Nottinghamshire put themselves in a strong position on the rain-shortened second day of their LV= County Championship match against Lancashire at Trent Bridge.
The home side’s first innings was quickly wrapped up on 272, when play began at 2pm – but the hosts then reduced last season’s Division Two champions to 77-6 before play was abandoned for the day.
“I’m very pleased for the bowlers because part of their challenge is to show me that we’ve got depth." Mick Newell
Five different Notts bowlers got amongst the wickets, a pleasing aspect of the day for Mick Newell, the director of cricket.
“I’m very pleased for the bowlers because part of their challenge is to show me that we’ve got depth to our bowling and we’ve got competition for places,” he said.
“In years to come we might not be able to call on the likes of Andre Adams and Peter Siddle so we have needed to develop these lads and I thought they bowled pretty well.
“We’ve got different types of bowlers, Fletcher, Gurney and Carter all have very different styles but they all sent down consistent wicket-taking deliveries. I’m very pleased for all of them – and for Ball and Mullaney, as well.
“Carter and Mullaney managed to get wickets in their first overs, so credit must also go to Chris Read for making the changes when he did.”
Heavy overnight rain, followed by steady morning drizzle, wiped out the opening session of the day but three wickets fell in a short space of time once play got under way.
Resuming from their overnight position of 270-9 Notts added two more runs before losing their final wicket. Andy Carter (11 not out) pinched a single from James Anderson’s unfinished over, then took another run from Kabir Ali’s first ball. Ali responded by clipping the top of Harry Gurney’s (0) off stump to end the innings.
With conditions to suit, Nottinghamshire’s attack then went to work, knowing that early wickets were necessary.
Luke Fletcher and Harry Gurney delivered, each removing an opener to leave the visitors stranded on 4-2. Paul Horton (0) was trapped lbw by one sliding back into him from Fletcher and the left-armer had Luis Reece (1) well-taken by a diving Chris Read.
On the opening day Notts batsmen had eased themselves back into the contest against the Lancashire change bowlers. There was no such luxury for the Red Rose as Andy Carter and Jake Ball went to work.
Carter delivered a wicket maiden to begin with, crashing the ball into the base of Andrea Agathangelou’s (17) stumps. Ball, on his championship debut, picked up a big fish for his first wicket at this level.
Ashwell Prince (16), the former South African Test player, presented Read with his second catch, a stunner. Ball sent down six economical, testing overs then then appeared to be tiring, as his seventh began with a couple of fours and a scruffy leg side delivery that went for five wides. He responded with a peach of a ball that nipped back into the pads of Luke Proctor (18) to have him given out by umpire Neil Mallender.
With tea approaching Read played another master-stroke by lobbing the ball to Steven Mullaney. His third delivery pole-axed Alex Davies’ (7) off stump, amidst great celebrations from the players and supporters.
Wayne White (8 not out) and Tom Smith (0 not out) were spared further punishment with the final session also lost to the weather.