Record day for Gallian

Cricket: Lancashire 587-9 dec Derbyshire 78-2
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The Independent Online

reports from Old Trafford

Lancashire 587-9 dec Derbyshire 78-2

Jason Gallian established himself as the master of the marathon innings and the lord of Old Trafford under a scorching sun yesterday, recording the highest individual score made on this ground in the longest single innings in the history of Championship cricket.

The Lancashire opener's 312 broke the Manchester record set by Bobby Simpson, who made 311 for Australia against England in 1964, and by batting for 11 hours and 10 minutes occupied 32 minutes more than Darren Bicknell took to score an unbeaten 235 for Surrey at Trent Bridge two years ago.

Gallian, born in Sydney 25 years ago but based in Lancashire, where his family roots lie, since his teens, is the 10th triple centurion in Championship cricket since the war and the first since Brian Lara's 501 two years ago. His score is the fourth largest by a Lancashire player.

Only 164 of Gallian's runs came in boundaries, 33 fours and four sixes, which is a low percentage, but then he is a batsman of technical proficiency and unlimited patience rather than a great strokemaker. Indeed, there are few around better at grinding the opposition into submission, as Derbyshire know only too well. Two years ago, when the sides met at Blackpool, Gallian scored the slowest century in Championship cricket.

To his good fortune, Gallian's father, Ray, who played club cricket for Stockport, witnessed this marathon, having come over from Australia for last weekend's Benson and Hedges final. He was doubtless grateful that Mike Watkinson was aware of Simpson's record, the Lancashire captain allowing Gallian Jnr to continue when a declaration was possibly overdue, an indulgence the batsman seemed to acknowledge. He overtook Simpson's mark with two consecutive fours off Matthew Vandrau, then holed out to long-on in the same over and ran all the way to the dressing-room.

Earlier in a day interrupted, amazingly, so that an over-watered old wicket end could be mopped up, Steve Titchard failed by four to make 100 and Watkinson by the same to reach 50 in a Lancashire innings that did not quite offer Gallian appropriate support. But, Glen Chapple having removed both Derbyshire openers, the home side start today well on top.

n Tim Robinson and Paul Pollard led a Nottinghamshire fightback after Essex had made impressive progress at Chelmsford. Nottinghamshire needed 271 to avoid an innings defeat and the opening pair put on 133 before Robinson was out for 51. Pollard survived to reach the close on 72 from a total of 152 for 1.