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Cricket: How Aussies are faring in the County Championship

The County Championship in England has gone into hibernation until late August as white-ball cricket takes over in the shape of the T20 Blast and The Hundred.

However, the nine rounds of matches that have been completed have seen a number of Australian stars play leading roles for their counties, among them Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Bancroft.

Both Aussie batters were involved in a truly incredible tied match between Gloucestershire and Glamorgan, which went all the way to a dramatic final-ball conclusion just before stumps were pulled on the competition for several weeks.

First division opportunities limited

There are perhaps surprisingly few Aussies in action in Division One of the County Championship, especially among the batters, with only Matt Renshaw at Somerset making much of an impact.

The Yorkshire-born left-hander has been consistent rather than spectacular with the Cidermen, having made three half-centuries across seven outings for the Taunton county, totalling 414 runs at an average of 37.63 - a tally which may not do too much to press for a Test recall.

Among the bowlers in action, it is no great surprise to see Nathan Lyon having made an immediate impact with Lancashire, with the all-time great off-spinner clearly enjoying himself at Old Trafford.

Lyon has snapped up 26 wickets at an average 30.38 from eight outings for the Red Rose county, although he is yet to complete a five-wicket innings haul.

There needs to be special mention of his batting, with a top score of just 12 across nine innings in County Championship Division One!

Another veteran, Peter Siddle, has shown that there is life in the old dog yet by taking 13 wickets in four matches for Durham, with the former Test paceman having already played county cricket for Essex, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire and Somerset.

Batters the stars in second division

While only Renshaw has been amongst the runs in the top division, in the second tier three Aussie batters have shown up well with the willow.

Current Test star Labuschagne has 468 runs at 58.50 to his name is just four appearances for Glamorgan, including 119 in the second innings of that astonishing tie with Gloucestershire.

The Welshmen needed one to win off the final ball of the match, only for wicketkeeper James Bracey to take an incredible one-handed catch to seal a tie, with Glamorgan having come so close to chasing down a world record 593 winning target.

That same match also saw former Test opener Bancroft make 184 in the second innings for the home side at Cheltenham, with the classy right-hander having three centuries to his name from eight Championship appearances so far in the English summer.

Alongside Bancroft in the Glos ranks was fellow Aussie Beau Webster, who has impressed with both bat and ball for the Bristol-based outfit.

The 30-year-old Tasmanian took 5-17 with his off-breaks in the first innings of Glamorgan, while also chipping in with 65 not out in the home side’s second knock.

Overall Webster has scored 233 runs at 58.25 in four Championship appearances and snared 16 wickets at 21.25 to make a mighty fine impression.

Finally in division two, former Baggy Greens right-hander Peter Handscomb continues to stand out at Leicestershire, racking up 641 at an average of 64.10 from ten innings.

He has passed 50 on five occasions, as well as recording centuries against both Glamorgan and one of his former teams, Middlesex.

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