When Joe Clarke notched up his first double century in professional cricket, it was more than a personal milestone.

His resilient, match-saving, 229no in the match against Warwickshire was also the 100th score of 200+ by a Nottinghamshire batter.

Since 1882, when Arthur Shrewsbury got his and the county’s first double hundred – 207 v Surrey at The Oval – some of the greatest Notts players have joined the list of the county's double centurions. George, Billy and John Gunn are among them, as is Derek Randall, Richard Hadlee and – most recently – Ben Duckett.

Top of the list is Walter Keeton, whose 312no, also at The Oval but, unusually, against Middlesex in 1939, remains the only triple ton by a Notts player.

It is doubtful that any of the other 99 scores also featured two stands of exactly 100 runs as Clarke managed with Lyndon James for the third wicket against Warwickshire and then with skipper Steven Mullaney for the fourth. 

Clarke also had an unbroken stand of 103 with Calvin Harrison. In all, he amassed those 229 unbeaten runs off 365 balls, including 35 fours and one six to see Nottinghamshire recover from a massive first innings deficit.

Briefly it looked as if Joe Clarke could have his eye on the top score by a Notts batter on their home ground, A O Jones’s 296, but time and the need to save the game meant that 1903 record remains intact.

Clarke is though firmly in the '200 Club' sandwiched neatly between Reg Simpson’s 230no against Glamorgan at Swansea in 1950 and yet another Arthur Shrewsbury double (he had ten!), 227no v Gloucestershire at Moreton-in-Marsh in 1886.

June 2023

Arthur Jones’s mammoth innings will be the subject of a lunchtime talk at Trent Bridge during the Hampshire County Championship game in July.


June 2023