Match Preview | 31st August 2010
Nottinghamshire head to the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground (formerly known as the Riverside) this week to face Durham in the LV= County Championship looking to build on their 16 point lead at the top of the Division One table.
Friday’s dramatic three wicket victory over Lancashire at Trent Bridge has widened the gap between Notts and their closest challengers and they will head to the north east to play a fixture that has produced eight positive results out of the ten previous meetings.
Following Durham’s elevation to the first class ranks Notts have enjoyed mixed fortunes on their previous visits.
In 1993 the fixture was played at Ropery Lane in Chester-le-Street and Nottinghamshire helped themselves to a huge victory inside three days. The winning margin of an innings and 157 runs was largely due to an astonishing turnaround with the bat. Having been 4-2 early on the visitors recovered to post 629, thanks to 130 from Paul Johnson and then career best innings from Chris Lewis, who made a mammoth 247 and wicketkeeper Bruce French who posted 123. Together they added 301 for the 7th wicket, a record that still stands.
Two years later, in the first meeting at the Riverside, it was the hosts who came out on top, with John Morris – later to join the Trent Bridge staff – who hit the games only century.
A drawn match at Hartlepool in 1997 was ruined by the weather but since then all the other seven meetings in the north east have been scheduled for the Riverside.
Tons from Paul Collingwood and Jonathan Lewis were the foundation for the home team’s success in 1999.
And Lewis, with 112, and Martin Love, who contributed 149, chased down a target of 318 on the last day to secure another victory in 2001 after Paul Johnson and Greg Blewett had reached three figures for the guests. Steve Harmison took 5-100 in Notts first innings.
Notts win in 2002 was built around a century from Usman Afzaal and they won again in 2004 with Russell Warren scoring a hundred after Charlie Shreck had taken 6-46 with the ball.
Heavy rain totally decimated the 2008 fixture and they couldn’t even get as far as the toss, let alone think about taking to the field on any of the fourdays.
Last year Durham amassed a colossal total of 648-5 declared in their first innings. Michael Di Venuto and Kyle Coetzer combined with 314 for the first wicket. Di Venuto eventually fell for 219, Coetzer made 109 and there were also 100’s for Dale Benkenstein and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Notts were made to follow on after Liam Plunkett took 6-85 and eventually succumbed to an innings defeat.
This season’s meeting at Trent Bridge saw Nottinghamshire end the 24 match unbeaten run from the defending county champions. With centuries from Chris Read and Ali Brown, who added 237 runs for the 7th wicket, Notts were propelled to 559-8 declared and an innings victory.
In their two previous trips to the Emirates Durham ICG this season Notts have emerged with the points. They won the Friends Provident T20 fixture by 11 runs in June and then last month they triumphed by 5 wickets in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition, with Alex Hales ending unbeaten on 96.
A third consecutive win at Chester-le-Street will bring Notts ever closer to their first county championship title since 2005 – Good luck lads!