Fixture News | 11th July 2007

Read leads run-feast at Chelmsford

The record books were rewritten as Chris Read collected his first-ever double century in the high-scoring Championship draw against Essex.

Essex 700-9 (Swann 4-166)
Notts 791 (Read 240, Patel 117, Wagh 107, Swann 97, Ealham 54)
Essex 63-1

Match drawn
Notts 11 points, Essex 10 points

On a flat and lifeless pitch at Chelmsford, the batsmen were utterly dominant with six different players making hundreds, including personal bests for Read and Essex's Andy Bichel and Graham Napier.

Faced with a mammoth total of 700-9 after Essex's first innings, Notts passed their follow-on target of 551 with some ease and eventually set their highest-ever first-class total, beating the previous record of 739-7 against Leicestershire in 1903.

Read was the principal scorer, batting for more than seven hours to compile 240 off 328 balls, with 23 fours and eight sixes - beating his previous best of 165 not out earlier in the season in the reverse fixture at Trent Bridge, and setting a new standard for a Notts wicketkeeper.

But the platform was set by a third-wicket partnership of 192 between Mark Wagh and Samit Patel, who both recorded centuries of their own on day three.

That eased the pressure on the visitors after Essex skipper Mark Pettini won the toss, chose to bat and then watched his side pile on the runs.

Notts stand-in captain David Hussey had some initial joy as he deputised for Stephen Fleming, out with a sore back, as Essex were at one stage 224-6.

But Hussey soon found himself rotating the bowlers as the scoreboard began to rattle along, with James Foster, Bichel and Napier all plundering runs. Even the presence of Ryan Sidebottom, made available to play at the last moment by England, could not stem the tide.

Read came to the crease with the score at 296-4 but dominated the bowling attack right from the start.

He eventually fell with Notts just four short of equalling the 1903 team record, but Rob Ferley and Sidebottom safely set the new benchmark.

With nothing to play for on the final afternoon, Patel picked up the wicket of Pettini before stumps were drawn at 5pm.

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