Young Wells stands out from the crowd

Among the sons of famous fathers currently playing county cricket, three featured prominently in two of the great turnarounds in the third round of LV County Championship matches.

Luke Wells scored his maiden century as Sussex overhauled a first innings deficit of 98 at Durham, but for Jonny Bairstow and Ryan Sidebottom their efforts ended in agonising failure as Yorkshire capsized against Nottinghamshire.

The visitors trailed by 193 in the first innings, even more than the 174-run deficit which Warwickshire turned around at Worcester.

But while the three results underlined cricket’s capacity for upsetting the odds, there should be no surprise about the offspring of three doughty performers proving their mettle.

Wells’s ton created the first example of a father and son scoring hundreds against Durham as his dad, Alan, achieved the feat at Hove in 1996.

He was one of three century-makers in the innings, alongside Bill Athey and Keith Greenfield, in a match also remembered for Durham’s Melvyn Betts and David Cox taking proceedings, very briefly, into the fourth morning with a last-wicket stand of 103. Sussex still won by an innings and 67 runs.

Luke, a lanky left-hander, is only 20 but one of the features of his innings was that he remained totally unruffled as he struggled to convert his overnight 74 into three figures on the final morning. He was dropped at second slip before he had added to his score, then edged or sliced three fours through the slip cordon.

Sussex coach Mark Robinson paid tribute to him by saying: “One thing we have recognised in Luke is that he has got a lot of character, mental toughness and resilience for a young man.

“His strong personality is what we like as much as anything and he showed every bit of it because he would have copped a few verbals for the way he was playing at times. He just stuck to his task and he is the only player who showed that determination to stay put.”

Sidebottom, whose father Arnie appeared in one Test match and played football for Manchester United and Huddersfield, took four wickets in both innings against his ex-Nottinghamshire colleagues.

But when Yorkshire were faced with what should not have been too daunting a victory target only Bairstow got to grips with the situation.

The fact that he has clearly inherited his father David’s bulldog spirit was already well established. But the fact that he scored 50 out of 86 reflected very badly on his team-mates and Yorkshire will have to dig deep for bucketloads of that traditional grit if they are to recover from this setback.

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