Having seized the initiative on the third day of their LV= County Championship match against Worcestershire, Notts were left frustrated during the post-tea session when a century stand between Alexei Kervezee and Gareth Andrew lifted the visitors to an overall lead of 189 with 5 wickets still standing.
Kervezee ended unbeaten on 119 with Andrew on 55 and the stand took some gloss away from the home side’s performance earlier in the day, with a well-constructed innings of 82 by Paul Franks helping his side to a score of 382 and an advantage of 67.
Nottinghamshire batsman Alex Hales took a superb slip catch during the day and he feels the match is set up for a tense finale.
“A few are keeping low and the odd one is seaming but we’ll be giving it our all to go for the win." Alex Hales
“At this stage any of the three results are still possible,” he said.
“Worcestershire will hope to press on and get more runs but we’ll be looking to get amongst them early on and then chase down the runs.”
Hales admitted that Kervezee had batted extremely well.
“He showed what a fine player he is but it’s still clearly a good track for batting,” he said.
“A few are keeping low and the odd one is seaming but we’ll be giving it our all to go for the win. It should be a really good day of cricket.”
On another dry, clear morning Notts resumed from their overnight 291-8 and quickly brought up their third batting bonus point as Luke Fletcher eased Alan Richardson to midwicket.
Franks then hit the same bowler for three clinical boundaries as Worcestershire took the second new ball. A straight drive, a shot through the covers and a controlled pull behind square took his side beyond the visitors’ total and into a first innings lead.
The overnight pair had added 39 in the first hour of play, whereupon Gareth Andrew made the breakthrough – dismissing Fletcher with the help of a catch taken at the second attempt by Moeen Ali at third slip.
On 40 Franks may have had a life when he played at one from Wright which was dropped by ‘keeper Cox. The reaction of the bowler and the slip cordon suggested there may have been a thin edge. From then on he went on the offensive, joyously celebrating his fifty before lofting Ali for a straight six.
Reaching 68, Franks passed 6,000 career runs and he pressed on to add another 14 before falling just before lunch. Richardson grabbed his fifth wicket, to end the last wicket stand at 52, when a miscued pull was skied and eventually taken by ‘keeper Cox.
When Worcestershire began their second innings Fletcher quickly made amends for not getting amongst the first innings wickets. He knocked Daryl Mitchell’s off pole flat and then sent back James Cameron, thanks to a superb high reflex catch at slip by Alex Hales.
Before their deficit had been wiped out the visitors then lost Vikram Solanki, lbw to Andre Adams for 12 to leave the total on 38-3.
Franks’ day improved even further as he induced Ali to steer straight to Steven Mullaney at point. Alexei Kervezee and Matt Pardoe took Worcestershire to tea at 116-4, a lead of 49 with six wickets still standing.
Pardoe fell twenty minutes after the resumption but it needed a juggling catch from Neil Edwards to dismiss him after a thickish edge from the bowling of Shreck.
The opportunity of running through the rest of the card appeared to be a viable one but stubborn resistance from Kervezee and his new partner Gareth Andrew then gave way to an array of attractive strokes as bat dominated ball.
A straight six off the bowling of Mullaney took Kervezee to this fourth career century and Andrew passed 50 shortly afterwards.
By the close they had added 119 together and set the scene for a gripping final day.