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Jaik Mickleburgh shines for Essex against Glamorgan despite rain misery
5:49pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
ONLY two hours of play were possible on the third day at Chelmsford but there was enough time for Essex opener Jaik Mickleburgh to score his second County Championship Division Two century of the season.
From an overnight 68, he advanced to 124 as Essex reached 24-2 against Glamorgan.
That left them 82 runs adrift of the Welsh county’s total of 322 in the first innings, but it will need something remarkable tomorrow if Essex are to emerge with the victory they so desperately need to keep alive their promotion hopes.
The only setback Essex suffered after they resumed on 107-1 came when Greg Smith cut Michael Hogan high to gully where Dean Cosker held a fine catch.
Smith departed for a quickfire 16 that all came in boundaries. After that, Mickelburgh and Owais Shah dominated proceedings with a flurry of aggressive strokes as they posted a century partnership in 24 overs.
Both batsmen enjoyed themselves against spinners Cosker and Andrew Salter. Shah advanced down the pitch to drive both for six while his partner dealt out similar punishment to Salter soon after completing his century from 155 balls that included 14 fours.
Neither batsmen looked in any trouble and, after Shah had completed his half-century from 72 balls, he quickly celebrated that landmark with his second six.
That second sweetly-timed lofted blow brought up the hundred partnership spanning 25 overs and, the third-wicket pair have currently added 108 only for their further progress to be halted by the weather.
Mickleburgh’s innings has so far lasted 184 deliveries and occupied almost four hours, while Shah ended the day on 59, only his second half-century in the Championship this summer, an effort that has spanned 79 balls.
Mickleburgh, who is the county’s leading run-scorer in the competition this season, now has 787 runs this summer with this current contribution, having been overlooked from the first three games of the campaign.
However, he was denied the opportunity of adding to his tally of runs when rain arrived shortly after the players left the field for lunch.
With no improvement in the weather, umpires Jeff Evans and Steve O’Shaughnessy formally called off play for the day at 4.30pm.