Nottinghamshire slipped to their third consecutive defeat in the LV= County Championship when they were beaten by 6 wickets to Worcestershire at New Road.
Set 254 to win, from a minimum of 48 overs, the hosts were guided to victory thanks to a splendid 85 from Vikram Solanki. Earlier Notts’ second innings had closed on 273-8 declared with skipper Chris Read unbeaten on 120 not out, after Samit Patel had fallen for 84.
“It was a game we felt we had a chance to win today and we should have made the most of the opportunity,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell.
“Fair play to Worcester. They scored more than 200 runs after tea in 26 overs but we have to look at ourselves and say it wasn’t good enough.”
“It was a game we felt we had a chance to win today and we should have made the most of the opportunity." Mick Newell
Picking up just one early wicket made life difficult for the Notts attack, according to Newell.
“It was the first time in the game that the new ball didn’t really strike and that made a difference as Worcester then had plenty of wickets in hand after tea.”
Patel and Read had been together at the start of the day, resuming from Nottinghamshire’s overnight position of 104-5. They got the session off to an ideal tempo by taking 16 from Gareth Andrew’s second over of the morning, helped by three consecutive boundaries from the England Lion.
Without the injured Damian Wright, the home side had limited options so kept Alan Richardson bowling from the New Road end for more than an hour.
The tall seamer, who began the day on 399 wickets, was unable to break the stand – with that honour going to Jack Shantry who got Patel for 84 thanks to Solanki’s safe hands at slip.
Read reached his fifty (85 balls and 8 fours) by running Andrew to the third man boundary. With Paul Franks adding support, Notts took lunch at 205-6.
Shantry persevered from the Diglis End after lunch and was rewarded with the wickets of Franks (14) and Andre Adams (15) although the latter twice hit him over the ropes for sixes.
The next six took Read from 99 to 105 (162 balls) – his first century of the summer – and he swiftly hit two more to accelerate to 120 before deciding it was time to declare, leaving Worcestershire needing 254 in 48 overs to win.
Charlie Shreck continued his fine form from the first innings by immediately trapping James Cameron for 0.
Solanki marked his arrival at the crease with a sparkling cover drive for four and added 50 with Matt Pardoe before tea.
Upon the resumption, a real mix-up between the two batsmen almost gifted Notts a run out. Solanki played straight to Mark Wagh at mid off – Pardoe set off from the non-strikers end but wouldn’t have been able to get back had Wagh’s throw hit the stumps from 20 yards.
Both batsmen then hit Patel for sixes as they increased the tempo – Pardoe over deep square leg and his partner into the car park over extra cover.
The opener reached his fifty first but Solanki soon followed him courtesy of another majestic rope-clearer over deep extra.
On 117, Adams made the breakthrough, avoiding Pardoe’s attempted mow to strike his middle stump for 54. Gareth Andrew, promoted to number four as a pinch-hitter, hit Pattinson for six to bring up the 150.
The decision to recall Samit Patel from the New Road end reaped instant rewards.
After racing to a bright and breezy 31, Andrew was beaten by the turn and bounce of Patel and was comfortably stumped by Read. Moeen Ali was in pre-determined mode, as he danced down to his first delivery and hit Patel for a straight six.
The ball ricocheted off a beam high in the Stand and dropped down onto the head of a male spectator. Tannoy calls for a doctor followed, as physio’s from both teams ran to offer treatment but after a short delay the match resumed.
Concluding an eventful over, Solanki then tried a reverse sweep and was given out lbw by umpire Gale for 85. The batsman appeared particularly unhappy at the decision.
Alex Kervezee joined the list of six-hitters as the rate was brought down to 31 needed from 48 deliveries and with Ali at his fluent best, Worcestershire cruised to their first win of the campaign.