Cricket: Adams' steady century

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The Independent Online
Nottinghamshire 368-7 v Sussex

THERE was good cricket and bad here, with centuries scored by Jimmy Adams and Kevin Evans, partners in a balance- swinging stand for Nottinghamshire's sixth wicket. There was also one conceded by Paul Jarvis, the former Yorkshire and England quick bowler, whose addition to the Hove dressing-room, on this evidence, does not look much to shout about.

Jarvis went for 117 in 27 overs, figures that explain much about how Nottinghamshire, who had been 142 for 5, managed to finish the day well on top. He took a wicket only because Wayne Noon, ducking a bouncer, left his bat pointing upwards like an antenna and gave a catch to short leg.

Some of the Sussex fielding would have shamed a park team, which might be excused from someone as amply filled out as 45-year-old Eddie Hemmings, but not from the other offenders. Hemmings helped Paul Johnson to a second successive leg-side six, off Jarvis, with one hopeless failure to take a catch on the ropes and dropped another, off Jarvis again, when Evans, then only on 15, top-edged. No amount of kicking the turf could disguise the fact that the bowler rarely put two consecutive deliveries in the right place.

None of this should detract from the batting of Adams and Evans, who prevented what might have been an embarrassingly small total on an easy-paced pitch. The West Indian apart, the recognised batsmen played themselves in and got themselves out.

It was as well for them that Adams preferred to be more steadily acquisitive, reaching his second 100 of the season in a little over four hours. Evans, who has become a decent all- rounder, rode his luck, giving further chances at 58 and, nervously, at 99, but played exceptionally well otherwise to equal his career best.

Hemmings sent down 35 overs with miserly economy, always giving his former team-mates something to think about, but it was a mystery why another Trent Bridge old boy, Franklyn Stephenson, was bowled so little after taking 11 wickets in his last match.