Batsman of the day
After beginning his push for an England berth with a double failure against Sussex at Hove last week, Sam Robson put matters right with an impressive unbeaten century against Nottinghamshire at Lord’s.
The 24-year-old Australian-born right-hander is now in pole position to be England captain Alastair Cook’s partner at the top of the batting order. Robson, who was the stand-out batsman for England Lions in Sri Lanka during the winter, completed his 12th first-class hundred off 170 balls with 14 boundaries.
He shared a partnership of 203 with Eoin Morgan, another with his sights on an England spot, which rescued Middlesex from 19 for two against Nottinghamshire, but the left-hander fell 14 runs short of a century of his own. Morgan’s last first-class century came for England against India in August 2011, which is a statistic he needs to correct, even though he has played only 27 first-class innings in the interim. This was his highest score since that knock.
Bowler of the day
If it was a century from the aforementioned Cook that put Essex in control against Derbyshire at Chelmsford, which is remarkable enough given their dismissal for 94 in the first innings, equally important was the work of their bowling attack in limiting Derbyshire to a first-innings lead of 60. The Peakites were five down for 139 overnight but were gone in 36 minutes yesterday morning, losing five wickets for 15 runs in eight overs, three of them to David Masters, who struck with the third and fifth balls of the day to complete the 29th five-wicket haul of his career and finishing with six for 46.
Adil Rashid’s eighth first-class century – his fourth in the last two seasons – against Somerset at Taunton might not have the England selectors twitching but a first of the season for James Vince against Gloucestershire at Bristol might, coming as it did after his five in 2013.