On the day that Warwickshire clinched the 2012 LV= County Championship title, Nottinghamshire kept up their pursuit of the runners-up spot by dismissing Surrey for 304.
Graeme White was the stand-out bowler, taking 4-97 from 33 overs, whilst Sam Wood collected his first three wickets at first class level.
19-year old Wood finished with 3-64 and was grateful that Jason Roy picked out Adam Voges to get his wicket-tally underway.
“That was probably one of the worst balls I bowled but luckily I had a fielder there in Adam, so it worked out alright in the end.” Sam Wood
“That first one wasn’t as I would have expected but I’m happy to have made a contribution,” said Wood.
“That was probably one of the worst balls I bowled but luckily I had a fielder there in Adam, so it worked out alright in the end.”
Wood admitted he was revelling in the occasion. “It’s great being around players with such experience, players I used to come and watch with my old man. It’s a pleasure to be playing with them and representing Notts. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and hope I can offer something to help us win this game.”
In pursuit of a victory target of 347 Notts had to bat one over at the end of the day and survived it with nightwatchman Harry Gurney playing out a maiden from Murali Kartik.
Rory Burns took two from Ben Phillips’ initial over of the day and Zafer Ansari got away with a third man boundary off Luke Fletcher.
That was to be his only score as the same bowler gained swift revenge by having the opener comfortably taken by Chris Read.
With Heathrow’s inbound flying low over the ground, it made for a very noisy start to the session but the thick nick from the left-handers bat was clearly audible to everyone present.
The Notts skipper rotated his bowlers, using all three seamers, plus spinners White and Wood, inside the opening 17 overs in an effort to make a second breakthrough.
It wasn’t long in coming. From the first ball of the eighteenth Burns took a single to bring up the fifty but he lost his partner to the second delivery of the over as Arun Harinath (14) was somehow bowled around his legs by White, possibly off a deflection from the thigh-guard.
Kevin Pietersen, as in the first innings, got off the mark by using his feet to drive White for a boundary. Looking watchful in the half-hour before lunch the tall right-hander displayed one of his trademark ‘flamingo’ flicks through midwicket off Fletcher but otherwise seemed happy in defence.
Burns didn’t make it to the interval though, falling to a clever piece of captaincy. Read gave White a seven-two legside field, with a huge gap left between slip and mid off.
Predictably, Burns (44) tried to pierce that gap and was bowled by one that turned back and knocked over his middle stump.
The afternoon sessions on the first two days had featured stands of 123 and 92 as the softer ball became easier to manipulate for the batsmen.
Kevin Pietersen and Zander de Bruyn weren’t to reach such lofty heights though as White struck in the fourth over of the restart.
Attacking the slow left-armer Pietersen (22) skied the ball out to Ben Phillips, who took a well-judged catch at widish long off, to herald whoops of delight from the Nottinghamshire contingent, which included a reasonable following in the stands.
Those whoops had barely died down when news came through of Warwickshire’s success at New Road.
Jason Roy played a punchy innings of 88 when the two counties met at Trent Bridge in July and he again showed his liking for the Notts attack by dominating the bowling in a stand that swiftly raced past fifty.
Roy (41) had scored the bulk of their 72 together when he presented Wood with his maiden first class wicket.
The off-spinner lured the batsman into chipping tamely into the hands of Adam Voges at short midwicket to reduce Surrey to 164-5, a lead of 206.
De Bruyn moved quietly along to his second fifty of the match (115 balls 5x4) and by tea had helped extend that lead to 235.
Batting, as they’d done on the opening day, with a mix of controlled aggression and well-placed gathering, they offered little in the way of encouragement to the Notts bowlers.
Both hit maximums straight down the ground – de Bruyn off White and Wilson off Wood – as the latter brought up his second half-century of the contest (82 balls 3x4 1x6).
White’s fourth scalp of the day arrived in his 27th over – with umpire Martin Saggers adjudicating in his favour to send back de Bruyn (77), after his stand with Wilson had put on 90.
Notts delayed taking the second new ball, a decision that had immediate benefits as Wood picked up his second wicket, in almost identical fashion to his first, with Wilson (57) chipping to James Taylor at midwicket.
Stuart Meaker (1) didn’t last long, edging Wood to Read, who then caught Gareth Batty (17) off Fletcher, with the new ball.
The final wicket to fall was that of Murali Kartik (18) who picked out Taylor on the ropes at deep midwicket, off Phillips.
In a surprise twist Notts sent out Harry Gurney to open with Neil Edwards and the nightwatchman fulfilled his duties by seeing out the only over remaining.