Cricket: Rule of Law not applicable to others

Essex 204-2 v Leicestershire
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The Independent Online
It was a pertinent commentary on the events of this summer that when England's leading batsman, Nasser Hussain, reached 50, Stuart Law, from Queensland and not asked to tour England with Australia, had made 96 - although he had batted for 15 fewer minutes. While Hussain's present run of good form continued, he was eclipsed by Law's wonderful stroke play on a day when rain claimed 45 overs.

It really was as though there was one rule for us and another for them. Law's confidence and assurance was only matched by Ricky Ponting at Headingley in the recent fourth Test.

Law's driving forms the basis of his game, but his cutting and pulling is no less effective and, if you bowl at his pads, it is at your peril. All this, after Leicestershire, who had lost the toss, had quickly removed the Essex openers.

Paul Prichard was caught and bowled off one from Alan Mullally which lifted unexpectedly and at the same score, nine, Darren Robinson was well caught at third slip when he went after a wide one from David Millns.

After that, it was an endless succession of lovely strokes. Hussain is no slouch but he was content to let Law have his head, for trying to keep up with such a formidable player in this form only invites disaster.

Law's 100 took 147 balls and altogether he faced 162 balls for his 124 not out. He hit 15 fours and three sixes, one which flew into the main sponsors' marquee.

Hussain has so far faced 170 balls for his 52. Another point of interest came when the game was held up by the arrival of the Daily Telegraph correspondent's labrador in the middle of the pitch.

Gloucestershire are resting three of their regular batsmen for today's four-day match with Pakistan A in Bristol. Matt Windows and Nick Trainor are given the chance to forge an opening partnership and Matt Church will bat at No 4.

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