Clark hits century as Lancashire recover on Day One
Day One Report from the Kia Oval
All-rounder Jordan Clark led Lancashire’s superb recovery to 294 for 6 against Surrey at the Kia Oval, completing a brilliant maiden first-class hundred by thrillingly hooking Mark Footitt for six in an over in which he had already plundered three fours.
The unheralded Clark was joined by the ageless Shivnarine Chanderpaul in a determined Lancashire fightback from 67 for 5, with the pair adding an unbroken 172 for the seventh wicket to blunt the Surrey attack.
Bad light took 17 overs from the first day’s final session but at stumps Clark was on 108 not out, from 133 balls and including three sixes and 17 fours, while Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 85.
Clark swept past his previous career-best of 84 not out in a stream of boundaries, and raced from 82 to 100 in a 76th over from Footitt which began with fours from a slash to third man, a gloved hook high over the wicketkeeper’s head and a magnificent extra cover drive, and ended with the perfectly-executed hook for six. With the ball still in the air, Clark raised both arms in triumph and Chanderpaul leading the applause.
Footitt’s nine-over morning burst of 3 for 29 had earlier undermined Lancashire after they had chosen to bat and Surrey looked set to take command in much the same way as they had dismantled Warwickshire’s batting when skittling them for 91 – thanks mainly to fast man Footitt’s explosive 6 for 14 – in their opening Specsavers County Championship Division One victory last week.
Chanderpaul, however, had other ideas and, four months short of his 43rd birthday, the former West Indies batsman showed he still has all the limpet-like qualities at the crease that he possessed in abundance when scoring 11,867 runs at an average of 51.37, with 30 hundreds, in 164 Test appearances.
He had already figured in a sixth wicket partnership of 55 with Ryan McLaren when the 26-year-old Clark joined him in the stand which completed Lancashire’s recovery.
McLaren looked distraught at being given out lbw as he played back to Gareth Batty’s arm ball – his reaction perhaps revealing that he felt he had got an inside edge – and he had played positively and well for his 28.
Clark, too, looked to take the attack to Surrey’s bowlers while Chanderpaul merely contented himself with unhurried accumulation and the occasional forcing stroke. The veteran left-hander’s stance is now so open that he initially faces square leg, but he moves into line as the ball is delivered and his judgement of what to play and what to leave remains high-class.
There was only one moment when that judgement let him down, and Surrey will rue giving him a life on 47 when he edged the ever-probing Tom Curran low to second slip where Scott Borthwick – one of the finest slip fielders in the domestic game – could not cling on as he dived to his right.
Clark, who announced himself by driving off spinner Batty back over his head for the first of his two sixes, played some powerful strokes and beat Chanderpaul to fifty by completing his own half-century from just 65 balls. By the close he had built a maiden hundred of great character and quality.
Chanderpaul, who played the last of his Tests in 2015, has rejoined Lancashire, for whom he also played in 2010, on a Kolpak registration. His appetite for crease occupation and runs clearly remains unsated; he has so far faced 183 balls, hitting 13 fours, and his last three first-class matches during the winter for his native Guyana contained scores of 50, 63, 57 and 143.
Not even the pacy Footitt could budge Chanderpaul after he had claimed the scalps of Alex Davies, new Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone and Dane Vilas in a sustained nine-over spell before lunch from the Pavilion End.
Davies was leg-before to an inswinger for 26, while Livingstone and Vilas fell in the space of three balls – Livingstone for 16 from a tame chip to mid wicket and Vilas, who thick-edged his first ball to third man for four, also pinned lbw by left-armer Footitt’s movement into the right-hander.
Lancashire’s early struggles began with Sam Curran removing Haseeb Hameed for a second ball duck, thin-edging a surprisingly expansive attempted drive in the game’s second over, and continued when Tom Curran made one bounce a little bit more than Luke Procter expected and drew the left-hander into edging to Borthwick at second slip on 12.
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