Wessels Century
Puts Notts On Top

Featured News | 6th April 2012

Highlights

Riki Wessels’ second century of the new season put Nottinghamshire into a strong position at the end of the second day of their county championship match against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge.

Wessels, with 104 not out, plus significant contributions from Chris Read, Neil Edwards, Alex Hales and Michael Lumb took Notts up to 355-7 at the close, an overall lead of 343.

The centurion felt there was an obligation on the top order to produce after twenty wickets had tumbled on the opening day.

“The openers did really well for us after what happened yesterday and to put ninety-odd on the board was a fantastic effort from both of them.”

“I think a lot of us fell into the trap of going a bit hard at the ball on the first morning but we managed to turn things around quickly,” said Wessels.

“The openers did really well for us after what happened yesterday and to put ninety-odd on the board was a fantastic effort from both of them.”

Still unbeaten, Riki says he’s looking for more runs on the third morning. “We need to keep going. It’s a really good wicket at the moment and has only had two days of usage out of it. We’ll be looking to get to 400 and then 450 and then back our bowlers to do again what they did in their first innings.”

Although this was his first championship hundred for Notts, Riki was pleased with his effort at the start of the week. “Obviously this one is far more important but I was pleased to score a ton against Loughborough as it was my 100th first class game. To do it at Trent Bridge was really special to me, I really enjoy playing here.”

With a deficit of just twelve Neil Edwards and Alex Hales began Nottinghamshire’s second innings under cloudy skies.

Edwards survived two appeals for leg before wicket early on, one from the bowling of David Lucas and one off Richardson, who also saw Hales edge to third slip but Klinger couldn’t hold it whilst diving at full-stretch away to his left.

With caution to the fore and a determination to see off the new ball, both batsmen settled into their work before increasing the tempo with a succession of fine drives.

Each had periods where they dominated the strike and also the scoring but with the luncheon interval in sight they both fell in quick succession.

Not since August 2008, when Will Jefferson and Bill Shafayat added 157 for the first wicket against Sussex at Hove, have a pair of Nottinghamshire openers combined with a century stand.

Within one big hit of ending that sequence Hales (46) departed, spooning a ball from Cameron to Jones at cover. His partner had been given a life on 30 when Cameron spilled a diving opportunity but had moved to 48 when he fell lbw for the second day running.

Thrusting bat and pad in the direction of bowler Richardson, the left-hander was stunned as Tim Robinson upheld the Worcestershire appeals.

The same mode of dismissal accounted for James Taylor (13), who didn’t play a shot as the ball jagged back sharply from the Worcestershire spearhead.

Taylor’s departure brought Wessels to the crease. Quickly averting a ‘pair’ he accumulated runs gradually and without risk.

Michael Lumb has quickly settled into his new surroundings. The former Hampshire left-hander, who scored a career-best 219 at Trent Bridge in 2009, oozes class. Now happily fit after ankle surgery in the winter, he made 40 before nicking a delivery from the left-arm spin of Choudhry through to the wicket-keeper.

Now joined by his captain Chris Read, Wessels refused to be tied down and the pair continued to work the ball into the vacant outfield spaces at will.

Either side of tea, their fifth wicket stand of 134, put Nottinghamshire into a commanding position before a late clatter of wickets followed, as the visitors fought back with the second new ball.

Read went for 68, falling lbw to Lucas and was soon followed by Paul Franks (6), going the same way to Richardson.

Wessels wouldn’t be denied though, scoring his first championship ton for the county (199 mins, 128 balls, 13x4).

In the final over of the day Lucas sent back Ben Phillips (16) but by then the home side had established dominance in the contest and will hope their bowlers can push for victory on the third day.

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