Charlie Shreck’s first five wicket haul since July 2008 engineered an amazing turn-around on the third day of Nottinghamshire’s LV= County Championship match against Worcestershire at New Road. Picking up four of the final five wickets to fall, Shreck managed to limit the home side’s first innings advantage to just 20.
Second time around, Notts also found themselves losing wickets cheaply before an unbroken stand of 43 between Samit Patel and Chris Read saw them to the close on 104-5, a lead of 84.
Shreck said afterwards: “The old ball was quite soft during the morning session and didn’t help us too much but Paul Franks and Samit Patel bowled beautifully and got us wickets just before the second one became due. The new one offered us a little more and with new batsmen there it was the ideal scenario.
“Ben Scott could count himself unlucky as the ball kept a little low but the ball swung back in nicely for the others.”
To win the match Shreck and the rest of the attack will need to bowl Worcestershire out a second time.
“Ideally we need as many runs as we can in the morning but if we can get another hundred and fifty that would be ideal to defend,” he said.
Continuing on from their Sunday closing position of 77-2, Moeen Ali and Matt Pardoe moved the score on to 130 before Notts separated them, although the visiting side did spurn a couple of opportunities in that first hour of play.
Riki Wessels, diving to his left as the sole slip, couldn’t hang on to a Pardoe snick from the bowling of Franks and then the same player saw Samit Patel unable to grasp another edge – this time off the unfortunate Pattinson.
The left handers’ luck eventually ran out when he was taken at waist height by Andre Adams at third slip for 39. Pattinson’s celebration at his first wicket of the season was understandable and he deserved his success for a particularly impressive spell.
Ali nudged Adams away for the single to bring up his half century from 119 balls faced (including 6 fours) and with Alexei Kervezee enjoying a trouble-free half hour, lunch was reached on 169-3, a deficit still of 54.
The pair extended their stand to 93 as the home side looked set to move into an impregnable lead but then an extraordinary passage of play brought 7 wickets for just 20 runs, in the space of nine overs.
Kervezee was caught behind off Franks – to give Chris Read his 650th first class dismissal for Notts (618 catches, 32 stumpings) and then Patel removed Ali for 84, with Voges taking the catch at the second attempt.
The second new ball was taken and Shreck ripped through the tail, dismissing Pinner, Scott and Richardson, all for nought and Shantry for 2. Pattinson’s only delivery to his Victoria team-mate Damian Wright produced another catch for Read.
Beginning again, 20 behind, Notts soon ran into difficulties themselves. Before the deficit had been wiped out they lost Riki Wessels for 4 and Mark Wagh for 2.
Akhil Patel (8) followed shortly afterwards – caught behind for the fourth innings in a row. Alan Richardson picked up two of the wickets, with the other claimed by Wright – who then pulled up midway through an over, with either calf or hamstring problems.
Adam Voges became Richardson’s third victim, leg before for 1 as Notts were reduced to 40-4. Gareth Andrew was introduced into the attack to replace Wright and picked up the wicket of Steven Mullaney for eight. The batsman was clearly not happy with the decision after Scott had taken the ball down the leg-side, possibly off the thigh pad.
A couple of aerial chips from Samit Patel threatened to de-rail the innings further – but both fell obligingly into the gaps. With his captain for company, Patel saw the final hour of the day out without any further casualties, bringing up his fifty in the process – as well as going past 700 first class runs for the season.
At stumps Patel had 52, Read was on 21 and Nottinghamshire’s advantage was 84.