Hussey double ton flattens Yorkshire
by John Ward
DateLine: 6th August 2010
David Hussey hit his fourth century in five championship matches he has played against Yorkshire as Nottinghamshire built a huge lead on the second day of their match at Headingley. He totally dominated the home bowling, which seemed quite innocuous without the help of the conditions which had helped their own bowlers on the first day. At the close, Nottinghamshire had a lead of 319, with Hussey on 222, and only rain (quite possible) or a Yorkshire miracle (less likely) can prevent them from taking this match and taking a vital lead at the top of the championship table.
Play did not begin until 1.30 after overnight rain and morning drizzle. Overnight Nottinghamshire were 147 for three, with Samit Patel on 37 and David Hussey on 35. Hussey was aggressive from the start, in particular latching on to balls outside the off stump and hammering them through the covers, usually for four. He ran to his fifty off 53 balls and continued towards the century for which he, with justification, seemed to believe was predestined for him. His innings was not quite perfection, as twice he miscued shots that just cleared the off-side fielders, and at 94 Yorkshire badly fluffed what should have been a run-out when the batsmen got in a muddle over a possible second run.
Patel, on the other hand, was painfully slow to start with and took an hour to move to his fifty, which finally came off 102 balls. Then he began to attack, on 76 being badly missed at long leg by Ajmal Shahzad, who also let the ball carry for four. Hussey now reached his century off 106 balls by pulling for four a long hop from Ollie Hannon-Dalby, who with Steve Patterson began the day with some persistent but not threatening bowling, but was kept on too long. The cloud cover was beginning to disperse and the bowlers had no help from the elements.
Adil Rashid’s arrival at the bowling crease was delayed until all the other bowlers had had unsuccessful trials, and he struck almost immediately. Patel, on 96, tried to reach his century with a slash through the covers for four, but instead found the thick edge and Jacques Rudolph at slip pulled a very sharp one-handed catch out of the air. The pair had added 184 runs on 41 overs and taken their team well into the lead; at this point Nottinghamshire were 103 ahead with six wickets still in hand.
Hussey continued to plunder the ineffective seam bowlers and had 146 at tea, with his team on 327 for four. He passed 150 shortly afterwards with no trouble and with Chris Read as his new partner. Next target 200. It almost wasn’t, though – at 168 he drove a ball back chest-high to Hannon-Dalby, who could not hold it. The Yorkshire players seemed so resigned to their fate that they hardly reacted. The second new ball was not used very effectively, and the pair added a further 114 to the score before Read slapped a short ball from Shahzad to backward point, having made 42.
Hussey had been showing some signs of tiredness after reaching 150, with an occasional mistimed stroke and his scoring rate slipped below a run a ball. Ali Brown, who has not been making runs, came in down at number seven, but still did not make runs, being yorked by Patterson for 2. Paul Franks played a couple of effortless strokes that made one wonder why on earth he does not make more runs than he does, until Hussey finally drove yet another ball through extra cover to the boundary to reach his double-century off 208 balls. Apart from stepping back and lofting a ball from David Wainwright over long-on for six, Hussey now played for the close. Franks had no such inhibitions, and he laid into Rashid with a vengeance before reaching his fifty off 63 balls from the
occasional bowling of Adam Lyth in the final over of the day. He finished unbeaten with 57 at the close with his team in total domination. Only Patterson, three for 82 off 26 overs, escaped the sword through his tenacity and persistence.