Relief for Gay as he gets through the nervous 90s to hit three figures for Northants
Batsman Emilio Gay admitted the nerves nearly got to him as he closed in on his maiden first-class century for Northants.
The left-hander has been well used to scoring centuries in second team cricket, but admitted that as he neared three figures on day one of the LV= Insurance County Championship clash against Kent at Canterbury, it was a whole new ball game.
Gay's previous best score for Northants was 77 not out in the Bob Willis Trophy win over Glamorgan last summer, so this was his first time getting so close to a century, but thankfully he got over the line to make 101 - before being dismissed a couple of balls after reaching his landmark.
His innings helped the County to a big first day total of 362 for five, and he admitted that it was a big help to him that the experienced Luke Procter was at the other end as he brought up his ton.
“When I was nearing 100, probably from 80 onwards, I was a bit more nervous than usual," admitted the 21-year-old, who after replacing the dropped Ben Curran was making his first appearance since the defeat to Lancashire at Old Trafford in mid-April.
"In second team cricket I don’t really get that nervous, but with it being my first (century) I was.
"Luke, with his experience just kept fist-bumping me and saying 'take your time, don’t get ahead of yourself' and that definitely helped.”
The County are in very good shape going into day two, but Gay knows the team now have to make the most of the position they find themselves in.
"I think from a team perspective we couldn’t have wished for a better day batting first with the sun out," said Gay.
"I just think we capitalised really well and built partnerships.
"Tomorrow morning we’ve still got some work to do, we’ve got to put our foot down and capitalise on what’s been a great day."
It was certainly a tough day under blue skies and a hot sun for Kent, buy Tawanda Muyeye insists he and his team-mates still believe they are in the game.
“The wicket wasn’t on our side really and it’s a good thing we dug deep till the end," he said.
"Spirits are pretty high so hopefully tomorrow we’ll come and finish the job.
"I think there’s going to be some clouds tomorrow and we’ve just got the new ball, so hopefully we’ll get something out of that, we’ll get our pads on and bat all day.”