Apr 112013

The England Lions tourist James Vince believes he can force his way into the Test side this year and the Hampshire man did his cause no harm by opening his season with the sixth first-class century of his career, even if it was against a Leicestershire bowling attack led by a 36-year-old in Matthew Hoggard – stalwart though he is, his best years are behind him. Vince looked so well set that his career-best 180 might have come under threat but for a brilliant boundary catch by Shiv Thakor, cutting him off on 148.

Bowler of the day

Chris Rushworth, developed by Durham’s academy, released and then re-signed after excelling in north-eastern club cricket for Sunderland, repaid the county’s renewed trust by setting career-best figures four times last season to finish with 38 wickets at an impressive 16.39. He did it again, surpassing his previous top mark with 6 for 58 – including the key wickets of England one-day rivals Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler – as Somerset were bowled out for 132 to trail by 118 on first innings, although the Cidermen turned the tables later in the day as Durham slumped to 98 for 8.

Ashes watch

Chris Rogers, the Australian left-hander with his fourth English county, passed 19,000 first-class runs on his way to a half-century as Middlesex took a first-innings lead against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. With four first-innings wickets in hand they lead Notts by 19 runs and will be looking to push on today.

Rogers is 35 now and won his solitary Test cap against India more than five years ago but he has never given up hope of gaining another. With Australia crying out for reliability at the top of the order – all through the order, for that matter – Rogers might be in with a shout this summer of gaining a spot in the tourists’ line-up after supplementing his 1,086 runs in the Championship last year with 742 for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield during the Aussie summer. Could it be Rogers to the rescue?

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