The tale of two Queens­lan­ders

Dave Brace­gir­dle finds a group of Aus­tralians find­ing their form in Eng­land’s sec­ond tier

The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

You didn’t have to come from Queens­land to play a star­ring role in this thrilling en­counter - but it cer­tainly helped. Riki Wes­sels, born an hour north of Bris­bane in 1985, reg­is­tered the first dou­ble hun­dred of his ca­reer to set up Not­ting­hamshire’s vic­tory.

His bril­liant 202 not out, made from 177 balls and con­tain­ing 22 fours and seven sixes, turned a des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion on its head after the home county had strug­gled against the wiles of an­other Queens­lan­der, Steve Magof­fin.

The 37-year old from Corinda, a south­ern sub­urb of his state cap­i­tal, took 12 wick­ets in a los­ing cause on his pre­vi­ous visit to Trent Bridge in 2015.

Ruled out of Sus­sex’s cham­pi­onship opener against Kent, Magof­fin re­turned to one of his favourite haunts to re­duce the hosts to 88-5 and then 180-7 on the open­ing day.

By that stage he’d taken 5-51 and given his all. “I’ve been strug­gling with my knee over the last fort­night,” he said. “I took the last game off to give my­self ev­ery chance of play­ing here be­cause we know the Notts team is a very good side and I wanted to be here as it’s a ground I en­joy play­ing at.

“An hour after lunch, hav­ing al­ready put in 18 overs, it kind of got the bet­ter of me and was very sore.”

Wes­sels had just been dropped on 47 when Magof­fin left the field but he then took full toll of an in­ex­pe­ri­enced at­tack that in­cluded a tir­ing Jofra Archer, plus Stu­art Whit­ting­ham and debu­tant Adam Bar­ton, a trio that had a com­bined first class tally of only 20 ap­pear­ances be­tween them.

Poor form led to Wes­sels be­ing dropped for the fi­nal four Cham­pi­onship matches of last sea­son and he’s de­lighted to have bounced back with some form this sum­mer.

He said: “It hurt a bit last year but that’s part of the game – there’s al­ways some­body younger, stronger, fit­ter com­ing in and that’s the way it goes.”

Shell-shocked at hav­ing let their op­po­nents wrig­gle off the hook, Sus­sex’s bats­men were then put to the sword by a ruth­less dis­play from Not­ting­hamshire’s more es­tab­lished bowl­ing quar­tet of Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­als Stu­art Broad and Jake Ball, Aus­tralian speed­ster James Pat­tin­son and the tire­less Luke Fletcher.

Pat­tin­son tore the heart of Sus­sex’s top or­der in both in­nings, tak­ing match fig­ures of seven for 55 as Notts com­pleted vic­tory with two full days to spare.

PIC­TURES: Getty Im­ages

Point­ing the way: James Pat­tin­son starred again for Notts as did Riki Wes­sels, in­set

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.