Trent Bridge plays host to a mouth-watering clash this week as leaders Nottinghamshire welcome third place Worcestershire. Both sides come into the game off the back of impressive innings victories, stamping their early intentions on this year’s Division Two table. Both teams batted just once in their last outing, and both posted just shy of 500, it would be no surprise to see another high-scoring encounter in the East Midlands.
Nottinghamshire carry the tag of being the division favourites this season, whether that is a blessing or a burden is yet to be seen. A blip at home to Glamorgan was quickly rectified last week with a resounding win away at Durham. After bowling the hosts out for 230 on day one, Notts managed to put 488/9 on the board before declaring. Opening batsman Ben Slater recorded a career best 225 not out, backed up by a maiden first class century from Lyndon James. Durham were skittled for just 117 inside 34 overs, with the wickets being split between the Notts bowlers. The Trent Bridge faithful will be hoping to see a first home win of the season this weekend.
Worcestershire’s change of captaincy in the summer may have left some uncertainty in the air at New Road, as Brett D’Oliveira took over from long time captain Joe Leach. It is fair to say that D’Oliveira’s reign has started with a bang, picking up 37 points from their two games. After a disappointing draw at Leicestershire that saw the final wicket and victory evade The Pears. Worcestershire bounced back by dispatching Sussex at New Road where D’Oliveira picked up his second century in as many games, before Sussex were forced to follow on. Cheteshwar Pujara’s ton wasn’t enough, as two quick fire wickets from Leach swung the game back in favour of the hosts.
With pitches in April traditionally suiting seam bowlers, it comes as a shock to see a spin bowler take the most wickets from the first three rounds of fixtures. Liam Patterson-White has claimed 18 wickets this season, at an astonishing average of just 15.11. The 23-year-old has played just 23 first class matches, with his bowling only getting better with time. With two five wicket hauls to his name already, Patterson-White will be looking to build upon his 7-wickets at The Riverside last week.
Ed Pollock will certainly remember his County Championship debut at Grace Road for a long time, posting 112 from just 122 balls in the second innings. Pollock continued his blistering form, scoring 77 from 74 to kick start the Worcestershire innings against Sussex. With Jake Libby taking a much more conservative approach to his batting, Pollock has the freedom to play his shots from the first ball, putting the pressure back on to the bowler.
Stuart Broad was made available for the trip to Durham but did not feature. Many are calling for him to be included this week, but it will be a tough call as to who misses out. Joey Evison was omitted from last week’s squad with a foot injury.
Nottinghamshire squad: TBC
Following on from last week, Worcestershire are in a position to name an unchanged side. An in-form and injury free squad suggests that may be the case. Adam Finch, Gareth Roderick and Ben Gibbon all made last week’s squad, but missed out on a spot in the team.
Worcestershire squad: TBC
Weather and Conditions
Trent Bridge looks set to see overcast conditions throughout the four day’s play, with temperatures ranging between 14 and 17 degrees.
Date: 28th April – 1st May 2022
Time: 11.00 am
Ground: Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire
Odds (SkyBet): Nottinghamshire 2/7; Worcestershire 5/2