Fixture News | 25th April 2005

Plan A for Sussex - Franks

Frizzell County Championship Division One
April 20-23: Middlesex v Notts
Notts 546 (Hussey 118, Franks 104, Read 63, Bicknell 56)
Middlesex 345
Notts 212-5 (Bicknell 111, Hussey 57)
Middlesex 158-2

Match drawn

Franks was one of three Notts players to hit centuries against Middlesex and says we will need to score heavily again in the first innings to beat the 2003 county champions.

He said: "Against Middlesex we followed the gameplan that was so successful for us last season and though the weather cost us the win, it was still a good solid start to the campaign.

"I think Sussex like to try and do a similar thing in hitting a big total in their first innings and then letting Mushtaq Ahmed wheel away from one end so we need to outperform them if we're to get another good result this week."

We made Middlesex pay for choosing to field by racking up a total of 546 in our first innings, with six batsmen hitting 40 or more and Ryan Sidebottom helping Franks add 95 for the ninth wicket.

Sidebottom and Greg Smith then struck early to dismiss England opener Andrew Strauss and captain Ben Hutton, but on a flat track we were forced to chip away at the Middlesex order.

After a hard day in the field, skipper Stephen Fleming decided not to enforce the follow-on, and Darren Bicknell and David Hussey quickly added runs to leave the home side fighting for a draw.

But rain on the final morning ended any prospects of a result.

Franks was still delighted to have hit his third career hundred and said: "It was a great way to start my summer. It's not often you get the opportunity to get to three figures at Lord's and if I'm honest it wasn't until I got to about 70 that I thought it was on.

"I got some great support from Ryan Sidebottom, we got our lines right and hung in there. It's just a shame we couldn't finish things off but after spending 100 overs in the field and with our bowling attack a bit thin at the moment, the skipper looked at the bigger picture and decided not to enforce the follow-on.

"With Charlie Shreck out and AJ Harris struggling with a groin strain, we can't afford any niggles. Everyone came through okay and we're all ready for Sussex."

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