwaite.

          Kiran Carlson seems like a player yet to fulfil his potential. FC, OD and T20 averages of 31.56, 24.91 and 16.55 while his 2nd XI averages are 60.90, 63.19 and 38.03, drops of 48%, 60% and 44% when they should be more like 9%. So the question is over whether he hasn’t reached his potential because of how he has been used by the coach or because he can’t make it at the next level. A good aggressive player I would like to see him reach his potential so will give this season to prove himself so if I go for a 5 man bowling attack he will come in at 5 but in a 4 man attack his attack ability may be better used at 7. Root has also failed too live up to his 2nd XI promise in FC cricket, though his OD average is good, averaging just 31.78 as compared to 68.25 in the 2nds. Like Carlson there is a question over if he can fulfil that potential but his OD average of 40 gives him another format to fall back on if he can not. Lastly there is Douthwaite whose strength is more likely to lie in being a LO all-rounder though if he can live up to his 2nd XI promise should be a tidy batman who can take a wicket or two if needs be.

          Lastly there is Tom Cullen, an old fashioned wicket keeper who can block out a few overs.

          When it comes to OD batting it looks fairly promising with Ingram and Root averaging over 40 (as does Douthwaite but only over four matches) while both Cookes, Labuschagne, Cullen and Northeast average in the low mid-30s. Carlson should really be doing better. After the weakness at opener the main batting attack is pretty good for OD matches.

          In the T20s Labuschagne, Ingram and Northeast average in the high 20s, Cooke and Root 23 and 20 with Carlson and Douthwaite the mid-teens and Cullen a whopping 5 runs. Oh dear.
          Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:13 PM.


          • #6
            All Rounders

            Key signing is Australian Michael Neser though he is more of a bowler who can bat a bit, averaging 24.07 with the ball and a handy (but hardly game-changing) 24.06 with the bat. He will open the bowling with Michael Hogan in all formats. The only other seam option is James Weighell who I would struggle to call an all-rounder at all.

            There are then players classified as spinning all-rounders, none of whom are. Callum Taylor could be a good T20 player but holds little promise in FC cricket, I have no idea what why Sam Pearce is here at all while Prem Sisodiya is an uninspiring fall-back option. None of them can do more than biff a few runs.

            Weighell offers a good OD bowling option but is very much a bowler and not an all-rounder, Nesser is surprisingly poor while the three spin options are all very very weak.

            Neser is alright in the T20s but, again, not a real all-rounder and Taylor looks like he could be a very good option, averaging 17.20 with an economy of 7.44. The others are, again, not up to much.
            Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:13 PM.


            • #7

              Michael Hogan will be leading the bowling with Neser, averaging 24.49 at 2.69 he offers the best control of all the bowlers.

              Vying for position behind Neser and Hogan are Timm van der Gugten and the returning James Harris. van der Gugten has the better average and economy but there is nothing between them in terms of strike rate. On average van der Gugten takes a five-for every 3 matches, Harris every 5, which suggests that I will get more match winning spells from van der Gugten but more consistency from Harris. Harris is the better batter, only a little behind Neser.

              Of the remaining bowlers Jamie McIlroy holds the most promise and as a left-hander adds variety but he is already 27 so is a mid-term rather than a long-term prospect. He should be givena chance, especially in LO cricket. Ruaidhri Smith could add variety to an otherwise one-paced attack but his averages are awful, as are Lukas Carey’s. Andy Gorvin could be a very good OD bowler and his strike rate is ok in 3 day cricket but he lacks the control needed for a medium-pacer. I have absolutely no idea why Tegid Phillips is on the payroll, none at all.

              Hogan is a proven OD performer but the next two best performers have proven nothing. Gorvin could be an excellent OD bowler, averaging 21.76 with an economy of 5.24 in the 2nd XI while McIlroy averages 26.69 at 4.8 an over. Van der Gugten, Smith and Harris are proven second choice options. I still have no idea what Phillips is doing in the squad.

              It is easier in T20s with both Hogan and van der Gugten are proven performers, Smith and Harris are still second choices, McIlroy’s 2nd XI figures are again good, Gorvin is likely to be another second-choice option. Still no idea about Phillips.

              Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:14 PM.


              • #8

                There are three things I want, an opener, a spinner and back-up all-rounder for Neser. In a sea of domestic mediocrity I find just the one, aggressive opener Nick Madden whose 3 day average of 68.78 is over twice that of any other batsman on the market and his OD average of 44.48 features a 50 or 100 every four matches. His T20 average of 28.53 is misleading because he has 7 not outs in just 22 matches and faces on average 18 balls, suggesting he has not been opening the batting. I sign him for 3 years. No international all-rounder is interested in being paid £40,000 but in retrospect I should have looked for a bowler instead. Oops.
                Last edited by cde; 07-09-2022, 10:14 PM.


                • #9
                  With the squad now full I take a look over the players and try to decide who I want to develop and in what order.

                  Hoping he will become the player his Mum wants him to be I give Carlson general batting.Madden OD boundry hitting and Sisodiya defensive bowling training.

                  Madden looks like he could be a good FC player so needs to develop his LO skills, I give him the all-new boundry training.

                  Sisodiya looks like the least useless spinner, I give him some defensive training to make him at least economical


                  • #10
                    Warm-up Match
                    Glamorgan v Cardiff MCCU

                    D. Lloyd, E. Byrom, N. Madden, M. Labuschagne, S. Northeast, C. Cooke, K. Carlson, M. Nesser, M. Hogan, T, van der Gugten, P. Sisodiya

                    Cardiff MCCU
                    E. Chambers, J. Lappin, D. Reeves, K. Alcock, C. Leigh, O. Moss, J. Piggott, B. Hawking, F. Shone, C. Pearson, T. Dublin

                    Cardiff MCCU 115 & 137
                    Durham 542-7 dec

                    Match won by and innings and 290 runs

                    With the addition of Madden to the squad I decide to move him in to play 3 with Lloyd and Byrom opening and shift Labuschagne and Northeast down from their favoured positions to 4 and 5. This should give Madden the chance to establish himself before moving to opener. Cooke comes in at 6 so I go for Carlson at 7 and a four-man attack of Hogan, Neser, van der Gugten and Sisodiya. The weak link in this is Sysodiya but having part-time bowler Lloyd should help and I plump for van der Gugten’s economy over Harris’ batting.

                    That is a strong seam attack but very one-paced and much will depend on how Hogan will hold up and Sisodiya being able to at least control the run rate. I would expect to average 340 with the bat and be able to bowl a team for 275, so this really should be a winning team. These are averages over the season and I would expect to be bowling teams for much less if it is a spin-friendly pitch.

                    What I want from a warm-up match is to play all my batsmen once and I want them all to get a good start for the season so I go no higher than two bars until they reach 50 since this seems to effect their form quite a but then move up to three bars until they reach 90. I don’t want any player to get over a hundred since massive scores in the warm up match are often be balanced with a poor run of form over the next few matches and it also uses up time that would be better spent giving other players a chance, so once they are over 90 I go full throttle in the hope they will get 100 and then out. I would love to be able to just retire a batsman. For my bowlers I want to bowl them out twice and for the wickets to be evenly spread out.

                    They choose to bat first and we scythe them down, Nesser leading with 4-30 but wickets all around.

                    Lloyd and Madden go to plan with 108 and 105 respectively but Byrom goes wild and hits 195 then Labuschage, Northeast and Cooke flop before Carlson hits and unbeaten 50.

                    Hogan takes none but Nesser another 4 as we wipe them out for a routine win.


                    • #11
                      County Championship
                      Glamorgan v Durham

                      D. Lloyd, E. Byrom, N. Madden, M. Labuschagne, S. Northeast, C. Cooke, K. Carlson, M. Nesser, M. Hogan, T, van der Gugten, P. Sisodiya

                      A Lees, S. Dickson, S. Borthwick, D. Bedingham, H. Nicholls, B. Stokes, N. Eckersley, G. Clark, B. Carse, B. Raine, C. Rushworth

                      Glamorgan 349 & 234-8
                      Durham 301 & 147-3

                      Match drawn

                      I stick to the same team. We win the toss and bat first on a pitch showing one bar for seam and spin.

                      I start the openers on one bar aggression, moving up to two once they are out of the red then three bars once I get some green. Lloyd and Byrom make a solid enough start, Byrom going on to a half century. As each new batsman comes in I start them on two bars and again move up to three once it hints at green. The four opening partnerships are all over 40, Labuschagne also hitting a half century, setting a good base for Carlson to be naturally aggressive as he puts on a century and take us to a good total.

                      The pitch has hardly deteriorated, one bar seam and two spin, which is unfortunate because spin in the weak spot. I kick off with four bars bowling aggression at the stumps, so I drop to three outside off quite quickly and then two outside off as Durham make a strong start. It takes fifth change part-timer Lloyd to make the breakthrough. Keeping on three bars for the new batsmen until we take some reasonably cheap wickets before Stokes and Clarke dig in, once settled I tie them down to restrict their run rate. We finally prise them out and Hogan finishes with 5-62 and we take a healthy lead.

                      Feeling positive we head out to build a quick lead, kicking off on two bars but they scythe through the top order. I get Northeast and Cooke drop anchor, zero bars and slowly rebuild. Once the initial burst of wickets is over they start to gather pace, Cooke falling just short of a century and Carlson starting to hit them about before we declare. The total immediately feels too safe, they will need to rattle along at 4.38 an over and I will have to bowl them in two sessions on a spin-friendly pitch with a suspect spinner.

                      They drop anchor and grind it out no matter how hard I go at them or with whom.

                      It feels like an opportunity lost, a failure to trust the bowling section brought about by Hogan and van der Gugten proving to be the only real threat in the first innings, though the pitch had favoured spin as it deteriorated and Sisodiya showed no sign of taking a hat full of wickets.


                      • #12
                        County Championship
                        Nottinghamshire v Glamorgan

                        B. Duckett, H. Hammed, B. Slater, J. Clarke, J. Burnham, L. James, S. Mullaney, S. Broad, L. Fletcher, J. Paul, D. Paterson

                        D. Lloyd, E. Byrom, N. Madden, M. Labuschagne, S. Northeast, C. Cooke, K. Carlson, M. Nesser, M. Hogan, T, van der Gugten, P. Sisodiya

                        Glamorgan 207 & 277-8 dec
                        Nottinghamshire 232 & 204

                        Match won by 48 runs

                        I again stick to the same team. Nottinghamshire are much fancied to top the division so this may be a tough game.

                        The first four sessions of the match are set for rain and the pitch could get bouncy, showing two bars for seam, none for spin, we are put in to bat.

                        There is little play on the first day but what there is leaves me 51-4. In these sort of conditions I start the openers on zero bars, moving up to one and two at the same points as I usually move to 2two and three. Northeast hits a steady 74 and with some help from Cooke and Carlson drag us to 207 all out just after tea on day two, there has been a lot of time lost.
                        I stick to the bowling plan – kick off with 4 bars aggression on the stumps, move to three outside off once they are of 10, then move to 2 outside off. We take steady wickets but Hameed proves a stubborn obstacle, getting through eight batting partners while making 95 off 277 balls and taking them 25 ahead despite another 5-52 from Hogan.

                        With four sessions left the aim is going to be setting them a target of 250 by lunchtime on day four. I go hard at them, four bars from the off in an attempt to push them on the back foot but despite some strong hitting from Lloyd, Madden and Labuschagne they keep on the attack and so I drop Northeast and Cooke down to one bar to halt their momentum, moving up to two and then three like they were openers. What I should have done to start with. Northeast puts on 68 and despite starting on two bars an equally as careful 63 from Carlson sets them 253 to win in two sessions, a run rate of about 4.2.

                        They start their chase solidly, I’m attacking on four bars and we quickly reach a stalemate whereby if I go in hard I eventually pick up a wicket but the run rate starts getting away from me so I tie them down with two bars outside off and a defensive field and they seem to sit back and wait. This is quite new from the game, usually if a batsman was chasing on the last day and got going then using this tactic might slow them down but in doing so they would try too hard and get out. Eventually we break through the top order and take some quick wickets, all on three bars attack, and they are 190-9 with fifteen overs remaining. Fletcher and Paterson dig in hard and it takes Hogan, having taken 4-34 to come back into the attack on full throttle for the final over to win the match with another 5-for and four balls to spare.

                        A very close match, even more satisfying because I had the worst of the conditions in the first innings. The bowling is, however, a worry with Hogan having taken over 50% of the wickets and Sisodiya not much more of a threat then Lloyd.


                        • #13
                          County Championship
                          Glamorgan v Middlesex

                          P. Malan, S. Robson, S. Eskinazi, M. Stoneman, E. Morgan, J. Simpson, N. Priestley, L. Hollman, S. Afridi, T. Murtagh, E. Bamber

                          D. Lloyd, E. Byrom, N. Madden, M. Labuschagne, S. Northeast, C. Cooke, K. Carlson, M. Nesser, M. Hogan, T, van der Gugten, P. Sisodiya

                          Middlesex 265 & 209
                          Glamorgan 381 & 96-2

                          Match won by 8 wickets

                          I again stick to the same team though Sisodiya is under pressure to take some wickets with Salter doing fairly well in the 2nd team.

                          We lose the toss and are asked to bowl, the pitch is one bar for seam and spin.

                          I start off on 3 bars outside off. Just as they get going Neser strikes but it is only after lunch that I bring in Sisodiya, who takes Robson first ball. After this I continue the three bar attack and take regular wickets until Priestley and Holman hold us up. We break this annoying partnership just before the new ball so go on the attack, but Neser is particularly wayward and the pressure if off them. Eventually we clean them up for 265.

                          The pitch is now two bars seam, two spin. Lloyd is out for 1 in three balls but Byrom and Madden put on 95, Madden going on to post 85, his first FC 50. He sets the platform, though Labuschagne struggles to 23 off 79, for Northeast and Cook to put on a century partnership before some big hitting from Cooke and the tail takes us 116 clear. Cooke falls just short of a century for the second time.

                          In the driving seat, 116 ahead with the pitch 3 bars seam and three spin. Hogan gets Robson to nick behind for 6 and then Neser has Eskinazi caught in the slips before Malan and Stoneman mount a fightback. All the batsmen start quickly against four bars aggression so I go to three bars and stay there. This time it is Neser to get the 5-for as we make steady progress through the wickets, though frustratingly Sisodiya is now about as threatening as a hamster, and they can do no more than limp 94 ahead with two sessions left to play.

                          Byrom and Madden fall but Lloyd and Labuschagne see us home comfortably.

                          A fairly dominant win, and it wasn’t just Hogan taking the wickets this time!


                          • #14
                            County Championship
                            Derbyshire v Glamorgan

                            S. Masood, M. Wagstaff, L. Reece, W. Madsen, B. Guest, B. Godleman, A. Hughes, A. Thompson, G. Scrimshaw, B. Aitchinson, S. Conners

                            D. Lloyd, E. Byrom, N. Madden, M. Labuschagne, S. Northeast, C. Cooke, K. Carlson, M. Nesser, M. Hogan, T, van der Gugten, P. Sisodiya

                            Glamorgan 336 & 240-5 dec
                            Deryshire 171 & 216

                            Match won by 189 runs

                            Labuschagne is struggling but it seems foolish to drop him so he is given one more chance, Sisodiya keeps his place but has to deliver to keep it.

                            We win the toss and bat first on a lively pitch – two bars seam and spin – which could be key. It proves impossible to move above 2 bars without quickly losing a wicket, losing Lloyd for 50 and Madden that way, so just stick to the 2 bars. Labuschagne fails again but 110 from Cooke and 60 from Carlson takes us to 336, a score from which we should win given the pitch has already deteriorated.

                            Hogan scythes through the top order and they are quickly 41-5. Labuschagne drops Godleman on 18, which seems unfortunate but hardly awful given the chances we are creating but he goes on to make a century partnership with Hughes and is eventually run out for 80. We roll them over just short of the follow on but don’t enforce it since chasing anything on this pitch is going to be difficult.

                            Lloyd puts on another half century and I should declare sooner but the pitch is now 4 bars for each and the best part of four sessions should be enough.

                            We take a quick wicket but Labuschagne drops another, this time Wagstaff on 10, which is punished – not by runs but by a grinding partnership with Reece. They dig really deep and manage to almost make it to safety but we catch them with just over two overs to spare.

                            It is hard to tell is the AI has dramatically improved at playing for draws or the limits of my attack have been exposed. Sisodiya was completely toothless, getting milked for runs and producing no chances in a dozen overs as compared to part-timer Lloyd who was more economical and produced three chances (2 lbw and a played-and-missed) in the same number of overs. The three bowlers are good but also lacking variety, all being RFM, which I find makes it harder to take wickets when the opposition dig in.

                            The result we should have got but Labuschagne and Sisodiya have played themselves out of the side.


                            • #15
                              County Championship
                              Glamorgan v Leicestershire

                              D. Lloyd, E. Byrom, N. Madden, C. Ingram, S. Northeast, C. Cooke, K. Carlson, Al. Salter, M. Nesser, M. Hogan, T, van der Gugten

                              H. Azad, S. Evans, C. Ackermann, H. Swindells, L. Kimber, G. Rhodes, L. Hill, W. Mulder, C, Parkinson, C. Wright, B. Hendricks

                              Glamorgan 198 & 192
                              Leicestershire 459

                              Match lost by an innings and 69 runs

                              Labuschagne and Sisodiya are out, Ingram and Salter are in. Ingram is going ok – 50% form and Salter is the best of the spin options available. Byrom’s form has been awful but the other option, Cooke, isn’t dong great in the 2nd XI so I stick with him.

                              The pitch is two bars seam, one spin. There is some cloud cover after lunch but the decision to ask me to bat seems bizarre.

                              Byrom is out cheaply yet again but I progress serenely to lunch for no further loss, losing Madden and an hour’s play before tea and then another 40 minues after. Lloyd falls fall 83 and despite cloudy conditions I’m feeling smug on 153-3 when it happens. South African all-rounder Wiaan Mulder goes from 1-50 to 5-56 and I lose seven wickets for just 39 runs. Oh dear.

                              Hazad and Evans grind out an opening partnership of 83 runs in 39 overs, most concerningly while Hogan and Neser are giving away almost no runs van der Gugten is going for almost four an over from the off, even bowling two bars outside off to a defensive field so I bring in Lloyd who is as economical as the opening pair. Eventually out to Hogan and Lloyd I look to press home the advantage but have to change a tiring Hogan for Neser and bring in Salter as Lloyd tires. Salter is smashed for 30 in just four overs and I have to fall back on the expensive van der Gugten. Their next three partnerships all average over 80 as I am forced to rotate Hogan and Nesser at one end and Lloyd and Ingram at the other. The batsmen slowly get on top of Lloyd and push the run rate up, Ingram remains surprisingly economical as does Neser but neither are creating chances and the wicket taking is left to Hogan and Lloyd. I eventually bowl them for 459, salter eventually taking a wicket when Hill comes down the wicket and is stumped.

                              There is a long time left in the match so set out to just play normally and see where it leads. 55-5 is where it leads. The match gone I bump Cooke and Carlson up to four bars aggression where they hit 63 and 49 respectively before the inevitable loss.

                              After some really strong performances this feels like a full stop, Byrom’s poor form after his big score in the warm up match has meant that the opening partnership is averaging just 16 over the five matches and while Hogan is having a great run of form my part-time medium pacer jas a better strike rate than either Neser or any of my spin options. The bowling attack is resting too heavily upon Hogan.
                              Last edited by cde; 07-12-2022, 03:51 PM.