‘Topping Out’ topped by Tightest Finish


As Nottinghamshire welcome back Worcestershire for the second round of this season’s County Championship matches, minds will be turning back three decades to an historic game that ended with the only tie in Nottinghamshire’s First-Class history.

The 1993 season was already something of landmark as it was the first year that all County Championship matches were played over four days – since 1988 there had been a mix of three- and four-day games – and had it not been for the fourth day, Notts and Worcs would have played out an unremarkable draw.

Worcestershire batted first and made a modest 203 all out, the wickets shared among the Notts bowlers; it was slow going and there was just time for the home opening pair of Randall and Pollard to put on six runs before close of play.

Day two saw Notts pass their visitors’ total and reach 233, Worcester responding to be 28 without loss overnight.  At this stage, Greg Mike’s 47 for Notts was the highest score.

The third day saw similarly steady accumulation with Worcester reaching 288-6; they batted on in day four and declared their second innings close on 325-8, former England opened Tim Curtis making 113.  Greg Mike followed up his batting success with 5-65, at that time his best First-Class return.

Faced with making 296 to win, Notts seemed well set when the eighth wicket went down for 285 but then Mike Field-Buss was lbw to Stuart Lampitt and Andy Afford came out to join another Andy, opening bowler Andy Pick, with the score at 290.

It wasn’t quite ‘we’ll get ‘em in singles’ but the pair did chip away.  Needing two for victory, Pick cut Phil Newport (who’d already taken six wickets) to backward point and set off; he was beaten by an accurate throw from Adam Seymour as he looked for the winning run.

Thus the match went into the history books as that cricketing rarity – a tie!

Pick could be forgiven if his concentration had lapsed because – as the Nottingham Evening Post report pointed out - he had become a father only hours before.

Had it not been for that most dramatic of finishes, the game would probably have been recorded not for on the field action but because it marked the ‘Topping Out’ ceremony for the new Hound Road stand. 

Then club chair Maurice Youdell and Wimpey’s are director Paul Baxter performed the topping out during the tea interval on day four, shortly before the high jinks on the pitch.

April 2024