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Ton-derful news for Jaik

PUBLISHED: 11:37 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:36 01 August 2010

Jaik Mickleburgh marked his first appearance of the season for Essex last week in sensational style by hitting his maiden first-class century.

The 20-year-old former Bungay High School pupil went on to score 174 in the drawn game against county champions Durham at Riverside.

Jaik Mickleburgh marked his first appearance of the season for Essex last week in sensational style by hitting his maiden first-class century.

The 20-year-old former Bungay High School pupil went on to score 174 in the drawn game against county champions Durham at Riverside.

Mickleburgh got his chance as Matt Walker was ruled out with a calf strain and Tom Westley had returned to university.

And he grabbed the opportunity with relish, reaching 103no as Essex closed day one at the Riverside on 263 for four in the Division One clash.

“It was a very pleasing to hit the century, we knew it would be difficult having been put into bat and it was a day for grafting,” Mickleburgh told the Essex website.

“Batting with Alastair Cook and James Foster was very helpful because they both gave me confidence and kept me concentrating. It was a wicket on which you never really felt you were in because the ball was nibbling around a bit.

“I had a bit of a problem with my right knee when I was batting but the physio sorted it out. I thought it might be a recurrence of an old injury.”

Mickleburgh came to the crease with Essex in trouble at 29 for two after Callum Thorpe had picked up two early wickets for the hosts.

But Mickleburgh joined forces with England opener Cook in a partnership of 60, before Cook edged to slip having made 44.

Essex skipper Mark Pettini departed cheaply, but Foster (169) and Mickleburgh then shared a stand of 339 - a new Essex record for a fifth-wicket partnership.

Mickleburgh's push for three figures could have been derailed towards the end of the first day when he appeared to injure himself pulling the ball to the boundary. But after treatment he batted on and a hook shot for six took him to 99.

He then pushed a quick single to bring up his century - at the scene of Norfolk's MCCA Knockout Trophy success last year.

It was more of the same on the second day as Mickleburgh and Foster continued to punish the Durham bowlers, before Mickleburgh was eventually bowled by England seamer Liam Plunkett. He had faced 388 balls, hitting 13 fours and a six.

It was not quite enough to secure victory for Essex, however, as a mixture of Durham defiance and bad weather allowed the hosts to escape with a draw.

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