Australia batsman battles tough conditions to top score with a century on debut for Somerset.
Australia’s Matt Renshaw was supposed to spend this week in Scotland playing golf. But a whirlwind few weeks during which he won the Sheffield Shield title, made an unexpected comeback to the national side and earned his first county contract meant he found himself in Taunton instead, playing a very special knock and living out a dream.
Renshaw, 22, on Friday 21 April, joined a select group of players who made a century on county debut. His unbeaten 101 from No.3 was exactly half of Somerset’s 202 against Worcestershire in their County Championship Division One match.
On a day when the ball was nipping around and 18 wickets were taken – and 127 wickets fell across all matches on day one of round two – the Australian gave a good account of himself. He had been brought in by the side as replacement for his fellow Australian Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine months after his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
“It was really tough. I was just trying to enjoy the challenge,” said Renshaw after the day’s play. “It was moving about a lot and I was getting hit on the inner thigh. I knew if I tried to stick it out for as long as possible, we wouldn’t do too badly.”
His experience of playing at the Gabba came in handy, he added. “I tried to play as straight and as late as possible, which has generally been part of my game plan in Brisbane at the Gabba.
“Coming from the Gabba, we can get some Shield wickets that are quite spicy. That’s held me in good stead coming over here ... [It’s] bouncier at the Gabba, but it can still move around a lot.
“Definitely, as a batsman, you don’t really like green wickets, but if you can power through, you’ve got a good opportunity to score some runs.”
Another overseas youngster in the county circuit this time is South Africa’s Aiden Markram. He, however, had a horror debut with Durham, falling twice in the day for a pair.
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