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County Championship 2021

The race to 1,000 runs before the end of May – who are the frontrunners?

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

The race to 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May is well and truly on.

The feat, which has only been achieved nine times in an English season, has been brought into attention this year due to a County Championship schedule that has eight rounds of games pencilled in before the start of June.

Not since Graeme Hick in 1988 has anyone managed to bring up four figures so early, but these men – who have been quick off the blocks in 2021 – could join him on an illustrious list.

David Bedingham – Durham

CC 2021: 3 matches, 565 runs @ 141.25, 2 50s, 2 100s

One of the less well-known overseas players on the county circuit – the right-hander hails from South Africa – Bedingham is certainly making a name for himself now. After kicking off his season with scores of 57 and 180 not out against Notts, Bedingham became the first Durham player to hit 300 runs in a match when he followed up a double-century with a half-century against Derbyshire at the Riverside.

Adam Lyth – Yorkshire

CC 2021: 3 matches, 488 runs @ 97.60, 3 50s, 2 100s

Lyth – who played seven Tests for England back in 2015 – has been in stellar touch for Yorkshire, with 42 his lowest score so far this season. His credentials as a man to join The May List are strengthened by his role as an opener, which should give him the opportunity of maximising his number of innings. The 33-year-old nearly achieved the feat back in 2010, when he began the last fixture in May 147 runs short of 1,000. Rain and a two-ball duck against Lancashire put that dream to bed but 11 years on he’s got a very real chance of making amends.

Matt Critchley – Derbyshire

CC 2021: 3 matches, 449 runs @ 74.83, 4 50s, 1 100

Despite strongly playing down his chances of reaching the milestone in an interview with The Cricketer prior to the last round of fixtures, the leg-spinning all-rounder is definitely keeping himself in the hunt with his batting efforts. Against Durham last week, he hit 109 runs in the match and has only failed to cross fifty once this season.

Kiran Carlson – Glamorgan

CC 2021: 3 matches, 427 runs @ 85.40, 3 50s, 2 100s

Carlson averaged a lowly 13.62 in last year’s Bob Willis Trophy, but the 22-year-old is well on course towards putting together the best season of his career so far. After falling for a duck in his second innings against Yorkshire, Carlson hit twin centuries against Sussex and two half-centuries against Northants last week.

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