Mick Newell has described Chris Read as the ‘heartbeat’ of his team after the Nottinghamshire captain almost helped pull off a dramatic victory over reigning champions Yorkshire this week.
The match was eventually drawn but went right down to the final delivery, with Notts needing just one more wicket to win. They’d got into that situation thanks to Read’s splendid second innings century, the 25th of his first class career.
Newell, Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket, said afterwards that he didn’t want to contemplate a time when he couldn’t call upon the services of the 37 year old.
“That will be a sad old day because he’s the heartbeat of the team. He gets us out of trouble so many times with the bat and his wicketkeeping is of the highest quality.
“He is everything to this team at the moment and let’s hope that he continues to play for a few more years yet.”
Read admitted that it had been one of the most dramatic matches he’d ever played in.
“I was an unbelievable finish, what a day’s cricket that was. To come so close to beating them was an unbelievable effort from all the bowlers.”
His innings of 101, at the start of the day, transformed the contest and the Notts’ gloveman agreed that it was one of his most satisfying knocks for the county. “Yes, I think so,” he added. “I think the nature of the innings, from where we were and where we needed to get to, so it was very pleasing to be able to play a major part in that.”
This coming weekend Nottinghamshire head south to face Middlesex at Lord’s and Read confirmed that’s it’s a fixture he always looks forward to playing in. “It’s always competitive down there. I love playing at Lord’s. The boys will be buzzing to be back down in the big smoke and playing at the Home of Cricket.
“We know Middlesex are a competitive team, we’ve got some old friends down there, Adam Voges and the like. Every week is a challenge and we’ll meet it head on. We had a good game down there last year, when we had the better of the first innings and couldn’t quite force a victory on the last day with the ball. I think we’re due some good weather over the weekend so that will be nice.”
The Division One table couldn’t be tighter at the moment, with only nine points separating all nine sides but Notts sit proudly at the top, although Newell isn’t reading too much into it just yet.
“It’s nice to be at the top, it’s certainly better than being at the bottom – we had periods last season where we were at the bottom.
“I think we’re playing some pretty good cricket for the most part but we know we can get better. The key for us is to play well consistently and that’s something we’ll be talking about before we get to Lord’s.”