On a rain-shortened day Nottinghamshire had reached 49-0 in the second innings of their LV= County Championship match against Warwickshire at Trent Bridge.
Warwickshire’s first innings closed at around midday, as they were bowled out for 204, a lead of 49, which was wiped out exactly by Sam Kelsall and Neil Edwards, before play was halted at around 1.35pm.
Having perhaps been second-best for much of the opening day, Notts had all of the momentum when the rain came, a point that was very much reinforced by coach Wayne Noon.
“I thought we were excellent today,” he said. “We’ve seen our openers put 49 on for the first wicket and we did really well to mop Warwickshire up for around 200 – we’d take that every day of the week.”
Noon now hopes that his side can make the best of the conditions as the wicket dries. “If you lose the toss and end up batting here it can be very difficult first up. Sometimes if you are bowled out quite quickly it can be a blessing because the opposition are also then batting on day one, as it proved yesterday when we managed to get six of them out.
“This third innings is now crucial to us and if we can bat all day then we will be in an excellent position.”
The day had begun with Warwickshire resuming on 139-6, with Ian Blackwell and Rikki Clarke at the crease. It took the home side a further 21.5 overs to finish off the innings, during which 65 runs were added.
Ben Phillips’ opening delivery of the session went away for a leg-bye, the only ‘extra’ of the innings and it was also the run that brought up the fifty partnership between the pair.
That had been extended to 72 before Blackwell (37) was sharply taken at second slip by Steven Mullaney, off Phillips.
Keith Barker should have gone in similar fashion but Mullaney was unable to hang on to a diving opportunity later in the same over.
By that stage the new county champions had just forged a first innings lead, brought up when Clarke drove Phillips through the covers for four.
Clarke (37) had batted carefully and seemed to have set his stall out for a lengthy stay at the crease. Inexplicably then, he did what Darren Maddy had done on the first day and left alone a straight, full, delivery from Andy Carter which sent his off stump cartwheeling out of the ground.
Chris Wright had peppered Carter with the ball on the first day of the match and it was no surprise when he received a little bit of payback – one delivery sent him wincing to the ground in agony as it crashed into his midriff.
With Carter eyeing up his first five-wicket haul in Notts colours his hopes were dashed as Paul Franks chipped in with the final two wickets to fall.
Wright (3) edged behind to Chris Read and a last wicket stand of 26 was ended when Jeetan Patel hit the ball high into the sky before it dropped to Neil Edwards at gully.
Keith Barker finished unbeaten on 22 with Carter’s 4-55 being his best return for Nottinghamshire.
In six overs before lunch Sam Kelsall and Neil Edwards added 28 together, with the biggest cheer coming as Kelsall got off the dreaded ‘pair’ by clipping Woakes away for three from the first ball of the innings.
Half an hour of cricket was possible after the resumption before steady, light drizzle broke out into something a little more substantial and umpires Mallender and Evans took the players off.
Notts had wiped out their first innings deficit exactly, in reaching 49-0, with Kelsall on 25, Edwards on 16. Of concern to Warwickshire, with a CB40 Final just three days away, Keith Barker limped from the ground after bowling just one over after lunch.