Ben Gardner picks out a combined XI of the best performers from the second week of Bob Willis Trophy action, with players from ten teams featuring.
Jake Libby (Worcestershire)
One half of a triple-century stand almost entirely overshadowed by events at Canterbury. Jake Libby just edges out Brett D’Oliveira, at the other end during the mammoth partnership, for scoring a few more runs, and because D’Oliveira couldn’t help bowl out Glamorgan on the last day.
Joe Weatherley (Hampshire)
Hampshire’s win over Middlesex, having lost two players to injury mid-match, was a hell of an effort, and no one played a bigger part than 23-year-old Joe Weatherley. His first-innings 98 helped give Hants a slender lead and was the highest score of the game, but his unbeaten 64 in the chase was the real highlight. On a turning pitch, and with Hampshire short those two invalids, only Keith Barker at No.9 (effectively No.11) passed 20 apart from Weatherley.
Jordan Cox (Kent)
Easy game. Playing his fifth first-class match, in the unfamiliar role of opener, 19-year-old Jordan Cox smashed 238 not out in one of the great county partnerships. Remember the name.
He won’t make next week’s team, however, with a social distancing breach ruling him out of Kent’s next clash.
Jack Leaning (Kent)
The other half of that quadruple-century stand with Cox. Not content with his career-best six-hour double ton, Jack Leaning also claimed a stunning catch in the first over of Sussex’s reply.
Ryan Higgins (Gloucestershire)
A moment-seizing, lion-hearted, untiring effort from the Bristolian Ben Stokes. Ryan Higgins claimed four wickets in the first innings to keep Warwickshire within reach, hit a half-century in the second to help stretch the lead out far enough, and then bowled nearly a third of the overs in the fourth innings, striking seven times to win the game in the dying moments of the final hour. What a cricketer.
Jordan Thompson (Yorkshire)
Jordan Thompson made 98 in the first innings to lift Yorkshire from 136-5 to a competitive total and a useful 33 in the second to overturn a hefty lead. His figures of 3-6, including first innings centurion Tom Moores, then turned a tight defence into a cakewalk. Promising signs from the 23-year-old, playing just his fourth first-class game.
Tom Moores (wk) (Nottinghamshire)
Harvey Hossein was close, for his half-century and cunning stumping of Hassan Azad, but, despite defeat, Tom Moores’ second first-class ton gets him the nod. After a lean start to his first-class career, the highly rated son of former England head coach Peter will hope this is the moment he kicks on.
Jamie Overton (Somerset)
Both Overtons could have made it in once more, but we’ve tried our best to separate them. While it was Craig’s 4-12 that skittled Northamptonshire for 67 to set the game up, Jamie scored more runs, including a 43-ball 68, and took one more wicket.
Simon Harmer (Essex)
Another week, another dominant performance for Simon Harmer. He claimed six in the first innings and looked for a moment like he’d claim all 10 in the second. He had to settle for eight in the innings, 14 in the game, another win secured, and a place in this team.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby (Warwickshire)
Another excellent performance in defeat, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, the double-barrelled bowler claimed a pair of six-fors to register career-best innings and match figures, while his 30-ball 18 almost rescued a draw at the death.
Ben Sanderson (Northamptonshire)
Northants might have been handily beaten by Somerset, but Ben Sanderson proved himself once again one of the most reliable new-ball operators on the circuit. He claimed nine cheap wickets in the game, with that first-class bowling average continuing to recede below 20.