Nottinghamshire lost an important toss and spent a day in the field as their final Specsavers County Championship match of the season began against Surrey at The Kia Oval.

The home side had reached 246 for two before bad light and then rain stopped play with 26 overs still remaining.

Scott Borthwick and Ollie Pope enjoyed their time in the middle, having added an unbroken third-partnership of 176 so far.

Borthwick is unbeaten on 109 and Pope has made 78.

Notts made five changes from the side that lost to Warwickshire last week, with Ben Slater, Tom Moores, Jake Ball, Matt Carter and Liam Patterson-White all returning.

The match made a stuttering start. This was clearly a bad batch of balls because twice in the first 6.5 overs the umpires deliberated and called for a replacement.

By that stage Stoneman and Borthwick had added 27 without too much inconvenience. Notts appealed in vain for a wicket in the eleventh over, with Moores diving down the legside to take a fine grab off Ball’s bowling. Stoneman, on 16 at the time, was reprieved.

The 50-partnership was brought up in the 13th over and had been extended to 70 when Notts struck for the first time, following the introduction of Paul Coughlin.

Stoneman, again tickling to leg, fell to his former Durham team-mate with Moores taking a tumbling catch.

‘One wicket sometimes brings two’ is the old saying and Jamie Smith discovered why, making nought after nicking his fourth delivery to give Moores and Coughlin two in the over.

Pope joined Borthwick and the pair eased the total to 117 for two at lunch, with the left-handed opener reaching his 50 with the final ball of the morning, getting to the landmark from 89 balls with seven fours.

Only four overs were bowled in the first 20 minutes of the afternoon session due to another lengthy hold-up whilst the ball was changed for the third time.

Pope was reprieved when deceived by the flight against Carter, drawn out of his crease the ball evaded Moores and went for four byes.

On a very good track, with a lightning-fast outfield, the board accelerated quickly towards the century stand, brought up midway through the day as Pope lifted Carter down the ground for a one-bounce four.

21-year old Pope reached his 50 from 77 balls, having hit six fours. The right-hander will spend the first part of the winter in New Zealand as part of England’s Test squad. At around the same time as the tour party was being announced Pope appeared to have a life. On 69 he clipped Liam Patterson-White to mid-wicket, despite Slater’s dive forward he was unable to scoop the ball up cleanly.

The 150-partnership was brought up from 257 balls, shortly before bad light forced the players off for an early tea on 222 for two.

Borthwick went to his second hundred of the year by sweeping Carter for his 12th four from 214 balls.

The light deteriorated for a second time, causing an early end to proceedings.


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