Nottinghamshire enhanced their title credentials by collecting their fourth LV= County Championship win of the season after defeating Somerset by 7 wickets at Trent Bridge.
The home side had begun the final day requiring only a further 44 runs and needed only a further 40 minutes to race to 111 for three to complete their victory.
Phil Jaques, who had made 113 in the first innings, ended on 42 not out, with Ajmal Shahzad closing on 23 not out.
Craig Overton had delayed the inevitable on the third evening by making early inroads into the Nottinghamshire top order but he couldn’t inflict any further damage and finished with figures of three for 48.
Following on from the successes over Middlesex, plus T20 Blast wins over the other two East Midlands sides, Mick Newell admitted it had been a fairly successful period for his side.
“We’ve been very, very good recently,” said the director of cricket. “We knew June was going to be a challenge for us in four-day cricket, playing against the best sides, but we’ve risen to that challenge and also put together some good wins in the T20 Blast competition, so all in all it’s been, perhaps, the best 10 days of my career in terms of running this team.”
Newell also commented on the news that Phil Jaques will be returning to Trent Bridge for a second season and stressed what a good job he’d done in securing this win.
“It was always the case that Phil was going to come back for a second year and we look forward to welcoming him. He’s made big scores for us and he made sure that he was there for us not out at the end today.”
Beginning the final day on 66 for three Phil Jaques and Ajmal Shahzad, who had been sent in the previous evening as nightwatchman, had a complete misunderstanding from the final ball of the opening over.
Shahzad pushed Craig Meschede into the off side, set off for a run that was never on and stood helplessly in the middle of the strip as George Dockrell’s shy from 12 yards narrowly missed the unprotected stumps.
There were no further alarms as an air of air of inevitability swept over proceedings. Shahzad played positively, pulling Craig Overton for an impressive four that clipped the edge of the covered Test match wicket and completely wrong-footed the unlucky Alviro Petersen on its way to the midwicket fence.
Jaques, who had made scores of 65 and 150 not out when the sides met at Taunton last month took his total to 370 in four innings against Somerset this season by finishing on an unbeaten 42 from 65 deliveries, with 6 fours.
Nottinghamshire collected a full haul of 24 points from the contest, taking them level on points with Yorkshire at the top of the table, although they remain second on number of matches lost this season.
With only 3 bonus points from the match Somerset are now 26 points behind the leaders but with a game in hand.