Cricket: Atherton's game of patience bears fruit

Kent 186; Lancashire 90-3

AS A measure of class and sheer guts, there can have been few better examples than the way Michael Atherton donned the crampons against Kent yesterday and slowly worked his way back up the steep slope in search of better form. The top of his personal mountain is still some way off, but at least he has now left base camp.

The former England captain has been out of sorts for a long while now. His 98 last Sunday was a start, but he needed to put together something of substance in the longer game in order to stay in the running for an England place, and probably just to retain his self-belief. He did precisely that.

In a shade over two hours Atherton dug deep and by the close had reached a chanceless 42. It was embroidered with patience and studded with just three boundaries in the 102 balls he has faced to date. It was his best first-class score this season. His two previous Championship innings were 0 and 33 not out, the latter made against declaration bowling at Sussex. And Atherton's innings took on even greater stature with the dismissals of John Crawley, Neil Fairbrother and Nathan Wood before the close.

The left-hander Wood had looked perfectly comfortable in a 62-run opening partnership with Atherton, but he fell to a leg side catch behind for 27.

Crawley lasted just a handful of balls before he too was caught behind by Steve Marsh without scoring. Fairbrother picked up the tempo but with, two balls remaining to stumps, he shouldered arms to a delivery from Carl Hooper and was bowled by the arm ball.

That left Atherton looking solid and good for a big score today. However painstaking his innings may have seemed, it was certainly the only approachto adopt, especially after Lancashire had done such good work to dismiss Kent inside two sessions.

The Kent innings was as fast as the Lancashire effort was slow. There seemed to be an indecent haste to the home side's batting and that led to waste. Only Alan Ealham applied himself. He coped well with the movement through the air generated by the Lancashire bowlers, the ball swung a little less after lunch but still enough to ensure Kent were whipped out on the stroke of tea.

Ealham would probably prefer a little bit of licence when he is at the crease, unfortunately the failure of those above and around him in the order dictated otherwise. For all that, he was still able to claim 10 thudding boundaries and one hard-hit six which cleared the spectators and their cars, in his excellent 73.

Had it not been for Ealham, who shared in a precious stand of 64 with Ben Phillips, the Kent score would have looked a lot sorrier than it did.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
News
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
science
Extras
indybest
News
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
people
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Digital Project Manager/BA

£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Test Lead (C#, Java, HTML, SQL) Kingston Finance

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Access/Teradata Developer, Banking, Bristol £400pd

£375 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Access / Teradata Developer - Banking - Bristol -...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home