Warwickshire's number 11 Oliver Hannon-Dalby has jokingly told Joe Root that he is available to bat in England 's top six after a record-breaking innings in his side's County Championship clash with Surrey at Edgbaston.
It took Hannon-Dalby a remarkable 94-minutes to score his first run, something which is believed to be a new county record. He shared a 122-run partnership for the final wicket with Michael Burgess.
The innings helped Burgess reach his fourth first-class hundred, with the wicketkeeper going on to make a career-best score of 178. In total, Hannon-Dalby made 11 not out off 89 balls, having faced 66 dots before getting off the mark.
Taking to Twitter after the match, Hannon-Dalby jokingly wrote "@root66 Available if you need me pal!!", poking fun at England's recent struggles with the bat in Test cricket. And fans were quick to respond to the Warwickshire seamer, with one joking: "Tremendous work, Oli! I think Burgess needs a special mention for hanging in there with you!"
Another joked: "You managed to make Geoffrey Boycott look like Jos Buttler!" While a third wrote: "You joke but having a tail-ender who bats 90 balls to get a batter though to a 100 is exactly what Joe Root needs among other things."
The game ultimately ended in a draw, with Surrey posting a first innings total of 428-8 declared. Warwickshire made 531 in response, with the match ending up as a draw after just 13.1 overs of Surrey's second innings.
Reflecting on the result, Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes labelled Hannon-Dalby's partnership with Burgess "magnificent". Rhodes said: "Overall, it was a solid start for us.
"There were plenty of positives but a few things for us to reflect on so it is good now for us to have a week without a game so we can work on those before we come back against a very good Essex team.
"It was a magnificent partnership between Burge and Olly. Huge credit goes to Olly for all the work he had put in on his batting in the winter, as have all the bowlers with their batting. Burge batted brilliantly for his career-best. I'm really pleased for him. He works really hard on his game and is really getting his rewards."
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