Tom Knight emerged as leading wicket taker from Day 2 of the match versus Yorkshire today – but it didn’t all go to plan.
Many a left-arm spinner would be happy with the prized wicket of Andrew Gale from an opening spell of five overs, even if the price to pay was 20 runs. But Knight admits he didn’t really get it right until much later in the day.
“I didn’t bowl as well as I wanted to in my first spell this morning,” he said. “I was going at four-an-over and that’s too many.
“I came back in the final session, bowled a better line-and-length and got a couple more wickets, so then I was far happier.
“I’ve been out injured for a couple of months and I haven’t done much bowling, so it was a matter of getting some overs under my belt and getting into a rhythm.”
Knight finished with creditable figures of 3 for 47 from 14 overs as Yorkshire scored 287-9 in reply to Derbyshire’s 359-2 on the previous day; a job well done according to the 18-year-old.
“It’s been a fantastic couple of days,” he said. “The lads have done really well.
“On Day 1 we batted all day, only lost a couple of wickets, everyone chipped in with runs and all the batsmen got time in the middle.
“They only took two wickets yesterday, so for us to take nine one a dead wicket that wasn’t spinning or offering anything for the seamers was a very good effort.”
Today’s play also gave Knight his first opportunity to share the ball with his fellow left-arm spinner, former Yorkshire all-rounder David Wainwright.
Wainwright conceded just 21 runs from 18 overs against his former team mates today in an immaculate display of controlled slow bowling. And Knight intends to learn the tricks of the trade from his new spin-twin.
“He said: “I can learn a lot from the experience he already has of first-class cricket so it’s good to have him around.
“He came to me after my second spell today and said I looked a lot better, so he is already watching me bowl and giving me advice on how to go forward.
“It’s going to be great to work alongside him and it was nice bowling in tandem today.”
Although he’s embracing the presence of Wainwright in the squad, Knight admits the new man is an obstacle to his ambition of cementing a first team position.
But with the disciplines of how to bowl with both the white and red ball firmly instilled, Knight still believes he can make an impression on the first team in 2012.
He said: “Wainers has come in so I expect him to start in-front of me, but I’d still like to do as well as last year in the Friends Life t20 and Clydesdale Bank 40 stuff and also push myself as far into the frame as I can for four day cricket.
“In one-day matches you have to mix it up a bit more, build pressure, bowl nice and tight, hold an end up and stop the runs. As long as you’re tight you will take wickets through pressure.
“In four day matches you stick to the same basics but you are always searching for wickets. I certainly believe I have something to offer in both forms of the game.”
In the mean time, Knight is just enjoying his second pre-season tour. And he’s confident that a successful season awaits for Karl Krikken’s young Falcons.
“It’s beautiful out here,” he said. “It really has been good to come back to Barbados and a pre-season tour is a great way to get the season going.
“The team spirit is fantastic, all the lads get on really well, we have come a long way since last year and I think we’re going to have a good season.”
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