Nottinghamshire remain third in the First Division of the Specsavers County Championship season after falling to defeat on the final day of their match with Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl.
Riki Wessels and Steven Mullaney both scored half-centuries as Notts fought valiantly before being bowled out for 240, leaving Hampshire as victors by 270 runs.
Wessels made 69 and Mullaney scored 50 but the contest was concluded during an extended morning session with Kyle Abbott taking figures of four for 36 and Liam Dawson claimed four for 80.
Notts resumed their second innings on 128 for four at the start of the day, with Mullaney and Wessels at the crease together.
Fidel Edwards, for the first time in the match, was switched to bowl from the Hotel End of the ground and immediately began to tail the ball in to both right-handers.
The batsmen counter-attacked splendidly. Wessels drove the Barbadian straight back past him for four and then the Notts’ skipper played an elegant back-foot punch for another boundary.
Mullaney clipped another Edwards delivery fine down the leg-side, prompting a change of bowling. Gareth Berg was guided to the ropes at third man to bring up Mullaney’s 50 from 135 balls, with his fifth four.
After fifty minutes of defiance Liam Dawson made the breakthrough that the home side were craving. The left-arm spinner got a ball to bite, turn and pop – possibly off the glove – to Berg at gully to remove Mullaney.
Billy Root made eight before being given out to a slip catch off Joe Weatherley’s off-spin.
Edwards returned to the attack for the 81st over and was promptly pulled away for four, taking Wessels to 47.
The second new ball was taken and a clip to midwicket brought two more runs.
Wessels drove gloriously to reach his half century – his fourth in the championship this season – from 115 balls, before despatching Edwards for another leg-side boundary, resulting in 14 coming from the over.
Kyle Abbott’s second wicket of the innings was that of Luke Fletcher, caught at slip by Jimmy Adams for four.
The South African paceman turned that success into a double-wicket maiden with a slice of fortune as Matt Carter chopped on, without scoring.
Although Notts were eight wickets down at 1pm, the umpires allowed Hampshire’s request to play on and within 10 minutes Wessels had fallen lbw to Abbott.
Mark Footitt was last out, heaving at Dawson and being bowled, leaving Matt Milnes undefeated on 12.
Nottinghamshire's next match is in the Quarter Finals of the T20 Blast as they take on Somerset at Taunton on Sunday August 26, before returning to county championship action against Surrey at The Kia Oval from Wednesday 29th August 2018.
Trent Bridge will stage the fourth Royal London One-Day International between England and Pakistan on Friday 17 May 2019. Register your interest for priority access to tickets here…