Nottinghamshire will look to strengthen their position at the top of the LV= County Championship Division One table when they play host to Lancashire in the four day match beginning on Tuesday.
With all of the top four sides winning in the latest round of fixtures Nottinghamshire will be gunning for a victory over the fourth-placed Red Rose county to cement their current slender advantage over Somerset and Yorkshire.
In all, there have been 110 previous first class meetings at Trent Bridge between Nottinghamshire and Lancashire, with the home side 31-22 ahead, whilst 57 matches have been drawn, including the corresponding fixture twelve months ago, when both David Hussey and Mark Wagh scored centuries.
Twelve months earlier Darren Pattinson, in his first county game at Trent Bridge, took 6-30 (still his career best figures) to inspire his new side to a 7 wicket victory, secured thanks to an unbroken 111 run stand between Wagh – and Adam Voges.
The most recent of Lancashire’s 22 successes came in 2006 when current skipper Glenn Chapple took 6-35 to dismiss Notts for a paltry 114 in their second innings, enabling centuries from Ian Sutcliffe and Mal Loye to win the match for the visitors.
That success broke an eight year spell without a win at Trent Bridge. Back in 1998 Chris Tolley 6-74 (1st) and Paul Franks 6-99 (2nd) each ran through the batting line-up but their efforts were undone by a magnificent all-round performance from Wasim Akram who scored 155 in Lancs second innings and then took 5-56 with the ball.
Eight years earlier Notts succumbed to defeat – spun out by young leg break bowler Michael Atherton, who took a career best 6-78.
Apart from his bowling exploits, Paul Franks also has a ton against Lancashire on his CV – his 100 not out came in 2003, batting at number eight in the order.
The early days of the fixture feature two contrasting performances from Lancashire pace bowler Arthur Mold. In 1895, whilst collecting match figures of 15-85, he tore through the Notts first innings with 8-20 as the hosts fell for just 35, helped by a spell of four wickets in four balls (Shrewsbury, Daft, Dixon, Wright).
Five years later Mold was denied the opportunity of a similarly destructive spell as he was removed from the attack after just one over after being called for throwing by umpire James Phillips. Mold – an England Test player – took 1673 wickets in a 12 year career!
Three Nottinghamshire bowlers have recorded hat-tricks in the series of matches, John Dixon (1887), Len Richmond (1928) and Ken Smales (1955), whilst John Gunn’s 8-80 in 1921 remains the best innings analysis for the home side.
The only double-ton scored by a Notts batter was Clive Rice’s 213 not out in 1978, whilst John Crawley’s 250 in 1994 is the best by a visitor.
Arthur Jones (1903) and Norman Hill (1959) both achieved a century in each innings at TB against Lancs.
Over the past 20 years the likes of Mark Crawley, Jason Gallian and Steve Elworthy have represented each county, as well as more recent representatives - Ashwell Prince, Kyle Hogg – and current Notts favourite Steven Mullaney.
Should he feature this week Mark Wagh will play in the 200th first class match of his career – needing 14 more runs to reach a total of 12,000.
With the sides still to meet at Old Trafford next month it’s clear that the outcome of these clashes will be pivotal if Notts are to emulate their 2005 title-winning campaign.
Good luck lads!
Nottinghamshire team (from): Alex Hales, Matt Wood, Mark Wagh, Samit Patel, Stephen Mullaney, Ali Brown, Chris Read (C/W), Paul Franks, Andre Adams, Ryan Sidebottom, Darren Pattinson and Luke Fletcher.
Dave Bracegirdle will provide ball-by-ball commentary of Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship match against Lancashire on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham.