Spearman fills his boots

Warwickshire 350 Gloucestershire 352-3

After his achievements for Gloucestershire this season Craig Spearman should change his name to something more appropriate - "Batman" springs to mind. And while his five-hour innings here might not have been quite in the superhero class, it further established him among Gloucestershire's immortals.

After his achievements for Gloucestershire this season Craig Spearman should change his name to something more appropriate - "Batman" springs to mind. And while his five-hour innings here might not have been quite in the superhero class, it further established him among Gloucestershire's immortals.

Not content with obliterating the long-standing record of W G Grace for the highest individual innings - his 341 at the beginning of June surpassing the previous mark of 318 not out scored against Yorkshire at Cheltenham in 1876 - the powerful New Zealander yesterday became the first Gloucestershire batsman to score a double century on this ground since Wally Hammond against Somerset in 1946.

He gave not a glimmer of a chance until the record had been secured and even then, on 219, it was probably more tiredness than anything else which saw him carve a hard chance to Jonathan Trott in the gully.

It was all far too much for championship leaders Warwickshire, handicapped as they were by being unable to call on the services of the Zimbabwe strike bowler Heath Streak. He might be called sometime today, but the second innings, if Gloucestershire have to bat again, is the more likely option as he nurses a thigh injury.

His absence was Gloucestershire's streak of luck and they took full advantage. Spearman was immovable, intractable and impossible to bowl at. Despite 19 New Zealand Test caps he is clearly at his best in the West Country, because all three of his big hundreds, when he has passed 150, have been scored for Gloucestershire, and this was his 10th century for the county and the 21st of his career.

He qualifies for England in January 2006, although the England and Wales Cricket Board has dispensation to reduce the waiting time. At 32, though, Spearman is unlikely to feature in England squads, but there is still plenty of county life left in him to satisfy his employers at Gloucestershire.

He reached each of the fifties in his innings with boundaries, the 100 and 150 coming up with big sixes, and each blow further reduced Warwickshire's expectations in this match.

Victory is now pretty much out of the question, although barring disaster they could wring a draw out of the game, especially if Streak can get into the action. But in this form even he might struggle to find a way past Spearman's bat.

It was a disconsolate Warwickshire who trooped off for bad light three-quarters-of-an-hour before the scheduled close of a day in which 20 overs in total were lost to the weather, with Gloucestershire a nose in front.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power