Ben Duckett hit a glittering second century of the season as Nottinghamshire found a rhythm to fight back with bat in hand on the second day of their LV= County Championship clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road.

Following Leics’ resumption on their overnight 340/8, Brett Hutton and Steven Mullaney picked up the final two wickets before lunch to see the hosts conclude on 440 all out.

In reply, Haseeb Hameed made a swift 59 before Duckett took centre stage with a sparkling 145, hardly playing a shot in anger throughout his 153-ball innings.

Joe Clarke also made 89 as Notts at times racked up a run rate of above five per over to reach stumps on 373/5, trailing their hosts by 67.

Earlier, proceedings began beneath heavy cloud as Hutton and James Pattinson began to find a little seam movement, as they had yesterday, and the former struck early as he saw Chris Wright adjudged lbw for four.

The Foxes’ last wicket pair of Ben Mike and Will Davis frustrated the Green and Golds for an hour, before the former was the last man out, caught by Duckett on the straight boundary off Mullaney.

Notts then began their innings with immediate intent, as openers Hameed and Ben Slater struck 45 from the opening nine overs, with the former at one point hitting three consecutive fours off Chris Wright.

Slater did edge Wright to wicketkeeper Harry Swindells for 12 shortly after lunch, but that only signalled the commencement of Duckett’s innings, which fast turned into an onslaught of the home bowlers.

The second-wicket partnership of fifty arrived in just 43 balls, just moments after Hameed had gone to his own similarly swift fifty from 48 deliveries with a cut four off Will Davis.

Duckett then brought up the visitors’ team hundred inside 18 overs with a nonchalantly-pulled four off Davis, and he deployed a drive off Ben Mike seven overs later to bring up his own half-century.

Hameed was bowled by Mike to bring Joe Clarke to the crease, and the duo typified their positive approach by ensuring Notts had scored 197 in 36 afternoon session overs to move to 218/2 by the time tea rolled around.

Despite being on the potentially nervy score of 98* at the second break, Duckett showed no signs of mental agitation to calmly strike Wiaan Mulder for four ten minutes after the resumption and bring up three figures.

Clarke’s own fifty and his 150 stand with Duckett arrived through the right-hander caressing fours, with both coming within three overs of each other as a third batting bonus point was comfortably secured at 300/2.

The stand was worth 198 when it was broken by Foxes captain Callum Parkinson late on as he bowled Duckett, and Wright then saw Lyndon James caught by Mulder.

A calm head was found in captain Mullaney, however, as he and Clarke played stoutly to ensure that if Leics tails were up, it was not for any extended amount of time, passing 350 with ten overs remaining in the day.

Parkinson saw Clarke edge to Colin Ackermann at slip for 89, but Mullaney, who ended the day unbeaten on 37*, and Tom Moores saw the visitors through to the close.


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