Joe Clarke, who defied bowler friendly conditions to post a crucial century on day one against Yorkshire, says he’s backing Nottinghamshire’s bowlers to do damage on day two.

The 25-year-old batsman top scored with 109 off 204 deliveries as the Green and Golds closed on 292-9 having been put in to bat at Trent Bridge.

“I’ve had starts and scored fifties this summer, so there’s a bit of relief that I’ve managed to turn one of them into a hundred,” said the England Lions international.

“I felt good from ball one today, which is a rarity as a batter because usually, early doors, you have to find a way to scrape through the first 20 balls.

“But straightaway I felt in good rhythm. I’ve worked hard over the past couple of days in preparation for this game and everything clicked out in the middle.

“We’ve got a tremendous group of players and support staff who couldn’t have done any more for me, and I think they were relieved on my behalf that I’ve managed to kick on and get to three figures.

“We’ve got more than par on that wicket. Our three big fast bowlers (Luke Fletcher, Dane Paterson and Brett Hutton) will enjoy bowling on it and will have a good go at them.

“There’s definitely balls in the pitch, conditions out there will suit our bowlers and I’m backing them to get the most out of it tomorrow.”

Clarke added 97 for the seventh wicket with Joey Evison, who is unbeaten overnight on 58, and the Nottinghamshire number four believes his county have a special talent on their hands in the England age group international.

“Joey continues to impress me, not just today, but ever since he’s been around the group. We’re fortunate that he plays for Notts and anything can happen for him in the future.

“He bowls, he bats and he’s got a habit of taking his opportunities, so I’m really excited about what he can do for us moving forward.”

Evison’s next task is to find a further eight runs in the company of Dane Paterson to take Notts to 300 and with it a third batting bonus point, albeit Clarke is keen to focus solely on the game and let the league table take care of itself.

“We’re a few runs short of another point that will potentially be crucial come the end of this four days, so that’s the first thing to tick off tomorrow.

“To be in the top division – still in the hunt to win the Championship, to finish in the top two and aiming to reach a final at Lord’s – we’re really happy with the cricket we have played this year.

“But we don’t want to look too far ahead or look at the games that are happening elsewhere.

“We’re focusing on what we can control here at Trent Bridge, and that means having a good day tomorrow and trying to put ourselves in a winning position. If we can do that, if we can get the win, everything else will take care of itself.”


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