Despite Alex Hales making an unbeaten 106 Nottinghamshire lost their final four wickets inside eighty minutes to fall to an innings defeat on the final day of their LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
The form of the opener was one of the few plusses as far as Mick Newell, Notts’ director of cricket, was concerned. “He has looked terrific in both innings and hardly made a mistake. He has looked a stand-out player and some of our others need to take a closer look at him and the standard he is setting.”
Newell said that the hosts thoroughly deserved their success. “Every credit to them – they have a lot to play for at this stage of the season and they did well. They set their stall out on the first day to bat for a long time and make a big score and it was a game plan that worked well for them.”
Notts are now likely to remain in fifth place in the table, a position that Newell isn’t too unhappy about. “If you look at our batting stats this season you will see that that is about right, we just haven’t been good enough in that department.”
Resuming with only a score of 136-6 on the board Notts began, still 200 runs away from making the hosts need to bat again.
A single for Hales in the first over brought his partner down on to strike. Franks (12) caressed Rikki Clarke to the cover boundary but then a thickish edge flew low to third slip, where Chris Metters took a sharp chance to give the Bears their dream start.
The arrival at the crease of Andre Adams immediately had Jim Troughton despatching his fielders to all parts of the playing area but the Kiwi wasn’t deterred from going for his shots.
A brutal thump through midwicket took him on to 6 but attempting a repeat he cannoned the ball onto his left instep and it unluckily ricocheted back onto his stumps.
That brought Chris Wright his fourth wicket of the innings and after a short wait he collected his ‘five-for’ by knocking Darren Pattinson’s off stump flat to the ground. Pattinson (15) had played some delightful shots down the ground and supported Hales in adding 30 for the ninth wicket.
Hales was on 85 when joined by last man Luke Fletcher and the ‘Bulwell Barnacle’ did his job by supporting the opener through to his century.
Driving Wright for consecutive boundaries – through midwicket – and then straight – he reached his fourth career hundred and first away from Trent Bridge.
As if freed of his responsibilities Fletcher then hoisted Rankin over midwicket for a towering maximum.
The end came after a stand of 44 for the final wicket when Fletcher (20) skied onto the off side as Chris Metters was eventually brought into the attack for the first time in the game.
Hales ended on an unbeaten 106 out of 222 all out, as his team succumbed to defeat by an innings and 114 runs – the first time Notts have lost by more than an innings since losing at Durham exactly two years ago.
Warwickshire’s win meant they completed the double over Notts for the first time since 2005, having been beaten home and away by them last year and are now in pole position to emulate Nottinghamshire, a position that Mick Newell feels is justified.
“They’ve impressed me greatly in the two matches against us this season”, he said. “They’ve been aggressive with the ball and patient with the bat and put good scores on the board. It’ll be an interesting week for those sides still in contention and the best team will come out on top.”
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE SUFFER INNINGS DEFEAT AT EDGBASTON
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