Maiden half-century for Nijjar

PUBLISHED: 09:30 03 September 2015

Ilford youngster Aron Nijjar scored his maiden half-century for Essex against Northamptonshire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Ilford youngster Aron Nijjar scored his maiden half-century for Essex against Northamptonshire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Ilford youngster helps Essex recover

Ilford youngster Aron Nijjar scored his maiden first-class half-century to help Essex post a decent first innings score against Northamptonshire at the County Ground yesterday.

The hosts had slumped to 119-6 on the first day, but Mark Pettini and captain James Foster began the recovery with a 146-run stand.

And Nijjar, 20, shared another 74 for the eighth wicket with his skipper, who fell two runs short of a century.

Slow left-armer Nijjar, who made his county championship debut against Leicestershire at the end of May, had a previous highest score of 20, but hit seven boundaries on his way to 53 from 92 deliveries before he was ninth man out, caught behind.

Essex were eventually dismissed for 360, with Nick Browne (24) and Ravi Bopara (19) failing to capialise on their starts, and former Oaks Park High School pupil Jamie Porter struck early with the ball in the Northants reply, as former Trinity Catholic High School pupil Dan Lawrence held onto a catch to help dismiss David Murphy with only 16 runs on the board.

Nijjar also picked up a wicket, as Browne took a catch off his bowling, but the visitors recovered to reach 143-3 at the close of the second day’s play, before it was announced that Essex head coach Paul Grayson had let the club by mutual consent, following earlier news that Reece Topley was due to join Hampshire.

Nijjar told Essex TV: “At the start of the season I probably wouldn’t have thought to have played as much first-team cricket as I have, but to be involved in the set-up and around the lads has been very helpful and it’s been really good to be involved.

“Coming into a pressure situation was good for me and to set that platform, batting with Foster, was really good. He talks you through it and with time in the middle you get used to conditions and luckily I got some runs.”

As for reaching his landmark, he added: “I didn’t really think about it until I hit the spinner over the top and then I was 48 and we’d just lost a wicket so I thought it was better to get it sooner rather than later, but I wasn’t too nervous.”

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