Haseeb Hameed amassed a sparkling Lord’s century as Nottinghamshire edged a hard-fought first day against Middlesex at the Home of Cricket.
Hameed’s score of 112, which came off 217 balls and contained 12 fours, ensured he achieved a feat which the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Matthew Hayden, Sachin Tendulkar, and Brian Lara never managed.
His innings featured partnerships worth 99 and 117 with Ben Duckett and captain Steven Mullaney, respectively, as Day One in the capital flowed a little more than it ebbed for Notts, who eventually closed on 329/5.
Earlier, bright sunshine reflected off the carpeted Lord’s turf as the first day’s play began, and home captain Peter Handscomb won the toss and opted to allow Notts first use of the pitch.
Ben Slater did draw first blood by driving Tim Murtagh for four off his very first ball, but the Irish seamer exacted revenge by the end of the first over as he induced an edge which John Simpson caught behind the stumps.
Despite arriving at the crease earlier than the visitors will have no doubt desired, the early wicket did little to dampen the confidence of the in-form Ben Duckett, who joined Haseeb Hameed in steering Notts to 104/1.
The duo remained unbeaten up to lunch, briskly going about their business, and the morning was brought to the most satisfying of conclusions as Hameed deftly flicked Toby Roland-Jones for four to record an 87-ball fifty.
Middlesex struck back in the opening exchanges of the afternoon, however, as in the space of eight balls, Ethan Bamber saw Duckett caught behind for 43 and bowled Joe Clarke via an inside edge.
Resistance came in the form of Lyndon James, who joined Hameed to put the pressure back on the Seaxes with some punchy shots, though a Martin Andersson delivery did for the all-rounder when he nicked behind for 21.
That brought Mullaney to the crease to partner the still-unbeaten Hameed with the total standing at 150/4, and the duo showed panache and precision in equal measure to post the innings’ biggest partnership yet.
Both hit respective landmarks after tea with shots to the same area of the field, though their execution was wildly different.
Hameed hit his hundred via a delicate square-leg flick for four and Mullaney made fifty thanks to a giant pulled six, with the skipper eventually ending the day not out on 92*.
Two batting bonus points were added before the hosts were able to put a chink in the armour through the prize scalp of Hameed, who was caught behind by Simpson off Andersson.
Mullaney continued to go about his work with little impact from the wicket, as he and new batter Tom Moores, who also concluded the day unbeaten on 35*, took the total past 300.
That also added a third batting point, after which enough cloud cover descended on St John’s Wood to necessitate the use of the Lord’s floodlights.
Moores and Mullaney successfully negotiated those final testing exchanges with stout defensive work against the new ball, to the close without further loss.
Be More Outlaw: The 2022 Vitality Blast at Trent Bridge
Notts Outlaws, the 2017 and 2020 Vitality Blast winners, return to T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer from Friday 27 May to Friday 1 July. Pin your green and gold colours to the mast by securing your seats now.
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Friday 17 June, Notts Outlaws vs Birmingham Bears: Secure your seats…
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Friday 1 July, Notts Outlaws vs Durham: Secure your seats…