The first of Nottinghamshire’s remaining five LV= County Championship matches begins at Taunton on Tuesday when they face Somerset.
Second in the table, eight points behind leaders Warwickshire, Mick Newell’s side will be eager to press for victory on a ground where a success is long overdue in the first class format.
A 9-wicket success in April 1985 was the last time they recorded a win at the County Ground.
On that occasion honours were pretty even after each side had batted once – with Tim Robinson scoring 105 in the visitor’s first innings.
Peter Such, with 5-73, helped skittle the hosts out for 133 second time around, leaving Broad, Robinson and Randall to knock off the required runs.
Over the years Nottinghamshire have played at a number of out-grounds when visiting the ‘Cider County’, including Bath, Frome, Weston-super-Mare and Yeovil but they have played 34 championships matches at the county headquarters in Taunton.
As in most long-term match-ups it’s the home side that hold the overall advantage. Somerset having won thirteen of the meetings, to Notts five, with 16 draws.
On a ground that has developed a reputation as being a batter’s paradise, it’s perhaps surprising that only ten Nottinghamshire centuries have been scored at Taunton, beginning with William Gunn, who hit 101 in 1894. Since then the ton-up guys have been;
John Clay 127 (1955), Norman Hill 106 (1967), Basharat Hassan 104 (1964), Mike Harris 163 (1975), Tim Robinson 105 (1985), Richard Hadlee 133* (1987), Jimmy Adams 144* (1994) and Samit Patel, who hit 104 two years ago and followed it up with 128 last season.
"Michael Lumb, with 898 first class runs, is the closest Notts batsman to reaching 1,000 for the season."
Sadly for Notts, Patel won’t be around to make it ‘3-in-3’as he misses the match due to England Lions commitments.
Two Nottinghamshire bowlers have claimed 7-wicket hauls at Taunton.
Mark Bowen bagged 7-73 in the drawn match in 1998 but Bruce Dooland, the Australian leg break and googly specialist, spun his side to a narrow win in 1955. In pursuit of 286, the home side fell for 277 with Dooland taking 7-110.
There was another tight finish in 1984 as Somerset edged home by just 3 runs. Bruce French enjoyed a fine match behind the stumps – taking six catches in the first innings and two stumpings in the second. Chasing 297, Notts fell for 293 with Vic Marks collecting 6-111.
The fourth of Notts’ five wins on the ground came during Garfield Sobers’ first season as club captain. He took 5-31 in the first innings of the 1968 match, with all five dismissals coming via positive lbw decisions. It became a little nervy in the end before the travelling side reached their target of 103, with just three wickets in hand.
Last year Nottinghamshire claimed maximum bonus points in a drawn match that was badly affected by the weather. Only eight overs were possible on the first two days and then Andre Adams collected figures of 6-33 to dismiss Somerset for 177.
Notts advanced to 402-9 by’ handshake time’ on the last day, with Patel’s 128 complimented by Riki Wessels, who added a blistering 82 from only 75 deliveries.
Somerset claimed the spoils in the draw at Trent Bridge earlier this season, making 445-2 declared in their first innings, with Nick Compton scoring an unbeaten double-hundred, to add to tons for Arul Suppiah and James Hildreth.
Compton, along with Craig Kieswetter, will also be absent on Lions duty, big losses to the side who begin the contest in fourth place, twelve points behind Notts.
Nottinghamshire’s Alex Hales made scores of 9 and 29 in this year’s home clash but has happier memories of the 2011 contest when he recorded a career-best 184 against the same attack.
There are a couple of milestones to keep an eye out for this week.
Michael Lumb, with 898 first class runs, is the closest Notts batsman to reaching 1,000 for the season.
Also, I am indebted to first team scorer Roger Marshall, who advises me that Nottinghamshire batsmen have now compiled 1,499 centuries in first class cricket.
Who will get the 1,500th?
Dave Bracegirdle provides ball-by-ball commentary at all of Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship matches on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham.