County Championship round-up: Is Luis Reece the consistent opener Lancashire have been searching for?

 

Batsman of the day

Luis Reece, a 22-year-old as capable of making headlines with the ball as with the bat, could be the consistent opener Lancashire have been searching for. The former Leeds-Bradford MCCU captain's exploits for the students included an unbeaten 114 batting at No 5 in a first-class match against Leicestershire and 7 for 21 bowling left-arm seam in a friendly against Sussex.

Now he is carving a niche at the top of the order for Lancashire, with whom he returned to Grace Road to help Paul Horton put on 104 for the first wicket against Leicestershire. He and Horton are the sixth opening pair Lancashire have used this season and the first to post a three-figure partnership. Reece went on to reach a Championship-best 85 before edging to slip off Tom Wells.

Bowler of the day

Graham Onions has had to live with the frustration of being England's nearly man for much of his career, in which his nine Test appearances can be offset against the regular occasions when he has been named in a squad only to be discarded on the first morning and packed off back to his county. It has not stopped him developing a liking for Lord's, however, where the wickets of Joe Denly and Adam Voges on an eventful opening day of Durham's latest visit took his tally to 28 wickets in five first-class appearances at headquarters, notably including his 5 for 38 against West Indies on his Test debut in 2009.

Extras

Struggling Derbyshire dropped two more of their first-team regulars as they travelled to Sussex in search of a first win of the season, bringing in 21-year-old Alex Hughes and 22-year-old Matt Higginbottom as first-change seamers.

They were rewarded with debut wickets from both. Higginbottom, making his first appearance in the Championship, dismissed Chris Nash with the first ball of his fourth over when the West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul claimed a catch at first slip after Peter Burgoyne had parried the ball at second.

Hughes – on his first-class debut – had Michael Yardy caught by Ben Slater at point from the fifth ball of his first over before dismissing Rory Hamilton-Brown and Luke Wright in the space of three deliveries in his second spell.

Not a bad start from the new boys.

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