Skipper Chris Read praised the efforts of Mark Wagh after the 32-year-old hit his third hundred of the season to secure a draw against Hampshire.

Wagh came to the wicket in Nottinghamshire’s second innings for the fourth ball of the day after Scott Newman had fallen for a duck, but showed calmness and authority to see off any danger of an innings defeat.

Wagh’s unbeaten 136 from 249 balls included 20 fours ensured Notts passed Hampshire’s first innings total of 654-8 declared for the loss of four wickets, after being asked to follow on at the start of play.

The right-hander was assisted by Samit Patel (48) and Ali Brown (37 not out) as a draw was declared at 4.50pm, with Notts 271-4.

Read was delighted to see his side bat out the day and said: “Mark took the sting out of the situation. We had to avoid a potential banana skin at the start of play and make sure we batted out the day.

“We haven’t batted particularly well in the top order in the past few months and it was testament to his mental and technical application that we managed to do that relatively unscathed.

“He’s been prolific for us ever since he arrived at Trent Bridge. Perhaps he’s not been as consistent this season as in previous years, but three hundreds in a summer just shows he’s a class act.”

Having picked up 10 points from the game, Notts are now 37 behind leaders Durham with four matches left.

And Director of Cricket Mick Newell said: “The title is Durham’s to lose now. We would probably need to win three out of four, and possibly even all four, while they would need to lose two or three.

“I know they have both us and Somerset to play and they would certainly need to lose both of those if we were to close up the difference in points.”

Having drawn five and lost one of their fixtures going into this week’s match, Newell admitted they had attempted to create a ‘result’ wicket to help in their title chase.

But despite a noticeably green tinge to the pitch, there was little assistance on offer to either seam attack and Newell added: “Unfortunately there was very little carry in the wicket and it was very slow.

“The first day has tended to be the best to bowl on in the Championship this season so we thought if we left it greener, the ball might move around for longer.

“But it didn’t happen and to be fair to our groundstaff, it’s very difficult for them when all the wickets have been used with our international commitments for the ICC World Twenty20.

“We can’t complain about that - without internationals, we simply wouldn’t be here - so hopefully next year the fixture list will be kinder to us and we can play on newer wickets for longer.”