This week Nottinghamshire travel to Old Trafford to face Lancashire, reviving memories of their last visit at the end of the 2010 season.
In highly-unusual circumstances, after rain had wiped out most of the first three days, Notts managed to secure the LV= County Championship crown after a terrific last day performance which saw them score 400 runs and then pick up the three quick wickets needed to pip Somerset for the title.
That match was historic in other ways too. During it, Andrew Flintoff announced his retirement from all forms of cricket and it also marked the end of the Old Trafford square running from east to west – no more Stretford End and Brian Statham End (as it was).
The square has been rotated, so that the members will have a ‘behind-the-bowlers-arm’ view from the pavilion, whilst the other end is being renamed the (new) Brian Statham End in honour of the club’s former fast bowler.
Our visit marks the first championship match with the square now running from north to south and is Lancashire’s first game back at their HQ.
Last season, the counties met at Southport, with Nottinghamshire securing victory by 129 runs in just 3-days.
Decisive victories in recent meetings at Old Trafford have been hard to come by for both sides, with all five meetings since the Millennium being drawn.
Lancashire’s last victory over Notts at their headquarters was in 1999 when a Jason Gallian century (against his former county) left Lancs needing 332 in their second innings. Thanks to an unbeaten 120 from Graham Lloyd, the home team scraped home with only 3 wickets remaining.
Nottinghamshire’s most recent first class victory at Old Trafford was back in 1997, when they secured the result thanks to an unbroken stand of 160 by Paul Johnson and Usman Afzaal, which sealed a 6-wicket success.
In total, 95 previous first class games have been played between the two sides at Old Trafford. The overall head-to-head is shaded by the Red Rose county, with 39 wins to 15, with 41 draws.
In 1893 England Test player Wilf Flowers had a match to remember, becoming just the third Notts player to score a ton and take 10 wickets in the same match. He scored 107 with the bat and took 6-44 and 5-84 in his side’s 9-wicket victory.
In the 1946 match Freddie Stocks cemented his place in the Nottinghamshire record books by dismissing Winston Place with his first delivery for the county.
Only one Notts batter has ever registered a ‘double ton’ in Manchester, Reg Simpson, who compiled 238 in 1949.
Mike Smedley, our former President, scored a century in each innings there, in the 1971 match, and director of cricket Mick Newell will also have fond memories of the ground having hit 116 in the 1987 draw.
Over the past 40 years the likes of Jack Bond, Mark Crawley, Jason Gallian and Steve Elworthy have represented each county, as well as two more recent representatives.
South African batsman Ashwell Prince played four first class matches for Notts in 2008 and current Trent Bridge favourite Steven Mullaney made four appearances for Lancs before moving to Nottingham ahead of the 2010 season.
This season Notts have won two and drawn two of their opening four matches, whilst Lancashire have started in indifferent fashion, losing to Sussex and Warwickshire, both at Liverpool, and then drawing in a rain-affected contest against Somerset at Taunton.
Dave Bracegirdle is a broadcaster, sports writer and author who provides ball-by-ball commentary of all of Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship matches for BBC Radio Nottingham.
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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