Nottinghamshire v Durham, day two:
Durham 294 (Harte 72, Chappell 4-92, Carter 3-43), Nottinghamshire 251 -2 (Duckett 146*, Clarke 74*)
Nottinghamshire trail by 43 runs with eight first-innings wickets remaining.
If there’s one thing professional sportsmen seem to have in common, it’s a flagrant disregard for a milestone.
From Stuart Broad reaching 500 wickets to Roger Federer becoming tennis’ all-time greatest, all of those at the top of their game seem insistent that they are not driven by the pure statistics of their profession.
Indeed, the number of athletes who claim not to be invested in statistics would make a notable statistic in itself.
For those of us only able to watch on from the sidelines, however, those records can serve as a marker of pedigree, of achievement.
And Nottinghamshire v Durham has brought milestone moments in spades.
On day one, Zak Chappell moved past 50 First-Class wickets, proof positive of a bowler finding his place in the red-ball game.
Then came Jake Ball's turn in the limelight – although the Welbeck Wizard's 200th First-Class scalp will be best remembered for the magic conjured by a diving Peter Trego at mid-off.
That brought an end to the Durham innings for 294 – and gave Ben Duckett the chance to bring up his own significant number, of 6,000 First-Class runs.
Duckett arrived at the crease after the early departure of Ben Slater, joining Haseeb Hameed for a morning session where grit and graft were the order of the day.
Hameed clipped purposefully off his pads and unfurled a glorious off-drive after lunch, before falling to Chris Rushworth – the right-hander’s 500th wicket for Durham in the First-Class game, no less.
But if a situation demands initiative to keep the scoreboard ticking, Duckett is your man.
Soft-handed pushes into the off-side were married with neat nurdles through square leg. This was a very different Duckett to the one which had audaciously swatted Yorkshire aside in the Vitality Blast a week ago – but it was an innings of equal importance to the game.
For much of the afternoon, the scoring came in fits and starts – as befitting a hokey-cokey passage of play in which rain occasionally sent the players from the field.
But when Duckett was on song – punching boundaries off Paul Coughlin or taking 16 from one Brydon Carse over – the red ball truly gambolled to the fence.
The southpaw’s hundred came from 153 balls, and was marked by a mop of the brow, a word with partner Joe Clarke, and a determination to bed down for more runs.
Clarke had enjoyed his share of fortune from a generous Durham slip cordon, but he too was clicking through the gears, chalking up his own half-century with an authoritative push in front of point.
As firm friends long before they first stepped into the Trent Bridge dressing room, Clarke and Duckett were delighting in each other’s success.
By the close, the stand had become Nottinghamshire’s largest for the third wicket against Durham.
Truly, it was a day for the statistician to savour. But for the unbeaten duo at the crease, mere numbers couldn’t describe the satisfaction at a job well done.
View the scorecard, watch the highlights and relive the action here...
When it comes to sharing the action from Trent Bridge this summer, our multi-camera live stream has got you covered. Watch live...