Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler had contrasting views about the Old Trafford wicket at The Hundred on Sunday as while Stokes took to Twitter to label it ‘horrific’, Buttler stressed that it’s a batter’s responsibility to adapt. On a used wicket, the double-header at Old Trafford saw spin dominate.
It was death by spin for batters on a used wicket in Manchester on Sunday as the double-header between Manchester Originals and Birmingham Phoenix saw the slower bowlers dominate proceedings. 87 and 113 were what the Men and Women achieved batting first, respectively, and the Men’s match being a low-scoring affair particularly came as a shock, with Birmingham boasting the likes of Finn Allen, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone. Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson ran riot with astounding figures of 4/9, and taking pace off the ball proved to be an effective tactic on a sluggish Old Trafford wicket.
Interestingly, however, the nature of the pitch not just divided opinion amongst fans, but also amongst the players. Ben Stokes is notorious for often calling out wickets that are overwhelmingly in favour of spinners, and post the game, the Northern Superchargers skipper took to Twitter to label the Old Trafford wicket ‘horrific’.
“What a horrific wicket at Old Trafford,” Stokes tweeted, expressing discontent over the slow nature of the wicket.
However, England’s white-ball vice-captain and Manchester Originals captain Jos Buttler had a completely different perspective. Buttler insisted that batting on slow wickets are a part and parcel of the game, and stressed that, on slow wickets, it’s the batters’ responsibility to shun their ego and bat as per the requirement of the pitch.
“I am sure the batters will hope for a fresh wicket next game and it’s usually pretty good out here. But at times you are going to get wickets like these. As a cricketer at this level you just got to swallow your ego and find a way to do well,” Buttler said.
The biggest beneficiary of the slow wicket was Originals’ Matt Parkinson, who bowled a near-perfect spell of 4/9 to set up the game for his side. In fact, in his spell, Parkinson broke the internet once again by delivering yet another contender for the ‘ball of the year’, bowling wicket-keeper Chris Cooke in remarkable fashion. The young leggie insisted that he enjoyed playing on a used pitch that provided him assistance in abundance.
“It’s been a slow season for me so far. To perform is fantastic. To build some momentum in the past two weeks has been great and to play on a used pitch was nice for a change here. Liam’s obviously a fantastic player. Lovely to get one over him today. It’s upto Jos really to see what the pitch is doing and the game situation as well (who will bowl set of 10),” Parkinson said.