Vikram’s upturn in form has us firing

VIKRAM SOLANKI: On a good run with the bat.

VIKRAM SOLANKI: On a good run with the bat.

First published in Daryl Mitchell

IT’S great to see that Vikram Solanki has found some good form in the LV= County Championship — when that happens, we are a better side for it.

Vik is key to our team and the most experienced player so hopefully his current form can run and run.

His 173 was the stand-out performance with the bat in our game with Hampshire although there were good contributions throughout.

We had three hundred partnerships, which is what it is all about in four-day cricket, and we got maximum batting points.

I decided to declare once Vik was out because, no disrespect to Jack Shantry and Alan Richardson, there was not a lot of batting left.

It also denied Hampshire a bowling point and I thought our best chance to win the game was to get out there and bowl them out.

Big Al then did the business with the ball.

He’s been exceptional for us and you almost come to expect it all the time now.

He’s now got more than 400 first-class career wickets, which is phenomenal, and he has been an inspired signing for us.

He is a great bloke to have around the dressing room, one of the nicest players in cricket.

Al has bowled a lot of overs but he’s taken his wickets and sometimes you wish you could bowl him from both ends.

Unfortunately, at 36, you can’t use him too much but I have to admit I probably do over-bowl him because he is so good.

We had a busy week before the Hampshire game in the Friends Life t20.

To defend 120 at Derby was an amazing display from the bowlers.

I thought we were mustard in the field as well — we did not really give away anything.

You have to do that when you are trying to defend a low total.

All the bowlers did well against Derbyshire but it was Chris Whelan who picked up the wickets and they were vital ones too.

The wicket of Chesney Hughes was probably the most important.

Then to go to Warwickshire on Friday night and win was brilliant.

The conditions were incredibly tough — we were fielding in the rain for the best part of 20 overs.

Then Gareth Andrew was unbelievable to get us home with a remarkable knock — similar to the one at Yorkshire when we just missed out by a couple of runs.

With the scoreboard problems at Edgbaston on Friday night, the players going in to bat were given sheets of paper with the Duckworth/Lewis scores on A4 which was interesting — I have never seen that before.

I thought once we started the match we were never going to come off.

I have started to bowl again in three-over bursts in the nets and I’m looking to have a bowl in the Sri Lanka game tomorrow.

It will be good to see Sanath Jayasuriya back here then.

He was good fun when here last summer.

When you have someone of that experience who has played that much international cricket, you can’t help but learn from him.

He was a big help for me as I had just started my captaincy, he gave me a lot of advice — he wasn’t shy about that!

Sanath was great to have around and probably won us a couple of games with the bat.

He was a good overseas signing even though he was only with us for a short period of time.

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