Nottinghamshire v Somerset, Trent Bridge, 1st day

Hussey and Lumb ease Notts worries

Myles Hodgson at Trent Bridge

September 24, 2013

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Nottinghamshire 378 for 7 (Hussey 125, Lumb 107) v Somerset

Steven Mullaney and David Hussey celebrate Peter Trego's wicket, Nottinghamshire v Somerset, YB40 semi-final, Trent Bridge, September 9, 2013
David Hussey ensured he signed off from Nottinghamshire with another display of fine batsmanship © Getty Images

Most professional sportsman aim to finish their careers on a high but few will beat the achievements of Nottinghamshire's David Hussey in the final few days of his life on the county circuit. Having announced this will be his final season with his adoptive county, it appears to have given him a renewed purpose to leave a legacy at Trent Bridge.

Only days after contributing to Nottinghamshire's YB40 final victory over Glamorgan, their first Lord's final triumph since 1989, Hussey led the revival in their final Championship match of the summer with their future in Division One at stake and ensured they finished the opening day against Somerset, also threatened by relegation, in a dominant position.

Both teams started the final round of matches with a healthy lead over Derbyshire, currently positioned in the final relegation spot, and knowing that a draw with bonus points should be enough to make them safe. It prompted the ECB to send Tony Pigott, the former England fast bowler, to Trent Bridge as a match referee to ensure there was no collusion.

He would quickly have been satisfied with what he saw with Somerset winning the toss in humid and swing-friendly conditions and reducing Nottinghamshire to 76 for 4 when Hussey, now 36, joined Michael Lumb at the crease shortly before noon. They were not separated until mid-way through the final session when Craig Meschede induced an edge behind and Hussey departed to a standing ovation from a healthy crowd after scoring a superb 125, his 23rd first class century for Nottinghamshire in eight seasons.

Their 214-run partnership was a Nottinghamshire record for the fifth wicket against Somerset and was a masterclass from both batsmen on how to combat bowler-friendly conditions. Content to leave as many balls as possible during the early stages, they accelerated as the swing diminished after Lumb contributed only 15 to the first 100 runs they added.

Lancashire yearn for Buttler service

  • Jos Buttler has held advanced discussions to join Lancashire. Buttler, England's wicketkeeper-batsman in the limited-overs formats, is out of contract with Somerset at the end of the county season. An offer from Somerset is on the table, but Butler would be the first choice wicketkeeper with Lancashire, who announced this week that Gareth Cross would not be offered a new deal at Old Trafford. Buttler has been competing with Somerset team-mate Craig Kieswetter for a regular spot behind the stumps.

"I felt a bit of responsibility today because you really want to get stuck in," explained Hussey, who plans to play a final season for Victoria before retiring completely from first-class cricket. "It was a bit of a cause today and when we lost the toss and got stuck in on a difficult wicket.

"Michael Lumb and I both wanted to be the role models that showed the younger kids how to play on this sort of wicket. It means a lot to the players to do the hard yards and keep the team up. Being a left, right combination was very helpful and I got quite a few cheap runs off my pads because of that, which was very handy. Michael Lumb stuck to his gameplan and was just sensational."

Both batsmen benefitted from Jamie Overton, Somerset's promising 19-year-old fast bowler, being removed from the attack for excessive short-pitched bowling. He had been warned after bowling a beamer at Hussey before lunch and then effectively ended his shift for the day by bowling two successive short-pitched deliveries, both no-balled by umpire Michael Gough, shortly before tea.

Gough consulted with Nigel Llong, his fellow official, before informing Marcus Trescothick, Somerset's captain, of their decision. Trescothick's anger at his young fast bowler was evident in the aggressive manner in which he returned his cap, throwing it in Overton's general direction for him to pick up while Lewis Gregory finished the over.

Denied the pace and bounce generated by Overton, who stands at six foot five inches, Somerset looked toothless and tired during the afternoon session and allowed both Hussey and Lumb to accelerate and add 133 in 35 overs. Their perseverance was rewarded, however, during the final session when they claimed three late wickets.

Hussey had already been dropped down the leg-side off Alfonso Thomas on 118, with wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter missing the sharp chance, but added only six more runs before giving a more conventional catch. Lumb departed 10 overs later for 107, apparently unhappy at being given lbw to Gregory just as Nottinghamshire increased their scoring rate as they chased maximum batting bonus points.

Chris Read, Nottinghamshire's captain, fell only 12 balls before the close after also edging Meschede behind trying to cut, having taken his side to within 22 points of their fifth batting point, and a step nearer preserving their Division One status for next summer.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by markatnotts on (September 25, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Yep, a good day for Notts as we come to the end what has been our worst year in the Championship since we were promoted at the end of 2007. The dry summer must surely convince Notts need to address the spin bowling issue in the winter. Indeed they could probably get away with not employing an overseas batsment but try and see if any spinners become available. I would imagine someone from Somerset, more likely the Compton than Tresco will get a big score today, and don't begrudge it, our bowling is a concern. Both teams although not the force they in the Championship are still better than Surrey and Derbyshire. It will be interesting to see what happens to both teams next year.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 24, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

Well played Notts. Disappointing to have Notts 3-42 and 4-76 but all credit to Lumb/Hussey

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (September 24, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Part 1 has gone to plan. Nottinghamshire now only need to take 6 Somerset wickets in 110 overs and seal a draw to be certain of avoiding relegation. Part 2 is Somerset either taking 2 more wickets in the next 14 overs and then running up 250, or running up 300 taking fewer than 2 wickets and then sealing the draw. If this happens, whatever goes on in the Derbyshire game is irrelevant.

Anyway, it would be nice to see both sides avoid relegation with style, as Nottinghamshire have being doing today, just to avoid any suspicions from Derbyshire fans that they are being stitched up. I don't think that too many people, even Nottinghamshire fans, would begrudge a good score to Marcus Trescothick and Nick Compton tomorrow.

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