Bailey blitz brings back Ashes memories

20 June 2017

Tasmanian takes down ex-Ashes nemesis Jimmy Anderson in stunning century but English quick hits back late in the day

County Championship Division 1,


Former Australia limited-overs captain George Bailey has once again tormented England Test spearhead Jimmy Anderson, as the Tasmanian notched his first County Championship century for Hampshire at Old Trafford on Monday. 

Arriving at the crease with the visitors in trouble at 3-38, Bailey hit his way out of trouble and took a particular liking to the pace of Anderson as the Lancashire spearhead tunes up for next month's four-Test series against South Africa.

Eight of Bailey's 17 boundaries came off England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, reviving memories of his Test record 28-run over against Anderson during the 2013-14 Ashes.

Bailey's massive Anderson over

The 34-year-old put on more than 50 with four different batting partners, but the most fruitful partnership of the day was between Bailey and former South Africa fast bowler Kyle Abbott, with the pair putting on 81 in 18.1 overs.

Anderson did however have the last laugh over Bailey as he bowled his former Ashes foe for 127 late in the day, with Hampshire going to stumps on 8-351 with Abbott unbeaten on 76.

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"We knew there was going to be a little bit there early on in the day, but it's important to get a good score on the board in the first innings," Bailey told the BBC.

"It's a pretty dry wicket now and a few cracks are starting to appear, and hopefully some footmarks, for some spin late in the game.

"I think it was a pretty even day. It feels good in our changing room at the moment because at five for 120, it could have gone pear-shaped really quickly.

"To be able to fight back and still be batting at the end of the day is really pleasing. I felt better at the crease than I had in the first couple of games."

It was Bailey's second ton of the northern domestic season, having knocked up 145 not out in a one-day match last month, but his maiden first-class hundred for Hampshire.

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It comes after the right-hander again carried the torch for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield last summer, posting 839 runs at 59.93 and was the only Tiger among the top-15 run-scorers.

Again adopting the unusual stance that raised eyebrows during Australia's home season, Bailey displayed his usual good humour as he batted away questions at day's end about his technique in an amusing exchange with the BBC. 

Bailey takes guard to Anderson // ECB
Bailey takes guard to Anderson // ECB

"Technical stuff, don't worry about it," Bailey said when asked why he felt better on Monday than he did earlier in the season.  

"I'm a tinkerer, I like to tinker … it changes a bit from week to week, depending on which way the wind's blowing."

During Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand in December, Bailey demonstrated to Channel Nine why he began taking guard in the unorthodox fashion, explaining he closed himself off in a bid to stay more side-on at the crease.

George Bailey explains his batting stance

In other county action, Australia ODI paceman John Hastings took two wickets in his first-class return for Worcestershire as they bowled Kent out for 260.

And at Lord's, Australia-born former England opener Sam Robson batted all day against Peter Handscomb's Yorkshire to finish unbeaten on 152, leading Middlesex to 4-337.

County Championship scores (all after day one):

Division One:

Essex 5-263 (R Bopara 84 no, N Browne 84) v Warwickshire at Chelmsford.

Hampshire 8-351 (G Bailey 127, K Abbott 76 no) v Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Middlesex 4-337 (S Robson 152 no, P Stirling 111) v Yorkshire at Lord's.

Division Two:

Glamorgan 7-221 (N Selman 103, C Rushworth 5-40) v Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Nottinghamshire 4-345 (S Patel 157 no, B Taylor 61) v Leicestershire at Trent Bridge.

Kent 260 v Worcestershire 3-95 at New Road.

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