Free-scoring Lumb eyes Compton example
Nottinghamshire 436 for 8 dec (Lumb 221*, Fletcher 64) drew with Derbyshire 391 (Chanderpaul 87, Madsen 74, Adams 4-69)
In danger of being pigeon-holed as a one-day batsman, perhaps even a Twenty20 specialist, Michael Lumb's mission when he arrived at Trent Bridge the winter before last was to leave no one in any doubt that he was a player for all forms of the game. After six centuries in red-ball cricket in a season and a half, any such doubts have surely been removed. Unbeaten on 115 overnight, Lumb endured the frustrations of another day interrupted by squally showers to set a new career-best of 221 not out before the match reached its inevitable conclusion.
Setting aside the fact that he might have been out for 2 on Friday afternoon had third slip Billy Godleman not tried to take an edge heading for second slip, Lumb batted superbly, imposing himself on the Derbyshire bowling and taking the spotlight that was denied him at Scarborough last week, when his own brilliant 135 was overshadowed by a double-hundred from Yorkshire's Andrew Gale.
That had been a special moment for Lumb, back in his father's county. This was equally good. There are not many environments more testing of a batsman's technique than Trent Bridge yet Lumb has two doubles there now, and a 171.
"I think you have to be disciplined here and I have always been disciplined in my game, playing straight and not flirting outside off stump," Lumb said. "You learn not to drive too early in an innings, to try to score off the short stuff and to play the line. If you get a good one, you get a good one but if it does a bit it can do too much.
"I had an escape early on. It was swinging as it always does here and I got a good one but fortunately there was a bit of confusion between the slips and it went down. Happily I didn't give another chance."
Naturally, Lumb remains integral to Nottinghamshire's one-day team and it may be that the FL20 or the YB40 are the competitions in which they are more likely to be successful this year. Yet he draws a strong sense of satisfaction from making such an impact in four-day cricket.
"When I moved here there were questions about whether I could be successful in four-day cricket," he said. "But I always knew I could and Mick Newell brought me here to do so. It is nice to prove those doubters wrong."
It was Lumb's third hundred of a season in which he now has 693 runs at 69.30, putting him in the top three run-scorers in Division One, behind the Middlesex pair, Chris Rogers and Sam Robson. At 33 he accepts that he may not be "on the radar" in terms of aspirations to play Tests but believes Nick Compton's example shows that runs in county cricket carry some value.
"I've felt good all year, really," he said. "I've worked hard at what I do and when it's your time you have to cash in. I'm a bit more mature now and where in the past I might have taken form for granted I don't now. At 33 I'm probably not on anyone's radar but as Comptom proved, weight of runs in county cricket is important and if I can keep scoring runs for Nottinghamshire who knows what can happen."
With so much time surrendered to the weather - more than half the game, in terms of overs lost - the final day became a chase for bonus points after the captains talked but failed to find any common ground in the search for a way to a result. The cricket was absorbing enough though to keep spectators interested.
The home contingent drew particular enjoyment from watching Luke Fletcher turn his nightwatchman stint into a half-century, the second of his career.
Fletcher, 6ft 6ins and broadly built with it, is a popular character at Trent Bridge, where they appreciate a local lad who has earned his place in the side. Born just outside the city in down-to-earth Bulwell, Fletcher still plays club cricket in the Nottinghamshire Premier League when time permits. He has shown he can bat before, making 92 against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl in his debut season, and there was nothing swing-and-hope about this innings. Faced with a hostile spell from Mark Footitt he played solidly and straight; and when opportunities came, he took them, notably against the less-threatening Tim Groenewald, whom he hit for four boundaries in a single over.