Cricket: Lewis hits back

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The Independent Online
Nottinghamshire 538 and 15-0

Northamptonshire 417-7 dec

A MATCH in danger of dying on its feet will need a meeting of minds to revive it tomorrow. With Leicestershire winning and Surrey poised, it is up to Tim Robinson to offer something to tempt Allan Lamb and hope that Nottinghamshire hold their catches.

So far they have not, which is why Northamptonshire are still in the game. Rob Bailey's century might have been prevented on four occasions: he was dropped on nought and 14, missed on 57 and put down again at 99.

The last one attracted some pointed comments among the crowd, the guilty party being Chris Lewis off the bowling of Jimmy Adams, who is currently Notts' frontline spinner in the absence of an out-of-form Andy Afford. The spectators were still digesting some astonishing comments attributed to Lewis in Friday's edition of the local evening paper. A headline: 'Angry Lewis blasts Notts' appeared over a story about the award of a county cap to the discarded England all-rounder, whose reaction was as graceless as one could imagine to an event usually regarded as an honour.

Lewis said the cap was 'long overdue', adding that there had been 'more than an ample number of times they could have given it to me'.

As Lewis sat hangdog on the turf after dropping the catch, Bailey rubbed salt in the wound by running four in overthrows to complete his century. He swept the next from Adams for six but then Lewis countered in extraordinary style, taking over the bowling from Adams at the Pavilion End and dismissing both Bailey and Mal Loye in four balls. Loye at first refused to leave the crease, querying if the ball had carried to the wicketkeeper, but the umpire Graham Burgess had to consult Bob White at square- leg before upholding the appeal.

Apart from a splendid throw from the deep by Paul Johnson to run out Lamb, that was about as much excitement as the day could stir. Northamptonshire, who began at 108 for one in reply to 538, meandered to 417 on an entirely benign pitch and then declared. Nottinghamshire resume 136 in front with all wickets standing.