Nottinghamshire were made to follow-on after being bowled out for 238 on the third day of their LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. Batting for a second time, they had reached 136-6 by the close – still 200 runs away from making the home side bat again.
Alex Hales was unbeaten on 69 at stumps, having made 72 in the first innings. During the course of the day he went past one thousand first class runs for the season, news that was a great surprise to him.
“I’d no idea that I was that close really as I’d only looked at my championship scores but it was pleasing to find out that I’d past 1,000 with the runs for the Lions and the MCC and Oxford matches added,” he said.
Hales was going well at the start of the day and felt he missed out on a first innings century. “I was disappointed with the way I got out – it wasn’t a particularly good shot and it was a lack of concentration and I paid the price.”
With 2 hundreds and nine other fifties this season, the opener still has one regret. “I’m quite pleased with how it’s gone but I’d have liked to have turned a few more of those fifties into centuries. This is still a very good wicket and I’d like to make sure I now go on tomorrow and make sure I turn this into a three figure score.”
Resuming their first innings at the start of the day on 86-1, still 488 runs adrift of the home side’s imposing 574-7 declared, Notts began with Alex Hales and Darren Bravo at the crease.
Bravo showed his intentions early, punching Chris Woakes’ second ball of the day to the fence. Runs came quickly with 39 added inside the opening half hour but then, after a stand of 79, disaster struck.
Hales initially had a reprieve. He drove firmly towards the cover boundary and turned back quickly for a second but his partner correctly sent him back. Had Woakes been able to take Ian Westwood’s throw cleanly then the batsman would have been stranded by several yards but an unkind bounce prevented him from doing so.
Bravo played the next ball for a single, getting Hales (72) back on strike but he couldn’t capitalise on his good fortune as he edged the next delivery from Woakes straight to Varun Chopra at first slip.
Chopra had caught Karl Turner on the second evening and he took his third catch of the innings in the next over as Riki Wessels (0) nicked his fourth delivery from Rikki Clarke to him at regulation height.
Bravo’s celebration for reaching 50 (76 balls 9 x 4) was a little unusual. The milestone came via a shot just over the fingertips of backward point. Before acknowledging the applause for his first championship half-century, the West Indies star kicked away furiously at the dust at almost giving his wicket away.
In the meeting between the two sides at Trent Bridge earlier in the season, Steven Mullaney was dismissed in both innings by Boyd Rankin. It was no surprise then, that the Irish international was introduced into the attack as Mullaney arrived in the middle.
A shortish delivery soon brought its rewards. Going deep into his crease Mullaney (12) pushed the ball away on the offside but in setting off for a single he trod on his stumps and was given out Hit Wicket.
Bravo, aided by Chris Read, saw it through to lunch on 184-4, with the home side definitely claiming the better of the morning’s spoils.
The afternoon session immediately began on the same note, with Read (4) edging Woakes through to Tim Ambrose and Paul Franks (0) falling lbw to the same bowler.
Fro that point the collapse was fairly spectacular. Bravo (70) was taken on the deep extra cover boundary by Ian Westwood. Graeme White (6) hung around for a while with Andre Adams but then clipped Wright to second slip.
Darren Pattinson (5) lifted Clarke to Chanderpaul before Adams was last man out, bowled by Wright.
With typical defiance, Adams at least had the satisfaction of hoisting two deliveries over the ropes, although the second was taken at deep midwicket by Chopra, who then stepped over the boundary.
Batting again, with 13 overs to go before tea, Hales reached 1,000 first class runs for the season but then lost his partner.
A sharply rising delivery from Rankin was adjudged to have brushed the glove of Karl Turner (5) and Tim Ambrose took the catch, leaping in the air athletically.
Fired up, Rankin’s next delivery – to new batsman Bravo – ballooned high over both him and the ‘keeper and was called as ‘four no balls’.
During the tea interval Warwickshire’s Second Eleven paraded the championship trophy around the field, having defeated Glamorgan earlier in the day at Coventry.
After tea the light deteriorated to such an extent that, with still 20 overs scheduled to be bowled, umpires Nick Cook and Steve O’Shaughnessy, celebrating his 50th birthday, took the players off.
Upon the return Hales reached his second half century of the day (86 balls with 5 fours) but was a helpless spectator as wickets tumbled at the other end.
Between the 33rd and 40th over of the innings Notts lost five wickets for 23. Bravo (28) was sent on his way for a catch at the wicket, Wessels (2) was well taken at third slip, Mullaney (7) caught and bowled – again falling to Rankin, White (1) lbw, and Read (0) caught behind.
A couple of Paul Franks boundaries took the total to 136-6 at the close of a day in which Notts lost 15 wickets for 288 runs.