Taylor & Hales
Lead The Way

Featured News | 1st April 2013

A century from James Taylor and 96 from Alex Hales saw Nottinghamshire's batsmen dominate the first day of the pre-season friendly against Northamptonshire. The visitors, attempting to chase 250 managed to end the day on 98-0.

A shivering Alex Hales and Sam Wood took to the crease to a smattering of applause from those in attendance at a fresh Trent Bridge, for the first of the final tune-up days before the start of the season proper.

However, it was the visitors who started the brighter and Wood was the first casualty, edging a lively delivery from David Willey to second slip, who gratefully took the opportunity.

Michael Lumb took to the wicket in his place and made instant impact, taking an easy four from Willie thanks in no small part to the short boundary toward the New Stand. Another boundary followed in the sixth over, driving well toward the Pavilion, before top-edging wildly to slip, the catcher taking it at the second opportunity.

The next four overs passed quietly, James Taylor picking up runs steadily where available and Hales seemed happy to take a back seat. For the most part the Northants attack subdued the batsmen and at the session's halfway point Notts reached 39-2.

The two Englishmen built an effective partnership, taking runs where offered from both Ullah and Daggett and the pair saw out the 30-over session with the score at 77-2.

It was the second session that saw the pair shine. In the first fifteen overs, Hales took the match into his own hands and took the battle to the Northants attack. His chief victim was spinner Middlebrook, who found his faltering deliveries smacked around the ground for fours and sixes seemingly at will. Taylor on the other hand played conservatively and with patience, stroking wayward balls away for runs when the opportunities presented.

Hales oozed confidence and quickly brought up 95. A single followed and with a century in sight, Luke Evans bowled him cleanly, uprooting both leg and off stump to visible relief.

After the England man's dismissal, the Notts run rate slowed, before Taylor and Wessels worked steadily over the 200 mark. This was, of course, punctuated by boundaries. First, Wessels went after De Lange and sent him for six. It was then Taylor's turn in the limelight, hitting a succession of excellent shots including a shot directly into the William Clarke stand, bringing up his century. It was, however, to prove Taylor's final contribution, an ugly attempt at a pull gladly taken by Middlebrook. That ball was the session's last, Notts declaring on 250-4.

The day's final session saw a spell of excellent fast bowling from Andy Carter and Harry Gurney restrict the visitors to 24 runs in the first eight overs. The next three only yielded four, Northants' run rate dropping down to 2.55.

A change in the bowling saw stalwart Paul Franks and newcomer Ajmal Shahzad enter the attack but wickets eluded them and by the end of the 16th over, Peters and Spriegel had only massed 38 runs.

As the day entered its final ten overs, the batsmen began looking for more boundaries and while the shorter side of the pitch below the New Stand bore fruit, some excellent fielding denied runs down the leg side.

A rare chance of a wicket came through Shahzad's bowling, a typically fiery delivery was flicked up in the air but at full stretch the ball evaded his hands. Peters survived a second time too; a huge appeal for LBW from the bowling of Carter but once again the umpire was unmoved.

Jake Ball also entered the Notts attack at the dying stages of the match but failed to prize a wicket from the stubborn Peters and Spriegel, despite the slim chance of a run out with four balls remaining. Northants ended the day on 98 for no loss, trailing by 152.

Play will resume at 11am on Tuesday with free admission for all supporters.

Notts 250-4d
Taylor (100), Hales (96)

Northants 98-0
Peters (63*), Spriegel (35*)

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