The first, however, arguably held greater significance to the academy graduate. On paper, a score of 51 in a game that ended in an innings defeat appears to carry little value, but Gay had to display extraordinary strength and fight to fend off a set of fired-up Surrey bowlers at The Oval in May. Struck on almost identical positions on his wrist on several occasions, the tall left-hander battled superbly through the toughest of conditions and, in doing so, showed he possesses both the mentality and the talent to have an incredibly successful career.
Those runs contributed to a County Championship total of 825, with a century also scored in the dramatic victory over Kent at Canterbury, as the ever-present Gay stepped up from prodigy into key figure in the Northamptonshire side and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
The 23-year-old, however, will have to wait until the second month of the 2023 season to build on the successes of the previous campaign with an injury sustained during pre-season ruling him out of the initial block of fixtures.
Once fit, he will also be looking to build on the promise shown during his outings in the white-ball side. A maiden List A century against Lancashire in the One Day Cup, a competition in which he averaged over 40, showed another dimension to his game. Gay possesses the qualities to be influential in all three formats.