Nottinghamshire advanced their first innings score to 430 for seven before declaring on the second day of their LV= county championship match against Middlesex at Lord’s.
Steven Mullaney, 88 not out at the start of the day, was eventually dismissed for 125, his highest championship score and Andre Adams, with 80 and David Hussey, who made 67, also made healthy contributions.
Middlesex’s opening duo, Chris Rogers and Sam Robson were relatively untroubled after tea, in replying with 96-0.
The centurion confessed that he hadn’t had any problems sleeping, having been so close to reaching three figures.
“No problem at all, I was tired,” he laughed. “It was nice to spend some time at the crease and nice to get to one hundred. Obviously I would have liked to have scored a few more but I’m pretty pleased with how it went overall.
“We were then able to build some really good partnerships and have a chance at Middlesex tonight. They batted pretty well though but we hope to come back hard at them tomorrow and try and put them under some pressure.”
The first runs of the day brought up a significant milestone, with a clip through midwicket bringing James Taylor the three he needed to reach one thousand first class runs for the summer. Steven Mullaney’s landmark wasn’t long in coming either. Helped by a streaky four to third man, which took him to 99, he celebrated his first appearance at Lord’s with a well deserved hundred (208 balls, 11x4).
Having got off the mark with a five, just over 24 hours earlier, he also had a helping hand in reaching his ton. Chris Rogers, the Middlesex skipper, brought every one up to save the single, only to misfield a gentle push to him at mid off, allowing the run to be taken to bring up his fourth century for Notts. The second new ball provided the home side with a breakthrough after 50 minutes of play. Tim Murtagh, from the Nursery End, nipped one back up the slope to trap Taylor (9) lbw.
Samit Patel wasted no time in increasing the tempo, crashing boundaries all around the wicket as he and Mullaney added 44 in 8 overs before Middlesex struck again, through Gareth Berg.
Pulling away towards the Mound Stand, Mullaney didn’t make the best of contacts and Neil Dexter took a routine catch ten yards in from the fence.
Either side of lunch, David Hussey decided that the time was right to apply even more pressure to the bowlers and he blazed his way to 42 out of a stand of 60 with Patel, which included a mighty blow for 6 into the pavilion, off Gurjit Sandhu.
A stunning slip catch by Ollie Rayner, leaping high to his right, off James Harris, ended Patel’s stay (47) but the wicket brought some unanticipated fun and frolics.
Promoted to number seven in the order, Andre Adams hit his first ball over extra cover for six and then got down the other end to watch Hussey also deposit Harris over the ropes, to bring up his 50 (45 balls 6x4 2x6), in an over which brought 1-17.
Adams pulled Rayner for another couple of maximums – the second one an absolute mile over midwicket – as the pair brought up a fifty stand from just 25 balls, collecting a fourth batting point along the way. Gloomy overhead conditions brought a halt to proceedings for around half an hour and the restart brought a second wicket for Berg as Hussey (67) nicked behind to wicketkeeper John Simpson to halt a stand of 60 in just 6 overs.
Adams continued to mix up brutal hitting with sensible shot selection as he romped to his own brilliant 50 (43 balls 1x4 4x6) as he and Chris Read gradually improved Nottinghamshire’s overall position.
A fifth six by the New Zealander, off Murtagh, flew high into the Tavern Stand and a first ton in Notts colours looked possible until he hoisted Harris out towards the pavilion.
Rogers took the catch but was so close to the rope he had to throw it back up again as he stepped out of bounds and then claimed it again after returning to the field of play.
At that point, the Notts captain made his declaration but the bowlers had a much tougher time of things after tea as Rogers (67 not out) and Robson (28 not out) put on an untroubled 96 together.