Gloucestershire v Derbyshire, County Championship, Division Two, Bristol, 3rd day April 19, 2016

Norwell goes from No. 11 to nightwatchman hundred

ECB Reporters Network

Gloucestershire 563 (Dent 180, Norwell 102, Marshall 72, Noema-Barnett 58) lead Derbyshire 444 by 119 runs

Liam Norwell shows his delighted at reaching an unexpected century © Getty Images

Nightwatchman Liam Norwell hit his maiden first-class century as Gloucesestershire claimed maximum batting points on the third day of the Specsavers County Championship match against Derbyshire in Bristol.

Norwell, the 24-year-old seam bowler and regular No. 11, made 102 in a second-wicket stand of 168 with Chris Dent, who went on to score 180 as the hosts ran up 563 all out in reply to Derbyshire's 444, Hamish Marshall contributing a brisk 72 and Kieran Noema-Barnett 58.

Norwell hit 14 fours and three sixes in batting for two and a half hours to eclipse his previous highest score of 78, made against Worcestershire at Cheltenham in 2014. Last summer he averaged 8.30 in 19 Championship innings.

"I had never made a hundred in any form of cricket so I am still in shock," he said. "I think my previous best was 98 in an Under-13 game for Redruth. Chris Dent talked me through it and it was great having him at the other end. I thought my chance had gone when I missed a high full-toss on 94, trying to hit it too hard.

"I was surprised Derbyshire bowled so short to me. The century will mean more to me if we go on to win the game, but I am very proud. When I walked off I was annoyed at getting out because I had been telling myself to stay calm, but since then other players have been telling me to enjoy the moment."

Dent's hundred was his ninth in first-class cricket. He did not give a chance until he was on 156 and was not dismissed until the final session.

Both players profited from some loose Derbyshire bowling. The visitors tended to pitch too short to Norwell, in particular, even though he played and missed at several fuller deliveries.

A benign pitch made batting look easy as Gloucestershire began the day on 110 for 1, with Dent on 61 and Norwell 2. Andy Carter inadvertently set the tone for the morning as his first delivery of the day was a wide towards second slip and the third directed down the leg-side, costing four leg-byes.

Norwell moved to fifty off 70 balls, with 8 fours and a straight six off Wes Durston, while Dent brought up his hundred off 154 deliveries, with 14 fours and a six. The pair added 144 runs before lunch, which was taken at 254 for 1, with Norwell on 88. On 94 he failed to make contact with a high full-toss, trying to hit the ball too hard, but the landmark came from an equally generous short ball outside off stump from Ben Cotton, thumped for four off the back foot. Norwell raised both arms in delight and was visibly annoyed when pinned lbw, playing across a ball from Chesney Hughes.

Derbyshire did have some success with the second new ball, Luke Fletcher having Ian Cockbain caught behind off an outswinger for 19 and Carter clean bowling Gareth Roderick for 5.

But by then Gloucestershire were well on course for a first innings lead. Marshall and Dent went on the attack in the final session, the latter finally being bowled trying to sweep Hughes, having faced 312 balls and extended his boundary count to 21 fours and two sixes.

Wickets continued to fall in the evening sunshine as Marshall blasted 10 fours, Noema-Barnett three sixes and Benny Howell (41) four sixes to drive home the home side's advantage.

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  • Salman Ali Rana on April 20, 2016, 14:17 GMT

    hats off to this guy but what's with every player scoring a 100 or a 50 in every match. Plunkett got a hundred, Bairstow beat his highest first class score. Every team is scoring 350-400 , it's good to see high scoring matches but what's up with the pitches? All the pitches super flat or something?

  • Alan on April 20, 2016, 8:45 GMT

    Liam Norwell is the holder - one jointly - of two County Championship batting records for Gloucestershire: the highest score by a number 11, and, with Craig Miles, most runs for the 10th wicket. He is now, according to the Glos website, the first nightwatchman to score a hundred for the county - presumably in first-class cricket.

  • Mark on April 19, 2016, 21:29 GMT

    What a wonderful innings from Liam Norwell, to set up an outside chance of a victory. The last genuine tail-ender nightwatchman century that I remember was Derek Underwood. It's a flat pitch, but not as flat as the Derbyshire bowling, but with Norwell feeling like superman (and backed-up by Payne), with Jack Taylor growing by the game, there is just a chance. Derbyshire will have to bat beyond Tea to be safe and will have the pressure of having the 3rd innings with an important deficit and the knowledge that a couple of early wickets would let Gloucs right in. What ever else comes out of the game, the phantoms of Chelmsford have been exorcised. It was great to see Chris Dent get big runs and for the batsmen all down the order to chase quick runs selflessly for a possible declaration giving a couple of overs at the Derbyshire openers before the Close: the batting was positive and tried to set something up, despite the dreary attempts to kill the game from Derbyshire on the first 2 days.

  • Stephen on April 19, 2016, 18:21 GMT

    Congratulations pastie. Few early wickets tomorrow and we could be in for an interesting last day.

  • Sanjay on April 19, 2016, 18:17 GMT

    A terrific achievement. Your teammates are right - enjoy the moment, and why not?!

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