After giving the dust a chance to settle following the culmination of Nottinghamshire’s LV= County Championship season, it only seems fitting to look back over the numbers that shaped this summer’s campaign.
While Notts finished their season in seventh with the draw against Somerset, the demise of Derbyshire confirming their position in Division One earlier in the week, there have been a number of marked highlights and milestones crossed by Notts players this summer.
What better place to start than with the bat? Both Michael Lumb and James Taylor celebrated unbeaten scores in excess of 200, the former’s 221* against Derbyshire his career-best.
Samit Patel’s 256 is the highest first-class score of the summer, but his destruction of Durham MCCU falls outside his efforts for Notts in all three formats, in which he performed consistently.
One revelation this summer has been the continued improvement of Steven Mullaney. At the start of the season he was underrated. Now, following its culmination, he has become celebrated, winning Nottinghamshire’s Player of the Season.
Andre Adams' blood and thunder approach resulted in an overall strike rate of 113.82, inside the ten highest in Division One.
While in August the cricketing media were hugely concerned with Mullaney’s incredibly temporary switch to spin at Somerset, his first innings 75 was far more worthy of attention. From then, he quietly began a run of form with the bat that would see him score 125 against Middlesex against Lord’s on his way to finishing just 35 shy of the traditional batsman’s target of 1,000 runs.
He also hit 72 and 59 against Durham and Somerset, and has made the opening position his own through the season’s later stages.
One thing that can’t be ignored when looking over the LV= County Championship campaign is Andre Adams’ contribution with the bat. His entertaining cameos have contributed 354 runs; his outstanding knock of 80 against Middlesex his highest. His blood and thunder approach resulted in an overall strike rate of 113.82, inside the ten highest in Division One.
Nottinghamshire’s first-class summer has been dogged by struggles to take 20 wickets in a match.
Fletcher took five on two occasions, the latter becoming his career-best figures (5-52),
Harry Gurney has ended the summer as the county’s leading LV=CC wicket taker, his 44 just one ahead of Luke Fletcher, who has had an exceptional season. Along the way, Gurney took his first Championship five-fer for Notts in the final match of the season, as well as a hat-trick against Sussex in June.
Fletcher took five on two occasions, the latter becoming his career-best figures (5-52), as well as ending the season with an average of 29.95.
Andre Adams, despite suffering from a number of injuries, bowled economically and ended the summer with an average lower than 30, with 31 wickets to show for his efforts.
Fletcher also bowled 133 maidens, six more than Samit Patel, the pair the only players to reach three figures for the season.
In their limited appearances for Notts this summer, England regulars Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad contributed with both bat and ball, especially enjoying the bowling conditions in Nottingham. Swann took 4-56 against Durham, while Broad took eight in the match between Notts and local rivals Derbyshire at Trent Bridge.
Chris Read, while he will have hoped for more than the 532 first-class runs he accrued through the summer, excelled behind the stumps once more.
He also passed quite the milestone after holding on to an edge from Keith Barker in the fixture against Warwickshire in September. This gave him a record-breaking 746 catches for the county, passing legendary ‘keeper Thomas Oates.
He took 59 catches and two stumpings, playing his part in nearly 30% of all first class wickets. His form transferred to the rest of the side, with every player who made more than two appearances in whites taking at least one catch.
The slips have also been profitable, usual suspects Samit Patel, Riki Wessels and Alex Hales have all taken ten or more catches, with Steven Mullaney just behind on 8.
While running the rule over red ball cricket in some depth, Notts’ achievements in white-ball cricket cannot be understated.
On the way to their untimely exit from this summer’s Friends Life t20, two players set new club records in the format, both Graeme White and Michael Lumb destroying an opposition almost single-handedly.
White’s 5-22 against Lancashire played a huge part in sealing the Outlaws’ passage to the quarter-finals, while setting a club record for the best figures in this format. Rewind further back to the Outlaws’ trip to Durham, and Michael Lumb’s imperious 94 from 53 balls not only won Notts the match, but was the highest score by the county in the competition’s history.
David Hussey’s 42 in the Yorkshire Bank 40 final saw him fall ten short of 2,000 one-day runs for the county and his and Read’s 99-run partnership was the highest fifth wicket stand in one-day finals at Lord’s, according to the ECB’s scorer on the day.
That said, his erratic take on proceedings, mistaking Shahzad’s second wicket for Mullaney the most notable, means this could well be questionable. His average, however, isn’t. Huss’ six YB40 innings ended with an average of 62.33, by virtue of being not out three times. A summer display of real quality, the kind that Outlaws fans had come to expect.
Taylor and Patel both deserve credit for exceptional YB40 run scoring, Taylor’s 585 nineteen more than his teammate. Ajmal Shahzad topped the wicket taking, his 22 three more than Jake Ball. Harry Gurney was one behind, while Mullaney and Samit also contributed 15 wickets or more.
All eyes to 2014, then, and the new faces, opponents and inevitable twists and turns that the new season will bring.