1994 season

Britannic Assurance Championship – 3rd

Nat West Trophy (60 overs) – Second Round

Benson and Hedges Cup (55 overs) – Quarter Final

AXA Equity and Law League (40 overs) – 11th

Captain – R T Robinson

Trent Bridge was a lot happier place in 1994 as Notts exceeded expectations by finishing third in the Championship (won 8, lost 5, drawn 4), their highest placed finish since they were Champions in 1987.

After the departures of previous coaches John Birch and Mike Hendrick in the previous two seasons, Alan Ormrod arrived as Senior Coach having previously held a similar post at Old Trafford. His arrival appeared to galvanise the undoubted playing potential as he generated a much greater team spirit.

Notts were fast out of the blocks winning four out of the first five championship fixtures. In a low-scoring opener at Canterbury, Notts scraped home by nine runs. Kent chasing a target of 239 were 139-7 but rallied, Chris Lewis took eight wickets in the match. In the second match, Durham were beaten by eight wickets – Paul Johnson scored a century and Andy Afford took 5-48 as Durham made only 155 in their second innings. Two days were lost to rain in the home fixture against Sussex; contrivance between the captains resulted in Sussex requiring 288 in 84 overs and they finished on 278-9 with Afford bagging another five wicket haul. An exciting game at Ilkeston saw Notts requiring 254 for victory on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday and they were 40 short when the eighth wicket fell. Wayne Noon saw Notts home by one wicket with help from Andy Pick and renowned rabbit Afford. Pick had match figures of 9-115. The fourth win was at Acklam Park in Middlesbrough in another low scoring affair. Greg Mike took a career best 5-44 in the first innings and Pick took 5-29 in the second innings. Notts reached the 144 required to win with five wickets to spare.

Notts drew at Basingstoke and with Tim Robinson and Lewis injured were defeated by three wickets by Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge, Courtney Walsh having match figures of 12-102 for the victors. Notts faced Essex at Ilford and skipper Robinson scored 182 as Notts opened with 409. Essex were made to follow-on but fought back and scored 422 second time round; Notts’s West Indian overseas player Jimmy Adams, who replaced Chris Cairns for the season, taking 4-63 with his left-arm spin. Notts needed 167 and squeaked home by two wickets as Paul Pollard batted throughout for 53 off 179 balls. Notts drew with Northants in a high scoring at Trent Bridge. Two successive heavy defeats followed. At Taunton, Somerset triumphed by 111 runs despite Adams (144 not out) and Kevin Evans adding a club record 170 for the ninth wicket. Future Notts opener Darren Bicknell with an unbeaten 235 was the stand-out as Surrey declared on 604-4 at Trent Bridge, Surrey won by an innings and 231 runs. Notts lost a 3-day game with the South Africans by 134 runs. Notts won successive games against the teams who finished above them in the final table. Lewis blasted 95 against his former teammates as spin twins Afford and Adams shared six wickets in the Leicestershire second innings and Notts won by six wickets. Notts produced their best performance of the season as all conquering Warwickshire fell to their only championship defeat of the season. Notts piled up 597-8d at Edgbaston, Pollard hit 134 and Lewis hit a magnificent unbeaten 220. Lewis took six wickets over the two innings as Warwickshire were bowled out for 321 and 233 – run machine Lara was dismissed for 13 and 0, his only duck of the season. Notts’s topsy turvy form continued, losing at Kidderminster by five wickets and by an innings to Lancashire at Trent Bridge as John Crawley hit 250 for the visitors.  Glamorgan were beaten by an innings and 37 runs at Worksop as Graeme Archer hit a career best 168 and slow left armer James Hindson took the first five Glamorgan second innings wickets. The season ended with rain affected draw at Trent Bridge against Middlesex.

Although the Notts bowling was originally considered suspect with Chris Cairns absent, much of the success was due to a quartet of seamers. Chris Lewis finished top of the batting and bowling averages with 881 runs and 46 wickets; Andy Pick took 46 wickets; while Greg Mike had a breakthrough season with 44 wickets; Evans gathered 36 victims. At the end of the season, the enigmatic Lewis asked to be released from his six-year contract to be his family in London, but his request was refused.

The inconsistency with the batting remained, Notts relied heavily on Robinson (1,148 runs @44.15) and Johnson (936 runs @40.69). Archer (860 runs @35.83) enjoyed an extended run with some impressive displays, but the two left handers Pollard and Jimmy Adams had mixed fortunes. Adams, a fine team man, a useful bowler and an excellent fielder, averaged over 100 in the first month and 23 in the last four months. Adams was a run machine in 40 over competition scoring 674 runs @61.27. Bruce French was laid low with a virus all season and new recruit Noon from Northants seized his chance with 583 runs @26.50 and having 42 dismissals behind the wicket.

Mark Crawley had a poor season with 129 runs @11.72 and retired at the end of season. Batsman Wayne Dessaur along with left arm seamer Steven Sylvester were released at the end of the season.

Notts had another indifferent season in limited overs cricket. They finished 11th in the 40 over competition (won 6, lost 8, no result 3). They fell away after being in third place at the end of June, having a six game sequence without a win (five losses and one no result). The leading wicket takers were Evans and Mike with 20 wickets apiece.

In the Benson and Hedges Cup, the Minor Counties and Sussex were beaten, but despite Pollard scoring 104, Notts slipped to a quarter-final defeat v Surrey at Trent Bridge, Darren Bicknell scoring 109.

Notts beat Northumberland at Jesmond by 228 runs as Johnson scored 146 and Evans filleted the part-timers with 6-10 in the First Round tie in the Nat West Trophy. Graeme Hick hit 97 in the next round as Worcestershire beat Notts by 89 runs at New Road.

April 2020