Durston Hundred
Frustrates Notts Bowlers

Match Report | 21st March 2013

Nottinghamshire’s bowlers enjoyed a rigorous work-out in steamy, showery conditions at North Stars Cricket Club as the opening 2-day fixture of the Barbados tour, against Derbyshire, ended in a draw.

After Notts had made 386 on the opening day, their East Midland rivals replied with 293-7, with Wes Durston scoring 100 before retiring, having reached his century with five consecutive sixes.

Jake Ball had the most successful bowling figures for Notts, taking 2-34 from his eleven overs.

The main objective of the match, time in the middle for both batsmen and bowlers, was successfully achieved, exactly as Mick Newell had hoped.

“It’s been a good two days,” he said. “The batsmen all had the opportunity to have a bat yesterday - and today the bowlers have each got some overs under their belts. We’ve enjoyed our time here and move on, with a further opportunity of match practice when we play Yorkshire later in the week.”

Much-needed overnight rain, the first to hit the ground in three months, had juiced up the outfield a touch as play began on time at 10am.

Twelve members of the squad were involved, with Ajmal Shahzad and Andy Carter having fitness training and net bowling and the other three players Sam Kelsall, Sam Wood and Adam Tillcock obtaining match practice in a friendly fixture at Wanderers Cricket Club instead.

Luke Fletcher’s opening delivery of the day was pushed to Ben Phillips at mid off and an overthrow ensued when the fielder shied at the non-striker’s end with Billy Godleman stretching to make his ground. The opening ten overs only yielded 23 runs, with Harry Gurney sharing the new ball with Fletcher.

Ben Phillips, on as first change, made the initial breakthrough with James Taylor taking a fine tumbling catch at square leg to remove Godleman (15) in the 14th over.

Fletcher, Phillips and Paul Franks, who was the fourth bowler to be introduced, hadn’t played in the weekend T20 tournament so were all enjoying their first bowl of the tour.

Graeme White and Jake Ball were also eased into the action towards the end of the session, as the fifth and sixth bowlers used.

Ben Slater, batting at three, played some exquisite cover drives in the lead-up to lunch, which arrived with him on 20, Wayne Madsen had a patient 38 to his name and Derbyshire were on 79-1 after 29 overs.

Immediately after the break Ball collected the scalp of Slater (22) who inside-edged through to Chris Read.

It took until the 37th over for the 100 to arrive on the scoreboard, as Madsen brought up his half-century (106 balls, 6x4).

After turning down a couple of very confident appeals, lady umpire Denise Greaves eventually gave one in Notts favour as Madsen (51) was trapped in front of all three stumps by a pacy Gurney delivery.

There was a moment of near-farce when Durston drove Fletcher straight to mid off. As the ball neared Jake Ball, the fielder, it reared dangerously on a bumpy part of the outfield and flew high over his head.

The batsmen stopped, believing it to be four but the ball stopped inches from the rope and by the time it had been retrieved only one run had been taken.

Chesney Hughes (31) played some nice strokes before gloving Fletcher down the legside to the ‘keeper, reducing the score to 142-4. It was the first delivery bowled from around the wicket during his second spell.

Durston, whose Derbyshire career took off after a T20 century against Notts at Trent Bridge, went on the offensive during the late afternoon, twice propelling White back over his head for the first two sixes of the innings.

His fifty arrived (49 balls, 6x4, 2x6) just before partner Tom Poynton also got into the six-hitting act himself, lifting Franks over midwicket with a wristy flick.

Another short, sharp shower during the tea interval officially ended the Crab Hill drought period but play was soon underway again with Derbyshire resuming on 194-4.

A further delay occurred - whilst a search was conducted for the match-ball after Durston’s third six landed in a nearby field.

Replicating Steven Mullaney’s innings on the opening day, Durston pressed the accelerator to good effect.

Graeme White’s 14th over saw Poynton work a single from the first delivery. Durston – on 70 – then produced five consecutive sixes to bring up his century (73 balls, 9x4, 8x6).

As the last one sailed out of the ground – a heavy storm swept across North Stars CC causing the players to sprint for the sanctuary of the pavilion. Durston’s team-mates, nevertheless, gave his innings the rich ovation it deserved.

The rain lasted for 50 minutes during which Durston retired and Richard Johnson took his place and Steven Mullaney received his first bowl of the match.

Poynton’s 96-minute vigil ended on 37 when he pushed at Ball and gave Hales a routine catch at first slip.

Another Hales catch accounted for David Wainwright (4) off Mullaney, at which point the captain’s agreed to shake hands.

The conclusion of the match signalled the end of Derbyshire’s tour whilst Nottinghamshire have a further two-day contest, against Yorkshire beginning on Friday, still to play.

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