Nottinghamshire coach Peter Moores couldn’t quite believe the cricket that unfolded on a dramatic morning at Old Trafford.
Only 90 minutes of play was needed for Notts to secure victory but in that time a total of 12 wickets had fallen and just 25 runs had been scored.
Harry Gurney took career best First-Class figures of 6-25 whilst Jake Ball claimed career best match figures of 9-57 as Lancashire were skittled out for 73, leaving Notts with needing 10 runs for victory.
Victory was eventually secured by six wickets and Peter Moores was keen to heap praise on the destructive bowling display.
“Extraordinary is probably the right word for it,” he said. “It was an outstanding hour of cricket by us. The quality of the bowling and the quality of the catching was absolutely fantastic.”
Moores added, “I thought Harry Gurney set the tone; he’s bowled brilliantly all game; he’s held length and moved the ball both ways. And Jake Ball did what Jake Ball can do – if he wanted to make a statement first game of the county championship then he’s done it with nine wickets in the game. He bowled aggressively, he bowled at the stumps and he got his lengths right.”
“We made the most of the conditions,” said Moores. “It was a little bit overcast this morning. It was a tough time to bat. No-one expects it to go quite like that but credit to the bowlers for putting a lot of balls in the right place.”
Captain Steven Mullaney was equally complementary about the way in which his side had performed in his first game as club captain.
“It’s just a dream start. I think we had them eight for five at one stage this morning and those had come from two boundaries, so it was tricky to score runs but we knew if put the ball in the right areas we’d have a chance but that was something special from Jake and Harry.
“And there was some decent catching as well, the one from Ross Taylor to get Chanderpaul was outstanding and Tom Moores picked up five catches, so we’re delighted all-round, and also for Harry to get a career best.”
Mullaney admitted he enjoyed watching the action unfold from second slip.
“It was a pleasure to watch and I had to keep reminding myself I was involved in the game,” he said. “If we bowl like that all season then we’ll be a force.”
Despite Notts losing four wickets in their meagre run chase, the skipper wasn’t too concerned about the nervy way in which his side reached the winning post.
“I don’t mind if we’d got there with 9 wickets down, it was just about winning because 20 points is a big start. It was my fault for hitting a half-tracker straight down fine leg’s throat.”
Asked about his captaincy, he revealed, “I sat there yesterday and thought it wasn’t what I’d expected. I thought I was going to be more nervous but if anything, I was too chilled. I’m sure there’ll be some nervy moments to come but I’m just glad we’ve got over the line and started with a win.”