Batsman of the day
At 33, Michael Lumb accepts that it may be too late for him to add a Test cap to his England appearances in Twenty20 cricket but cites the example of Nick Compton as proof that a weight of runs in the Championship cannot be dismissed lightly. At Trent Bridge yesterday, Nottinghamshire’s stylish left-hander turned his third century of the season into a career-best 221 not out against Derbyshire, overtaking his 219 for Hampshire against Notts on the same ground in August 2009.
Lumb, whose century against Yorkshire at Scarborough last week was overshadowed by Andrew Gale’s double-hundred for the hosts, had the spotlight to himself on this occasion, hitting 28 fours and passing his previous best in the grand manner when he hooked a Mark Footitt bouncer for six. Earlier, he and nightwatchman Luke Fletcher (64) had shared a stand of 123 for the fourth wicket but, with half the match lost to the weather, a draw was inevitable.
Bowler of the day
Left out of Sussex’s previous match against Middlesex because of poor form and left to work in the nets, Monty Panesar showed the benefit of extra practice with a five-wicket haul at Arundel against Surrey, delivering a reminder to England that another Test comeback is not out of the question. Panesar had seemed back to his best with his role in England’s series win in India but has been troubled by a persistent shoulder problem, and the Sussex coach, Mark Robinson, took the bold decision to axe him. “The injury had affected him and he has struggled with his form,” Robinson said. “We felt it was a good time to take him out of the firing line.”
Moment of the day
With the Ashes in mind – next winter’s rather than this summer’s – the England selectors are keeping a close eye on Chris Tremlett’s progress as he recovers from injury, although understandably it is what he does with the ball that interests them primarily. Every now and then, however, he has been known to wield a bat to good effect, and one such occasion came yesterday at Arundel when he took a particular liking to the Australian seamer, Steve Magoffin, whom he twice hit for consecutive sixes in a lightning 54 off just 33 balls to help bolster Surrey’s total in another match destined for a draw.
Not surprisingly, after his side’s humbling record-low dismissal for 20 by Lancashire on Friday, Essex head coach, Paul Grayson, has repeated the apology to members he made after an innings defeat to Northamptonshire earlier in the season. “A few of our players need to step up to the plate and on behalf of the team we can only apologise for the performance and ensure we get back to winning ways this Sunday.”