James takes over

By Philip Barton at Worksop
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Glamorgan's Steve James recorded a career best 235 and passed 200 for a second time in two years here yesterday. James is a solid, neat, uncomplicated player with a knack of accumulating runs quickly while seeming totally unhurried. He was at the crease for just over eight hours and hit 32 boundaries, mainly along the ground through cover and off his legs.

Glamorgan's top-order batsmen have been in rich form recently and none more so than their captain Matthew Maynard. He has scored three centuries (one a double) in his last five innings and his claims for a Test place were strengthened by the presence of the England coach, David Lloyd, at this match.

Given that there was so much at stake, Maynard's innings of 38 was a peculiar cameo which was full of aggression, tinged with recklessness. He always looks to dominate the spinners, but his first two scoring shots were risky, edged singles. The third was a straight six which screamed over the sight screens into the river. More boundaries and two dropped chances followed in a furious assault on Andy Afford and Richard Bates. This was all thoroughly entertaining but it is a moot point as to how much it impressed Lloyd.

Chris Cairns and the new ball accounted for Maynard, and when the New Zealander produced a dipping yorker to dismiss Gary Butcher and Greg Mike chipped in to bowl Tony Cottey, Nottinghamshire were briefly in the ascendancy on an otherwise defensive day.

Meanwhile James carried on serenely, taking the minimum of risks as he caressed the ball through the gaps and stroked his way to the highest first-class score at Central Avenue. He was ably assisted by some free hitting from Ottis Gibson and aggressive driving from Robert Croft, who scored 50 off 66 balls.

Glamorgan's lead of 118 looked useful on a pitch renowned for taking fierce spin in the latter stages. Croft did get some bounce and turn to dismiss Paul Pollard but Nottinghamshire had reduced the arrears to 13 by the close thanks to a typically measured half- century from Tim Robinson.

Comments