Over 400 runs were scored and 18 wickets fell on an entertaining day of LV= County Championship cricket at Trent Bridge.
Despite gloomy weather predictions, a full day’s entertainment ended with Durham on 20-1 in their second innings, requiring a further 301 for victory.
Earlier the visitors had been dismissed for 195 in their opening knock, a deficit of 75. Second time around the home side were indebted to an 84 from Riki Wessels and an undefeated 53 from Andre Adams as they reached 245.
Summing up an eventful day Mick Newell, Notts’ director of cricket, said “For the crowd it was good fun but the coaches wouldn’t have been so impressed.
“We know that Durham have a very experienced batting line-up but the challenge is now for them to score the highest score of the match if they are to win it - but if we bowl and catch well I would hope we would be able to make it difficult for them to score that many.”
There was a dramatic start to the day, after Luke Fletcher had bowled just the one delivery to complete his unfinished over from the first evening.
Andre Adams, beginning from the Pavilion End, found the outside edge of Paul Collingwod’s bat and the ball carried safely into the hands of Riki Wessels at third slip.
The home side could have enjoyed further dominance because Ian Blackwell was then put down in the same over, although Steven Mullaney’s chance was far sharper and much lower.
Durham could have been excused for being on the defensive from that point but, instead, both Blackwell and Dale Benkenstein went after their shots and put on 91 in good time for the fifth wicket.
The returning Luke Fletcher eventually ended the stand, with Mullaney repaying his side with an excellent take to send back Benkenstein one short of his fifty.
Blackwell did advance to his own half century, from as many deliveries. Graeme White had been dismissed by Durham’s slow left armer a day earlier and gained revenge when he held a sharp return catch from Blackwell (52).
White’s other four championship appearances for Notts had all been away from home, so it would have been doubly pleasing for him to get his first Trent Bridge wicket at this level, with just his sixth delivery bowled.
Phil Mustard and Mark Wood took the total on to 170-6 at lunch, exactly 100 behind still.
Any hopes the pair had of being able to manoeuvre a first innings advantage where quickly wiped out as they fell soon after the resumption.
In just the second over Wood (6) edged Adams to first slip, where Hales took his second catch of the match and then Mustard (31) prodded forwards and gave short leg Wessels a simple opportunity off White.
At 192-8 a batting point was surely within Durham’s grasp but it wasn’t to be as Claydon (1) nicked Adams to Mullaney, for the sixth slip catch on the card and then Callum Thorp (12) came charging at White and was stumped by a country mile.
White’s figures of 3-17 were his best figures in four day cricket for Notts, whilst another thre wickets for Adams took him on to 59 for the championship season.
Trailing by 75 on first innings Durham needed a lift and got it instantly. Hales, a day after scoring 115, chased his first ball and was well taken by Mustard.
Claydon followed up that success by then also getting the wicket of Karl Turner (4), also nicking one behind to the ‘keeper.
Darren Bravo gained a modicum of success on behalf of fallen colleagues by then twice pulling the same bowler over the short leg-side boundary – although his second maximum did travel high up towards the back of The New Stand.
Bravo’s strokeplay – impressive though it was – was put on the back-burner as Wessels accelerated to a high quality fifty, brought up with ten boundaries from just 42 deliveries.
The pair had added 76 in 14 overs when Bravo (30) struck powerfully to Benkenstein at mid off, During Wood’s first over and Mullaney (1) fell shortly afterwards to a catch by Di Venuto.
Before tea Wessels (84) propelled Blackwell into the lower tier of the Radcliffe Road Stand and afterwards he continued in the same aggressive manner although he again fell short in his quest for a first Notts’ championship ton.
Looked as assured as a batsman could be, he clipped Wood powerfully away on the leg-side but looked on aghast as Benkenstein produced a world-class one-handed catch at midwicket.
Franks (1) and White (4) were then each bowled by Claydon, who claimed his fifth wicket of the innings – and 100th of his career - when he had Read (35) caught behind.
A stand of 61 between Adams and Pattinson provided some late evening entertainment in gloriously sunny conditions.
A mighty blow from Adams pulled Thorp into the Fox Road Stand and he then followed it up with another huge hit into the Radcliffe Road Stand.
Pattinson, whilst not quite as gung-ho as in the first innings, when he hit three sixes himself, played some delightful shots before falling to Braithwaite for 16.
Fletcher went to the same bowler for 4 leaving Adams undefeated on 53.
In the six overs that remained in the day Durham lost Will Smith (0), lbw to Fletcher.