BY MARCUS HOOK
With Surrey riding high in Division One of the County Championship, veteran all-rounder Rikki Clarke has been speaking of his relief at registering his first hundred in six years – and his first for Surrey since his career best 214 against Somerset in 2006.
The 36-year-old is averaging 36.00 with the bat and 19.26 with the ball in this year’s championship.
Clarke struck 111 in the innings and 183 run win over Nottinghamshire earlier this month.
“I was very pleased,” he said. “More importantly, it put us in a very good position last week, against Notts.
“It’s been a while since I’ve scored a hundred, so that’s why I probably looked a little bit nervous. It was just weird. The field came in a bit. I needed the ball to pierce it and, in fairness, Jake Ball bowled pretty well. He didn’t give me anything to hit.
“So it was a case of being a little bit patient and waiting for that ball. Luckily, I got one and put it away, which was nice, and I was relieved to get to three figures.
“We had some decent partnerships along the way – Burnsey [Rory Burns] again, churning out runs for fun and Junior [Sam Curran] obviously helped in our partnership and luckily I got some runs.
“Junior is massively talented. Just the way he goes about it. He’s very calm at the crease. It’s always nice when you get those partnerships where you can have a bit of fun and a bit of a laugh. That’s what you need to enable you to play your shots.
“With Burnsey, he’s done it for a number of years now, so it’s not anything new to us. Hopefully he’ll get the recognition he deserves, because he’s scoring runs week in week out.”
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