Loye's day of joy

Cricket: Northamptonshire 383-9 dec Somerset 88-0

Mal Loye continued his rehabilitation yesterday with a hard-hit, fluent century in a match that has been badly affected by rain.

Only two years ago the 23-year-old right-hander seemed to be making smooth progress towards Test status. He toured South Africa with England A in 1993-4 and was regarded as one of the best young batsmen in county cricket. But last season he suffered a crisis of confidence. Unable to retain his place in a side pushing for the Championship, he played only seven matches and scored a meagre 134 runs.

Loye looked far from confident in the opening hour when Andrew Caddick, another of cricket's under-achievers, exploited the early moisture to bowl a hostile but luckless spell. Batting became considerably easier against some average seam bowling from Kevin Shine and Shane Lee.

Loye set about them with relish. He pulled anything short with dismissive ease through square leg, brought up his half-century with a cut for four off Lee and celebrated with a six over midwicket in the same over.

Lee came in for more punishment as Loye's timing kept pace with his increasing confidence. Two straight drives flashed past the hapless Australian in successive balls and Andy Hayhurst was cut, clipped and lofted for three fours in one over.

Loye was stranded on 99 at lunch but brought up his century soon afterwards with a straight driven boundary off Andrew Batty. But the off-spinner finally got his man with a flighted delivery which Loye swept at too early and was bowled.

Meanwhile Graham Rose, fresh from 13 wickets in the match against Nottinghamshire and one of the most enthusiastic appealers in the business, applied a measure of control with some probing seam and swing bowling. At one point he had figures of three for 16 off 9.3 overs in a highly effective performance spanning two spells.

But Somerset suffered more indignities as David Capel and Tony Penberthy added a quick-fire century partnership in only 16 overs. Capel was in a particularly ebullient and unconventional mood, smearing the rattled Lee for two sixes over the short square leg boundary.

With the fourth batting bonus point in the bag Robin Bailey declared at tea. Curtly Ambrose's extra pace and bounce troubled both Somerset openers but he failed to break through and with batting looking increasingly comfortable it will take some imaginative captaincy to conjure up a result tomorrow.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...