Notts v Lancs 5/9-8/9

Neil Whitaker reports

LANCASHIRE fought back well to dismiss Nottinghamshire for less than 300 after they had put Nottinghamshire into bat.

Doing the early damage for Lancashire was Tom Bailey and Danny Lamb destroyed the lower order as they took four wickets each.  On the verge of tea Nottinghamshire were 211 for three and Lancashire had two bowlers off the field injured: Saqib Mahmood pulled his side and went off halfway through an over and Steven  Croft  injured his hand attempting to catch opener Ben Slater.  Nottinghamshire went from 211 for three to 230 for eight in 36 balls. Lyndon James drove the last ball of the afternoon session from Bailey to Josh Bohannon at cover.  His 21 included five fours.

Lamb said: “We were disappointed with the first session but we fought back well and built some pressure and we got our rewards after tea. It’s my fourth fourfor I just can’t get over the line, I am hoping that when I get my first five for they will come along like London busses. I am disappointed that I didn’t get five wickets but there is no point in feeling down about it.”

Joe Clark failed convert a 50 into a 100 for the seventh time this season.  He tried to turn Lamb to square leg but played over the ball and was leg before for 54.  When he pulled a short ball from Bailey to the mid wicket boundary with utter contempt the Nottinghamshire fans thought that today was the day for a big hundred.  

He reached his fifty from 91 balls with nine fours in 152 minutes, when he pulled Saqib to the mid wicket boundary.  Two balls Saqib went off with side injury.

Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney edged George Balderson to Luke Wells at first slip without moving his feet.  Lamb got his third wicket when he came round the wicket toLiam  Patterson-White who  flashed hard at it and Rob Jones at second slip took the catch. Two balls later Brett  Hutton edged Lamb to stumper George Lavelle. 

Tom Moores smashed the leg spinner Wells mid wicket for a big six to bring up Nottinghamshire’s second point.  But the part time leg spinner had the last laugh when Moores tried to sweep him but missed the ball and was given out leg before.

The last wicket pair of Luke Fletcher and Dane Paterson saw the big pace man protecting his fellow bowler after Fletcher had got off the mark by driving Balderson sumptuously to the extra cover boundary. He pulled Bailey over cow corner for a six but when he tried repeating the shot to the next ball he found substitute fielder Liam Hurt.

Nottinghamshire were unchanged from the big victory at Taunton, while Lancashire replaced Livingstone with the soon to depart Alex Davies and Croft came into the side for Matt Parkinson as the changes from the Warwickshire match.

Lancashire nearly had a breakthrough at the end of the first over when Slater,before he had scored, edged Bailey but Lavelle diving to his left  couldn’t hold on to it.  On five Slater had his second life when he edged  Saqib Mahmood to Croft  at second slip diving to his right. But his luck ran out on eight when he edged Bailey again but this time Lavelle held on to a comfortable chance.

Sam Northeast on his home debut for Nottinghamshire drove  Lamb to the cover boundary.  He soon found out that Saqib had pace if he didn’t already know when  Saqib got one to rise at Northeast and knocked Lavelle off his feet.

Northeast eased into Bailey and drove him straight to the long on boundary for his first boundary after lunch. He hit consecutive fours off Saqib, the first through the covers the second through the vacant third slip area which left Saqib with the teapot on, Vilas immediately filled the gap.

The end for Northeast took everybody by surprise, he  pushed at Bailey and feathered it to Lavelle. While the Lancashire players celebrated, Northeast repeated the shot and had to be given out out by umpire  Nick Cook.  He batted two minutes shy off three hours for his 65 which included fours from 136 balls.

He said: “There was enough in the pitch this morning, which you would expect after losing the toss and being put in. It was crucial to get through to lunch only one down. Saqib bowled a really nice spell just before lunch butDuckett and I managed to ride the storm which was quite important.

“But throughout the day we kept losing wickets at the wrong times and they clawed their way back into the game.  As a team we probably would have said we wanted more from the position we were in but that’s cricket, we scored 400 last week and you can’t do that every week.

Those two wickets at the end probably put us just about on top but it is very close and there is still a lot of cricket to play.”

Despite the pace of Saqib, Northeast must have taken a liking to him because he drove  Saqib for another four to bring up his first 50 for Nottinghamshire in his second match. His fifty came from 110 balls in 145 minutes and included nine fours.

Duckett was another Nottinghamshire batsman who failed to get a century after promising so much.  He smashed Lamb to the backward point boundary for a glorious four and placed the next ball between third slip and gully for another boundary to bring up Nottinghamshire fifty.

He reached his fourth Championship fifty off the season with a single off Saqib through mid wicket. His 50 came from 69 balls in 93 minutes and included eight fours.

Duckett was put down on 55 by Lavelle, a low chance diving  in front of Wells at first slip, Saqib showed his frustration by kicking the ground.  In the third over after lunch,without adding to his lunchtime score. Duckett got in tangle facing Lamb and got a leading edge  to Saqib at mid off who waited an age for the ball to drop.

With 11 overs to bat till close the  Lancashire openers Balderson and Davies faced Fletcher and Hutton with four slips for company.  They were separated in the fourth over when Davies pushed forward at Hutton and Moores took a simple catch.  Hutton got his second wicket with seven balls left in the day’s play when Wells turned him to 
Slater at short leg who took a low sharp catch.

Day 2
LANCASHIRE with only three front seam bowlers following the injury to Saqib Mahmood took five  Nottinghamshire second innings who finished the second day  with a lead of 231 runs.

With a first innings lead of 104 and with over two days left the Nottinghamshire openers made a slow start to their second innings but that was broken when Ben Duckett hit consecutive boundaries off Tom Bailey the first through extra cover and the second through the covers.  Duckett’ s opening partner Ben Slater  pulled George Balderson to the mid wicket boundary with disdain as he stood and delivered to the boundary.

The partnership was broken when Balderson flattened Slater’s off stump. After tea Danny Lamb got his fifth wicket of the match when bowling round the wicket he angled one in at Duckett and got him leg before.

Sam Northeast top edged a wide ball from Bailey and George Lavelle took a great acrobatic catch leaping to his right in front of first slip.

After a brisk start when he top edged a six the runs for Joe Clark dried up  and he edged Balderson to Rob Jones at second slip without moving his feet. Nottinghamshire captain Mullaney didn’t get going and was another who didn’t move his feet when he  edged the bowler. This time the bowler was Bailey and Lavelle who took the catch diving to his right in front of Luke Wells at first  slip. The Nottinghamshire faithful were now worried that they were going to lose another match after getting a first innings lead.  In a slow final session Nottinghamshire added 66 runs in 32 overs.

Balderson said: “If we have a good session in the morning and keep their lead below 300 I believe we have a good chance of winning the game, we’ve got good enough players to chase any total down.  We tried to get as many balls as possible in the right areas, we stuck at our task and got our rewards.

I am enjoying opening the batting. It's a different challenge than batting at seven but you get the opportunity to hit the. In scores.  It’s a great opportunity and hopefully I can make the most of it.”

Earlier Nottinghamshire’s Brett Hutton took three wickets on the second day to take his haul in the innings to five wickets, his second five wicket haul of the season.

He ended with five for 62 beating his previous of five for 65  against Essex at Chelmsford in June. It’s his 11th five wicket haul of his career.   His first wicket of the day was Josh Bohannon who with night watchman Lamb had just put 50 on for the fourth wicket. Hutton took the edge off Bohannon’s bat and Duckett at third slip took a comfortable catch at shoulder high.  They should have got rid of Bohannon earlier when Luke  Fletcher took the edge of  Bohannon’s bat on seven but Liam Patterson-White at fourth slip despite getting a hand to it couldn't hold on to it.

He said: “The pitch isn’t going to get any easier and it all depends on how well we go in the morning but we got 270 in the first innings and the more we get now the better. The batting side can never really win the kind of little session Lancashire faced on the first night. They know the bowlers are going to come back fresh on the second morning and if you lose wickets you know you’re going to be up against it, so the couple of wickets we picked up set us up nicely for today.

“I’am happy to have got some reward, it came out nicely enough for me. But among the bowling group we are not that bothered about personal accolades, we just want to get the job done.  It’s is a team game and it doesn’t really matter who gets the wickets or the winning runs. We are all playing for Nottinghamshire and we all want the trophy for Nottinghamshire.”

Hutton got his second wicket of the morning on the stroke of lunch. Jones tried to turn him to leg but Hutton found his outside edge and the ball flew to Northeast at third slip for a comfortable catch at waiste hight twisting to his right.

His third wicket came in the 13th over of the afternoon session when Lancashire skipper Dane  Vilas pushed forward at him but offered no shot.  Umpire Peter Hartley took his time before he raised his finger.

Lancashire’s night watchman Lamb opened the scoring on the second day with a straight drive which went for four off Hutton.  But it was opener Balderson who was the first to go when he clipped Fletcher off his leg straight to Patterson-White at short mid wicket without adding to his overnight score.

Lamb followed Bohannon back into the hutch in the following over after his dismissal. After facing balls on Monday he was squared up and edged Dane  Patterson to Tom Moores. Like Bohannon, he  had one life on nine when he edged Fletcher and Duckett at second slip dived to his left but the ball dropped short off him. Later  the Nottinghamshire slip cordon thought they had Lamb caught behind on 25 but umpire Nick Cook was unmoved.

Former Lancashire captain Steven Croft departed nine overs after Vilas.  He added 32 with Lavelle but he was beaten by one that came back in from Paterson and flattened his off stump.   From the moment that Croft came in he flayed the bat and was soon scoring at more than a run a ball.

Paterson got his third wicket in his next over when Bailey tried to work him to leg and was leg before. The South African finished with three for 39 in 16 overs which was good considering that Bohannon hit three fours off a Paterson over, the first was straight in front of the pavilion, the next was driven through extra cove and the final one was pulled to the mid wicket boundary.
After he was dismissed, Croft was soon back on the field when he came out as the runner for last man Saqib Mahmood.  The Lancashire innings was over when Lavelle had a big swing at Fletcher and top edged it to Moores.

Day 3
A SIXTH wicket partnership of 176 in 43 overs between Tom Moores and Lyndon James should have batted Lancashire into the ground but at the end of the third day Nottinghamshire have still got nine more wickets to take.

Nottinghamshire resumed their second innings on a baking hit Tuesday morning and quickly extended their lead to 250 inside three overs with Moores hitting three fours.  James, who fell nine short off his first Championship century, was soon copying Moores when he drove Danny Lamb to the cover boundary off his back foot to bring up the fifty partnership off 102 balls with Moores. 

James shaped to turn George Balderson through mid wicket but got an outside edge which went wide of slip and ran to the third man boundary but he confidently drove the next ball to the cover boundary.  He chopped Josh  Bohannon to the third man boundary to bring up his fifty from 149 balls in 195 minutes with nine fours.

Lancashire thought they had James when they went up for a low catch by George Lavelle but umpire Nick Cook was unmoved.

Moores drove Bohannon through mid wicket followed by a delicate chip for a single off the nex ball took Nottinghamshire’s lead to 300.  He soon followed James to his fifty, which came from 129 minutes but 62 balls less than James with a late cut to the third man boundary for his 10th boundary.

As James brought up the fifty partnership, he brought up the hundred partnership,which came from 208 balls, when he drove Balderson to the extra cover boundary.

As the Nottinghamshire lead closed in on 350 the Lancashire fielding looked tired, slipshod and became very quiet.  With three overs to the new ball Steven Croft was introduced into the attack, Moores came down the wicket to him  and slapped him over cow corner for a four.  Four balls later he thumped Croft to the long of boundary to bring up the 150 partnership from 295 balls.

Moores scythed Luke Wells to the cover boundary but to take him three short off his century but two balls later the partnership was when Moores pulled Wells to the mid wicket boundary where Croft fell to the ground as he took the catch. 

He said: “Myself and James just said we would take it 10 runs at a time and not look too far ahead. Time was a factor, too, just to take time out of the game.

It put us in a position to go hard at them with the ball, like we tried to this afternoon. The wicket has lost a bit of pace with the weather we have had but we have lots of runs to play with so we can still be aggressive tomorrow morning and put them under pressure.

Batting with James was great. He makes batting look very easy and bowlers look very slow. He soaks up pressure brilliantly and credit to him for working hard when the conditions were challenging and the ball was moving.

“It was disappointing to miss out on the hundred but it was more important that me and James put together a partnership that gives us a chance to win this game.”

James missed out on his maiden championship century when he sliced a big hit of Wells and Bohannon running round from mid off took the catch. His 91 came in 291 minutes from 230 balls  and he hit 13 fours.  He beat his previous best of 79 unbeaten against Durham in the first match of the season at Trent Bridge, he hit 78 against Derbyshire also at Trent Bridge.

Tom Bailey took his first wicket with spin when Brett Hutton slogged his second ball to substitute Jack Blatherwick on the long on boundary. Luke  Fletcher finished the over with a straight four as 17 came from Bailey’s over of spin.    

With a nominal target of 444 and having to bat for 135 overs to save the match Lancashire lost their first wicket in the first over when Alex Davies offered no shot to his first ball and was leg before to Fletcher.  Davies finished up outside his off stump but the ball hit him in front of middle stump.

Just as the Lancashire bowlers  had found it hard under the hot September afternoon sun so did the Nottinghamshire bowlers as Wells and Balderson didn’t offer a chance, Wells played a beautiful back foot drive of Fletcher to the cover boundary.

Wells brought his fifty up and the hundred partnership with Balderson when he drove Dane Paterson to the mid wicket boundary.  He faced 109 balls for his fifty in 134 minutes and hit 10 fours.

Balderson and Wells saw it through to stumps and Lancashire need another 329 runs to win.

Wells said: “We believe that we have a chance but we want to bat sensibly for the first couple of sessions and try and it up for the final session. We won’t worry about the scoreboard until the final session. If we can take it to the final session you never know, the batsmen today can do wonderful things and manufacture runs. We have just got to play the conditions but there are no demons in the pitch and they are a seamer down. The pitch is starting  to get flatter.  But first and foremost we don’t want to lose this match.  444 is a tough score to get but stranger things have happened.  This group of players have got a never say die attitude and in all our games we have had our backs against the wall.  We have got 11 warriors in our team.”

Day 4
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE beat Lancashire by 102 runs with 11.5 overs left in the day to go 10.5 points clear of Hampshire and Yorkshire who are two points clear of Warwickshire.

Lancashire’s ninth wicket pair of Danny  Lamb and Tom Bailey defied the Nottinghamshire bowlers for 126 minutes and created a new Lancashire ninth partnership against Nottinghamshire beating the 87 made by Bill Huddleston and Harry Dean at Emirates Old Trafford in 1909.  

When they came together Lancashire had lost three  wickets in 12 balls without scoring a run.  Two of the wickets were taken by  Luke Fletcher and Dane  Paterson took one. Rob Jones was the first to go when he got an inside edge to Fletcher and lost his off stump.  In the next over Paterson got his third wicket of the innings when he squared up Steven  Croft who edged him to Ben  Duckett at second slip. The third  man was  George Lavelle,who seemed to be late in getting into his stance, played across a straight ball and was leg before to Fletcher for a duck.

Paterson broke Lamb and Bailey’s partnership when he got his fourth wicket by beating Bailey for pace and flattening his off stump.   Lamb was unbeaten on 68 from 155 minutes when last man Saqib Mahmood fended off a short ball from Brett  Hutton to Ben Slater at short leg.  

Nottinghamshire captain Steven Mullaney said: “Our three big seam bowlers - I don’t know what they had for tea but they just kept running in, with Fletcher getting the crowd going, and got us over the line, so I’m over the moon.

All credit to the young kid George Balderson, with bat and ball, and to Bailey and Lamb in that last session, they were absolutely incredible. 

But we always said if we were patient there was a ball in that pitch. For Hutton to finish it off like that and Slater to catch it was proof of what we always say, in that it might go down to the last hour of the last session. And I think it will stand us in good stead, because you don’t get given titles, you have to earn them.

We’ve given ourselves a chance, that’s all. We’ll enjoy this win but not too much because we’ve got a massive game next down at Hampshire.”

Lancashire skipper Dane Vilas said: “We are extremely disappointed. I thought Lamb and Bailey dug in well but it was a great effort all day, so it’s very disappointing.  I thought Nottinghamshire were deserved winners.  We were disappointed with the way we started the match, if we could have got a few more early wickets after putting them in, also if we could have got a bit closer to their score.  But it was a very good game. We have to put in a better performance against Somerset.

I thought George Balderson put in an unbelievable performance coming in as he did not having much rest from bowling he was under great pressure.  The way he batted this morning put us where we could have had a chance.”

Lancashire started the final day needing another 329 runs,their highest score in the in the fourth innings of a county Championship match  is 464 against Surrey in 2007 a match which they lost, their highest fourth innings total against Nottinghamshire is 403 made at Emirates Old Trafford in 1910, their  highest fourth innings score in Nottinghamshire is 372 for four made at Worksop in 1961 and their highest fourth innings at Trent Bridge is 323 for four in 1939.

Nottinghamshire got an early breakthrough in the fourth over of the morning.   Luke Wells 173 minute innings ended when he tried to pull his bat away, but  Paterson found an edge to giveTom  Moores a knee high catch diving to his right. Wells 59 came from 135 balls and included 11 fours.

Paterson got his second wicket of the morning when Josh Bohannon tried to drive him to leg and was leg before to one that was hitting leg.  Paterson took four  for 78 taking him to seven wickets in the match for 117. 

Hutton replaced Paterson at the Radcliffe Road end and got the wicket of Vilas with the last ball off his first over after he was recalled to the attack.  Vilas tried to turn Hutton square and became the third leg before victim of the innings. 

Balderson should have been back in the hutch on 61 but Liam  Patterson-White fumbled the return chance.  He added another five when he was caught by  Mullany at slip again off the young left arm spinner but it was a bump ball.

In the morning session added 55, losing three wickets in 30 overs.

Balderson batted over five hours for his 77 but he fell to the last ball with the old ball.  Paterterson-White  after bowling good length balls finally got Balderson when he dropped one short and Balderson pulled it straight to Paterson at mid wicket who took a great catch diving to his left which left his teammates shaking their heads in disbelief.

Without adding to the score Lancashire should have been six down when Moores diving to his right dropped Jones who had edged Fletcher.  


September 6, 2021 1:47 pm

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