Nottinghamshire v Somerset at Trent Bridge County Championship Div 1 June 23-27

Neil Whtaker reports

Day 1

AN eighth wicket partnership of 112 in 39 overs between Olly Stone and Calvin Harrison rescued Nottinghamshire’s first innings when they were at risk of being dismissed for less than 250.

The pair came together after Nottinghamshire had lost four wickets for 21 runs in six overs.  After the departures of batsmen Joe  Clarke and Jack Haynes, who added 108 in 23 overs, the runs dried up until Harrison broke the shackles and drove Kasey Aldridge for the first boundary in 40 minutes.  After that boundary, Stone drove Jake  Ball to the long-on boundary to bring up the two hundred and the pair saw Nottinghamshire through to tea without any further loss.  That boundary spurred Stone into action and he went on to score his second Championship fifty in three matches for Nottinghamshire.

He  clipped Jack Leach off his legs to bring up the fifty partnership with Harrison off 150 balls.  Stone reached his fifty, at one stage it looked likely that Harrison would reach his fifty first, when he drove Craig Overton to the point boundary.  His fifty came from 89 balls with eight fours. 

 The partnership was broken  when  Harrison played inside the line to Miguel Pretorius and the ball was too quick  for him.  Harrison’s 35 came from 134 balls with five fours.  He could and should have got another wicket when Stone on 71 edged a drive off him but stumper James Rew couldn’t gather  the ball as it smashed into his chest.

Haynes said: “It was a crucial stand but Stone has been brilliant with the bat all season, but he has worked hard at his batting and today him and Harrison have got us out of trouble.  When me and Clarke  were batting together we felt that we were going to get a big score and it was disappointing that we  both got out so soon after each other.

I think it’s a good cricket pitch but they got the ball swinging in patches and the game is in the balance and hopefully we can put them under pressure.”

Somerset’s  Kasey Aldridge took his best bowling figures of the season since he took five wickets for 64 against Surrey at the Oval in the second match of the season.

Three of his wickets came in 26 minutes as Nottinghamshire slumped 179 for three to 190 for seven in 26 minutes. His first wicket came 36 minutes before lunch when Nottinghamshire went from 71 for one to 71 for three. After a shaky start Will Young was plumb leg before to Aldridge who got one to nip back  after a few had left the right handers.

Clarke top edged Aldridge to the fine leg boundary to bring up the hundred partnership with Haynes off 131 balls.  He brought up his own fifty when he edged Aldridge off the shoulder of his bat to the third man boundary,one of the 10 boundaries in his fifty.  Two balls later he drilled Aldridge to Tom  Banton at extra cover.  During his knock he reached 8,000 first-class runs.

Tom Moores fended off a short ball from Aldridge and Tom  Lammonby in the gully took a low  catch. Aldridge brushed Lyndon James’ outside edge and left the rest to  Rew who took a comfortable catch.

Nottinghamshire won the toss and decided to bat on a glorious morning but within 30 minutes grey and black clouds surrounded Trent Bridge and two minutes Nottinghamshire captain Haseeb Hameed was back in the hutch when Craig Overton squared him up and knocked his off stump out of the ground.

On 15  Ben Slater survived a caught behind appeal off Overton when he looked to have edged him and nervously looked behind him but umpire Ben Debenham was unmoved. After that scare he became more confident until he glanced Pretorius off his hip and stumper Rew took a spectacular catch leaping to his left.

Haynes whipped Pretorius to the shorter mid-wicket boundary to bring up his workman like fifty from 52 balls with nine fours. Haynes dropped on 19 by Tom Abel at first slip just before lunch, a regulation catch off Overton.

Pretorius took his second wicket of the innings when he found Haynes’  outside edge and Overton at first slip took a good tumbling catch to his left. 

Somerset’s bowling coach Steve Kirby said: “We’ve had a really good day and I think the honours are even.  Our bowlers stuck to their task  and bowled really well. I thought Pretorius bowled really well and deserved his wickets.  Aldridge has got the height and the bounce for me he needs to get more consistency but he has got an exciting future.

The ball swung all day and kept us interested but we could have bowled them out a lot cheaper but the way they batted at the end we’ve got to hold our hands up.  I think the pitch is going to lose its life and get slower so it’s hard to say what a good score is so we’ve got to bowl and bat we’ll.”

Day 2

FORMER Somerset captain Tom Abell playing only his second Championship match of the season hit his first  century of the season.

Abell who has been missing due to an injury to his hamstring shared in two main partnerships the first with Tom Lammonby realised 157 and the second an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 67 with James Rew.

He drove Olly Stone straight to the long on boundary for his shot of the day and when he came back with the new ball two overs away, Stone received the same treatment from Abell. That four took Somerset to less than a hundred behind Nottinghamshire.  Abell clipped Stone off his toes to the fine leg boundary to take him one away from his century.  He reached his century when he thumped Stone to the mid-wicket boundary.

Abell worked Calvin Harrison off his legs to the square leg boundary; he guided Lyndon James to the third man boundary.  He reached his fifty, which came from 101 balls, when he  clipped a full toss from  Harrison to the square leg boundary for one of his seven boundaries in his fifty.

Somerset’s  Lammonby fell 13 short off his second Vitality Championship century of the season and shared in a third wicket partnership of 157 with  Abell to lay the foundations of a big score.

The pair came together in the third over after lunch and were parted in the 16th over after tea.  Lammonby  survived a strong leg before appeal when he was wrapped on the pads by Dillon Pennington, but that was the nearest that Nottinghamshire came to getting him out.

From half an hour before tea until the partnership was broken Lammonby and Abell milked the home bowling and scored at will.Lammonby clubbed a full toss from  Harrison to  the mid-wicket to take him into the 80’s.  He steered James through point for a couple to bring up his seventh Championship fifty of the season. But just when you thought he was a sure thing to get a century on the Australian unlucky number he was plumb leg before to  Dane Paterson.

Lammonby said: “It was frustrating to get out 13 short of a century but I would have taken that at the start of the day but we’ve put the side in a good position going into day three.  I thought Nottinghamshire bowled really well with good field placing and Harrison caused us problems with the rough and they made it hard for us to score runs.  Hopefully we can get a few more tomorrow at a quick rate and get a lead. The pitch is starting to break up and we’ve got Jack Leach who can exploit that but we’ll have to work hard to get 10 wickets.

Abell was phenomenal, we are so happy for him, to see him come back into the team at number four and play like he did.”

It’s an old cricket saying that if you want to know the value of a teams total add two wickets to the score because one usually brings two and that’s what happened in the next over, another Tom, this time Tom Banton pushed forward at Harrison edged it and stumper Tom Moores took an easy catch.

Nottinghamshire got an early breakthrough in the sixth over when Andy  Umeed chased after a wide delivery from Pennington and Will Young at third slip took a sharp chance.

From the off Tom Kohler-Cadmore batted as if he was in a hurry, advancing down the pitch to meet the ball. Before he had scored Kohler-Cadmore flashed hard at Stone and Harrison at second slip moving to his left couldn’t hold on to it and Kohler-Cadmore got off the mark with a streaky four.

Kohler-Cadmore gloved a pull off Stone and stumper Moores anticipated well and claimed the catch down the legside.

From around the 20th over  the Nottinghamshire players started complaining about the ball and indeed got it changed but they were non too pleased with the replacement ball and kept wanting that one changed but the umpires weren’t having it. After 70 minutes the Nottinghamshire fielder finally persuaded the umpires to change the ball.

Nottinghamshire’s Assistant coach Kevin Shine said: “The ball was out of shape, it resembled a hexagon which made it difficult to swing.”

It took Somerset 35 minutes on the second morning to wrap Nottinghamshire’s first innings up and both teams got what they wanted.  Somerset got their third bowling point and Nottinghamshire their third batting point.  Kasey Alldridge finished with five for 94 and Miguel Pretorius took four for 96 and Pennington was unbeaten on 29 highest score for Nottinghamshire since joining them from Worcestershire.

Stone added nine to his overnight score including  a graceful drive to the extra cover boundary off Pretorius, but Pretorius got his revenge in his next over.  Stone edged a drive Somerset captain Craig Overton at second slip took a good low catch for a tall man moving to his left.

Shine said: “Stone takes his batting really seriously and works really  hard and in the last two games we have seen that he is a proper all-rounder.”

Paterson came in and swung his bat at everything after hung his bat out to Overton, edged it and despite Rew leaping  to his right he couldn’t keep hold of the ball.  He got Nottinghamshire’s third batting point when he launched Pretorius over Banton at mid-off and got three. Aldridge got his fifth wicket of the innings with the last ball of his first over when Paterson  backed away from him and used his long handle but holed out to Pretorius at wide mid-off.  

Shine added: “It’s been a tough day.  We’ve got two teams who both have good bowling attacks. I thought ours performed as we had hoped they would and made them play and miss.  We would have liked a few more wickets but full credit to Abell.

I thought Harrison and Stone  came out after tea and bowled full of energy.  The pitch was drying out under the sun which didn’t make it conducive to swing.  I think that tomorrow morning is going to be important because we still have the new ball.”

Day 3

MIGAEL  Pretorius hit an unbeaten 95 as Somerset’s last three wickets added 149 to give the visitors a lead of 110.

The 29 year-old South Africa  must love batting against Nottinghamshire, earlier in the season he hit 77 against them at Taunton when he featured in a record ninth wicket partnership for Somerset against Nottinghamshire with Craig Overton. With Jack Leach they ran amok adding 78 in 45 minutes before lunch.  Pretorius hit three sixes and Leach one with five fours while Pretorius hit two fours The partnership was broken when Leach edged a drive off Calvin Harrison to give the leg spinner his third wicket of the innings.

Pretorius beat his previous best score for Somerset, beating the 77 when he swept  Harrison to the mid-wicket boundary.  He took a couple of paces down the pitch to Dillon Pennington and launched him over wide mid-off for a big six to take home into the nineties.

He said: “A lot of the batters felt they had missed out, but I never complain about a good wicket.  My knock helped us to get back in the game and to get Haseeb Hameed was massive for us.  I just try to be positive and play aggressively because  I don’t have the best skills in the game. If I don’t play positively it wears me down so I play positively and it works for me and it wears the other team down.

We’ve only got 20 overs  before we can get a new ball but hopefully we will get two or three wickets before then, I can’t say how long it will take us to get the wickets because it will take some grafting.  It’s going to be challenging but I am sure that we can then  chase the runs down.  But if the pitch doesn't change much it’s going to be difficult to get a result.  Hopefully the pitch will turn because it is dry and hopefully it will break up and that will bring Jack Leach into the game.  I believe that we’ve got the bowlers who can do it and we can push for a result.”

The innings was wrapped up eight overs after lunch when former Nottinghamshire paceman Jake Ball played back to Pennington was leg before as Pennington finished with five for 96, his first Vitality Championship five wicket haul for Nottinghamshire.

He said: “It was really special to get my first five wicket haul at Trent Bridge.  At times it was tough but when you got one wicket they came in clusters. I think we got our rewards for the hard work we put in yesterday today.  We are a positive group and after every session we came out hard.”

It took Nottinghamshire 46 minutes on the third morning to get a wicket and then they got three in 11 minutes.  First they  broke the partnership between Tom Abell and James Rew. Both Abell and Rew were subdued and Abell only added six to his overnight score when he was adjudged leg before to a googly from Harrison on Nelson. His 111 came from 230 balls in 302 minutes with 12 fours.

In the next over Harrison took a spectacular low catch diving to his right to dismiss Kasey Aldridge for a duck off Pennington. Rew fell one short off his fifty when he was squared up by Pennington who found his outside edge through to stumper Tom Moores.

When Rew was dismissed there was no hint of the mayhem to come.  39 behind, Captain Overton decided to throw caution to the wind and hit a quick 20 off 13 balls with four fours.  Overton became Pennington’s   third victim of the day  when he tried to turn him  to leg,  missed the ball and was leg before.

Nottinghamshire had 58 overs to face in the and openers Haseeb Hameed and Ben  Slater nearly made to stumps without losing a wicket but with five overs to go Overton squared up Haseeb Hameed up and bowled him nine short off a century.  The 172 they added was their highest opening partnership in the Vitality Championship this season.

Haseeb Hameed dabbed Ball out on the offside for a single to take Nottinghamshire into the lead without loss. In the next over he took a couple of paces down the pitch and blasted Leach straight back nearly taking Leach’s hand off and drilling a hole in umpire Ben Debenham’s stomach. 

He  reached his third Vitality Championship fifty of the season and when  reached his fifty he began to set the scoreboard a light, soon reaching and passing Slater.

Leach was brought into the attack after seven overs and he should have had a wicket in his seventh over when he found Slater’s outside edge but Overton was slightly obscured by Rew  and couldn’t take the chance.

Slater reached his third Vitality Championship fifty of the season  in the grand manner pulling Aldridge over the fine leg boundary for a six.  His fifty came from 101 balls with five fours and that six.

At the close  Nottinghamshire were 177 for one leading by 67 with Slater unbeaten on 70.

Day 4

ON a day when Somerset only took one wicket at Trent Bridge Somerset captain Craig Overton backed his teammate Migael Pretorius and Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson to ban the use of the heavy roller in county cricket.

He said: “I don’t like using the heavy roller because it sucks the life out of the pitches. When we  use them  at Taunton we use the heavy rollers that have the lightest weight because they all have different weights. If we continue to use heavy rollers in county cricket  then we are going to play county cricket over five days and that would mean reducing the number of games to 10 and that would play havoc with schedule.”

Nottinghamshire’s Ben Slater hit an unbeaten 168 when the players decided to shake hands at 4.50. He pushed Andy Umeed out into the covers for a single to bring up his 150 from 317 balls with 19 fours and a six; it was the  third time he’s passed 150 and his first Vitality Championship ton of the season.

He said: “I am really happy to bat through the day to get us a draw after we were behind on the first innings and we’re happy with the points and we take positives from the match.  I’ve felt that I haven't contributed as much as  I should have this season but I’ve finally got a hundred so it’s a special day  for me because it’s hard to get hundreds in England.

We were not far enough ahead with a short boundary and a fast outfield and I don’t think that the pitch had enough in it for the bowlers.  We would have liked a lead in the first innings but we left a few out there.  I thought Olly Stone’s knock in the first innings got us close to a par score. 

Stone is our best batter at the moment, especially because he hasn’t scored a hundred before.”

Earlier the day his partnership with night watchman Stone  eventually added 136 for the second wicket. Stone edged Jake  Ball to the third man boundary to bring up his second fifty of the match, the first time he has done it for Nottinghamshire.  His fifty came from 100 balls with 12 fours but again he failed to reach the hundred, this time he played down the wrong line to Ball and the ball was hitting leg stump.  His 63 came from 137 balls with six fours. 

Yesterday Pretorius said Somerset needed two three  wickets before they took the new ball but they didn’t get a wicket until 2.12 in the afternoon session.  They had two big chances in the first hour to get a breakthrough.  The first was when Overton took the shoulder of Stone’s bat  and ball flew  but dropped short of Kasey Aldridge at short third man. That might have unsettled a less proficient night watchman but not Stone.  He squeezed the ball out to the third man boundary off Pretorius and drove the next ball to the long-on boundary.

The second was when opener Slater edged a drive off Jack Leach inches wide off the diving Overton at slip to the third man boundary to take him into the nineties.

Slater pulled Aldridge wide off Leach at short third man for a single to bring up his first century of the season.  His hundred came from 239 balls in 304 minutes with 12 fours and a six.

Although the new ball was due well before lunch Overton didn’t take until the first over after lunch with Ball.

Will Young rocked back to leg break spinner  Umeed and cut him to the cover boundary to bring up his fifty from 81 balls with nine fours.

The last half hour before tea was a none event with everyone wishing the 4.50 would soon come so they could shake hands.  After tea Tom  Kohler-Cadmore took over behind the stumps to allow James Rew to bowl the last over of the match.

Overton said: “It was a tough day for us but they batted well on a very good batting wicket, there wasn’t anything in it for the seamers and it was slow spin for the spinners, but that’s cricket.  The pitch was getting flatter and flatter. If we had got them out for 220 in their first innings we would have been in a good place.  It was nice to get a lead. Protorius put us in a good position and it was a good all round performance that  got us to the position we were in.”


June 24, 2024 9:35 am

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