Vitality County Championship – Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire, Day Three 

Vitality County Championship – Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire, Day Three 

There seems to be an ability about the Nottinghamshire side that makes life more difficult than it should be. When play resumed today at Trent Bridge in the Vitality County Championship, they were in an excellent position to have the match all but sewn up by the end of the day. Some clever bowling from Nathan Smith, with figures of four for 29, reduced Notts to 151 for seven at the end of play, a lead of just 195 on day three. 

Dogged resistance from Worcstershire’s tail saw them improve on their overnight 220 for six to 355 all out by the middle of the afternoon session. Smith (58) was 15 not out as play resumed and, with the help of Brett D’Oliveira, added another fifty runs to the seventh wicket. Smith then found more support in the form of  Joe Leach (48*), and they added 68 for the ninth wicket, frustrating the Notts bowlers. 

Calvin Harrison, the pick of the Notts attack, ended the Worcestershire inning with his first five-wicket haul, three of which were caught and bowled, returning figures of five for 128.   

It was a lead of 44 for Notts, and while it was slimmer than they were hoping for their openers, Haseeb Hameed (40) and Ben Duckett were in a hurry to put as much distance between them and their visitors. An opening stand of 81 from 23.5 overs looked to once again ensure their side were in command.  

Ben Slater (23) joined Duckett when Hameed was caught by Rob Jones off the bowling of Josh Baker, and the pair were motoring before what can only be described as an inspired spell of bowling from Smith. 

Duckett was the first to offer Jones a catch at short midwicket, and Joe Clarke was wandering back in the same direction two balls later; a diving pluck out of the air from Gareth Roderick down the leg side had the Trent Bridge faithful stunned and bemused. 

Smith was not finished when Matthew Montgomery was pinned in front lbw for the second, second-ball duck of the over. 

There was a respite of six balls for the Notts batters, and in the following over, Smith struck again as he removed Jack Haynes’ off stump, much to the delight of his teammates. 

125 for one had now descended into a disastrous 127 for five. When Smith was replaced by Adam Finch, it felt like things would settle down and Notts lower order could rebuild. Finch had other ideas and tempted Harrison to leave a good delivery, but the allrounder could only look on as his stumps were rearranged. 

On a pitch that has had seven days of play in the last two weeks, Notts hopes they can muster enough of a lead tomorrow and make life difficult with their two tall spinners.  

With Lyndon James and Liam Patterson-White, they have the players to guide them to a defendable target, but Worcestershire have proven so far in this match that they are not willing to be beaten easily. 


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