Rogers says farewell with slice of history

23 September 2016

Left-hander calls time on his first-class career after twin centuries that keeps Somerset's title hopes alive

County Championship Division One 2016,


Former Australia opener Chris Rogers has walked away from first-class cricket with twin centuries, a unique slice of history and – possibly – a drought-breaking County Championship trophy after a drama-charged week in England.

Rogers, who retired from Test cricket 12 months ago, has confirmed that Somerset's 325-run win over Nottinghamshire this week will be his final first-class match, bringing to a close a 313-game career that began almost 18 years ago.

And the 39-year-old has bowed out on top of his game, notching scores of 132 and 100no in his last game, the 75th and 76th first-class centuries of his brilliant career.

Rogers hit a century in each innings at Taunton // Getty Images
Rogers hit a century in each innings at Taunton // Getty Images

He becomes just the third man in history to score twin centuries in his final first-class match, joining Englishman William Lambert (in 1817) and West Indian Len Baichan (in 1983).

Not only did the left-hander's dual centuries power Somerset to victory at Taunton, it's put the county in prime position to claim their first-ever County Championship title after 125 years of trying.

Rogers and his teammates will now nervously watch the outcome of the final day of Middlesex's match against Yorkshire at Lord's, with a draw there enough to hand the title to Somerset.

Rogers reflects on the early days

"That's it for me," Rogers told Sky Sports. "I have had a good career and to finish off that way is pretty special.

"I'm getting old. I am going to miss playing and the standing ovation from the crowd was very special, but it happens in all careers and it's time to move on.

"I’m a bit scared of the short ball now after being hit a few times. Now it’s a bit harder to find that inner inspiration.

"My overriding feeling is one of immense pride in my team.

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"I'll be texting a few of my old teammates at Middlesex tonight, you can be sure of that. I know what is in their dressing room and I know they will fight all the way against Yorkshire.

"The title race is out of our hands, but neither side will roll over at Lord's so it's going to be interesting."

Somerset is Rogers' fifth county side having previously played for Middlesex, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire, as well as Western Australia and Victoria in the Sheffield Shield, in a career that included 25,470 runs and 198 scores of fifty or more.

He finishes with a first-class average of 49.55 from 313 matches, including 25 at Test level.

Chris Rogers makes that elusive ton

He called time on his Test career following the Ashes last year, finishing with 2015 Test runs, five centuries and an average of 42.87.

Victory for either Middlesex or Yorkshire at Lord's tomorrow will secure them the title, with Middlesex on the back foot at 2-81 in their second innings, trailing by 39 runs.

Not only would a title for Somerset end their seemingly endless wait for a Championship Trophy, it would also be a breakthrough for Rogers and fellow Somerset veteran Marcus Trescothick.

"It would be very special to win it," he said.

"I haven’t won it; ‘Tres’ (Trescothick) hasn’t won it.

"We were favourites to be relegated at the start of the season ... So this has been very special.

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"It’s only a game. We’ve done all we can. It’s been a really enjoyable season."

Rogers was unbeaten on 100 when he declared his side's second innings at lunch on 5-313 against Notts.

That left the visitors facing a mammoth 541 to win and, despite a battling 66 not out from Billy Root, brother of England star Joe, in only his second Championship appearance, they slid to 215 all out.

Somerset took 23 points from the match, while relegated Notts completed a miserable campaign by taking just three.

 - with AAP

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

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