On an extraordinary day of wickets, runs and blustery showers that felt more like January than June, Luke Wood, who is 19, announced himself as a name for the future with a maiden century as thrilling as any this season will witness.
Scored off 105 balls with 10 fours and six sixes, buzzing with exuberance yet, after a shaky start, remarkably well-constructed, it facilitated a Nottinghamshire recovery from 38 for 5 to 255 all out, which had its value enhanced in the evening when Sussex lost their first three wickets for 39, two of which fell to Wood as he capped the most memorable of days.
Playing in his fifth first-class match, the young left-arm seamer and left-hand batsman, who clearly should be considered an all-rounder, targeted the short boundary on the Bridgford Road side of the ground for all of his sixes.
Remarkably, given that the adrenalin must have been pumping as never before, he managed to scored his last 28 runs at nine wickets down and with Harry Gurney, an old-school No 11, at the other end. Gurney was in for 25 minutes but did not face a ball as his cool-headed partner farmed the strike, running singles off the bat or byes to the last ball of every over.
For enterprise and invention it was quite brilliant. Mick Newell, the Notts director of cricket, called it “as remarkable a century as I’ve seen” and he has witnessed 16 from Kevin Pietersen.
Wood, born in Sheffield but a Worksop lad by upbringing, strode out at 98 for 7, and Will Gidman appeared to be Notts’ last hope of avoiding embarrassment, having been put in on a green-tinged pitch designed presumably in the hope of producing a result in their favour. Gidman made 57, a worthy effort but rendered a footnote by Wood.
Sussex’s Steve Magoffin finished with six wickets but had gone for 109 runs by the time Wood had done with him, half of those scored by the teenager, who by his own admission has no batting pedigree. In Notts’ last match, a heavy home defeat, he bagged a pair.
With Wood on 98, Sussex turned to the leg spin of Luke Wells in the hope that giving him something other than pace would stem the flow of runs. It took Wells only four balls to find the edge and have him caught behind but only after the young man had put the finishing touch to a wonderful innings by pushing the ball into the open spaces on the leg side to enable him to scamper two runs and run off, bat waving above his head.
Batsman of the Day
If Kevin Pietersen is England’s past, then Surrey team-mate Jason Roy may be the future.
The 24-year-old, blessed with the confidence to meet the modern demand for rapid runs, made a century before lunch at The Oval to put Surrey in control against Second Division leaders Lancashire.
Roy, who made his England one-day international debut against Ireland last month, hit 111 from 105 balls in the opening session, the first Surrey player to amass more than 100 runs in a morning’s play since Ian Greig in 1990.
Roy eventually fell for a career-best 143, having shared a partnership of 236 for the fifth wicket with Steve Davies, who made 86. Surrey were 435 for 8 when rain brought an early close.
Bowler of the Day
Worcestershire’s Joe Leach took 5 for 63 as Hampshire were bowled out for 222 at the Rose Bowl before Daryl Mitchell’s unbeaten 80 gave his side the lead.
Australia opener Chris Rogers has been ruled out of this week’s first Test against West Indies with concussion after being struck on the helmet by a net bowler. Team doctor Dr Peter Brukner said: “This is the rule now. If someone is concussed, they don’t play.”Reuse content