Trent Bridge seems to have undergone a makeover, of late. Once regarded as a seam-bowler’s paradise, the signing of Indian spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin has changed all that.
On the same strip that hosted two matches in the ICC World Cup recently, Nottinghamshire’s trio of slow bowlers – led by the mercurial Ashwin - dismantled the Surrey batting line-up on the first day of their Specsavers County Championship meeting.
The 32-year old international, with 11 wickets from his first two outings for his new county, claimed figures of six for 69 as the defending county champions were bowled out for 240.
Liam Patterson-White, who claimed five wickets of his own during an eventful debut at Taunton earlier in the week, bagged three more and Samit Patel made his own mark by dismissing Scott Borthwick before tea.
Notts reached the close on 20 for the loss of Ben Slater.
On a dry, used surface, the home side were clearly hoping to bat first but after losing the toss they had the fillip of taking an early wicket before Surrey recovered to reach lunch on 104 for two.
Ashwin was into the attack as early as the eighth over and needed only four balls to add to his haul, trapping Ryan Patel lbw for just a single.
After 40 minutes of play Rory Burns swept Ashwin behind square for the first boundary of the match. A repeat attempt proved to be the left-hander’s undoing, as umpire David Millns raised his finger for the second time.
Dean Elgar cut Stuart Broad for four to bring up his 50 from 82 balls with six fours. The South African looked in imperious form but was left helpless by an outstanding delivery from Ashwin that turned sharply and clipped off a bail.
Elgar’s dismissal for 59 ended a stand of 81 with Jamie Smith, who followed for 42.
The right-hander, 19 yesterday, was hugely unfortunate as his timely clip was sensationally caught at short leg by the sharp reflexes of Slater.
Ashwin’s fourth wicket of the day was followed by Patterson-White’s first. The 20-year old, in his 12th over, snaffled up a regulation caught and bowled to send back Will Jacks for 14.
Borthwick fell for 29 in the final over of the afternoon, opening a door for the home attack to march through after the break.
The second new ball was only nine deliveries old when Surrey were reduced to 224 for seven, as Jordan Clark drove Ashwin to mid-off. Patterson-White pinned Rikki Clarke for the fifth leg before of the innings, then bowled Morne Morkel, with a delivery that turned sharply.
Gareth Batty looked to hit out optimistically but presented Jake Libby with a simple catch at cover to give Ashwin his sixth wicket.
Notts bowled their overs so quickly – with 67.2 of them delivered by the spinners – that they had an over rate of +12 by the end of the innings.
In the tricky 30 minutes that remained, they lost the out-of-form Slater, who popped up a catch to short leg off Morkel.
A Notts Outlaws squad brimming with international talent will commence their T20 Vitality Blast campaign against Worcestershire Rapids at Trent Bridge on Thursday 18 July, with adult tickets priced at £10. Secure your seats…