With starring roles shared around the playing squad, Nottinghamshire’s strong start to the 2021 LV= Insurance County Championship season has been a team effort, but built on a bedrock of individual brilliance.
As Notts prepare to don their pristine white flannels once more, trentbridge.co.uk takes a look at the numbers behind the opening months of the red-ball season.
Facing the new ball in First-Class cricket is one of our game’s most pressurised roles.
Doing so under heavy early-season skies at a swing-friendly Trent Bridge – and with the county game’s finest bowlers scenting batsmen’s blood – is an exacting examination of technique and temperament.
Ben Slater and Haseeb Hameed, however, have proved more than up to the task.
While one leads the way in Nottinghamshire’s run-scoring charts – with Slater’s 547 runs establishing as one of the finest exponents of his craft this season – the other heads his county’s averages, with Hameed’s 46.81 edging his top-order partner’s 45.58.
But it is not merely in isolation that the pair excel – with partnerships of 115 and 236* at New Road proving once again that the duo could dovetail to great effect.
Trent Bridge centurions
Hameed and Slater have amassed two centuries apiece so far this summer, with Ben Duckett and Steven Mullaney joining them in recording three-figure totals.
Mullaney’s 117 consolidated the hosts’ position of dominance over reigning champions Essex at Trent Bridge – laying the ground for an innings victory to be secured on the final day.
Duckett’s unbeaten 177, meanwhile, was a masterclass in red-ball strokemaking as Notts overcame Worcestershire and a challenging weather forecast to triumph in front of a returning home faithful.
Fletcher’s finest hour
In his 14th season with his home club, Luke Fletcher has been in sparkling form.
His 38 wickets at 13.36 place him just two scalps behind the country’s leading wicket-taker Chris Rushworth – having played a game fewer than the Durham stalwart.
But it is not just his consistency of performance that has stood out.
Figures of 5/28 in the dying days of April were just one run short of the seamer’s career-best as Derbyshire were demolished at the Incora County Ground.
Days later came the 32-year-old’s first six-fer, with Essex having no answer to his mastery of line and length.
But even that was surpassed during Fletcher’s most recent red-ball appearance at Trent Bridge, as Worcestershire proved powerless to resist a right-armer on a roll.
A quite remarkable third evening saw Fletcher run through the visiting line-up, ultimately taking seven wickets for 37 runs.
Moores on top
In the 2021 County Championship to date, no-one, but no-one, has matched Tom Moores’ impact behind the stumps.
The southpaw – who was cruelly stranded on 96* when within touching distance of a third century in Nottinghamshire colours – has taken more dismissals than any of his fellow glovemen, with 36 to his name.
From the routine to the frankly spectacular, the 24-year-old has been perfectly placed to capitalise on the purple patch enjoyed by the Nottinghamshire attack.
With multi-camera coverage, action replays, BBC commentary and expert insight from the Notts camp, Trent Bridge Live is your perfect matchday companion for the 2021 season.