Thursday, September 11th, 2014

County Hero Jack: Century Is Better Than Taking Five Wickets!

County Hero Jack: Century Is Better Than Taking Five Wickets!

Jack Shantry scored the first century of his career to revive Worcestershire's hopes against Surrey and then the paceman said: "It feels a lot better than getting five wickets!"

The 26-year-old followed up his 6-87 in 28.1 overs in Surrey's first innings – and reaching 50 LV = County Championship wickets for the season – by reaching three figures off just 86 balls with two sixes and 18 fours.

Shantry received a standing ovation all around a sun drenched New Road as stands of 108 with Joe Leach and 71 with Mitchell McClenaghan enabled Worcestershire to recover from 171-7.

They were eventually bowled out for 350 to set Surrey a 217 target and they closed on 30-1 after McClenaghan dismissed Rory Burns in a testing opening spell.

Shantry said: "It feels fantastic. It hasn't really sunk in yet. It feels a lot better than getting five wickets, I can tell you that.

"I'm not sure it will come again but I feel absolutely fantastic.

"I knew they were going to bowl short at me because Stuart Meaker hit me on the head in the first innings and I got out to the short ball.

"I had to be prepared, I had my plans and luckily they came off.

"Surrey got on a role in their innings and when they bowled they gave us nothing to hit and myself and Joe (Leach) had to try and turn things around by being aggressive.

"The ovation I got when I reached 100 was fantastic. I don't think you will wipe the smile off my face for a while."

Shantry believes Worcestershire are still in contention to force a win.

He said: "Cricket is a funny old game and we are still in this game going into tomorrow now.

"Anything can happen tomorrow. It is a good batting wicket but the ball is swinging still.

"If you get the ball in good condition and it still swings, you are always interested as a bowler.

"But then if you play your shots, they can come off as well so it's a good cricket wicket.

"Tomorrow it will spin and keep a little bit low so I think 200 is a defendable target."