KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Leeds/Bradford MCCU Coach Andrew Lawson praised Simon Barrett’s record breaking innings of 168 against Derbyshire as ‘phenomenal.’
Opener Barrett batted for 111.1 overs to help his side to a 132-run first-innings lead over their county opponents in a three-day match they comfortably drew.
It is the highest score made by a Leeds/Bradford MCCU batsman against a county side in their history.
Barrett’s vigil is also the highest score against county opposition this season by any MCCU player, surpassing teammate Alex Blake’s 146 in their previous match.
A delighted Lawson said: "It was an absolutely phenomenal knock.
"He spent six hours at the crease and played wonderful cricket and other guys chipped away to get us a big score which was really good.
"I don’t think he gave any chance whatsoever - it was just a good hard working knock.
"I spend quite a lot of time trying to get the players to understand how to bat for multiple sessions and build partnerships.
"In a three day games in particular they must understand it must be done over 100 overs in the day. That was why it was so pleasing to see Simon bat so long."
Lawson’s side have had a mixed season in 2011.
Two competitive draws and a defeat in their three county fixtures (against Derbyshire, Worcestershire and Hampshire respectively) have been undermined by a winless start to the two-day MCCU Championship season.
Several of Lawson’s charges have turned in superb individual performances though, with leg-spinner Tom Craddock and seamer Joe Leach taking 5-wicket hauls against Hampshire and Derbyshire.
Lawson admits the players and staff at Leeds/Bradford place a lot of emphasis on the early season county matches.
"I think they players get more excited by the county games." said the South African.
"We do spend a lot of our programme concentrating for the county games and we do get pumped up properly because it’s the standard of cricket these guys want to be playing."
Several Leeds/Bradford players, including Kent’s Blake, have attracted county suitors based on their efforts in the fixtures though - something which understandably pleases Lawson.
He added: "The county games have been full of good individual performances this season this third game with Simon’s innings really topped it off.
"Good individual performances which have been noticed by county teams are really good news for us."
Change of tack
For Leeds/Bradford, Durham and Cardiff MCCU’s, their fixtures against the first-class counties are over for another year.
Their focus now shifts to the MCCU Championship 2-day competition and the BUCS a-league fixtures. The MCCU Championship final is played at Lord’s on June 27 and entry to the match is free.