Mark Ramprakash led the praise for Delray Rawlins’ South teammate Nick Gubbins after the Middlesex opener hit a century to maintain the South’s dominance over the North in the first match of this year’s Caribbean series.
“I wouldn’t put Gubbins or DBD in the mould of say a Jason Roy,” said Ramprakash, the England batting coach who has taken the baton from Paul Farbrace to take charge of the South in this year’s series, with Andy Flower as his assistant.
“These guys are slightly more orthodox – batting first they assessed the wicket, and I thought they played really good cricket shots. They were perhaps helped by some inconsistent bowling by the opposition but they pounced on it – any opportunity to score, and they just built the partnership beautifully.
Gubbins was unable to field as a result of cramp, but is confident that he will be fit for the second game of the series on Wednesday, again at the Kensington Oval – when the North need to end their four-match losing run to avoid being condemned to a second consecutive series defeat.
“It’s not so much an injury – my body just went into spasm,” added the 24-year-old left-hander, who scored a couple of half centuries on the recent Lions tour of West Indies, after making 68 against a Perth Scorchers attack including Mitchell Johnson in December.
“The batsmen coming in made a massive difference – Sam Northeast, Laurie Evans coming in and taking the pressure off me by playing their aggressive games, and then Rawlins as well finishing off the job with John Simpson. Although I’m the man up here today, it was a real team effort with the bat – don’t forget Daniel Bell-Drummond who got us off to an absolute flier.
It was a mixed day for Rawlins, the Bermuda-born Sussex all-rounder who was watched by his family, and produced the most audacious batting to make 53 from 41 balls, only to drop Clarke and Davies at slip off consecutive Curran overs.
But he still made quite an impression on the watching cognoscenti, whether Ramprakash, Flower, North coach Paul Collingwood, director of England cricket Andrew Strauss, or selectors Mick Newell and Angus Fraser.
There were no mixed reviews from Gubbins, who said simply: “Delray was sensational.”