Apr 182014

Wellington offspinner Jeetan Patel featured with bat and ball but his Warwickshire team still slumped to a seven-wicket loss against Sussex in their English County Championship division one match at Edgbaston.

Coming in at No.9, Patel boosted Warwickshire’s second innings 471 with an impressive 74 from 96 balls, going on to pick up 2-110 off 29 overs as Sussex reached their 330-run target with seven wickets in hand.

Patel last week made himself unavailable for the Black Caps, choosing instead to focus on his career with Warwickshire.

New Zealand opener Kane Williamson’s Yorkshire team drew their match with Somerset on a docile Taunton pitch, Williamson looking comfortable on an unbeaten 57 as Yorkshire reached 193-4 in their second innings.


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Apr 142014
Jeetan Patel rules himself out of Windies tour

Wellington offspinner Jeetan Patel sensationally withdrew from the New Zealand Test squad to tour West Indies last night as he was poised to end a 16-month absence from international cricket.

Patel was contacted by national selector Bruce Edgar in England, where he is beginning another county stint with Warwickshire, to tell him the good news he’d been picked in the 15-man squad for three Tests in June.

But Patel made himself unavailable, saying he wanted to focus on a full season with Warwickshire, for whom he was player of the year in 2013, and be with his wife and baby daughter who are based with him in the UK.

He stressed he hadn’t retired from international cricket.

It left Edgar and coach Mike Hesson a tough decision to pick a second spinner to partner Ish Sodhi in what is expected to be spin-friendly conditions in the Caribbean in June. Canterbury legspinner Todd Astle appeared next cab off the rank but nothing had been finalised last night.

Other likely features of the squad to be named in Christchurch today include a reprieve for openers Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford who are expected to be pitted in a three-way scrap with Tom Latham, and a possible callup for Wellington gloveman Luke Ronchi as backup wicketkeeper/batsman.

Spin was a strong focus for the selectors, with a mandatory two specialist spinners and batsmen best equipped to counter the dual threat of mystery offspinners Sunil Narine and Shane Shillingford.

Patel’s 19-Test career (52 wickets at an average of 48) looked to be floundering after his last series in South Africa in January 2013.

But the 33-year-old’s county form for Warwickshire on turning pitches was compelling (51 wickets at 23 in 2012, 52 wickets at 30 last year), and he was excellent in recent weeks for Wellington’s title-winning one-day side before returning to England.

A potential West Indies batting lineup featuring four left-handers – Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Kieran Powell and Shivnarine Chanderpaul – appeared to help Patel’s cause and count against Astle.

He was second on the Plunket Shield charts with 37 wickets at 30, and offers more with the bat, but two legspinners is a risk.

Left-armer Bruce Martin is contracted to NZC but hasn’t bounced back from being dropped in Bangladesh last October, and no other spinners demanded selection.

Plunket Shield run machine Latham appears a certainty for one opening slot in the first test at Kingston on June 8, with Rutherford and Fulton contesting the other berth in two warmup games in Kingston.

Both can count themselves fortunate after lean home summers, with Rutherford probably having his nose in front.

Ronchi, who is uncapped at Test level, provides genuine wicketkeeping backup to BJ Watling and middle order batting cover.

Hesson said last week promising paceman Matt Henry (side strain) wouldn’t be considered, and it seems there aren’t enough spots to fit in a final paceman, with Mark Gillespie and Hamish Bennett both on the cusp.

Allrounders Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham give Hesson options and if they play two spinners, it seems likely that Tim Southee and Trent Boult will be the two quicks with Neil Wagner missing the 11.

Spin has dominated in the West Indies’ first-class competition in recent weeks.

Hesson will also name a New Zealand A squad today for first-class and one-day matches in England.

Likely Test squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Tom Latham, Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

Apr 082014
Jeetan Patel backed for Black Caps recall

Published: 7:42AM Wednesday April 09, 2014 Source: Fairfax

He’s said it before and he’ll say it again: Wellington skipper James Franklin is adamant Jeetan Patel should be the second spinner in the New Zealand Test squad for the West Indies.

Selectors Mike Hesson and Bruce Edgar meet on Friday to pick two squads of 15; the Black Caps for three Tests in the Caribbean in June and NZA for one-day and first-class matches in England.

Coach Hesson said last week they would definitely choose two specialist spinners for the squad as they expect slow, turning pitches in Kingston, Port-of-Spain and Georgetown.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi is a certainty and Daniel Vettori (back) extremely unlikely, leaving the other tweaker as a genuine head-scratcher.

Not so in Franklin’s eyes.

“I’m biased but I think he [Patel] is still one of the best spinners in the country and he shows how good a spinner he is by one of the big counties in England wanting him back year after year. He goes over there [to Warwickshire] and produces the goods,” he said.

“His form, particularly in the last couple of weeks, has been awesome in the one-day stuff. His figures have been outstanding. I’d have him in my team, but I don’t pick it.”

Patel had a modest first-class season, taking 18 wickets at 47, but was a key man in Wellington’s one-day triumph, taking 10 wickets at 25 with an economy rate of 3.8.

The 33-year-old returned to Warwickshire this week, for whom he was voted player of the year in 2013 after taking 52 wickets at 30 and scoring 438 runs at 31. His county team-mate Ian Bell recently labelled Patel the best spinner in England. The previous year Patel snared 51 wickets at 23 as the Bears won the first division title.

Patel played the last of his 19 tests against South Africa in January 2013 and appeared to have his card marked by Hesson, notably for his batting when he backed away against the quicks.

Still, his wicket-taking exploits on turning English pitches give him a tick for the Caribbean where Sunil Narine and Shane Shillingford will provide a huge threat to New Zealand’s batsmen.

The fact West Indies’ like Test lineup contains left-handers Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Darren Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul also helps an offspinner’s cause.

On Plunket Shield numbers, Canterbury legspinner Todd Astle is the form horse. He took 37 wickets at 30 as the Wizards won the title, second to Wellington’s Mark Gillespie (42) on the wicket-taking charts, and bats well. But whether two legspinners is prudent against a lineup of left-handers is another question.

Left-armer Bruce Martin is contracted to NZ Cricket but was dropped in Bangladesh last October, and struggled with injury in Plunket Shield taking 23 wickets at 54. Legspinner Tarun Nethula (15 wickets at 57) continues to battle while young Otago offie Mark Craig is highly rated from age-grade cricket and took 22 shield wickets at 40.

Copyright © 2014, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

Oct 302013
Patel looms as answer to Black Caps spin riddle

Published: 8:06AM Thursday October 31, 2013 Source: Fairfax

Wellington captain James Franklin believes spinner Jeetan Patel deserves a New Zealand Test recall on current form.

The Plunket Shield opener against Otago fizzled to a draw yesterday, as Wellington reached 125 for three in their second innings, eyeing a mammoth 501 to win.

Both teams secured the maximum four batting points, but Wellington managed just one bowling point on a docile surface, as Otago racked up 534 for nine and 369 for eight declared.

While there wasn’t a huge amount for Wellington to enthuse about on a pitch that played a lot friendlier than expected, Patel provided some bright spots.

Coming off a season with Warwickshire where he was named the English county’s player of the year, taking 52 championship wickets at an average of 30, Patel snared six for 209 off 63 overs with little to work with at the Basin.

“He’s been outstanding for Warwickshire and he just knows his craft now,” said Franklin. “He’s learned it inside out and, hopefully, he might have another crack [in the Test side].

“If he keeps the bowling the way he is, I think he should be in the New Zealand team, but if not then that’s great for us.”

It was heartening to see Patel attacking with fielders crowded around and creating chances, with several either being put down in close or edging past the stumps. His performance piqued the interest of national selector Bruce Edgar at the ground.

Patel played the last of his 19 Tests in Port Elizabeth last January, where he lost his nerve with the bat against the South African pacemen.

But given New Zealand’s ongoing search for their number one spinner after Bruce Martin was dropped in Bangladesh, there remains hope for the challengers.

“He’s just a lot more relaxed with his cricket now and he knows what he can do well,” said Franklin. “In October, to bowl the way he did, take six wickets and be the dominant bowler in the game, was awesome.”

Wellington started poorly with the ball, particularly their all-international pace attack, but gave themselves a sniff on the third evening, when a more aggressive Mark Gillespie helped reduce Otago to 110 for four in their second innings.

The hosts still had a chance yesterday when Otago slumped to 178 for six, a lead of 309, thanks to a double Patel strike. But Derek de Boorder (95) and Mark Craig (80) went on the attack, and snuffed out the contest.

Franklin chose to bowl first after the pitch felt tacky, but it dried quickly in the wind and offered little for the quicks. He felt his veteran pace attack of Gillespie, Brent Arnel and Andy McKay were better for the run in the second innings.

Opener Michael Papps, Stephen Murdoch and Michael Pollard all had at least one significant knock among the top order that was an area of concern.

“The one good thing is the top order showed a good appetite for scoring runs.”

Wellington’s next game is back at the Basin next Thursday against Central Districts, where Tom Blundell or Papps will take the gloves, after Luke Ronchi was summoned to Bangladesh.

Copyright © 2013, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

Aug 302013
Patel highlights Panesar's absence

Sussex 311 and 148 for 3 lead Warwickshire 394 (Evans 137, Patel 78*, Ambrose 61, Magoffin 5-87) by 65 runs

Jeetan Patel finished with 4 for 60 in Notts' first innings, Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire, County Championship, Division One, Edgbaston, July, 17, 2013

Jeetan Patel took two Sussex wickets in the second innings after his unbeaten 78 gave Warwickshire a useful lead © Getty Images

It is sometimes in their absence that a player’s worth becomes most apparent.

Certainly the absence of Monty Panesar has had a vast impact on Sussex. Not only are they missing him in this game, but his departure has forced them to change their whole first-class strategy. It might even cost them the title.

If that sounds like hyperbole, consider this: if Yorkshire are defeated or even held to a draw by Durham and Sussex win this match, the distance between the clubs will narrow substantially. Then bear in mind that Sussex’s final three games are against Durham, home and away, and Yorkshire, at home, and the potential points swing is vast.

The problem is, without Panesar, Sussex are going to struggle to win games. While his returns in the first months of the season were modest, this dry pitch might have suited him nicely. There is not vast turn, but had Panesar been here, Sussex would have had a far better chance of forcing a result on the final day.

That does not mean Sussex were wrong to part company with Panesar. His behaviour had become aloof and bizarre and that late-night incident outside a nightclub was not the aberration some might like to suggest. At a club that prides itself on its family values, Panesar asking children in search of autographs for money – as he sometimes did – was not acceptable.

So both parties had to move on. But there is no getting away from the fact that Sussex, without their stock bowler and spin threat, look bereft in the field. Their pace attack, led by the excellent Steve Magoffin and the vastly improved Chris Jordan, remains dangerous but without Panesar to plug up an end while they rest, or to exploit the helpful conditions when they arise, Sussex lack a Plan B.

In the long term, Sussex may well look to bring in another spinner. With Magoffin, who here claimed his third five-wicket haul of an excellent season, likely to retain the overseas spot, one option will be to explore the Kolpak market. Robin Peterson is one name that may well be of interest.

In the short term Panesar’s place, in this game at least, has been taken by Will Beer, a locally developed legspinner, with decent control and a clear affinity for the club. Whether he has the pace or the bite to sustain a career at this level is open to debate. On this slow wicket, he has looked painfully slow but perhaps when the nerves subside and the pitch offers more pace, he can threaten more.

He may have a huge opportunity, perhaps even a career-defining opportunity, on the final day. Judging by the enterprising manner in which Michael Yardy, in particular, batted in the third session of the final day, Sussex retain hopes of setting up a declaration. Their seamers will, no doubt, threaten with the new ball. But on a dry, fourth-innings pitch, much may be required of Beer.

Sussex’s current difficulties underline the worth of Jeetan Patel, the New Zealand offspinner, to Warwickshire. At first glance, he may have appeared a modest overseas signing. He had, after all, a first-class bowling average over 38 and few pretensions as a batsman.

But his worth to Warwickshire has been immense. Not only is he almost ever present – he may well be the only Warwickshire player to have participated in every Championship fixture by the end of the season and he is already signed to return in 2014 – but he has claimed 49 Championship wickets and scored four half-centuries. He has now scored 81 more runs in one fewer innings than his top-order colleague, William Porterfield.

Patel’s no nonsense lower-order batting has been a bonus. Here, as so often before, he took the game away from a tired attack with a spirited innings that turned a likely first-innings deficit into a lead of 83 runs.

While Tom Milnes fell two short of an increasingly impressive half-century, Patel added 126 for Warwickshire’s last three wickets, with Maurice Chambers and Recordo Gordon both contributing well by their standards. Indeed, the 45 minutes for which Chambers batted is believed to constitute one of the longest innings of his career. It is remarkable how the prospect of unemployment can motivate.

There was bad news for Warwickshire, though. The ball that dismissed Tim Ambrose on day two, a fine bouncer from Jordan, also broke his right thumb. While the club hope he may be able to bat if required and insist the injury is not season ending, they were obliged to draft 18-year-old Peter McKay behind the stumps as a replacement.

Sussex’s openers almost worked off the deficit on their own but, once Patel struck – removing Chris Nash and Luke Wells before Yardy, responding to Ed Joyce’s sharp call, was run out a super throw from Chambers – Sussex reached stumps with the game, once again, just about in the balance.

An intriguing final day looms. Both sides may fancy their chances of a result but, with that short boundary on one side – just 49 yards – and Sussex looking a little short in terms of their spin threat, it will prove desperately difficult to set a target. The incentive is there, though. If either one of these sides can engineer a victory here, their title aspirations will remain just about viable.

Aug 252013
Jeetan Patel moves up county wicket charts

Wellington spinner Jeetan Patel continues to fire in England, moving up to fourth on the county championship’s division one wicket-taking charts at the weekend.

The 19-test offspinner took eight wickets for the match (3-71 and 5-67) in Warwickshire’s draw with Somerset at Edgbaston.

It left him with a tally of 46 wickets from 12 matches this season, at an average of 28.9.

Only Middlesex paceman Tim Murtagh (52 wickets), and Sussex quicks Chris Jordan (51) and Steve Magoffin (49) have more scalps in division one.

Patel, 33, played his last test in Port Elizabeth in January before being usurped as the country’s test spinner by left-armer Bruce Martin, and was left off the 20-strong national contract list in July.

Patel’s second innings haul was his second five-wicket bag for the season and should have led Warwickshire, the defending champions, to victory.

Instead, bad light intervened with the hosts on 123-3 chasing 189 to win.

Warwickshire are fifth on the ladder with four games remaining.

Meanwhile, Kane Williamson marked his Yorkshire debut with a first-ball duck, but his new county maintained their healthy lead in division one.

The New Zealand batsman, in at No 5, was caught off the bowling of Nottinghamshire’s Luke Fletcher. He wasn’t required in the second innings as Yorkshire completed a 10-wicket win at Trent Bridge and lead division one by 25 points over Durham.

– © Fairfax NZ News

Jul 182013
Warwickshire 463 & 180-6 Nottinghamshire 217 & 210: Champions' gamble pays off as Jeetan Patel keeps slim title hopes alive

Champions Warwickshire have left themselves with still plenty to do if they are to mount a successful defence of their title, but a comprehensive victory over Nottinghamshire will serve notice to those above them that they cannot be discounted.

Justifying their decision not to enforce the follow-on with a first-innings lead of 246, they bowled Nottinghamshire out for a second time for 210 to complete a 216-run win at more or less the point at which Nottinghamshire had been hoping to shake hands on a draw.

They had gone to lunch at 78 for two, with every prospect of hanging on grimly. But consistently good bowling, allied to some imaginative field placings by stand-in captain Varun Chopra, that kept the batsmen under constant pressure, won the day for Warwickshire.

Alex Hales, so dreadfully out of touch in the Championship this season that he played here only because Riki Wessels was ruled out, responded to the challenge with only his second half-century of the season but there were disappointments in the middle order with James Taylor and Chris Read falling cheaply and Samit Patel given out in disputed circumstances when looking as if he might have been the man to save Nottinghamshire.

Patel was so obviously aggrieved with umpire Trevor Jesty’s decision to uphold William Porterfield’s appeal for a catch at short midwicket that he will be lucky to escape punishment for dissent. Patel felt the ball had looped up after being hit into the ground.

With Read out almost immediately, the third of four victims for the skilful New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel, that was the point at which the odds swung in Warwickshire’s favour.  Nottinghamshire limped on to tea but Patel bowled Ajmal Shahzad with the  first ball of the final session, exposing the tail.

Andre Adams was caught by Ian Westwood at short leg off Patel and with the new ball taken after 84 overs David Hussey – the last hope of survival – was taken low down at first slip by Chopra before Boyd Rankin wrapped things up by having Luke Fletcher caught at third slip.

Chopra said afterwards he felt the title defence was still alive. “I don’t know where we stand in points but we have to play Yorkshire next and Sussex are still to come here and if we are playing good cricket we are a match for most sides,” he said

“We had to be patient. On wickets like this at Edgbaston trying to get 20 wickets is always very difficult.  Against Lancashire we made them follow on and they batted out the day. We didn’t here and it was always in the back of your mind that it might have been the wrong decision. But we felt if we added a few more the wicket might deteriorate a bit more and that would be to our advantage with an international spinner in the side.”

Apr 202013
County Cricket Round-Up - 20th April
County Cricket Round-Up - 20th April

County Cricket Round-Up – 20th April

Jeetan Patel took a wicket as Warwickshire recorded the first win of their Championship title defence.

©Action Images / Carl Recine

Warwickshire recorded the first win of what they hope will be a successful title defence, while Glamorgan made history in Cardiff as the second round of matches in the LV= County Championship drew to a close in the English spring sunshine.

Durham didn’t make Warwickshire work hard for their win on the final day at Edgbaston. Resuming on 11 for one after being set an unlikely 413 for victory, they were bowled out for just 94 by what must rank as the best bowling attack in county cricket. Chris Wright was the man who did the bulk of the damage on this occasion, but it is so often any of Chris Woakes, Jeetan Patel or Keith Barker, all of whom joined in the wicket-taking melee. Wright quickly had Durham’s top four all back in the pavilion with only 23 on the board and then returned to have Scott Borthwick and Callum Thorp caught behind to end with figures of six for 31 from 16 overs. Phil Mustard top-scored for Durham with a dogged 28 off 119 balls.

For a while, Surrey might have fancied their chances of pinching a win on the final day at The Oval. Stuart Meaker struck twice and Gareth Batty and Zander de Bruyn once each to reduce Somerset to 82 for four in their second innings – a lead of only 100 runs. However, Alviro Petersen and Jos Buttler added 109 for the fifth-wicket and by the time Petersen fell nine short of twin centuries on Somerset debut, the game was as good as over. It meandered on to allow Buttler to reach three figures but he disappointed, giving Gary Keedy his first wicket in Surrey Championship colours when on 94.

In Division Two, a promising final day in Cardiff turned into a damp squib, only this time it wasn’t the Welsh weather to blame. Worcestershire collapsed in their second innings from 195 for five to be all out for just 207 and so set Glamorgan just 36 to win. Ben Wright and Will Bragg duly knocked off the runs as history was made. It is the first time in 42 years that Glamorgan have beaten Worcestershire in a County Championship match in Cardiff. Jim Allenby completed a satisfying match all-round by dismissing three of the Pears batsmen to fall today, while Michael Hogan had key man Thilan Samaraweera caught and bowled for 79 to start the collapse of five for 12.

The match at Grace Road between Kent and Leicestershire petered out, as expected, into a tame draw. Leicestershire’s first innings was finally brought to a close at 495, giving them a lead of 89 runs. They knew that early wickets were vital if they were going to force a positive result, but Sam Northeast and Rob Key ensured against that and added 74 for the first-wicket. Northeast was caught behind off century-maker Shiv Thakor for 32, but Key and Brendan Nash took Kent to safety. Nash made 63 of a second-wicket partnership of 124, with the game called off not long after his departure and straight after Rob Key had completed his century.

Upcoming county fixtures: (all matches start on 24th April)
LV=CCD1, Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire at Derby
LV=CCD1, Durham v Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street
LV=CCD1, Surrey v Sussex at The Oval
LV=CCD2, Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire at Bristol
LV=CCD2, Hampshire v Worcestershire at Southampton
LV=CCD2, Lancashire v Kent at Old Trafford
MCCU match, Cambridge MCCU v Middlesex at Fenner’s
MCCU match, Leicestershire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU at Grace Road

© Cricket World 2013

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