Nottinghamshire duly completed their third LV= County Championship win of the season, needing 130 minutes to take the remaining five Lancashire wickets to secure a 185-run success.
Samit Patel took the final two wickets to fall, adding to earlier successes for Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and Andre Adams, who finished with figures of 3-18 in the second innings and an overall match analysis of 10-50.
“There’s no doubt that Andre’s spell after lunch on the second day was the game-changer,” said Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire’s Director of Cricket.
“At that time we were wondering how much of a lead we would be able to restrict Lancashire too. If we could bowl them out for a score of 200 it might not have been significant but Andre’s burst gave us a lead that we weren’t expecting.”
Commenting on his side’s unbeaten start to the campaign, Newell added, “It’s always absolutely crucial to win games early in the season and playing matches in April and May seems to suit us. We have an interesting time of it, coming up, with Middlesex at home next week, then a two-week break then a couple more matches that takes us to the halfway point at the season. At the moment ourselves and Warwickshire have got off to a bit of a flyer in terms of picking up early wins.”
Resuming from their seemingly-doomed position of 39-5 the home side were given some hope as the overnight batsmen Luke Proctor and Gareth Cross extended their stand to 32 during the opening 40 minutes of play.
Andre Adams, unsurprisingly, made the decisive breakthrough, claiming his 10th wicket of the match as Cross (19) was pinned in front of his stumps.
The injured Tom Smith, again batting with Paul Horton as his runner, got off the mark with a streaky boundary to the third man ropes but failed to add any more as he gloved (or possibly fore-armed) a ball to Adams at third slip off Broad.
Whilst Proctor continued to defend doggedly and defy Notts for as long as possible, his captain decided to take a more aggressive approach at the other end. Glenn Chapple has six first class centuries under his belt and is a dangerous customer when set. For the second time in the match he gave his innings some early impetus by lifting Graeme Swann over the ropes at long off.
On 26, however, he made one unadvised chassis down the wicket and was beaten by the turn of Swann to give Chris Read a routine stumping with his man six feet down the track.
Jimmy Anderson, better after a night of “rest and tomato soup”, as he put it, sadly couldn’t find any runs to aid his recovery after being under-the-weather earlier in the match.
He completed a pair in the match after nudging Samit Patel into the hands of Alex Hales at first slip. The dismissal, coming at 12.58pm, meant that lunch was put back under the new regulations but Notts weren’t made to wait for much longer.
Last man Simon Kerrigan (6) didn’t seem to want to hang around through the extra half an hour and chipped Patel to Broad at mid on to enable Notts to celebrate a win that keeps them tucked in nicely behind Warwickshire in the table.