Nottinghamshire’s bowling unit put in another strong shift as Essex were dismissed cheaply on the second day of the Specsavers County Championship match at Chelmsford.
The home side only made 206 in 59.3 overs, as Notts picked up maximum bowling points for the sixth time this season, leaving Bowling Coach Andy Pick to enthuse over the performance of his charges.
“They’ve done really well and worked really hard," he said.
"We had a strong start with Milner (Matt Milnes) and Fletch (Luke Fletcher) with the new ball.
"They set the tone and then we’ve chipped away and probably had a better day than we’d dare hope for.”
Things could have been even better for the county, had Alistair Cook nicked one of a testing series of deliveries sent down by Milnes.
“He’s bowled really well,” said Pick. “He made his debut at Taunton last week and we thought he was a little bit tentative, which is understandable on your debut.
"I chatted to him and told him to express himself.
“He’s got a reputation as being a bit of a prickly character, certainly back home in the Notts Premier League.
"We’ve told him to go out and express himself; he doesn’t need to change the way he goes about his job and today he ran in and attacked and was all over Cookie for a while.”
Milnes also enjoyed himself with the bat, making a bright and breezy 22 in the morning session, before being sent out late in the day as second innings nightwatchman.
“He’s a better batter than we’ve seen from him, so far,” revealed Pick.
“He doesn’t have a lot of opportunity with the bat in the second team – and it’s the same with Matt Carter, who also scored some useful runs this morning, which helped set the basis for the day.
“He showed as nightwatchman that he’s got a few clues with the bat and hopefully he can go on and score a few tomorrow.
"It’s a good opportunity for him – most nightwatchers, that’s what you look for – they all fancy themselves as a bit of a batter, so if they can get through the night then the next day presents a challenge to go on and show everybody that they can do it.”
The Bowling Coach confirmed that enforcing the follow-on and making Essex bat again wasn’t really an option.
“I don’t think there was a huge amount of discussion at all, to be fair. I think we’d decided early on that if we got the opportunity we’d bat again and look to bowl last on it.”
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