Nottinghamshire were left incredibly frustrated as their pre-season preparations ended in a draw against Oxford MCCU at The Parks.
After declaring their second innings on 175-6, an overall lead of 310, Notts had their opponents at 86-9 when a combination of bad light and steady drizzle persuaded the umpires to take the players from the field at around 16.44pm.
The Notts pace quartet of Harry Gurney, Luke Fletcher, Jake Ball and Andy Carter all made inroads and a heavy victory appeared inevitable until the bad weather intervened.
With Ajmal Shahzad off the field with a slight groin strain Carter took centre stage. Having failed to get a wicket he claimed 4-7 during an explosive burst just before tea.
Resuming from their overnight score of 34 for two, at the start of the day, Steven Mullaney and Chris Read batted throughout the first hour with minimal discomfort.
As so often happens, many accurate unplayable deliveries went unrewarded but a full toss from Ferraby broke the stand of 69, with Read (28) hitting it straight into the waiting hands of Penhale at mid on.
Aided by a six over the legside, from Weller’s bowling, Mullaney moved to the brink of a half century and got there with a push down the ground for four (137 minutes, 98 balls, 6x4, 1x6). Two balls later he became Ferraby’s second victim, hitting to Marsden at mid off.
Sam Wood, on his 21st birthday, got off the mark in style, with an elegant off-drive to the ropes but then worked the ball away to square leg and a direct hit from Steve Leach ran out Sam Kelsall (5).
Luke Fletcher displayed some lusty blows in the run-up to lunch, hitting six boundaries in quick succession as he and Wood brought up a fifty stand from just 37 deliveries.
Fletcher (37) was bowled in the final over of the session, leaving Wood undefeated on 24. As the sides left the field Chris Read announced that he was declaring the innings closed, with a lead of 310.
Lloyd Sabin (13) survived making a pair but still fell soon into the innings, nicking Harry Gurney through to Read.
Steve Leach (14) followed soon after, with an assist from Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket. Walking to the boundary edge Mick Newell urged Fletcher to pitch the ball up, which he did with devastating consequences as the next delivery knocked the middle stump clean out of the ground.
Andy Carter had Paternott (7), the first innings top-scorer, caught behind to claim his 50th first class wicket. Jake Ball’s first bowl of the match brought him the wicket of Ferraby (1), given out lbw.
Jeffery (6) also went lbw to Ball, leaving the students in disarray at 45-5 and it got worse as Carter claimed the wickets of Martin (1) and Weller (0), both to Mullaney slip catches.
The umpires played on for another 15 minutes to delay tea but Notts couldn’t complete the victory in that time. Carter’s figures up to the break were 8-4-7-4.
Wilf Marriott (22 not out) and Karl Penhale (21) added an unexpected 36 for the ninth wicket before Mullaney broke the partnership, with Wessels running back from slip to catch Penhale.
Bad light and steady drizzle then persuaded the umpires to take the players from the field, leaving Notts feeling incredibly frustrated.