Cricket: Archer finds target

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The Independent Online
Nottinghamshire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .313-5


IT WAS cold and windy at May's Bounty and for a long time there was a corresponding bleakness about much of the cricket until Graeme Archer redeemed the day with an excellent century. He has taken Nottinghamshire, who if they win this match will go to the top of the Championship table, to 313 for 5.

In the absence of Mark Crawley, who is injured, Tim Robinson went in first and gave a reminder of what a force he had been in that position.

On a slo wish pitch he and Paul Pollard found it hard going at the start against Winston Benjamin and Norman Cowans, and runs never came at much more than two an over before lunch.

The only wicket in that session fell to the off-spinner, Shaun Udal, when Pollard, in trying to run him to third man, was out to a juggling slip catch. Fred Titmus, one of the Test selectors, was on the ground and will not have been entirely happy at the way Udal bowled.

When bowling from the Bounty Road end, his control was not as good as it should have been and Robinson in particular was given too many chances to pull and cut. Udal was unlucky just before lunch, though, when Archer pushed forward and was dropped behind the wicket before he had scored.

During the afternoon

Archer, who is 23 and has not been having a good season, batted sensibly. He hit the loose ball hard and has a

capable defensive technique. His confidence improved noticeably as his innings went on, and the two off drives for four in the over he reached his hundred were both exceptional strokes.

His hundred came in 236 minutes and included two sixes and 12 fours, but in the next over he was bowled pushing half forward at a ball which came into him from Benjamin.

Phillip DeFreitas, England's in-form all-rounder, hit his first Championship century since 1990 with a score of 108, as Derbyshire took maximum batting points against Leicestershire at Derby.

(Photograph omitted)