Fixture News | 12th May 2007

More Shreck heroics but rain forces draw

Director of Cricket Mick Newell pushed forward Charlie Shreck for an England call-up after the 6ft 7ins seamer picked up his second consecutive six-wicket haul in the Championship - but the Cornishman was quick to play down his chances.

Notts 336 (Franks 92, Bilal Shafayat 67, Swann 47)
Middlesex 176 (Shreck 6-79)
Middlesex 243-2

Match drawn
Notts 10 points, Middlesex 5.5 points

Shreck’s deadly combination of swing and seam forced the visitors to follow on but a fine hundred from Andrew Strauss, who is likely to be named as England captain for the first Test with West Indies, and persistent rain ruled out any chance of a Notts win on the final day.

But Newell was nevertheless content with the situation and said: “Given how many overs were lost over the course of the match, we’re still pretty happy to have picked up 10 points.

“In a full four-day match I think we can beat anybody but everything starts from getting a big score in our first innings and building from there.

“We got to 336, which I thought was a good total once we had seen what the wicket was doing after the first session of play.

“That put pressure on Middlesex and Charlie took advantage. He’s bowled beautifully in the last two matches and once he gets into a rhythm, he keeps the pressure on the opposing batsman.

“He’s a good old-fashioned English seamer and at this time of year he’s got his virtues at all levels. He swings it both ways and can get some bounce, and when the wickets are a bit damp in May and June, he’s a real handful.”

Shreck came into action after Notts had recovered from a sticky situation, having fallen to 177-7 in their first innings after winning the toss.

With the pitch showing plenty of life early on, Bilal Shafayat and David Hussey were the only top order batsmen to get a start.

But it was left to Paul Franks and Graeme Swann to rescue the situation on day two with a flying eighth-wicket partnership of 98 in 22 overs.

Swann made a fluent 47 before he was caught on the boundary off a miscued drive, but Franks went on with help from Ryan Sidebottom to pass 300 and fell eight short of his first century in more than two years.

Left-armer Sidebottom was unable to bowl in Middlesex’s first innings after being hit on the foot by a yorker while batting, leaving Shreck to share the new ball with Mark Ealham.

The pair proved far too good for the visitors but with a damp outfield and tiring legs could not prise out Strauss second time around before rain intervened.

Shreck laughed off any thoughts of an England call-up for Lord’s, despite his recent form, and said: “If Ryan isn’t getting picked after his performances over the past couple of seasons, I’m never going to come into consideration.

“I’m obviously very happy with how things are going and it’s great to be picking up wickets and helping the team win matches.

“The pitch was helpful for me in the first innings but on the final day Strauss batted very well and the ball was a bit damp from the outfield, so it wasn’t swinging as much.

“I didn’t feel quite right in the first couple of weeks of the season after having a winter off for the first time in many years, but the rhythm is good at the moment and when the ball is in my hand I don’t want to stop bowling.”
 

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