Nottinghamshire struggled to come to terms with conditions under the Abu Dhabi floodlights on the opening day of the first class fixture against the MCC and closed Day One on 82-8, a deficit of 132, having dismissed the hosts for this particular game for just 218.
MCC won the toss and batted but soon lost captain Chris Rogers, falling to an excellent shoulder-high catch by Samit Patel in the gully, from the bowling of Paul Franks.
Luke Fletcher shared the new ball and took the other three wickets to fall in the first session, including that of Indian Test star Rahul Dravid, who lasted just two deliveries before Fletcher pinned him 1bw.
Samit Patel picked up the fifth wicket to fall, that of England one day ‘keeper Steven Davies.
Debutants Brett Hutton and Jake Ball each bowled five over spells without making a breakthrough but once Patel dismissed Middlesex’s Dawid Malan for a top score of 71 the innings fell away quickly, despite some late resistance from last man Hamid Hassan. The Afghan international clubbed 26 from just 14 deliveries to power the total beyond 200.
Patel finished with figures of 4-42 whilst Fletcher took 4-68 and Franks 2-45.
Nottinghamshire’s innings began under floodlights and was soon in disarray as Somerset’s Steve Kirby ripped out the top and middle order to claim a five-wicket haul. There were ducks for Alex Hales, Ali Brown, Chris Read and Steven Mullaney, with resistance coming only from Patel, with 21 and Franks unbeaten on 20 at the close.
Acting Director of Cricket Wayne Noon felt the conditions were instrumental in his side’s batting performance.
“In footballing terms this was ‘a game of two halves’ On that evidence you want to be batting under sunlight and then bowling when the floodlights came on. No-one could envisage how after three hours of normal cricket there would be so much movement once the floodlights take effect.”
Noon went on to say, “I have had a chat with the umpires to confirm they were seeing the same things as I was and that they were going to mark it officially as a ‘wicket with excessive movement’. I am not overly worried – Kirby bowled well but it is only 27 March and this was our first bat of the trip.”
Nottinghamshire will begin the second day with Paul Franks and Luke Fletcher resuming their innings, still 132 runs behind.
Dave Bracegirdle will provide ball-by-ball commentary on Nottinghamshire's County Champions match against MCC on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham.