Championship Report: Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire
Bottom-of-the-table Nottinghamshire overcame a mid-afternoon wobble to bat out for a draw against Warwickshire in their Specsavers County Championship Division One tussle at Edgbaston.
Having resumed on the last morning on 116 for one, needing 294 to avoid an innings defeat, the visitors batted through the final day to end on 354 for eight.
The bulk of the defiance came from second-wicket pair Ben Duckett (140, 237 balls, 19 fours, two sixes) and Chris Nash (85, 216 balls, 11 fours) who added 199 in 66 overs.
When they were separated, a flurry of four wickets in nine overs put the visitors back into jeopardy at 255 for five, still 39 behind, but captain Steven Mullaney (29, 91 balls) and Tom Moores (17, 78) dug in to add 60 and, vitally, eat up 27 overs.
Warwickshire skipper Jeetan Patel wheeled way to add four wickets to his first innings six for 16, and take his haul to 22 wickets in the last two championship games, but ultimately the slow pitch, offering little to any bowler, sentenced the match to stalemate.
After his team was skittled for 97 in the first innings, Nottinghamshire head coach Peter Moores demanded much greater application from the batsmen second time round and Duckett and Nash showed exactly what was required. They combined watchful defence with punishment of anything loose during the morning session.
Duckett reached his 16th first-class century, and first for Nottinghamshire, from 155 balls and the second-wicket pair took their side within 55 of the home side’s total before Duckett was caught at short leg by Sam Hain off Patel.
That triggered a mini-collapse which revived Warwickshire’s hopes of forcing an unlikely victory. Patel tasted more success in his next over when Joe Clarke was brilliantly taken at slip by Will Rhodes, diving to his left almost behind the wicketkeeper.
Armed with the new ball, Henry Brookes then had Samit Patel caught by Hain at third slip and Nash adjudged lbw to a big inswinger.
Mullaney and Moores crucially halted the collapse in nine overs up to tea and resisted into the final session before falling in the space of nine balls, the latter caught at leg-slip off Patel and the former caught behind off Liam Norwell.
That inched the door ajar again for Warwickshire and Luke Fletcher sent up a return catch to Brookes but James Pattinson and Stuart Broad kept their heads down to see the game out.
Jeetan Patel continued his spectacular run of form as Warwickshire seized control of their Specsavers County Championship match with Nottinghamshire on the third day at Edgbaston.
Warwickshire’s captain took six for 16 as the visitors were all out for 97 in reply to 391 for nine declared.
Following on 294 behind, Nottinghamshire made a much better first of it and reached the close on 116 for one, with Ben Duckett unbeaten on 71, but they have plenty more work ahead on the final day to avoid defeat.
On a pitch offering some, but not extravagant, turn, Patel will aim to continue his purple patch. Having followed match-figures of 12 for 89 against Surrey last week with six for 16, his combined analysis from three successive championship innings is 75.4-39-105-18.
Those wickets took his first class wicket-haul for the county that he first joined in 2009 to 440 at 25.31 – an exceptional effort of sustained excellence in an era when the input of overseas players to counties tends to be fleeting.
The New Zealander’s skills sent Nottinghamshire’s first innings from the relative comfort of 69 for two into freefall as they lost five wickets for ten runs in 59 balls. He exploited the pressure the visitors were under after Adam Hose completed his maiden first-class century – 111 from 202 balls with 14 fours and two sixes – in the morning.
After Warwickshire resumed on 311 for seven, they added 80 in 16 overs. Patel made a brisk 23 before playing on to Luke Fletcher, then Hose and Liam Norwell (34 not out, 43 balls) added 62 before Hose holed out to deep mid-wicket in pursuit of a third successive four off Samit Patel.
Nottinghamshire lost Ben Slater, caught at third slip off Olly Hannon-Dalby, before lunch and Ben Duckett, caught at mid on off Henry Brookes, shortly after the interval but at 69 for two there was no sign of the clatter ahead. Patel and Norwell then dovetailed to devastating effect.
Chris Nash (25, 41 balls) and Steven Mullaney edged Norwell into the slips while Patel had Joe Clarke caught at short leg, bowled Samit Patel and trapped Tom Moores lbw.
James Pattinson and Fletcher dug in to add four in 53 balls before the latter edged Patel behind. Two lbw verdicts, to dismiss Stuart Broad and Matt Carter, left the New Zealander with a six-for and Pattinson unbeaten on six after 83 minutes of noble resistance.
Second time around, Nottinghamshire lost Slater, caught behind, to Patel’s sixth ball, but Duckett compiled a polished, 99-ball half-century and, with Nash, batted carefully to add an unbroken 76 up to stumps.
Rain, bad light, glowering skies, a slow pitch and cautious batting have made for two less than scintillating days cricket between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston.
At the halfway stage of this Specsavers County Championship match, the contest is still in its first innings with Warwickshire on 311 for seven when rain set in to prevent play after tea on the second day.
With the pitch showing little indication of breaking up to offer the spinners assistance, it is difficult to see this clash of the bottom two teams in Division One producing a decisive result.
The sluggish nature of the pitch, the cricket and the spectacle were all summed up by both teams taking just one bonus point from Warwickshire’s innings. After 110 overs the score was 237 was five.
The stodgy spectacle has reminded the more venerable onlookers of these teams’ championship meeting at Coventry in 1928, a similarly rain-affected stale-mate which saw Nottinghamshire pile up 656 for three and Warwickshire reply with 371 for nine before rain brought a merciful end to the fixture.
Fred Barratt made his maiden first-class century in that match and there is at least a chance of some history repeating itself here as Adam Hose will resume on the third morning just 16 runs short of his maiden first-class ton. Hose is on 84 from 159 balls with ten fours and two sixes.
After Warwickshire resumed on the second morning on 181 for three, Dominic Sibley (87, 274 balls, six fours) fell in the third over when he edged Luke Fletcher to second slip. Hose then took over the senior role, adding 48 in 14 overs with Liam Banks and, after the latter fell lbw to Matt Carter, 63 in 17 overs with Tim Ambrose.
Steven Mullaney broke through with two wickets in successive overs. Tim Ambrose left a straight one and was lbw to give the Nottinghamshire captain his 100th first-class wicket. Number 101 soon arrived when Henry Brookes was lbw to a big inswinger.
Jeetan Patel smote his second ball for six over mid-wicket and, with Hose batting with increasing fluency, it appeared that the spectators might be about to see some more lively fare. Immediately, the umpires took the players off for bad light – and then came the rain.
Warwickshire spent the first day of their Specsavers County Championship match with Nottinghamshire very much in the slow lane on a day for the purists among the spectators at Edgbaston.
With the cricket gripped by World Cup fever, and while England and Pakistan peppered the boundaries at Trent Bridge, back in the red-ball world Warwickshire scored 181 for three from 93 overs.
In a tussle between Division One’s bottom two teams, not losing is a high priority and the home side, having chosen to bat, deployed enormous caution, most of all in an afternoon session which brought 39 runs in 35 overs.
Dominic Sibley batted throughout the day in search of his seventh century in nine first-class matches. The former Surrey opener ended it just 19 short, unbeaten on 81 from 264 balls with six fours.
Only 15 boundaries were hit all day as Nottinghamshire bowled with admirable persistence and discipline on a slow pitch. Despite having taken just three wickets, they reined in the scoring so tightly that early wickets on the second morning would put them in a strong position.
Warwickshire started brightly enough as openers Sibley and Will Rhodes added 33 in 57 balls before the latter cut Luke Fletcher to second slip where Matt Carter took a sharp catch in front of his face.
Nineteen-year-old Rob Yates was greeted by an aggressive spell from Stuart Broad but survived to help Sibley add 49 from 25 overs. Yates reached a career-best 24 (83 balls, two fours) before Broad knocked out his off-stump just after lunch, at which point the session disappeared into inertia.
While Sibley played his customary anchor role, Hain dropped an even deeper anchor at the other end, acquiring just a single from his first 55 balls. Sibley reached his half-century in just over four hours, from 185 balls with three fours, just before tea.
The two anchors added 57 in 39 overs before Nottinghamshire were handed a bonus breakthrough by a running mix-up. Hain, having chiselled 23 runs from two hours 24 minutes, tucked Carter to mid on, set off for a single in which his partner showed no interest and was yards short of regaining his ground when Chris Nash’s throw arrived.
Adam Hose then arrived with a shiny new anchor and he and Sibley added an unbroken 42 in 20 overs, importantly seeing off the new ball, up to stumps.
Warwickshire are unchanged from the team that beat Surrey last week while Nottinghamshire have recalled Samit Patel and James Pattinson for Jake Libby and Jake Ball.