Hales & Patel Shine
With The Bat
Featured News | 15th June 2014
Alex Hales narrowly missed out on a century as Nottinghamshire fought back on the second day of their LV= County Championship match against Middlesex at Trent Bridge.
Hales scored 96 and Samit Patel made an unbeaten 75 out of a total of 258 for four as the home side responded to Middlesex’s first innings score of 505.
He faced only 110 deliveries and hit 16 fours and one six before being adjudged leg before wicket to the bowling of Tim Murtagh.
"I just hope that next time I’m in that situation I’ll be able to get over the line but overall, I’m pretty happy with how I’m playing.” Alex Hales
Earlier Middlesex had batted on for 85 minutes before eventually being bowled out, with Eoin Morgan falling for a championship best score of 191.
Andre Adams (3-87), Peter Siddle (3-121) and Luke Fletcher (3-122) all claimed three wickets for the hosts.
Hales, who has fallen in the nineties on three previous occasions for Notts admitted it was a blow not to reach three figures.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to get out in the nineties, it’s happened to me a few times now in first class cricket. I just hope that next time I’m in that situation I’ll be able to get over the line but overall, I’m pretty happy with how I’m playing.”
Middlesex batted on for 85 minutes before being bowled out, adding a further 88 to their overnight score. Paul Stirling (31) was the first to go, driving at Siddle without moving his feet and getting a thick edge through to Read.
Notts needed that breakthrough. Not only did it bring them a second bowling point but it also saw off the dangerous Stirling who had monopolised the stand of 40 with his 31.
Toby Roland-Jones (18) played some elegant square cuts and cover drives but missed out on a short-pitched ball from Luke Fletcher, pulling forcefully to Alex Hales at midwicket.
Fletcher had woken to figures of nought for 98 from his first day’s efforts but transformed those with two more dismissals, including the prize scalp of Morgan, who gloved an attempted pull through to Read.
Andre Adams joined the attack and immediately pinned Steven Finn (1), leg before wicket before Fletcher removed Ravi Patel (2), who pulled into the hands of Taylor.
Tim Murtagh, who had played adventurously in the quest for quick runs, ended on 28 not out.
Phil Jaques (1) went lbw to Murtagh, soon into Notts’ reply but six boundaries from Hales helped the home side to 27-1 at lunch.
A brief shower during the interval held up the restart but Hales and Michael Lumb were quickly about their work, once play resumed. Hales continued to pepper the boundaries with elegant, flowing shots, yet reached his 50 (65 balls 11x4) with an edgy guide to third man but celebrated the landmark by lofting Ravi Patel down the ground for six.
The century stand was reached but after adding only 2 more Lumb (47) departed. Still without a championship fifty this summer, the left-hander again appeared in total control before losing his off peg to Finn.
Neil Dexter had accelerated Nottinghamshire’s defeat in the same fixture in 2013, with a spell of 5-27. His arrival into the attack, from the Radcliffe Road End, brought the downfall of James Taylor (9), with the batsman being bowled as he tried to work away behind square.
Hales (96) loked devastate as he fell in the 90s for the fourth time in his career. Murtagh’s appeal was looked upon favourably with the ball jagging back sharply into the right-handers pads.
Samit Patel found a welcome return to form after registering a pair in his last match, against Yorkshire at Leeds. Timely the ball sweetly, particularly off his hips and through the cover regions, he passed 50 for the seventh time this season, reaching the landmark from 80 balls, with 11 fours.
Riki Wessels was dropped by Joe Denly at midwicket, from the bowling of Ravi Patel, on 16, before going on to reach stumps with an unbeaten 26 to his name, sharing in an unbroken stand of 94 with Patel.
By the close Notts had brought themselves to within 98 of saving the follow-on.