Warwickshire seamer Chris Wright intends to start the 2017 campaign where he left off last season – not least in white-ball cricket where he ended the campaign as a pivotal member of the 50-over bowling attack.
As the Bears’ triumphant Royal London Cup campaign gathered momentum, Wright delivered some match-shaping spells coming on as first-change.
In the 70-run quarter-final win over his former club Essex at Edgbaston, after Essex openers Nick Browne and Tom Westley added 75 in 12 overs, Wright applied a brake with 5-0-22-1 after which the innings never regained momentum.
Then in the final at Lord’s, Surrey got off to a flier with Jason Roy and Steven Davies adding 45 in eight overs from Rikki Clarke and Chris Woakes before Wright came on and dismissed Roy with his third ball on the way to a superb spell of 6-1-17-1.
Figures of 6-1-17-1 do not stand out in the scorebook or tower in history – but with top batsmen coming at you, such spells turn matches in one-day cricket. And it is a challenge that Wright really enjoys.
“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It’s enjoyable putting in good spells, not necessarily taking loads of wickets, but bowling good spells which influence games like in those one-dayers at the end of last season where you have good batters coming after you.
“It’s great to put a brake on the scoring and be economical and maybe get a wicket or two and set things up for Jeets and Teeqy to come on.”
Wright was deployed at first change in last season’s quarter-final and final because Chris Woakes was available to open the bowling. It is a role that Wright which enjoys for its different requirements and challenges to taking the new ball.
“With a new ball in your hand you back yourself, as you should, to nick them off and take wickets,” he said. “But coming on first change is a little bit different and, in a way, easier because you’ve had a chance to read the situation.
“You never quite know how a wicket’s going to play until the new ball has been on it and, just like Essex did in the quarter-final, Surrey started quite well. But on a wicket which is quite tired it sometimes helps the change bowler with cutters and slower-balls and subtle-changes.”
The Bears will start their defence of the Royal London Cup next season away to Northants Steelbacks on April 27 at the start of eight group matches which arrive in a self-contained block concluding on May 14.
Quarter and semi-final stages will then follow before the final at Lord’s on Saturday July 1. Wright and his Bears team-mates intend to be there.
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