All too familiar pickings for Hick

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Graeme Hick celebrated his recall to the Test squad in typical fashion, notching up yet another century in county cricket. It was his 109th first-class hundred, taking him into 15th place on the all-time list with Sir Viv Richards and Sir Don Bradman in his sights, but he has only managed five in Test cricket.

What price Sir Graeme if he had fulfilled the potential he showed whenWorcestershire signed him as a strapping 18-year-old from Zimbabwe? Now almost 34, Lord's on Thursday against his native country - the world's worst team - is a perfect stage to show why he served a seven-year qualification period that expired a year before Zimbabwe gained Test status.

It was business as usual at New Road as the captain made Worcestershire's seven-wicket victory against Middlesex in the County Championship Second Division look almost absurdly easy. Resuming on 50 for 1 requiring 161, Hick struck his 115 not out off just 109 balls with 19 fours and two sixes.

A younger man who might be eyeing up Hick's Test berth if he fails at Lord's is North-amptonshire's David Sales, 22, who made 276 in the first innings of their Second Division clash with Nottinghamshire at Wantage Road. The visitors, who were facing a daunting 585, were forced to follow on.

John Morris, signed from Derbyshire to give the batting steel, managed 88 while the former England Under-19 seamer Richard Logan took 3 for 68 and Michael Davies, a left-arm spin prospect, returned 3 for 83.

At Cardiff, Gloucestershire were all out for 242 in reply to Glamorgan's 250, Kim Barnett scoring 76 and the Australian all-rounder Ian Harvey 79 while paceman Steve Watkin took 3 for 48 and off-spinner Robert Croft 3 for 61. Steve James hit 109, his century coming off 137 balls with 15 fours, as the hosts responded with 182 for 3.

Derbyshire declared on 337 for 5 against Cambridgeshire at Fenner's with openers Stephen Stubbings and Mathew Dowman both falling in the nineties.