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2022 County Championship: how the big names have fared so far

article_imageCOUNTY ROUND-UP
Last updated on 03 May 2022 | 04:51 PM
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2022 County Championship: how the big names have fared so far

From Pujara to Labuschagne, we look at what the big names have done in this year’s County Championships (Div 1 and 2)


Cheteshwar Pujara - 531 runs @ avg 132.75, 3 hundreds (Highest score 203)

If Cheteshwar Pujara took up a county deal with the sole aim of sending a message to the national selectors, then it has to be said he’s already achieved his objective. The general consensus following the South Africa tour was that Pujara was ‘past it’, but the 34-year-old, with his displays in the second division so far, has shown that he, in fact, has still got it. In 5 innings the right-hander has passed three figures thrice, and has managed to convert two of them into double-hundreds. 

What’s stood out about Pujara’s runs is the game situations they’ve come under. Against Derbyshire, the veteran scored his first double-ton of the season when Sussex were asked to follow on after they conceded a 331-run lead. There, Pujara strung together a 351-run stand with skipper Tom Haines to save the game for his side. And then against Worcestershire, he crossed three figures in the first innings when only one other batter in the side managed to post more than 30. 

One suspects Pujara, with his showing so far for Sussex, might have already fixed his name in the squad for the one-off Test against England in July, if not in the starting XI.


Marnus Labuschagne - 299 runs @ avg 59.80, 1 hundred and 2 fifties (Highest score 130)

The number one batter in the world had a tame start to his 2022 County campaign for Glamorgan, being dismissed under 25 thrice in his first 4 innings, but unleashed his world-class self last week against Derbyshire. Labuschagne, against Derbyshire, struck an aggressive 130 in the first innings, and then followed it up with a sizzling 87-ball 85 in the second that nearly helped his side pull off an improbable chase. 

Marcus Harris - 352 runs @ avg 70.40, 2 hundreds and 1 fifty (Highest score 136)

He might have been left out of the Test series against Sri Lanka, but Marcus Harris is continuing to pile the runs in the County Circuit. After an excellent campaign for Leicestershire last season - 655 runs @ 54.58 - Harris has begun the 2022 season for Gloucestershire in fine fashion. He’s registered at least one fifty-plus score in each of the first three matches, and has brought up three figures twice. Notably, unlike both Pujara and Labuschagne, Harris has been plying his trade in Division 1.

Matt Renshaw - 239 runs @ 47.80, 1 hundred (highest score 129)

After blowing hot and cold in the first 2 matches of the season - scores of 7, 45, 48 and 10 - Matt Renshaw set the stage ablaze in the third match against Warwickshire, smashing 129 in the first morning of the game. It came in rapid time (192) and Renshaw’s knock featured 19 fours and 2 sixes. The good work being done by Renshaw has already been rewarded - last week, the 26-year-old was named in Australia A’s squad to tour Sri Lanka in June. 

Michael Neser - 10 wickets @ 25.10 and SR 56.7, BBI 4/63

No longer uncapped, Michael Neser has had a solid start to his 2022 campaign for Glamorgan. The right-armer began the season with a 3-fer against Nottinghamshire, and then, in the last game against Derbyshire, registered his best figures for the season (4/63). He has, however, failed to make an impression with the bat. He’s averaged 12.6 in 5 innings, being dismissed for 20 or under 4 times. 

South Africa

Keegan Petersen - 101 runs @ 25.25, (Highest score 37*)

It’s been a rough start to life in England for Keegan Petersen, who has not found his groove, yet. In 6 innings, the flamboyant right-hander has been dismissed under 15 thrice, and has not posted a single fifty-plus score. The 28-year-old will be keen to set the record straight in the next round, which will be against Worcestershire starting May 5. 

Wiaan Mulder - 127 runs @ 31.75 (1 fifty), 1 wicket @ 139.00

Like his compatriot Petersen, Wiaan Mulder has begun the 2022 County Championship pretty slowly. In particular, he’s struggled big time with the ball. Mulder, this season, has sent down 39 overs, but has managed to pick a solitary wicket. The South African did, however, notch up a half-century the last time he batted, so he’ll take heart from that and will be hoping to build on the half-century. 

Simon Harmer - 4 wickets @ 53.00, BBI 3/14

For someone who has been the best spinner in England for the past half-a-decade, Simon Harmer has made an uncharacteristically fruitless start to the 2022 season. In 5 innings the off-spinner has managed to pick just 4 wickets, and he’s gone wicketless on three separate occasions. Harmer, however, has made handy contributions with the bat in hand, averaging 28.25. His 75* in the second innings helped Essex avoid an innings defeat against Warwickshire. 

West Indies

Kemar Roach - 4 wickets @ 34.75, SR 56.00, BBI 3/109

Kemar Roach has been unlucky to have played on some flat wickets, but the West Indian, too, is one among many overseas players that has not hit the ground running this season. He has, however, only bowled twice. Surrey will be hoping for their talisman to hit his groove in the games to come. 

New Zealand

Will Young - 192 runs @ 64.00, 2 fifties (Highest score 96)

Will Young has been in fine form across formats since the turn of the year, and he’s begun his 2022 County Campaign too with authority. Against Yorkshire he fell agonizingly short of a ton, and then backed up the 96 with a fine 63 against a strong Essex attack. The 29-year-old would be hoping to keep this form up and make a strong case to be starting the Test series against England. 

Sri Lanka 

Dimuth Karunaratne - 53 runs @ 17.66

The Lankan skipper signed up for three games, and he has ended up having a season to forget. His campaign never really got going, and he could only manage scores of 13, 36 and 4, the three times he batted. 


Shan Masood - 713 runs @ 118.83, 2 hundreds and 3 fifties (Highest score 239)

Shan Masood did not make the starting XI in the Test series against Australia, but after what he’s been doing in the County Championship this season, it’s hard to see him sit out games in the future. Masood has been on a rampage. So far, his scores have read 239, 219, 60 and 42, and last week he fell just one run short of Nick Compton’s record of the most first class runs in April. He has, without an iota of doubt, so far been the best player in the 2022 County Championships, across Division 1 and 2. 

Mohammad Rizwan - 105 runs @ 26.25, 1 fifty (Highest score 79)

Mohammad Rizwan’s much-anticipated County stint has not been a blockbuster one, yet, but he showed signs of coming back to his best in the encounter against Durham, scoring 79. There, he strung together a 154-run stand with Pujara that helped Sussex take a significant first-innings lead. Rizwan has kept wickets solidly, but against Durham, the 29-year-old rolled his arm over, bowling a couple of overs. Regardless of mixed returns, Rizwan has been having the time of his life in England.

Shaheen Shah Afridi -  10 wickets @ 21.60 and SR 37.3, BBI 3/35

4 innings in, it has to be said that Shaheen Shah Afridi has been living up to his hype. The left-armer has already picked three 3-wicket hauls (in 4 attempts) and has terrorized batters in the second division. In the clash against Glamorgan, in fact, Afridi got into an explosive battle with Marnus Labuschange and dismissed the number one batter in the world not once, but twice. 

Hasan Ali - 20 wickets @ 15.35 and SR 35.4, BBI 6/47

Along with his compatriot Shan Masood, Hasan Ali has been one of the signings of the season. With 20 wickets in 6 innings, the right-armer is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the first division, and he’s already picked a five-wicket haul and a six-wicket haul. Hasan Ali’s stunning start to the 2022 County season has put Lancashire third on the table, with them still having a realistic chance to go top in the next round.

Haris Rauf - 14 wickets @ 26.42, SR 43.2, BBI 5/65

Not just Shaheen and Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf has also been killing it in the County Championships this season. He began his campaign with a pair of three-fers versus Gloucestershire, and then registered his maiden five-fer against Kent last week. The Pakistan bowlers have had a ball in the County Championship this season.

Azhar Ali - 34 runs @ 6.80

Azhar Ali has been the odd man out in the Pakistan contingent that’s currently in England. The former Pakistan skipper has been as bad as any player across both divisions, averaging an eye-watering 6.80 across 5 innings. He’s reached double-digits just once, with his 4 other scores being 2, 1, 6 and 5. 


It's so far been a season to remember for young Harry Brook, who is knocking on the door by putting up some irresistible numbers. Pope, Malan, Foakes, Bracey and Alex Lees have all also fared well, but it's been a struggle for the likes of Crawley, Sibley, Burns and Lawrence.

On the bowling front, Craig Overton has once again been impressive, while both Anderson and Broad have been their usual, dominant selves. Young leggie Matt Parkinson is also, once again, making a case for the management to hand him a maiden cap. 

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