Marcus Trescothick was forced to keep wicket for Somerset after Craig Kieswetter was taken ill and was unable to field midway through their County Championship match against Sussex.
The Somerset captain had already made his fair share of the headlines after scoring his first century in nearly two years earlier in the game, hitting 116 off 234. He was eventually clean bowled by Steve Magoffin, but this was an innings that will live long in the memory for Trescothick.
The Taunton hierarchy will no doubt be delighted that the former England star’s well-documented struggles with the bat appear to be over, but he also proved his reliability as captain by keeping wicket competently in Kieswetter’s absence until a replacement could be called up.
Towards the end of last season, ‘Tres’ described the man he replaced on Tuesday as “world class”, and tipped him to return to the England fold, at least in limited overs contests. Before the match, many will have predicted something of a head-to-head between the two sides’ wicket-keepers, Kieswetter and England’s preferred option Matt Prior, as they both seek to impress new head coach Peter Moores. Neither are certain of a place in his side, however, as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and even Phil Mustard remain in contention.
Prior’s own replacement Ben Brown certainly looked apt, too, taking two catches and a stumping. Unfortunately, he could not replace Prior’s batting, managing just 4 and 1 in his two outings at the crease. Sussex could not avoid the follow on in a game that might well have already been decided had it not been for Ed Joyce’s 76.
This, of course, is not the first time Trescothick has found himself behind the stumps, having stepped in for England in a time of crisis after Alec Stewart’s retirement. Indeed, in 2002, Trescothick had to distance himself from taking on the role permanently after stepping in several times in the series against New Zealand to replace James Foster.
Having long retired from international cricket, Trescothick now looks more comfortable as ever in his role as county captain, an appointment that was still disputed by many outside of Somerset in pre-season because of his recent shortcomings with the bat.
Somerset look on course for victory thanks to Trescothick’s century, while his team mate Nick Compton scored 41 in an innings that will do his England credentials no end of good. Lewis Gregory has also been instrumental in determining the probable outcome of this match, taking five wickets, though Sussex’s Chris Jordan can feel aggrieved at being on the end of such an unflattering score line that overshadowed his own five-wicket haul.
Sussex will resume play on Day Four on 162-6.
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