Coming to the middle at 97 for four, in a Northamptonshire side down to just nine men, there was a lot to do for Harry Gouldstone in just his second first-class match. But with the odds stacked against him, the 20-year-old dug in for more than four hours to secure a draw for his county.
There were still 69 overs left to play when he joined Rob Keogh at the crease and the keeper-batsman admitted his approach wasn’t quite mapped out.
“To be honest I didn’t really have a plan” Gouldstone said after play.
“Keezy [Rob Keogh] was helping me a lot and talking me through it, he’s very experienced so I used him a lot there. We were playing it over by over, twenty-minute intervals.
“When they had the likes of Neser on we were just getting through their spells and then waiting for it to get a little bit easier, which it never really did.”
When Keogh retired not out on 50 to attend an online family funeral, Gouldstone found a new partner in Simon Kerrigan – a welcome figure for the young batsman to see coming to the middle.
“I’ve always liked batting with Simon and playing alongside him, I’ve played with him a fair bit in the second team now.” Gouldstone said.
“He helps the youth out a lot, he’s a friendly man as well and I like batting with northerners, so it was good batting with him.”
By the time Gouldstone left his 199th delivery alone and the teams bumped fists on a draw at 6:15pm the Academy graduate had occupied the crease for 254 minutes, registering his maiden half century along the way.
“I don’t think I’ve ever batted for that long before to be honest and I’ve never felt that tired batting before either, it was very hot out there and I had my superstitious jumper on the whole time.
“I got a hundred with it earlier on in the season and since then I haven’t taken it off whether it’s been five degrees or thirty degrees, it helps me out.”
Harry wasn’t the only Gouldstone feeling the heat yesterday, with his family overseas in the Mediterranean and watching every ball via the live stream.
“The family have been sending me pictures on holiday drinking margheritas and stuff and it was quite annoying after fielding for 104 overs yesterday.
“But I’ve sent them one back today so hopefully they’ll have a bottle of wine for me.”
Player number 528, Harry is the second member of the Gouldstone family to represent Northamptonshire, with father Mark playing for the county in first-class and List A cricket in the 1980s. And now the County Championship is on hold until the Division Stage in September, Gouldstone is hoping to follow his father’s footsteps by securing a place in the side for the upcoming Royal London Cup.
“I’d love to be involved in the 50 over competition, I’d just love to take any opportunity I can with the club.
“I’ll just keep doing what I do, keep trying to play well and we’ll see what happens. I can’t control that so I’ll just keep playing.”