County Championship round-up: Davies' 126 fails to stop follow-on

By Jon Culley
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The Independent Online

In a Championship round notable for batting performances from wicketkeepers, Steven Davies did his best to stop Nottinghamshire seeing off Worcestershire in rapid time at Trent Bridge.

Having posted 505 and with England's Stuart Broad leading a strong attack, the home side looked a sound bet for a considerable first-innings lead but that forecast reckoned without Davies choosing the moment to record the fifth first-class century of his career.

Batting patiently on a slow pitch, the 22-year-old scored 126 over five and a quarter hours before falling victim to the left-arm spin of England's Samit Patel.

Davies shared partnerships of 94 for the fifth wicket with the opener Daryl Mitchell and 73 with Ashley Noffke for the eighth. Nonetheless, Worcestershire failed agonisingly by one run to reach the target of 355 needed to avoid the follow-on.

Broad, in good shape for the coming Test series against the West Indies, finished with 5 for 79 off 31 overs. Batting again, Worcestershire will resume in trouble at 24 for 3.

Ian Bell was denied the chance to extend his fine start to the season against Hampshire at Edgbaston, where Jim Troughton is 100 not out. Bell was on 29 when a brutish delivery from Chris Tremlett had him caught off the glove at first slip. Hampshire owed much to their wicketkeeper, Nic Pothas, who turned his overnight 83 into 118 not out in a total of 375.

In the second division, Matthew Walker steered Essex to a three-day win over Gloucestershire at Bristol. The home side added only four runs to their overnight score to be bowled out for 119, leaving Essex needing 98 to win. Walker (48) and captain Mark Pettini (28) saw them home to a seven-wicket victory, secured just after lunch.

Another wicketkeeper, Mark Wallace, hit a career-best 128 as Glamorgan totalled 505 against Middlesex at Lord's but Philip Hughes, with 100 not out, has given the home side the platform for a substantial reply.

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