Resolute Habib restores order

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The Independent Online

Perhaps it is time to employ swingometers in cricket as well as lightmeters and snickometers. After 23 wickets fell during an astonishing first day at Trent Bridge, due to late swing rather than demons in the pitch, the pendulum swung in favour of Essex's Aftab Habib yesterday. He deepened Nottinghamshire's misery by scoring 151 off 182 balls, with 26 boundaries.

After being given two Tests against New Zealand in 1999, this forerunner of the British-Asian new wave dropped out of favour and led the exodus from Leicestershire, joining Essex in time for last season.

He found an able ally in the wicketkeeper, James Foster, who was himself overlooked as a replacement for Alec Stewart in the England one-day squad; Nottinghamshire's Chris Read was preferred, in spite of his broken thumb.

Foster made 85 in a stand of 178 for the sixth wicket as Essex reached 359. The hosts, chasing 484, improved upon their first-innings ignominy of 19 for 9 by reaching 58 for 1.

Derby was traditionally a breeding ground for English pace bowlers as they benefited from advantageous conditions at the County Ground. Yesterday Derbyshire were undone by a Worcestershire attack whose headquarters, at New Road, also tends to encourage the seamers. But on this occasion the wicket-takers consisted of two South Africans and an Australian.

The home side were dismissed for 179, 195 in arrears, despite openers Andrew Gait and Michael DiVenuto both recording half-centuries.

The damage was wrought by Nantie Hayward, Andrew Hall and Western Australian Matt Mason, who is qualified as a domestic registration by his Irish passport. Following on, they struggled to 82 for 5, this time at the mercy of England's new boy Kabir Ali, before recovering to 185 for 6.

India's tiro Yuvraj Singh scored a rapid half-century for Yorkshire at Headingley, but it was left to Michael Lumb to add substance to his style. The left-handed son of old Tyke Richard was born in Johannesburg but qualifies as English, and he showed his promise with an innings of 105 off 142 balls, with 17 fours. But then the 18-year-old Durham paceman Liam Plunkett, formerly of England Under-19s, reduced them from 89 for 3 to 115 for 8, returning 5 for 53 in his second first-class match. The hosts were all out for 220, 60 runs behind Durham who then progressed to 99 for 3.

At Wantage Road, North-amptonshire were bowled out for 262 by visitors Glamorgan. Seven runs in front, the Welsh county limped to 71 for 4.

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