Nottinghamshire reached 178-5 on the first day of their LV= County Championship game against Surrey at Trent Bridge after being asked to bat first.
After a full morning session, heavy showers set in during the afternoon but in between the bad weather Chris Read (49 not out) and Adam Voges (38 not out) added 94 together after the home side had lost five wickets before lunch.
James Taylor was one of the early casualties, falling for 16. He feels the toss was crucial: “It wasn’t ideal to lose it, especially as the wicket wasn’t as flat as we would have wanted batting first. It’s been difficult with all the bad weather around and it was nipping around and going up and down a bit.”
Taylor praised the quality of the opposition’s attack: “They bowled well. The pitch did a little bit for them but they had to put it in the right areas. We had a few unlucky dismissals but that happens.”
The right-hander feels that a decent first innings total is still possible though. “We’ve got a good partnership going and need Adam (Voges) and Chris (Read) to knuckle down in the morning and keep going. Hopefully they’ll get us to a decent total and give our bowlers something to aim at.”
For the first time this season Nottinghamshire selected an unchanged championship eleven, whilst Surrey left out Gareth Batty and Chris Tremlett from their squad of thirteen. Zander De Bruyn assumed the captaincy for the visitors and elected to field after calling correctly at the toss.
His bowlers fully vindicated that decision, striking three times in the first hour – although the match began with a flurry of runs.
Riki Wessels (23) hit three boundaries in the opening over, off Jon Lewis, reaching the ropes behind point, square on the legside and then a deflection down to fine leg.
That set the tone for an early assault which put 35 on the board in just five overs. If Surrey were momentarily on the back foot they responded magnificently with a much-needed breakthrough.
A decent delivery from Tim Linley kissed the outside edge of Wessels’ bat and flew at catchable height to Chris Jordan at first slip.
Alex Hales had begun his innings with two boundaries in Tim Linley’s first over of the day but found it harder to find the gaps after that and perished with only 14 to his name.
Perhaps unluckily, he played on to Lewis when deep in his crease, the ball appearing to run down the bat face and onto the off stump.
Michael Lumb got off the mark with a boundary (taking him past 8,000 first class runs) but only made 12 before falling leg before wicket to Jordan. The Barbadian’s first over had consisted of six dot deliveries, all full and wide of the off peg. The first ball of his second over was much straighter and thudded into the pad of the left-hander who had barely got more than half a stride in.
The fourth wicket to go down was that of Samit Patel (9) who, like Lumb, had found the ropes from his first delivery but then threw everything at a legside delivery from Stuart Meaker and tickled it into the gloves of Steven Davies.
Adam Voges could have followed on 5 but was dropped by Matthew Spriegel, at third slip, off Meaker.
James Taylor (16) was spared on 12, not playing a shot at a delivery from Jordan that jagged back sharply. His reprieve was short-lived however, as he fell in the next over, snicking Meaker through to the ‘keeper.
Voges and Read, as they had done at Uxbridge last week, set about rebuilding the innings with a sixth wicket stand either side of lunch.
Unsettled weather disrupted the remainder of the day with the two batsmen having to make a total of four separate starts together. Read was within one of his half century when the heaviest rainfall arrived at around 4.40pm, ending play for the day.
Dave Bracegirdle provides ball by ball commentary on all of Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship matches on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham