Nottinghamshire will be looking to repeat their heroics of last season when they begin their LV= County Championship match against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday.
Fourteen months ago a splendid unbeaten 131 from Mark Wagh steered Notts to a five wicket victory, achieved after 6pm on the fourth evening.
Wagh’s ton followed a similar effort in the first innings from Steven Mullaney – who crowned his championship debut for the county with a gritty 100 not out, batting at number eight.
Since Hampshire moved to the Rose Bowl a decade ago they have faced Notts there on seven occasions in first class competition with every fixture reaching a decisive conclusion. The home side have emerged with the win on three occasions, 2001, 2005 and 2006 – whilst Notts’ four wins came in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
"Aussie Adam Voges has twice played at the Southampton venue for Notts – but his first taste of county cricket came with Hampshire in 2007 when he featured in their t20 line-up."
Two of the home victories were due in no small part to the achievements of John Crawley. The former Lancashire and England man scored 311 in the innings’ victory six years ago and registered a century in each innings the following season.
Apart from the heroics from messrs Wagh and Mullaney last year, only two other Notts players have reached three figures at the Rose Bowl – Ali Brown and Chris Read, who scored 148 and 116 not out, respectively two years ago. In that match Luke Fletcher – batting at nine – compiled his highest first class score to date, 92.
Samit Patel (5-81 in 2009) and Charlie Shreck (5-94 in 2006) are the only two Notts bowlers to claim five wicket hauls on the ground.
Since Notts first travelled south to face Hampshire – in 1843 – there have been a total of 67 meetings there, spread over seven different grounds – 3 in Southampton, plus Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Portsmouth and in 1957 Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, staged the clash which was won by the hosts.
The overall head-to-head in those 67 meetings stands in favour of Notts by 22 wins to 20, with 25 matches drawn. The last draw was in 1996 at the County Ground, Southampton and is memorable for it being the full debut of Paul Franks.
Franks, now with 494 first class wickets to his name, kicked off that tally by clean bowling Giles White, the current first team coach of Hampshire.
Apart from their championship success, Notts also won at the Rose Bowl in the CB40 competition last season. Their winning run at the ground did grind to a halt though last August, with Somerset triumphing in the rain-interrupted t20 semi final defeat against Somerset.
Aussie Adam Voges has twice played at the Southampton venue for Notts – but his first taste of county cricket came with Hampshire in 2007 when he featured in their t20 line-up.
Before him, Kevin Pietersen was the previous player to have an affiliation with both counties, whilst Mike (MNS)Taylor was a popular player with each in a career that spanned from 1964 to 1980.
The sides met at Trent Bridge back in April in the championship opener and Notts took the honours with a 9 wicket victory. Hampshire are currently rooted to the foot of the table – still without a four-day success, whilst Chris Read’s men are sixth in the division without a win in their last six contests.
Dave Bracegirdle will provide ball-by-ball commentary from the Rose Bowl on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham.