Centuries from Steven Mullaney and Joe Clarke enabled Nottinghamshire to deliver their best batting performance since early April in their Specsavers County Championship meeting with Warwickshire at Trent Bridge.
The pair added 205 for the third wicket as Notts played with the freedom of a side whose fate has already been decided. Their defeat last week to Kent means that they’ll be playing second tier cricket next season.
That, coupled with their qualification for this weekend’s Vitality Blast Finals Day, enabled Notts to ring the changes and pile on the runs.
By stumps they had reached 425 for six after being invited to bat first, their highest score of the season.
Mullaney scored a career-best 179, scoring his runs from 173 deliveries, with 26 fours and five sixes. The Notts’ club captain, who has recently returned to the side after knee surgery, was crestfallen last week as the drop was confirmed. He shrugged off that disappointment to plunder boundaries all around Trent Bridge from a Bears attack that kept offering him the width to keep peppering the advertising boards at cover.
Clarke, who has struggled for runs since the opening week of the season, regained his touch with a sublime innings of 125 – like Mullaney, reaching 100 for the fifteenth time.
Three players were given a first-class debut by Notts, including Joey Evison who, at the age of 17 years 301 days, has become the first player born in the 2000s to represent the county.
Evison immediately looked at ease and caressed nine fours in making 45 from only 54 balls before falling low to Henry Brookes.
The other newcomers are Ben Compton, cousin of former England batsman Nick, who made 14 before being bowled by Will Rhodes and pace bowler Jack Blatherwick, who has made two one-day appearances for the county.
Chris Nash, at the other end of his playing career, was bowled out by Henry Brookes without scoring.
At lunch Mullaney was unbeaten on 90 and he wasted little time in advancing to his fifteenth first-class hundred soon afterwards, arriving at the landmark from 93 balls with 19 fours.
The Notts’ captain pepped up the already-impressive run-rate with the first of five huge sixes coming off George Garrett’s bowling. He passed 150 for the fourth time in his career from 140 balls before lofting Jeetan Patel to Oliver Hannon-Dalby at mid-off.
Clarke reached his hundred from 153 balls, with 18 fours and then accelerated to 125 before hitting Rhodes out to deep midwicket.
Ben Duckett missed out, caught off Hannon-Dalby for eight but Ravi Ashwin and Paul Coughlin took Notts past 400 for only the second time this year.
Nottinghamshire Membership for the 2020 season is on sale, with those who join for next season currently bestowed exclusive access to applying for international tickets.