Nottinghamshire reached stumps on 14 for three, after bowling Warwickshire out for 298 on the first day of their LV= county championship match at Trent Bridge.
Put in, the visitors had Varun Chopra (76) and Jeetan Patel (66 not out) to thank for getting within two runs of a third batting point but in the final five overs of the day Notts lost the wickets of Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Luke Fletcher.
Skipper Chris Read felt that the closing session had dramatically altered the balance of the day.
"To lose three wickets in the final five overs was a massive blow." Chris Read
“To finish the way we did was disappointing,” he said. “I thought in the middle session we bowled some good stuff, put some pressure on Warwickshire and could have potentially bowled them out for less than 200.
“Obviously we let that slip either side of tea and to lose three wickets in the final five overs was a massive blow. All credit to their bowlers, they put it in the right spot and we’ve got it all to do tomorrow.”
Notts announced an unchanged championship side at the toss, although James Taylor (who missed the Yorkshire defeat on Lions duty) was pencilled in to replace Riki Wessels after the first two days.
Warwickshire’s selection had been decimated by injuries and international call-ups and included 18-year old wicketkeeper Peter McKay, making his championship debut, Steffan Piolet with only three previous first class outings and Maurice Chambers, loaned by Essex, were included, as was Darren Maddy – whose retirement from the game was put back further.
Notts had to wait until the end of the 14th over for their first success as Andre Adams found the edge of Ian Westwood’s (10) bat. The catch provided Chris Read with his 900th career dismissal.
Ateeq Javid (0) was undone by a ball from Harry Gurney that got big on him and was gloved high to Steven Mullaney at second slip.
Varun Chopra had one scare on his way to his seventh score of 50 or above this season. On 49 Notts confidently appealed for an lbw decision, from Adams’ bowling but umpire Jeff Evans wasn’t interested.
The Bears’ skipper reached his half century (80 balls 7x4) shortly afterwards and had added an unbroken 51 with Laurie Evans by lunch.
Chopra’s approach to the afternoon session saw him play a few adventurous strokes away from his body and chasing a Fletcher delivery he brought about his own downfall, falling to a Read catch for 76.
The dismissal heralded the start of a fightback which saw two more wickets fall in quick succession. After adding 73 with his captain, Evans (32) followed the opener straight back to the dressing room with an edge off Adams which Read had to dive full-length to take.
Piolet (1) then fell to another Read catch, off Fletcher, although he appeared to indicate that he felt the ball brushed his chest rather than his bat.
The sixth wicket was unfortunate for Chris Woakes (1), who slipped in trying to respond to Darren Maddy’s call and was comfortably run out as Read’s throw enabled Ajmal Shahzad to remove the bails.
Keith Barker (13) was Adams’ third victim, sharply held by Alex Hales at first slip and then Maddy (47) pulled the same bowler to Gurney at fine leg.
The ninth wicket partnership produced 88 runs, with championship debutant McKay having an eventful time. On 14 he badly twisted his ankle and had to call for Westwood to act his runner.
Growing in confidence he hit the only six of the innings, pulling Gurney into the New Stand. Patel reached his 50 (58 balls 6x4) before Fletcher claimed the final two wickets to end with figures of 4-56. Adams closed with 4-77.
Matt Cross, Notts second team ‘keeper, deputised behind the stumps for the injured McKay and had the best of views as Hales (0) was bowled by Barker and Fletcher (2) and Lumb (0) were dismissed by Maurice Chambers.