Aug 2 2012 By Jon Batham
JOE DENLY labelled the first day of the County Championship clash with Warwickshire ‘On of the hardest day’s batting of my life.’
Denly made 95 against the Bears, sharing a stand of 135 for the third wicket with centurion Dawid Malan (106), at times making life look easy on the traditionally flat Gatting way pitch.
However, the former Kent revealed the wicket had been far from benign and that despite a late collapse he believed 324-7 would prove a difficult score for the men of Edgbaston to match.
He said: “Although I got 95 it was probably one of the toughest innings I’ve ever had to play.
“It wasn’t easy to bat on at all. There was that middle period where the new ball had worn off and Darren Maddy was bowling straight and was hard to get away, but not causing too much trouble.
“But early on with the new ball it was very tough, there was quite a bit of bounce and the ball was doing quite a bit. It was a bit two paced with a few skidding on and others taking off through the top of the wicket, so it was tough. Then they came back again with the second new ball and showed how effective that can be.
“Obviously it is disappointing to lose those five wickets in that last session but I think 300-350 is a very good score on that wicket because there is plenty in it for the bowlers.”
Denly’s disappointment at just missing out on a ton when falling LBW to Maddy just after tea was tempered by his delight over team-mate Malan’s first championship century of the season.
His one regret was neither he nor the South African-born left-hander were able to shepherd their side through the early overs of the new-ball which triggered the late collapse.
He added:”Dawid played unbelievably well and they seem to feed his favourite cover drive a bit which was pleasing.
"It was disappointing for Mala and I to get out because it left one end open for them to attack and they did that really well.
“However, we bat right down to 11 and while another 50-60 runs would be brilliant, I think we have a very good score already.
“If we can attack them hard with the new ball and take a few early wickets we can put them under pressure, because it is not going to be easy for new batters coming in.”