Derbyshire 256 & 143-5 Nottinghamshire 443: Discarded James Taylor's century posts reminder to England

 

The County Ground

If there is a batsman in the First Division with something to prove this summer, then it is James Taylor, whose elevation from pint-sized bully of Second Division attacks to Test-class middle-order batsman has not been the smooth transition some of his supporters thought could be taken as read.

Taylor, who joined Nottinghamshire the winter before last after scoring prolifically for Leicestershire, earned a Test call-up in relatively short order when Ravi Bopara withdrew from the second Test against South Africa in August. He did not particularly impress – although it cannot have helped to find himself unwittingly caught up in the accusations levelled at Kevin Pietersen – and though he kept his place for the third Test he was not picked to tour. His omission from the England Performance Squad for this summer, which can be regarded as a reasonable guide to  status, looked telling.

His century against Derbyshire here yesterday might, in time, appear to be of minor consequence if the Second Division champions slip into a struggle to survive. If it turns out to be the first of several, though, it could be seen in a different light.

It is a step in the right direction, at least, and Taylor was clearly determined to take it from the moment he resumed from 67 overnight. A little like Shivnarine Chanderpaul – an opponent here – in stature (if not in stance), he took it upon himself to adopt the West Indian’s attitude to protecting his stumps on a pitch on which runs have been largely ground out. He did not hit a boundary until after lunch,  having negotiated 77 balls in the first session and only twice chancing more than a single.

When his century arrived – from a false shot, somewhat ironically, that flew off the edge between first and second slips for only his fifth four – it was the slowest of his 14 so far in first-class matches, from 265 balls spanning 14 minutes short of six hours. He shared a stand of 52 with Stuart Broad, but the support he had from Luke Fletcher was equally important in getting him over the line, the big fast bowler hanging around for more than an hour for his unbeaten 19. Broad’s was an eventful knock, as much as a reminder that he can bat as an illustration of Derbyshire’s continuing haplessness in the field. Somehow they managed to drop him three times in the space of five balls before Tim Groenewald at last clung on to a top-edged hook.

The stricken Andre Adams batted with a runner in his last appearance before an anticipated five-week lay-off with a torn calf muscle, and though he could contribute no more than a swing and a nick, Nottinghamshire did finish with a lead of 187.

Derbyshire lost two wickets for 24, and though Chanderpaul gave them hope as he led a stand of 83 with Wayne Madsen, the departure of both in the space of five overs put Nottinghamshire back on top, even with Broad wicketless at that point. And when Samit Patel claimed a fifth wicket for spin, Derbyshire were still 48 behind.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most