James Pattinson delivered a stunning bowling performance on the opening day of Nottinghamshire’s Specsavers County Championship match against Kent at Tunbridge Wells.
The Australian fast bowler returned figures of six for 73 as the home side were dismissed for 309, with Zak Crawley scoring 111.
Jake Ball (2-59) and Luke Fletcher (2-77) picked up the remainder of the Kent wickets but Pattinson stole the show with his best first-class figures since 2012.
Ben Slater and Ben Duckett had 10 overs to negotiate at the end of the day and they overcome one or two anxious edges to reach the close together on 30 without loss.
Nottinghamshire’s first championship match in Kent since 2010 mirrored the start from nine years ago. On that occasion Darren Pattinson removed Joe Denly first ball, with a catch at first slip.
This time, younger brother James Pattinson kissed the outside edge of Sean Dickson’s bat and the ball flew through the cordon for a boundary.
Dickson didn’t make the most of his ‘life’ and nicked the third ball of the opening over into the hands of Tom Moores to give Notts the early breakthrough they would have hoped for.
Pattinson, bowling quickly and with good rhythm, struck again to leave Kent on 31 for two when he pinned Ashes-hopeful Joe Denly lbw for 8.
Crawley appeared untroubled at one end but he lost his next three partners as soon as each of them reached 9.
Daniel Bell-Drummond survived an early edge off Jake Ball before falling leg before to Luke Fletcher, who followed up by bowling Heino Kuhn.
Ball got his reward in unusual circumstances, as Ollie Robinson’s edge came off the hands of both Steven Mullaney and Matt Carter before obligingly ricocheting to Duckett at first slip.
The dismissal came at a price, with Duckett injuring a finer and having to spend the lunch interval getting it scanned to confirm there was no lasting damage.
Crawley’s 50 had come from 68 balls with 9 fours and he was unbeaten on 54 out of Kent’s 105 for five at lunch.
Kent were soon 6 wickets down as Pattinson had Wiaan Mulder (13) out for the third lbw of the day. That success came at around 2pm and was the last celebrate for the visitors for 103 minutes.
Grant Stewart took up the fight as soon as he arrived in the middle and he played a highly-impressive counter. He flirted with Lady Luck on several occasions but his innings also bristled with crisp drives and cuts.
He lofted Matt Carter for the first 6 of the match and made his way to a 69-ball 50, which also included four fours.
On 50 he had another moment of good fortune, miscuing Mullaney inches short of mid-off but his luck ran out on 59 when Pattinson sent his off peg tumbling out of the ground.
Crawley edged Mullaney through the slips to go to 99 and played a quick push and run in the same over to reach three figures from 157 balls (14 fours).
Pattinson’s fifth wicket was Ollie Raynor. The spinner, on-loan from Middlesex, bagged a golden duck when struck on the pads first ball.
Soon after tea Pattinson bowled Crawley but Kent’s last-wicket pair fought back with a frustrating partnership of 55.
Harry Podmore hit seven fours and a straight six off Carter in his unbeaten 49, with Matt Milnes making 12 before nicking Ball to Duckett as the new ball took immediate effect.
The match remains in the balance after the first day, with Notts 279 adrift with all wickets standing.
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