Notts travel to Durham hoping to bounce back from a heavy defeat to Glamorgan, while Durham are looking for their first win
Second vs third in the table, just one point between the two sides. Two of County Championship Division Two’s bigger hitters go head to head this week and both Durham and Nottinghamshire will be frustrated after round two. To be honest, after the first two games of the season, it’s not clear what we’re going to get from either of these sides.
For Durham, two draws so far and two disheartening games. Weather stopped progress against Glamorgan in round one, and a flattening pitch combined with a conservative declaration meant a second round draw with Leicestershire.
For Nottinghamshire, the loss to Glamorgan was a surprise result, but it was comfortable for Glamorgan and the biggest concern for Notts fans will be the bowling attack. Nobody would have expected Liam Patterson-White to be leading the wicket taking charts. While his performances are welcome; the lack of wickets for Dane Paterson and James Pattinson is a concern and one which they’ll need improvement on if they’re going to start winning games consistently.
There’s encouragement for both sides though.
David Bedingham’s 191 suggests the South African is ready to back up last year’s outstanding performances, and the continued development of Matthew Potts who took career best figures last week suggest there’s plenty to come from Marcus North’s men.
For Nottinghamshire, Ben Duckett contributed big runs in both innings and even made it into the Deep Extra Cover team of the week! And despite not immediately shining, the arrival of Pattinson is a big plus. The ECB have announced that Stuart Broad is available to play for Nottinghamshire. Whether he does or not is another matter though. A fired up Broad with something to prove would be serious prospect.
While nothing will be determined this early on, a win for either side would be a big boost and turn solid starts into good ones. It’s time for one of these sides to show us who they really are. The truth is, that could be by getting the win, or failing to do so.
Haseeb Hameed has started the season in woeful form, but he’s key for Nottinghamshire in this game because they desperately need his runs at the top of the order. If Hameed can set the tone, the talent below him of Clarke, Duckett et al. can take a game by the scruff of the neck; then with a big total, the bowlers can get into the game. It all starts at the top.
Ben Raine’s all round contribution is big for Durham. Eight wickets so far this season, and a 50 last week is ideal. If he can support Rushworth and Potts with wickets and add to the runs of Bedingham, Lees and Borthwick then Durham have suddenly got less reliance on their big guns and have the ability to mix things up with the ball.
The availability of Stuart Broad was a major talking point of course. Notts could have done with his penetration in the bowling attack. Because he’s unavailable, the triple P of Pattinson, Paterson and Patterson-White will be the key bowling threat for Notts. Joey Evison misses out due to a foot injury,
For Durham, Sean Dickson will look to hold onto his place after his 120 last time out and if he joins Lees as opener then Durham’s top order looks strong. Otherwise, you’ll expect much of the same as last time out with Brydon Carse still rehabbing.
Scott Borthwick (c), David Bedingham, Sean Dickson, George Drissell, Ned Eckersley (wk), Oliver Gibson, Michael Jones, Alex Lees, Keegan Petersen, Matthew Potts, Ben Raine, Chris Rushworth, Matt Salisbury, Liam Trevaskis
Steven Mullaney (c), Matt Carter, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Haseeb Hameed, Brett Hutton, Lyndon James, Tom Moores (wk), Dane Paterson, Liam Patterson-White, James Pattinson, Ben Slater
Conditions look set fair for the four days, although late April temperatures of 11-14 degrees aren’t going to fill the fans with joy for a sunny Durham fixture.
Date: 21st-24th April 2022
Ground: Riverside, Chester-Le-Street
Odds (SkyBet): Durham 5/4 Worcestershire 4/7