Chris Read claimed the 1000th catch of his first class career as Nottinghamshire began the new season on the front foot against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The hosts were invited to bat first by the Notts captain and were bowled out for 251 just after tea, with the wickets being shared amongst five different bowlers.

Stuart Broad returned figures of three for 45 and James Pattinson, on debut, collected three for 55 but Leicestershire fought back, having been five down at lunch.

Mark Cosgrove top-scored for the Foxes with 57 but his dismissal, caught behind off Broad, enabled Read to celebrate another magnificent milestone.

In the latter part of the day Notts lost Greg Smith but reached stumps on 52 for one.

On reaching another wicketkeeping landmark, the visiting captain confessed he was delighted with the catch that took him to 1,000.

“I’m very happy with it. It’s always tough when they get a bottom edge. I didn’t think it was going to carry but it kept coming at me, so I’m really happy.”

Read explained his decision to bowl first. “There was a bit of cloud cover,” he said. “I think weather is set fair for four days. It looked a really good cricket pitch and it has played very well throughout the day but we thought with the cloud cover we could put them under pressure early on.

“Obviously, we got ourselves into a really good position and then later on the ball seemed to go a little bit soft. The pitch proved to be very good and we came up against some stiff resistance lower down the order. Ultimately I think we put in a really good shift today.”

The 38-year old also paid tribute to the debutant, Pattinson.

“It was a great start for him. I can see him getting a fair few wickets for us. He gets the ball up there nice and full. He swings it and he bowls at a very lively pace.”

Notts made a fabulous start to the contest after opting to bowl first. Broad struck at the end of the opening over, getting Paul Horton to play on.

The former Lancashire batsman looked to be trying to leave but only succeeded in dragging on, to fall for six.

Pattinson picked up his first wicket in county cricket with a positive lbw decision against Colin Ackerman, who had reached seven before being squared up in his crease and sent on his way by umpire Gale.

Two left-handers steadied the home ship in a third wicket partnership spanning 12 overs. Harry Dearden, a young home-grown opener, combined with Australia’s Cosgrove to see off the new ball pairing and take the total to 50.

Harry Gurney, replacing Pattinson from the Bennett End, ended their stand by having Dearden caught behind for 12.

Gurney, who grabbed eight wickets in the first class match at Cambridge, took his season’s haul into double figures with another quick strike, on his way to taking two for 53.

A pacy delivery flattened the off peg of Mark Pettini, who had made just two. The home side stretched their score into triple figures but in the final over of the morning Pattinson picked up his second, as Lewis Hill, who had made a sprightly 24, slashed to Jake Libby at point.

From a lunch score of 101 for five, the hosts were quickly plunged into deeper despair as Broad thudded one into the pads of Ned Eckersley, who made 13.

Cosgrove brought up a very well deserved fifty from 70 deliveries by clipping Broad through the leg side for his ninth boundary.

Read’s big moment came during the first hour of the afternoon session as Cosgrove pushed tentatively at Broad and nicked towards first slip.

Instinctively, the ‘keeper flung himself low to scoop up a magnificent catch and one that had huge significance – with the removal of the dangerous Cosgrove.

Luke Fletcher had pegged away in support of the three quicker bowlers and got his deserved reward with the wicket of Zak Chappell, held by Samit Patel at second slip after scoring a creditable 30.

Leicestershire’s ninth wicket stand spanned 26.3 overs, either side of tea, as Ben Raine and Clint McKay put on 81.

Raine had two moments of fortune on his way to an impressive half century, with his account being credited by six as a wayward throw went for four, after they’d already run a couple.

The next delivery, bowled by Pattinson, then found the edge but was put down in the slip cordon.

Patel was launched for a conventional maximum by the left-handed Raine, who reached his 50 from 88 balls with four boundaries and his two, very different sixes.

The end came quickly. Pattinson had McKay caught at slip by Riki Wessels for 30 and then Gavin Griffiths edged behind.

As Nottinghamshire took to the crease in reply, Smith was given out lbw for 11, against the bowling of Chappell, who then had Michael Lumb spilled by Ackerman when still on nought.

Griffiths was miserly at the pavilion end, conceding only one single in his first four overs, but then spoiled his record with consecutive deliveries that each sailed on down the leg side for four byes.

Michael Lumb was unbeaten on 20 at the close, with Jake Libby on 10.


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