Lancashire’s centurion Alex Davies had to fight back from 11 months out of the game with a knee injury that required an operation during the winter.
He said: “There were a couple of dark moments during that time. But you have to stay positive and have belief in your own ability, belief that you will get back fit, that you will get back playing.
“It was tough to watch Lancs last season and see people move ahead of me. But I had that belief deep down, the hunger, and that will stand me in good stead.
“Yes, there are days when you think, ‘I’m injured’ and you get down on yourself. But deep down it’s always been there and hopefully there is plenty more to come.
“But this was really amazing and it’s good to get it off my back really. I’ve had a lot of chances in the past and not quite got over the line. It’s just another day, but a really special one at the same time.”
Head coach Glen Chapple told Davies during the winter that he would be both No1 wicketkeeper and opening batsman. “I love it,” he said. “I want to bat higher, I don’t want to be the keeper who bats seven. I want to bat higher because I believe I can. It fits best for the team at the moment that I open the batting, and if it’s best for the team it’s good for me.”
Davies went to lunch 97 not out. He admitted: “I could have chased it before lunch, but I made the decision that I was going to sit in there and not give my wicket away. I prepared myself that I was going to be in my 90s over lunch. There is nothing you can do then, just eat your lunch and try and relax as best you can. And get the three runs when you go out.
“I did have that 99 against Kent in my mind for a while before this, but once you are in that situation all you can do is concentrate and watch the ball and play the best you can.”