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By Pete Johnson
Dan Redfern made a terrific 154 and Neil Pinner scored his second century in as many days as Leicestershire Second XI racked up 439-5 against a strong Nottinghamshire attack at Grace Road.
Nottinghamshire won the toss and asked Leicestershire to bat on day one of the Second XI Championship game. The visitors had experienced duo Andre Adams and Luke Fletcher in their line-up as well as highly promising off-spinner Sam Wood.
County opened with triallists Usman Tariq and Billy Root, on an overcast morning with the breeze inconsiderately disturbing the flags that were hanging limply to their respective flag poles on the Milligan Road side of the ground.
Usman Tariq and Billy Root made good progress against the opening seam attack of Luke Fletcher operating from the Bennett End and Brett Hutton from the Pavilion End.
They had taken the score to 51 when Root was caught behind by keeper Adeel Shafique in the 11th over, diving to his right off the bowling of Fletcher. Root going for 22 (28 balls).
Skipper Redfern joined Tariq for his first bat in the longer form of the game since picking up a finger injury in pre-season.
They built a solid partnership. Tariq brought up his 50 (10x4, 84 balls) in the 26th over with the score on 104-1. Redfern was playing a supporting role, but took a particular liking to Andre Adams, dispatching him to the ropes three times in the 25th over.
Adams was working up a brisk pace from the Bennett End, albeit from what appeared a somewhat short and leisurely run up, in stark contrast to the bustling Hutton.
The returning Fletcher replaced Adams, and Redfern dispatched him for four to bring up his 50 (7x4,81 balls) in the final over of the morning session. County went into lunch on 145-1 from 37 overs, with Tariq on 58 and Redfern on 53.
Tariq was dismissed in the 3rd over after lunch caught behind by Shafique off Hutton for 64 (12x4, 124 balls). The partnership for the second wicket between Tariq and Redfern being worth 114.
Yesterday’s centurion Neil Pinner joined Redfern. Soon after they came together the relentless Redfern hit three consecutive deliveries for four off Hutton, and administered the same punishment to Adams 3 overs later.
Redfern moved to his century in the 48th over (17x4, 119 balls). Meanwhile the patient Pinner continued to accumulate with stealth from the other end, and went to his 50 (9x4, 81 balls) in the 68th over.
Redfern and Pinner completely dominated the afternoon session, and Redfern went serenely to 150 in the last over before tea (2x6, 20x4, 181 balls). Pinner was undefeated on 65, County being 317-2 at tea off 72 overs.
The partnership was finally broken in the second over after tea when Redfern was adjudged lbw to Steve Seymour for 154 (2x6, 20x4, 185 balls). The pair added 159 for the 3rd wicket and the score was now 324-3. Tom Wells (0) joined Pinner but went second ball to Seymour, in the same manner, lbw.
Trialist Alexander Williams joined Pinner, the pair adding 28 for the 5th wicket before Williams (19) was caught at slip by Kelsall off Hutton, 352-5. Lewis Hill joined Pinner, and the pair batted circumspectly and sensibly through to the close.
Pinner went to his 100 in the 96th over (12x4,168 balls). At stumps, Pinner was 116 not out, and Hill 41 not out. County closed the day on 439-5. Pinner’s 116 not out today went nicely with his 140 not out in yesterday’s Trophy game.
Bowling figures: Fletcher 24-3-102-1: Hutton 23-2-95-2: Franks 13-2-42-0: Adams 16-3-60-0: Wood 13-1-59-0: Seymour 13-0-47-2: Tillcock 2-0-15-0.
A day’s play totally dominated by Leicestershire, who will be hoping to make major inroads into the Nottinghamshire batting when the time comes.