Edwards & Wessels
Lead The Way
Featured News | 1st April 2012
Neil Edwards and Riki Wessels both scored their maiden centuries for Nottinghamshire on the opening day of the first class match against Loughborough MCCU at Trent Bridge.
The pair added 303 together, the sixth-highest fourth wicket stand in the county’s history, with Edwards making 195 and Wessels scoring 172.
For the left-handed opener it was the second-highest score of his career, having made 212 against the same opposition in 2007.
In the final hour of the day Notts were eventually dismissed for 528, with Graeme White remaining undefeated on 30. Loughborough closed on 4-0 from the one over available.
From the announced squad of twelve Harry Gurney was the unfortunate seamer to be omitted, meaning that only two of the new signings, Michael Lumb and James Taylor, would be making their county debuts.
An additional ‘new face’ was that of Roger Marshall, having taking over from the retired Brian Hewes as first team scorer.
Play began in bright sunshine at 11am on 1st April, Nottinghamshire’s earliest-ever start to a first class season in England, although they played last year’s champion county match against the MCC in March. Indeed the match marked the first anniversary of the Emirates Airlines T20 tournament in Dubai in which Notts had triumphed.
The match commenced with a nervy start for Loughborough’s opening bowler, Adam Soilleux. Bowling from the pavilion end, he began with a no-ball and was then picked off for three consecutive boundaries by Alex Hales, slashing firmly away on the off-side.
Attempting a repeat to the fifth delivery, Hales (12) hit uppishly to point, where Devon Endersby took a straightforward catch.
Michael Lumb left his first delivery alone as an eventful start resulted in a score of 14-1 at the end of the initial over of the season.
Neil Edwards had made three fifty-plus scores in the pre-season tour of Barbados and looked to replicate that form with some well-timed strokes, which included back-to-back fours off Rob Taylor, an all-rounder on Leicestershire’s books.
The two left-handers added 30 together before Lumb (17) fell to the same combination as Hales, a leading edge flying to Endersby, now at gully.
There was further success for the students to enjoy in the next over as James Taylor (0) suffered the disappointment of a ‘golden duck’ on his maiden appearance. He edged his first delivery, from his namesake and former Foxes team-mate, to Riley at first slip.
Riki Wessels, playing in his 100th first class match, stroked Taylor away for an impressive boundary to get off the mark and simultaneously bring up the team fifty in the tenth over.
On 25, Wessels survived a difficult chance to second slip off Sturmer but a pull through mid-wicket off the same bowler brought up the fifty stand in just 7.5 overs in 33 minutes.
Wessels tenth four brought up his half-century (53 mins, 41 balls) and he celebrated in style by caressing four of his next six deliveries to the boundary boards also.
The century stand was completed in just 16.1 overs in exactly sixty minutes and Edwards reached his own fifty moments afterwards (113 mins, 82 balls, 10x4).
Edwards lofted the spin of Riley back over his head for the first six of the contest and an eventful morning session ended with Notts on 206-3 from 35 overs, with the opener unbeaten on 80 and his partner on 87, his highest score for the county.
The 85 that Edwards had scored on his championship debut for Notts against Kent two years ago was passed soon after lunch but it then became the ‘Wessels show’ as he monopolised the strike and the scoring in twenty minutes of mayhem.
His first century for the county came with an off-side boundary off Soilleux (114 mins, 89 balls 18x4) and he kicked on with such intensity that he raced to his 150 (135 mins, 113 balls, 26x4, 1x6) before his partner could make it through the nineties.
Coincidentally, Wessels had scored the ground’s first ton of 2011, although his 120* came in the pre-season friendly against Surrey. He had also emulated his father, Kepler, who had scored a century in a championship match for Sussex at Trent Bridge in 1979.
Edwards’ fourth career ton, and first since 2007, came with a top-edged hook for four off Endersby (192 balls, 145 balls, 14x4, 1x6).
Chris Read (11) was bowled by Taylor but there was no stopping Edwards who advanced beyond his 150 against a tiring attack (262 mins, 210 balls, 20x4, 2x6).
Paul Franks, batting at seven, timed the ball sweetly on his way to 19 either side of the tea interval (413-5) before becoming Soilleux’s third victim.
Ben Phillips (14) was caught and bowled but then, five short of his double hundred, Edwards was given out lbw to the off-spin of Riley (329 mins, 271 balls, 25x4, 3x6).
Graeme White (30 not out) and Luke Fletcher (23) brought the 500 up in the 94th over before the latter was bowled, advancing down the wicket to Riley and last man Andy Carter made 4 before being bowled.