Today’s visit to New Road comes only three weeks after Worcestershire visited Trent Bridge, with Notts winning that match by 92 runs on the final morning.
Since then Mick Newell’s team have won at Durham and drawn at home to Somerset, leaving them in second place in the table, just one point behind Warwickshire.
Worcestershire, in their second season back in the top flight, have played a game fewer but were on course for a successful run chase at The Oval against Surrey last week when rain decimated their chances.
Last May Notts came out second best at New Road as the home side completed a thrilling run chase. Left to score 254 from a minimum of 48 overs, they reached their target by scoring 200 from 26 overs after tea on the fourth day.
"Home and away, Larwood took a total of 110 wickets against Worcestershire at just 10 runs apiece."
Chris Read had earlier scored an unbeaten 120 for the visitors, before declaring, hoping to give his bowlers enough time to secure the win. 85 from Vikram Solanki and an unbroken stand of 71 between Moeen Ali and Alexei Kervezee guided the Pears to a precious win, their first of last summer.
The match saw two Nottinghamshire players arrive at corresponding stages of their careers. Mark Wagh bowed out of first class cricket after the loss, a game in which Riki Wessels made his county debut.
Away trips to face Worcestershire began in 1921 for Notts and since then they have played a total of 61 fixtures. Seven of those games have been at Kidderminster, four at Dudley and two at Stourbridge.
The remaining 48 have all been at New Road where the head-to-head count reads 14-12 in favour of Worcestershire, with the other 22 matches being drawn.
It’s been over a decade since Notts last won a four-day match there – but the 2001 clash featured one of the county’s greatest-ever run chases. Set to score 461 in the fourth innings of the match, the scorecard read: Darren Bicknell 104, John Morris 94, Greg Blewett 134 not out, Usman Afzaal 88, Paul Johnson 26 not out, as the top five saw the job through for a famous seven wicket success. The winning total is also Nottinghamshire’s highest team total on the ground.
Joe Hardstaff junior, with 202 in 1947, is the only Notts batsman to score a double century at Worcester, with Don Kenyon, Graeme Hick and Tom Moody equalling the feat for the home side in this series of fixtures.
The record books tell us that Harold Larwood always enjoyed his trips to face Worcester. In ten matches at New Road he took 59 wickets at an average of 9, with 9 five-wicket hauls, and twice he took 10 wickets in a match. His 8-49 in 1932 is the best for the county there.
Home and away, Larwood took a total of 110 wickets against Worcestershire at just 10 runs apiece – a truly phenomenal success rate.
Only two Notts players have scored three centuries at New Road, Derek Randall and Tim Robinson. Randall’s 107 in 1973 was his maiden first class century.
Over the past 30 years other Notts centurions there have been Richard Hadlee, Chris Broad, Paul Johnson, Kevin Pietersen and Chris Read, last year.
Before Wessels last year, John Birch, in 1973, was the last Nottinghamshire player to make his first class debut at Worcester and recent players to have represented both sides include Bobby Chapman, Paul Pollard, Chris Tolley and Nadeem Malik.
A Nottinghamshire hat-trick is also long overdue. There hasn’t been one for the county since Charlie Shreck did it against Middlesex at Lord’s in 2006 (Ed Smith, Eoin Morgan and Paul Weekes) and none have ever been recorded at New Road, although Kevin Saxelby did grab three wickets in four balls in 1986.
Dave Bracegirdle is a broadcaster, sports writer and author who provides ball-by-ball commentary of all of Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship matches.
Clarke's Meadow & The Calypso Kings
Clarke’s Meadow & The Calypso Kings, the new hardback from Dave Bracegirdle, looks at how the West Indies have managed to keep intact a proud record of never having lost a first class fixtureat Trent Bridge and profiles the players who have enjoyed themselves as members of the county club.
Probably more than any other ground outside the Caribbean, Trent Bridge has become synonymous with West Indian success and a long unbeaten run in first class matches, a statistic that will next be tested during the Investec Test Match in June.
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