Notts v Somerset April 11-15th at Trent Bridge

ECB County Cricket Notts v Somerset April 11-15th at Trent Bridge

Somerset won by an innings and 14 runs

Neil Whitaker reports

Day 1

SOMERSET’s Lewis Gregory got his second five wicket haul of the season to dismiss Nottinghamshire for 263.

His six for 63 followed on from his five for 19 against Kent at Taunton at the beginning of the week.  The Nottinghamshire players must be wondering what went wrong because six of the top eight made starts but only two of them past 50 and one fell three runs short off it.

Gregory said said: “ It’s nice to get off to a good start to the season and get some wickets. Today it was good day  to be a cricketer it was a special day and it’s been a good start to the season and at the moment I am on a roll. The pitch is a bit on the slow side but if you put it in the good areas there is something for you.”

Nottinghamshire were already two wickets down before Gregory got his first wicket.  After scoring a century and an unbeaten 97 against Yorkshire last week Joe Clarke failed to reach double figures when Gregory squared him up and gave Steven Davies his second catch of the innings.

Gregory added: “I’ve played with him a bit and it’s always nice to get him out. He’s a special talent so it was good to get him early. We had a good partnership at the end of the day which was crucial. If we can knuckle down in the first hour and get a big score because we bat all the way down so we back ourselves to fight and get past their total.”

Skipper Steven Mullaney and Chris Nash seemed to settle the Nottinghamshire nervous with a fifty partnership in 14 overs.  Mullaney was the aggressor of the partnership and he he pulled Jack Brooks over mid wicket for the first six of the innings.  At the other end Nash looked more comfortable than he did against Yorkshire and looked like he would equal his 75 he got against the Tykes  or even get a ton. He reached his fifty when he lobbed Gregory to the mid wicket boundary, that shot also brought up the fifty partnership with Mullaney. 

Gregory got his second wicket when he broke their partnership. Mullaney tried to drive him through the covers but missed the ball which was hitting leg.  

With lunch approaching Nash failed to survive till then.  In the penultimate over before lunch the visitors got rid of Nash when he pulled Gregory to Jack Leach, who didn’t have to move an inch, on the mid wicket boundary.

Nash said: “ I felt really happy out there with the way I played but I was really gutted to get out when I did just before lunch. I let the boys down, I could have led them to a big score. I have apologised to the lads because it was a poor shot.

The game is perfectly balanced after we got four wickets.  All four of our seamers ran in brilliantly and Stuart Broad could have got three or four.”

After lunch Tom Moores and Samit Patel took the fight to the Somerset bowlers and in the first 30 minutes after lunch they added 35. Moores in particular was lethal to anything outside the off the off cut Somerset skipper Tom Abell to the cover boundary to bring up the fifty partnership.

Gregory got his fourth wicket when he beat Patel for pace and demolished his furniture.  The pair added 58 in 18 overs.  By tea Nottinghamshire were eight down, 21 balls after tea they were all out.  In the first full over after tea Gregory squared up Luke Fletcher and the ball flicked the off bail, as Fletcher walked off he indicated that the ball had moved away from him. 

Gregory wrapped the innings up in his next over.  Luke Wood brought up his  50 with a straight drive off Gregory to the long on boundary but he sliced the next ball to Abell on the cover boundary.63 balls. 

On a sunny but cold morning Somerset decided not to have a toss and struck in the second over of the day.  Brooks struck in his first over when he trapped Ben Duckett leg before when he tried to turn a straight ball to leg and missed it.

On 20, Ben Slater edged Josh Davey just short off Davies.  Two balls later he edged a drive off Davey to Davies  who took a waiste height.

Moores fell three short off his fifty when he nibbled at outside his off stump from Craig Overton  and Marcus Trescothick took a juggling catch as he fell forwards, it was almost identical to the previous ball only then Moores failed to get a touch.

On four Broad pulled Brooks to Bartlett at mid wicket but he hit with that much force that George Bartlet was unable to hold on to it as he fell backwards but it didn’t prove expensive after adding another single Broad moved too far over to Craig Overton and lost his middle stump.

In their reply Somerset lost their first wicket in the sixth over when Azhar Ali was plum leg before to Broad to one that was hitting leg stump.  Trescothick faced 40 balls in 57 minutes as he he got tied down by Broad and Jake Ball and edged a drive off Broad to Moores.

Fletcher was brought into the attack at the Radcliffe Road end and he struck with his first ball when Hildreth tried to flick him off his legs and was caught down the legside by Moores.

Day 3

FOR the second successive season Somerset beat Nottinghamshire by an innings on the third day at Trent Bridge.

Last September they achieved victory 43 minutes before lunch this time the won 40 minutes before tea. Leading Somerset to victory were the two Jacks who shared the 10 wickets between them, Leach took six for 36 and Brooks who took another two wickets to go with the two he took on the second day.

Somerset skipper Tom Abell said: “At the start of today I thought it would take a lot of hard work but the way they bowled was exceptional.  Leach was absolutely pronominal he was always putting them under pressure.  He was desperate to get into the game, he asked questions of all the batsmen and he was backed up well by the seamers who created a lot of pressure.

In Lewis Gregory we have got a diamond.  When he bowls he looks like he is going to take wickets and he played a vital role with the bat at the end of the second day.

On Thursday evening we were under a bit of pressure but me and George Bartlett stuck at it and we got our rewards.  I think Bartlett is an unbelievable talent, he is something special and it was great to see him get a knock like that.

The side that we beat in this game is a different animal to the side that we beat last season and to get a result inside three days is outstanding and is testament to the hard work that we put in. The whole of the Nottinghamshire bowling attack was outstanding, they asked a lot of questions and we absorbed a lot of pressure.”

Nottinghamshire Head Coach Peter Moores said: “At the start of day two the game was even Stevens but from that moment we were outplayed.  They played well and we played poorly.  The partnership between Abell and Bartlett put us under the cosh.  They took the game away from us.  The wickets we took after their partnership gave us a lifeline back into the game we had to build partnerships. But we didn’t do that, its early in the season but we have to learn the lessons from this match.

They are a good team especially their bowling attack but I feel that if we could have put a score together we could have put them under pressure.  We have a new set of players  and we’ve got to prove that we are a good team.  We have to be more disciplined.”

Nottinghamshire started the third day 115 behind with eight wickets left, overnight batsmen Ben Slater and night watchman Luke Fletcher batted for another 70 minutes  taking the score to 66 before Slater went down the wicket pushing at Leach and was easily stumped by Steven Davies.  The pair had added 50 in 19 overs.

Joe Clarke was the next to go after he had faced 13 balls when he was beaten by one that turned from Leach and lost his off stump.

Fletcher’s 111 minute innings ended when he became Leach’s third victim. He backed away from Leach and skied him to Craig Overton in the covers.

Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney and Samit Patel looked to be avoiding an innings defeat but their 61 minute partnership ended in a controversial way when Mullaney pushed forward at Leach and was beaten. Stumper Davies whipped the bails off and umpire Steve O’Shaughnessy give him out.  Mullaney was non pulsed and didn’t move just looking at his foot and the crease for ages.

After placing Leach to the cover boundary, Tom Moores pushed at Leach to Marcus Trescothick at short leg who dived forward to take the catch.

Luke Wood had a wild swing at Brooks  but failed to make contact with the ball.  Abell took Trescothick out of the slips to mid wicket.  Wood negotiated the next ball from Brooks which was short but chipped the next one to Trescothick.

Patel’s 87 minute vigil at the crease ended when he tried to turn Leach to leg and was leg before.  Without adding to the score Broad pulled the first ball of Brooks' over and was caught by Azhar Ali on the fine leg boundary.

FULL SCORECARD