By Rob Barnett at Trent Bridge
David Hussey signed off for Nottinghamshire in style with a typically fluent hundred as he and fellow centurion Michael Lumb shared a record 214-run stand on day one of the relegation battle with toiling Somerset at Trent Bridge.
Hussey, who announced on Saturday when the Outlaws won the Yorkshire Bank 40 that this would be his last game for the club, and Lumb rescued the hosts from peril at 76 for four with Notts’ best fifth-wicket partnership versus Somerset.
Marcus Trescothick was encouraged to bowl first by muggy conditions that aided his all-seam attack. However, the sun soon broke through and the international duo prospered in ideal batting conditions.
Hussey, in his eighth spell with Notts whom he first joined in 2004, dominated the first half of the partnership although Lumb scored more freely after registering his fifty.
Hussey had several lives in his 125: he was close to being trapped in front by Alfonso Thomas without scoring, dropped at first slip by James Hildreth on 58 and shelled down leg by wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter on 118.
However, his 43rd first-class ton and Lumb’s 19th put Notts on course for maximum batting points. They closed on 378 for seven from 96 overs, meaning four gained while Somerset took two bowling points.
Notts and Somerset started the day needing 10 and nine points respectively from this last match of the season to avoid going down, although Derbyshire dropping points at home to Warwickshire will reduce this.
As expected, England duo Jos Buttler and Jamie Overton returned for Somerset, with Alex Barrow and Piyush Chawla dropping out, the latter having returned to India.
Notts showed one change from last week’s loss to Durham as Brett Hutton made his championship debut in place of Andre Adams, who has a hamstring injury.
Overton threatened early on and had Riki Wessels caught behind. Although Lewis Gregory was erratic, he struck twice through Notts batsmen shouldering arms. Steven Mullaney was comprehensively bowled and James Taylor, who missed out on England’s Ashes squad yesterday, was lbw for nought.
With the sun shining through the clouds, Thomas had four close leg-before shouts turned down amid sending Samit Patel’s off stump flying with a fast in-swinging yorker.
Hussey was warmly applauded to the middle and began smoothly before enduring a barrage from the returning Overton, who was having trouble with overstepping.
At lunch Notts made the YB40 trophy available for their fans to have photos taken with on the outfield. Soon into the afternoon session Lumb and Hussey raised a restorative fifty partnership, which arrived with Hussey joining Lumb on 28 while extras was top scorer on 30.
Hussey then accelerated to a half-century from 74 deliveries with four fours all round the wicket in a Gregory over. He was dropped by Hildreth low down off Craig Meschede and two balls later clipped through midwicket for his 12th four to rub salt into the wound.
The century stand, of which Hussey contributed 73 to Lumb’s 15, soon arrived. Lumb responded with consecutive fours off Thomas, the former a sweet cover-drive that was his first boundary for almost 22 overs.
Running Peter Trego to third man for his sixth four, Lumb heralded a 137-ball fifty and a first bonus point. The 150-run alliance shortly followed.
Overton, who had been warned this morning for bowling a beamer at Hussey, was withdrawn from the attack by the umpires in his 11th over for persistent short-pitched bowling.
Having taken tea on 99, Hussey elegantly cover-drove Gregory for his 16th four, moving him to three figures and giving the hosts a second bonus point. Lumb’s pulled four in Gregory’s next over beat the 185-run record for Notts’ fifth wicket versus Somerset.
Hussey was put down again, off Thomas, as the 200-run stand arrived. He finally fell caught behind off Meschede, having struck 20 fours among his 172 balls, immediately before Chris Read survived a confident lbw shout.
Having driven Trego down the ground for four to reach three figures, Lumb pulled Gregory over the short boundary but was immediately lbw for 107 as Somerset accrued a second bowling point.
He had put on 51 with Read, who eschewed risk alongside Paul Franks until being caught behind for 39 via a slightly loose shot off Meschede in the closing overs.