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Friday, 4 August, 2000, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Trescothick takes his bow
Marcus Trescothick
Marcus Trescothick pulls Franklyn Rose for four
BBC Sport Online's Thrasy Petropoulos on a new opening partner for Mike Atherton.

At one end of a pitch stood a man playing in his 100th Test match and at the other a novice playing in his first.

Mike Atherton, still, scruffy and squinting through his visor, was readying himself for the familiar onslaught from Curtly and Courtney; Marcus Trescothick, nervy, upright and wide-eyed was contemplating a battled with the unknown.

In Trescothick, Atherton would have been reminded of the way he felt when he made his Test debut against Australia 11 years ago.

Barely out of Cambridge University, he came out to face Terry Alderman & Co. at No 3 without a run on the board. He returned to the pavilion only moments later with England nought for two.

Marcus Trescothick
Trescothick drives

But it did not take long for Atherton to make the step up to opening the innings against New Zealand, and with immediate success, too.

Having seen Graham Gooch fall leg-bore to Richard Hadlee from the first ball of the match at Trent Bridge, he went on to reach his first Tests century in 1990.

Ten years and a further 12 Test hundreds later, Atherton was now joined by his 12th opening partner of his Test career.

Four previous partners - Wayne Larkins, Jason Gallian, Steve James and Darren Maddy - had opened the innings just once with Atherton.

  Atherton's partners
Graham Gooch 23 Tests 2,501 runs @ 55.58
Mark Lathwell 2 Tests
99 runs @ 24.75
Wayne Larkins 1 Test
23 runs @ 11.50
Alec Stewart 29 Tests
1,885 runs @ 38.47
Robin Smith 3 Tests
131 runs @ 26.2
Nick Knight 10 Tests
625 runs @ 22.00
Jason Gallian 1 Test
69 runs @ 34.50
Steve James 1 Test
23 runs @ 11.50
Darren Maddy 1 Test
48 runs @ 24
Mark Ramprakash 4 Tests 180 runs @ 30

It did not take long to realise that Trescothick would not fall into that category.

In the end, the new partnership lasted only 18 balls in which Atherton could manage just a scrambled single before becoming yet another statistic for Walsh (Test victim No. 468).

But there was poise and durability to Trescothick's first outing as a Test cricketer, just as there had been enterprise and verve to his impressive start in the one-day arena.

His temperament was, well, Athertonian in allowing 43 minutes and 24 balls to pass before scoring his first runs as Franklyn Rose overpitched and was driven down the ground for three.

Hooked

At the other end, Nasser Hussain hooked Rose to long leg where Walsh took the catch but stepped over the rope.

It was to be only a temporary reprieve, however.

In successive balls, Walsh had Hussain caught in the gully and Graham Thorpe, misjudging a slower ball, was trapped leg-before - three wickets for Walsh before he had conceded a run.

Marcus Trescothick
A first half-century

Calmly, Trescothick watched Alec Stewart keep out the hat-trick delivery.

He had started the match 99 Tests, though only eight years, Atherton's junior, but he was learning fast.

When Rose overpitched once again, Trescothick stood still and drove him straight for four.

Even Walsh was steered to the third man boundary and, having pulled Rose to Wavell Hinds at midwicket - only a cruel judge would call it a dropped chance - he later stepped into line and pulled hard into the ground and on to the fence off the same bowler as he finished unbeaten on 65.

Ten more runs would given him the highest debut score for an England opener.

Admiring from the other end was Stewart, the third England captain to have partnered Trescothick in his debut innings. In his own way, Trescothick had outshone the lot.

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See also:

04 Aug 00 |  England v West Indies
Stewart the century maker
03 Aug 00 |  England v West Indies
Lloyd hails the 100-club
02 Aug 00 |  Cricket
Trescothick must take next step
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