Despite a splendid unbeaten century from Chris Read and a well-constructed 80 from Adam Voges, Nottinghamshire ended the second day of their LV= County Championship match against Durham at the Emirates ICG with an overall deficit of 96.
Read had gone out to the middle – to join the Australian - with his side in deep trouble on 21-4 and the pair managed to add 178 for the 5th wicket.
“I think it’s fair to say we were in a spot of bother at the time,” said Read.
“We managed to share a fantastic partnership from that point but I wished we could have stayed together for a little while longer. We knew it was going to be difficult enough without Samit Patel and Alex Hales and we needed some of our senior batters to put their hands up and do something extraordinary and we tried to do that.”
The Notts innings eventually folded for 261, with Graham Onions collecting six wickets for the home side. “All credit to him”, said Read. “He is international class and has had a tough time with injuries over the last 18 months but he showed his quality today.”
The morning session began with Notts in the field - hoping to wrap up the Durham first innings quickly but they were kept waiting by a stubborn eighth wicket stand of 42, before Andre Adams clean bowled Callum Thorp with the final delivery of the 80th over.
The dismissal brought Adams his fifth wicket of the innings – and his 50th of the current championship campaign.
Phil Mustard then looked to dominate the scoring but found another capable ally in Mitch Claydon, who reached 16 before edging the new ball to Read off Shreck.
A run out then featured on the scorecard as Onions (0) failed to get home, trying to get Mustard (88 not out) back on strike.
There was an understandably nervy tension over the start of the Nottinghamshire reply, with debutants Sam Kelsall and Karl Turner obviously keen to make an impression.
Kelsall, in particular, rode his luck. On nought, he edged Thorp, only for Paul Collingwood to spill the low chance at first slip. Two run-out chances also went the way of the Notts man.
Each batsman did get off the mark in similar fashion – with a boundary through third man – and put on 21 for the first wicket. At that point the momentum shifted totally towards the home side as Durham picked up four wickets in six balls.
Kelsall (11) was caught behind off Onions, who then uprooted the middle stump of Riki Wessels (0) first ball. The former England seamer’s over came to an end with him on a hat-trick – but his new ball partner was soon in exactly the same position, getting Turner (lbw for 9) and Mullaney (0) caught behind, off successive deliveries.
At 21-4 Notts’ first innings was in disarray – with only the warming thought of last week’s win at Southport, having been 27-5 at one stage in that match, as a cause for optimism.
The luncheon interval was reached without any further alarms, on 36-4 and Voges and Read then brought the fifty up in the 16th over. Three balls later, Voges slashed hard at Onions and the ball again flew through the hands of Collingwood on it’s way down to the third man ropes.
Neither batsman allowed the bowlers to settle, with each caressing the ball away on both sides of the wicket with great regularity.
The Notts’ skipper was first to his half century (69 balls 7 x 4), with his partner following soon afterwards (88 balls 11 x 4) as the bowlers began to tire in the hot, muggy conditions.
Notts’ highest fifth wicket stand on the ground was achieved once they’d put on more than 128 together and by tea the pair were still undefeated at 175-4.
Voges (80) then perished in a rather soft manner, chipping Thorp to Benkenstein at midwicket.
The same bowler was still in action when Read cut him away to the offside boundary to bring up his second championship century of the summer (158 balls 15 x 4).
Paul Franks (11) was bowled by Ian Blackwell trying a heave towards midwicket and Graeme White (1) was out lbw to Onions – the first of four quick wickets to the former England man.
Andre Adams slashed to third man for 10, Pattinson (2) was caught behind and Charlie Shreck (0) was mopped up first ball.
Second time around, Durham reached stumps on 6-0.