Nottinghamshire hold a massive 563-run advantage after two days of their first class fixture against Loughborough MCCU. The county closed on 183-2 in their second innings, after earlier dismissing the students for just 148, with Luke Fletcher collecting figures of 4-21.
Under slate-grey skies the morning session began with Fletcher and Ben Phillips opening the bowling and with Loughborough resuming from their overnight position of 4-0.
Phillips made the initial breakthrough, at the end of the sixth over of the morning. William Tavare (9), nephew of former England batsman Chris Tavare, nibbled at one just outside his off stump and into the safe hands of Neil Edwards, who took the offering at second slip.
Edwards, the catcher, had enjoyed the most fruitful of opening days, along with Riki Wessels and it was Wessels who was next in on the act, pouching an offering at short leg, as Evans (5) fended off Fletcher.
Sam Billings, understudy wicket-keeper to Geraint Jones at Kent, came out to bat at number four and like James Taylor on the first day, he was quickly heading back towards the pavilion after gloving a leg-side delivery from Fletcher through to Read for a ‘golden duck’.
Fletcher’s hat-trick delivery was easily averted as he finished his first spell with figures of 2-9 from 6 overs. Replacement Andy Carter, playing his fourth first class match for Notts but first at Trent Bridge, began with a tidy maiden.
Fred Daeche-Marshall, playing his first match at this level, played some handsome strokes but rode his luck when nicking Carter. The ball just brushed the finger-tips of the leaping Michael Lumb at third slip.
Graeme White had bowled the opening over of the Loughborough innings, late on the first evening. His recall into the attack brought instant dividends, as Daeche-Marshall (32), who had just received treatment after being struck by a delivery from Paul Franks, was trapped in his crease and was given out lbw by umpire Tim Robinson.
Rob Taylor (1), the all-rounder on Leicestershire’s books, was beaten by the turn and also fell to White. The final ball of the morning produced a third wicket for Fletcher, with a top-edged hook by Endersby (0) being taken by Read, running towards fine leg.
Resuming from their interval score of 93-6 Loughborough embarked upon an attritional half hour period which produced six consecutive maidens against the bowling of Phillips and White.
The sequence was broken in extraordinary fashion with Nitesh Patel hooking Phillips for the first maximum of the innings.
Patel (46) had battled doggedly since coming in at first wicket down and had moved to within sight of a maiden fifty when he flashed at Phillips and guided the ball into the hands of Hales at first slip.
Andy Carter joined the list of wicket-takers with a brute of a delivery that nipped back and sent Adam Soilleux’s (22) leg stump dancing out of the ground.
Ian Sturmer (5) edged Fletcher to Hales, giving the fast bowler his fourth victim. The innings was wrapped up by a sharp bit of fielding from Riki Wessels, as Riley (21) failed to get home and was run out at the non-strikers end.
Despite a lead of 380 on first innings Chris Read elected not to enforce the follow-on, enabling his batsmen to spend more time at the crease in readiness for the start of the championship campaign on Thursday.
Alex Hales and James Taylor opened the batting. As in the first innings, Hales got off to a flyer, clipping Soilleux’s first ball through mid-wicket for four. The bowler responded with five leg-side wides to leave Notts on 9-0 after one legitimate delivery.
Taylor, on a ‘king pair’ scampered a single from his first delivery but then enjoyed a watching brief as Hales blazed away at the other end, racing to 48 from just 42 deliveries, with 10 fours, before nicking to the ‘keeper.
Michael Lumb, also looking for a lengthy innings prior to the Worcestershire match, joined Taylor and the pair brought the 100 up in the 18th over.
Due to the gloomy conditions the umpires instructed that the floodlights be turned on but it wasn’t just the arena that was illuminated as the duo found their touch with some delightful strokes.
Taylor, the former Leicestershire man, reached his fifty (70 balls, 9x4) but his new ex-Hampshire team-mate fell just short, being bowled for 44 by Endersby.
Read came out at number four and in typical fashion, pulled Endersby for a huge six in the final over of the day, which ended with Taylor unbeaten on 61.