Nottinghamshire need to bat well for the remainder of their LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, after closing the second day on 86-1 in response to the home side’s mammoth score of 574-7 declared.
Ian Westwood, Jim Troughton and Rikki Clarke all scored centuries for the hosts but in the remaining 21 overs of the day Alex Hales laid the platform for a decent score of his own by making an unbeaten 51.
Wayne Noon, Nottinghamshire’s Assistant Manager, paid tribute to the performance of his side in the field. “I thought we stuck at it really well. They perhaps got away from us a little bit towards the end as the boys tired but to restrict them to only three bonus points on that wicket was a pretty good effort.”
"If we can score our runs at our usual pace we could still end up drawing this match and taking more points from it than them.” Wayne Noon
According to Noon, the visitors can still take the spoils from this contest. “We are on a bit of an unbeaten roll and there’s plenty of pride in our dressing room. If we can score our runs at our usual pace we could still end up drawing this match and taking more points from it than them.”
Reflecting on the start to the Nottinghamshire reply Wayne said he is looking forward to great things from his top order on the third day.
“Alex has begun well and looked at ease but we feel Darren Bravo owes us a big one,” he said.
“He has perhaps been battling Chanderpaul in his head this week and would really like to make big runs in front of him. He’s striking the ball really nicely and a big score is just around the corner for him.”
Resuming from their overnight 235-3 the Bears still had 27.1 overs in which to try and secure further batting points and they began in positive fashion with Westwood quickly extending his overnight total to reach 150 (271 balls with 21 fours).
In indifferent light the umpires exchanged glances as both Luke Fletcher and Darren Pattinson looked to put the second new ball to good use with the occasional short-pitched delivery.
Troughton’s mistimed hook flew off a top edge over Chris Read for four, whilst at the other end Pattinson clearly felt that Westwood had nicked one down the leg side but didn’t get the verdict.
After 24 minutes of play the umpires decided the light had deteriorated and took the players off but they returned after just an eleven minute stoppage. Sadly two overs later they again departed, to a chorus of jeers from an understandably frustrated paying audience.
The decision of the officials was vindicated as light drizzle then fell, preventing any further play before lunch.
When play resumed afterwards Troughton moved to fifty (130 balls 6 x 4), bringing up the 150 stand at the same time.
Westwood eventually fell for 171, as Fletcher eventually gained reward for a disciplined spell from the City End. Trying to pull behind square, the opener just lifted the ball straight into the waiting hands of Paul Franks at long leg.
The 29 year old batsman had scored the highest ever individual total on the ground against Notts, having shared in a stand of 177 for the fourth wicket.
Tim Ambrose (25) punched five boundaries before becoming the next batsman to fall, nicking Franks to Alex Hales at slip in the 109th over.
The arrival of Rikki Clarke in the middle brought the first maximum of the match as he hoisted Graeme White over the rope at long off, quickly followed by a couple of boundaries down to third man from the same bowler.
Troughton had batted steadily throughout the afternoon session to reach a well-constructed century, (199 balls 13 x 4), his first for two years.
Chris Read switched his spinner to the City End but again Clarke produced a flurry of attacking shots against White, including another six as he raced to a half century of his own (44 balls 8 x 4, 2 x 6).
By tea another punishing stand was beginning to hurt Notts – Troughton and Clarke having added 117, with Warwickshire on 454-5.
Runs came quickly after the interval as the countdown to the declaration began in earnest. Clarke’s powerful strokeplay took him to a hundred (90 balls 16 x 4 2 x 6) and he cleared the ropes on another couple of occasions before falling for 126 as Darren Bravo pouched a catch in the deep off White.
Troughton (151) then went in White’s next over, playing round a delivery that turned enough to hit the stumps and a quick twenty between Chris Woakes and Chris Metters brought about the declaration on 574-9.
With a scheduled 21 overs remaining in the day Alex Hales and Karl Turner began the Notts’ reply in determined fashion. Both played some crisp cover drives – with Hales also executing two on-side drives to full effect.
The pair brought up a fifty stand but in the 14th over Turner (19) drove at Chris Woakes and edged to Varun Chopra at slip.
Darren Bravo joined Hales for the closing phase of the day as the visitors reached stumps on 86-1, with the opener passing fifty (71 balls 9 x 4) in the final over of the day.