The final day of Nottinghamshire’s LV= County Championship match against Somerset at Trent Bridge petered out into a draw with the visitors batting on until tea, before being dismissed for 426 in their second innings.
Notts lost a couple of wickets in a tricky final passage of play before closing on 41-2.
Director of Cricket Mick Newell admitted that the playing strip had taken most people by surprise.
“The surface did quite a lot on the first two days and the umpires and both teams were more than a little surprised at how many runs were scored in the match,” he said.
“If the early bounce had continued throughout the contest then a positive outcome might have been achievable”, he added.
“As it was, the game didn’t advance enough on the third evening for either side to get into a position to force a win.”
Newell had asked for more from his batsmen in this match, particularly in the first innings.
“I was keen to see how we’d respond once they scored 386 but I thought it was a terrific effort to go on and get a lead of 106 runs,” he said.
“I’m quite happy to take eleven points out of this game and feel we can take a lot of positives from it.”
Somerset were on 197-2 at the start of the day and the problems of either side manoeuvring themselves into a winning position were immediately apparent, with the surface continuing to favour the batsmen.
Nick Compton and Chris Jones, who had added 70 runs in just 22 overs the previous evening, extended their third wicket stand to 124.
Both men passed fifty, with Compton arriving their first, guiding Andre Adams to the third man fence in the second over of the day. Jones first championship half century arrived in the 74th over, as he stroked Samit Patel to the extra cover boundary. He’d moved on to 55 when the same bowler exacted some revenge. A little bit of turn and bounce found the outside edge and Adam Voges took a sharp catch at slip.
Notts took the second new ball when it became due but initially it enabled James Hildreth to follow his first innings ton with more exciting stroke play. He sped to 39 before hitting Luke Fletcher uppishly to deep gully where Voges took his second catch of the morning – and fifth of the contest.
As the players left the field at lunch there was a special surprise in store for Alex Hales, with the 22 year old being awarded his county cap a day after reaching a career best score of 184.
Umpire Neil Mallender was twice called into action during the opening hour of the afternoon session, giving Andre Adams positive lbw decisions against Keiswetter (21) and Trego (11) before Compton became the fourth player in the match to pass three figures.
Murali Kartik (10) hit Patel over the ropes in front of the pavilion but then perished with a repeat attempt going straight to Franks at mid off.
Steven Mullaney eventually accounted for Compton, who had batted for more than six hours for his 115, then drove to short extra, where Wessels took a superb diving catch.
Patel then polished off the tail by getting Kirby lbw for 0 and had Willoughby (0) caught at mid on, to end with figures of 4-70.
The total of 426 meant that the visitors had taken a lead of 320 into the tea interval, with only a scheduled 34 overs remaining in the contest.
Once more the opening pairing were quickly parted with Wessels (2) falling to a catch at the wicket. Hales’ (18) fine match was spoilt a little when he chipped straight back to Suppiah but at 5pm, with 19 overs left unbowled, the two sides decided to call a halt to the proceedings.
The draw ends Notts streak of four consecutive defeats but the eleven points collected keeps them in sixth place in the table.