June 20, 2001

Foster nudges England selectors with unflustered century

James Foster scored a career-best 100 not out as Durham UCCE batted all day for a total of 238 for 6 in their third meeting with county opposition since granted first-class status this summer.

The Essex prospect confirmed his position among the best of England's younger wicketkeeper-batsmen with a composed but unspectacular performance against a Worcestershire attack missing Andy Bichel and Stuart Lampitt.

An England A tourist in the West Indies last winter, he broke up barren periods with stylish driving for 18 fours in a little over five hours and made the made the most of a let-off at 25 when Vikram Solanki spilled a sharp chance at second slip.

After rain-affected draws with Durham and Lancashire, the students concentrated on crease-occupation and allowed left-arm spinner Matthew Rawnsley to explore the realms of super-economy with figures of 38-20-37-2.

Alamgir Sheriyar, the one regular paceman in the county attack, reached 32 wickets for the season by flattening James Rowe's leg stump and finding the outside edge for Matthew Banes to be caught by Solanki.

Rawnsley bowled Alex Loudon in his third over, but Michael Brown, an opener on the Middlesex staff, saw Durham through a tricky first session and then deep into the afternoon until a bat-pad catch ended a patient knock of 55.

Foster continued in his unflustered style in stands off 55 with Hugh Loudon and 44 with Tim Phillips, who were both lbw to Chris Liptrot to brighten a day of frustration for Worcestershire.