Cricket: Archer profits from easy targets

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The Independent Online
Nottinghamshire 352-4 v Glamorgan

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE rediscovered the form which eluded them in their crucial encounter with Lancashire last weekend to make good use of what is often an important toss to win on a ground of short boundaries here.

This is the first four-day fixture to be staged at Central Avenue, which has traditionally been friendly towards spin bowlers but also offers big-hitting batsman opportunities to make hay.

How Nottinghamshire must wish they had met Lancashire here instead of on the low, slow strip at Trent Bridge where they were scarcely able to get the ball off the square and ultimately lost both the match and their Championship hopes to an extraordinary innings by John Crawley.

But while the title may be bound for Edgbaston, there is still a close race for place money in the Britannic Assurance table.

Nottinghamshire did their chances of securing the runners-up position no harm, with a career- best unbeaten 146 by the 23-year- old Graeme Archer a highlight, upstaging a fine innings by his captain, Tim Robinson, who was dismissed for 99.

Archer's second Championship century of the summer might be interpreted as a timely riposte by the young Cumbrian to Robinson's suggestion, reported by the local evening paper, that his technique might be better suited to batting at four or five rather than his current position, at three.

Although the conditions were hardly demanding, there did not look too much wrong with what Archer was doing, when he drove and cut superbly. He shared 44 overs and 169 runs with Robinson, during which he revealed both diligence and the eye for an opportunity, completing his first 50 with two successive sixes. His hundred included 14 fours as well.