Paul Coughlin roared back from injury with a four-wicket haul as Nottinghamshire’s Second XI ran through Worcestershire on the opening day at Lady Bay.
The England Lions all-rounder has been an injury absentee since being carried off the field during the Royal London One-Day Cup fixture at Worcestershire in May.
But the 26-year-old showed signs of being back to his best with a haul of 4-38 from 12 overs, which included the dismissal of three top six batsmen in a single over as the West Midlanders were bowled out for 174.
Following a delayed start due to rain, Notts skipper Lyndon James opted to field after winning the toss.
Zak Chappell snared a breakthrough with the score on 25 as George Rhodes edged into the safe hands of Chris Gibson at third slip.
Ollie Westbury (22) and Josh Dell (57) took the score to 83 with the visitors looking untroubled, only for three wickets to fall in one dramatic Coughlin over.
Westbury was snaffled at gully by Ben Slater, Alex Milton (0) was caught at point by Ben Compton and Joe Leach was trapped lbw, leaving Worcestershire four down with no further addition to their score.
Coughlin’s hot streak continued when Jacques Banton (0) was caught behind by Adeel Shafique.
And although Dell completed a 99-ball fifty, Xavier Clarke (21) nicked a Jack Blatherwick delivery to slip, leaving the Pears tottering at 132-6 when the rain returned.
Blatherwick bowled Josh Tongue for three soon after the resumption and – with his supply of prospective partners quickly dissipating – Dell holed out to point off Liam Patterson-White (2-21).
Adam Finch quickly followed, lbw to the Notts left-arm spinner for nought and – following a flurry of 34 for the tenth wicket – Blatherwick removed Josh Breed for 15 to end with 3-46 from his 14.4 overs. Ed Bragg was unbeaten on 17.
Although Notts were due to bat for 33 overs, they managed just 9.3 before rain prevented any further chance of play.
Slater (13*) and Patterson-White (19*) will resume the Nottinghamshire innings on day two with the score on 42-1, Gibson having been dismissed lbw by Leach for seven.
There are four further opportunities to catch the Outlaws in T20 action at Trent Bridge this summer, with the next home game under the lights against Birmingham Bears on this coming Friday 2 August.