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Clark ends homecoming with career-best 7-for-55 shooting


Rikki Clarke hits with precision and finesse at Vauxhall End for 55 Voted 7 for career best stats

Tim Wigmore

Rikki Clarke scores career best with 7-of-55 • Getty Images

Surrey 42 for 0 trail Somerset 269 ​​(Davis 86, Trescothick 65, Clark 7-55) 227 runs

As the oval clock ticked to 5 o’clock, Rikki Clarke held the ball high and led Sarri away to the home crowd, They lauded his career-best numbers. This is a moment that players and viewers have long thought would never come.

Many members have memories of Clark coming out of Surrey College on this sacred land, mixed Uneven, but full of passionate talent. His third county championship game 15 years ago brought a sublime 153, not in Taunton against Somerset. Combine that with the slip and speed and bounce he produces from his 6-foot-4 frame, and Clark is immediately marked as a top prospect. It took England just 10 first-class games to be persuaded to choose him for the international squad.

Over the next few years Clarke provided England with runs, wickets and The tantalizing prospect of catching the ball – as he did in two Tests in Bangladesh in 2003 – gave way to frustration over why this talent has stalled. So Clark left his hometown in 2007 to captain Derby County in an attempt to revive his career. The move failed, and it was spectacular. By the end of the summer, Clark had given up the job and left the county for good. But then a move to Warwickshire saw Clarke emerge as a cricketer with the ability and consistency to be expected from those who watched Sarri’s early performances promise, even if the England recall never fully arrived.

After a decade of trophies and accomplishments in Edgbaston, although this year Struggling in the summer, Clark returned to his hometown. First, he signed a two-year contract starting next year. The pair were then embroiled in a mid-season loan swap following Dominic Sibley’s move to Warwickshire, with Clarke being pushed back into Surrey’s side.

He’s back for a brand new character. Clark isn’t just getting old. Once he was a wayward cricketer, now he’s been recruited to bring stability. While he spent his first career top-six at Sarri, Clarke has returned to No. 8, or even No. 9, which seems to be belittling his 16 first-class centuries.

However, when Clarke was away, he developed into a skilled bowler, adept at getting from Awkwardly high slices. Where he used to spray the ball in order to chase it, he returned with patience and relentlessly found the detection line and length.

Over 16 full seasons of professional cricket, these qualities have never been more convincing than they are today. On a pitch where Somerset had conceded just one wicket in the morning game, and even on the fringes of lunch, Clark threw viciously in both directions at an awkward length.

The oval is not the kind of field where many bowlers go 5 of 32 in 10 overs , it’s okay to do this immediately after the first lunch of the day. But Clarke bowled with superb precision and subtlety from the Vauxhall end to the advantage from George Bartlett and Edward Byroom, swinging inside set pieces to trap James Hildreth Away move between lbw, uprooting Tom Abel’s broken stake and then, most importantly, finding Peter Trego’s full length. Reckless driving ensues; it misses the ball and instead dismantles the middle and middle stump. Notably, this is Clark’s first five-man Surrey.

He’s not done yet. If a ten-plus spell shows admirable staying power for a man who will be 36 by the end of the month, then when he’s done with tea, pulls out Dom Bess’s drive in his follow-up and makes This impression was confirmed when a threatening bodyguard spell was cast. Steven Davis extended into the outfield as an evening shadow, culminating in Davis picking out thin legs. Clarke, who has surpassed 400 first-class wickets and 100 at Surrey when destroying some of Somerset’s top players, outlines why he has been the county’s best player over the past decade One of the value players. Based on this evidence, he may stay that way for years to come.

Not that Clark is the only player who likes to return to The Oval. Davies has excelled in his first-class return after moving to Taunton in the winter, combining his fantastic late-cutting and kick-off skill and fluidity with the perseverance to fend off Clark and bring Somerset Stabilized from the wreck of 138 to 6. If their final 269 remains well below recent par at the Oval, the pitch has provided plenty for Somerset receivers in Surrey’s 14 games sports. Somerset may also have a job total.

There was no indication in the morning of what Clark would unleash. Instead, Marcus Trescothick showed all his hallmarks – a crunching drive, a cut between point and deep extra coverage, and a nonchalant pull – that reserved a special rage for Sam Curran. The unusually loud applause that greeted opponents for half a century reflected Trescothick’s place in the county, and a sense of gratitude here for South Africa’s 219 14-year looting, where he has been under contract for one year in county cricket.

Tim Wigmore is a freelance journalist and

Author of Twenty One: Cricket at its outpost



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