Mullaney Shines
With The Bat

Featured News | 20th March 2013

Barbados Gallery 

Nottinghamshire scored 386 all out from 87.3 overs on the opening day of their fixture against Derbyshire at North Stars Cricket Club.

Steven Mullaney took the batting honours with a swashbuckling century, made from just 104 deliveries, skipper Chris Read weighed in with a typically-punchy 73 and Paul Franks reached 50 as Derbyshire’s attack was put to the sword.

Mick Newell was pleased with how the day had gone: “We’ve got out of it exactly what we wanted. Most people were able to have a bat for a reasonable amount of time and now hopefully we’ll have a good days’ bowling on the second day of the match.

“This is a terrific facility here at North Stars. We’ve been very well looked after and the people have been very pleased to see us. It’s been a pleasure to play on the ground, on what has been a very good wicket.”

Newell also praised his centurion. “Mull’s done well over the week. He played nicely for his 50 against Yorkshire on Sunday and has done well again today. He’s clearly getting a lot out of the trip.”

Exactly 36 hours after the two teams had left the field, following the Barbados T20 Cup final at Kensington Oval, they warmed up again in blustery conditions after it had been pre-agreed that Notts would bat first.

Back in white clothing and with a red ball Alex Hales and Riki Wessels proceeded cautiously against an accurate opening burst.

It took until the end of the fifth over before the first boundary was scored but then, like Sun Tours Coaches, three arrived in quick succession.

Hales’ second four, square from the bowling of Tony Palladino was his last scoring shot as an outside edge off Tim Groenewald comfortably carried through to ‘keeper Richard Johnson for 11.

The North Stars ground is situated right at the top of the island and was the home club of former West Indies fast bowler Charlie Griffith, who spoke at the formal arrival meeting in Bridgetown earlier in the tour.

Locals were happy to point out that not a single drop of rain has fallen on the ground – or in Crab Hill, the nearby village, in 2013.

Derbyshire also made an initial breakthrough when Mark Turner got a hand to a Wessels clip to midwicket but the unfortunate bowler, Alasdair Evans, was still able to celebrate a wicket when he was brought into the attack from the south end.

Wessels (21), driving, nicked him and Billy Godleman held a regulation catch at gully.

James Taylor wasted little time in stroking Evans through the covers to get himself off the mark and Michael Lumb worked it away to leg to take the total beyond fifty at the start of the 21st over.

At the start of his spell Ross Whiteley bowled too short to Taylor and was twice pulled away for boundaries. Both he and Lumb looked in exquisite touch as the ball softened over the parched, bumpy outfield.

Wes Durston’s first over was eventful. He was launched high, away over midwicket by Taylor for the first six of the day to bring up the fifty stand from 75 deliveries.

The same batsman then came charging down the track and missed but was reprieved as the ball bounced too high for Johnson to take cleanly with a stumping in the offing.

Lumb (18) didn’t quite make it to the luncheon interval, skying the ball to cover as his left hand came off the bat when driving at Durston.

At 96-3 Notts were seemingly denied four runs when Taylor pulled viciously straight into the helmet of short leg. Thankfully the fielder, Godleman, was uninjured.

Resuming at the interval score of 105-3 Taylor (43) soon fell, top-edging Higginbottom to David Wainwright on the fine leg boundary.

Derbyshire weren’t helped by the absence of Mark Footitt and Peter Burgoyne, laid low with food poisoning and then Turner, Whiteley and Durston all had to leave the field with an assortment of ailments.

Read and Steven Mullaney then kicked on emphatically during the hottest part of the day and the skipper advanced to his half-century (65 balls, 7x4) as the total sped past 200.

David Wainwright was lofted over long-off by Read (73) for his only six but fell to the next delivery, slicing to Evans at backward point.

Mullaney’s first 50 (73 balls, 3x4, 3x6) arrived with a straight six off Wainwright, which also moved the score on to 254-5 as tea was taken.

Chesney Hughes was harshly treated by Mullaney after the break as he powered a four and a six from consecutive deliveries to overtake Read as the top-scorer in the innings and bring the 300 up at the same time.

Those hits were just clearly sighters as he then smashed Evans for a couple of enormous larrups over midwicket – reminiscent of his hit against Middlesex last season that cleared the New Stand.

The over cost 18 as Mullaney moved to 95 but he wasted no time in getting back on strike before levering Hughes away for the six that brought up his century (104 balls, 7x4, 7x6)

Enabling others to get some batting practice, Mullaney promptly retired – to huge applause from his team-mates and a reasonable late afternoon crowd.

Paul Franks (50 ret) had been content to rotate the strike, whilst Mullaney, was firing but then displayed some buccaneering strokes of his own to reach fifty (88 balls, 8x4) before retiring.  

Ben Phillips hit a six and two fours in a 9-ball score of 17 and Graeme White (6 not out), Luke Fletcher (7) and Jake Ball (5) all had the opportunity of a few minutes batting before the close.

It will be Derbyshire’s turn to bat on the second day, with the Notts attack looking to gain a psychological advantage before the sides meet in Division One action next month.

Nottinghamshire team: Alex Hales, Riki Wessels, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Chris Read (captain), Steven Mullaney, Paul Franks, Graeme White, Ben Phillips, Luke Fletcher and Jake Ball.

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