Seconds start in style
Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire, Second XI Championship, Day 3
REPORT | By Pete Johnson
Leicestershire Second XI maintained a consistent level of performance to land an impressive win in the Championship opener against Nottinghamshire.
We arrived at Notts Sports Ground for day three of the SEC encounter against Nottinghamshire to be greeted by the now customary semi arctic weather conditions. However, we were also blessed with one of the first signs of summer, the sight of Tim Murray circumnavigating the boundary in his regulation brown cap. A man who goes for a long-term project when investing in headgear.
Leicestershire commenced the day on 171-4, a lead of 334, Mark Pettini 38* and Aadil Ali 39*. County batted on for a further eight overs adding 79 runs in the process. Ali went to his 50 (4x4/2x6) from 83 balls.
The pair brought up their 100 partnership from 146 deliveries. This milestone was reached with a huge maximum from Ali. The ball left the hand of seamer Matt Milnes in postcode NG2 and finished up in NG3, having been dispensed with by Ali. Soon afterwards Ali (60) was bowled by Milnes.
Pettini notched his half-century (3x4) from 76 balls. Pettini (50) and Rob Sayer (0) were both sacrificial victims to Brett Hutton when trying to force the pace.
Tom Wells (18* from 10 balls) and Callum Parkinson (20 from 13 balls) were the not out batsmen. County closed their innings on 250-7, leaving Nottinghamshire a somewhat daunting target of 414 to win from a minimum of 86 overs at a required run rate of 4.81.
Nottinghamshire had 18 overs to negotiate before lunch, and progressed to 69-1. Chris Gibson and Tom Keast brought up their 50 partnership from 70 balls. Keast was dismissed with the total on 51, caught at slip by Paul Horton off the bowling of Will Fazakerley. Gibson 20* and Connor Marshall 7* took Nottinghamshire safely into lunch.
In the eighth over after lunch, Marshall (29) went lbw to Sayer. Will Root joined Gibson, and the pair posted a 50 partnership from 87 balls. With the next ball, Root (32) was caught by Fazakerley off Dieter Klein, whose uncle Calvin would have been delighted.
Gibson went to his 50 (3x4) from 131 balls. Nottinghamshire then lost 2 quick wickets before tea to put County in the box seat. Brett Hutton (14) went caught at extra cover by Wells off Parkinson, and Tom Moores (5) was also caught at extra cover by Wells off Sayer.
Nottinghamshire went into tea on 189-5 Gibson 54* and Liam Patterson-White 0*. After tea skipper Wells juggled his bowlers about with the precision and authority akin to that of a foreman in a German Car Factory. Indeed it was Wells who made the crucial breakthroughs with a double wicket maiden from the seventh over after tea.
Gibson (58) was caught behind by keeper Lewis Hill and Milnes (0) went bowled fourth ball by Wells, Nottinghamshire on the ropes at 200-7. That soon became 206-8 when Patterson-White (13) went lbw to Parkinson.
Anuj Dal was unable to bat for Notts due to an injury picked up on day two, so Matt Carter and Ben Kitt were effectively the last wicket. The pair however did not give up easily and proceeded to post a 50 partnership from 73 balls, when the score had reached 257-8, just after the last hour had been called.
Klein wrapped up the game for County when he bowled Kitt (27) with 5th ball of the third over of the (minimum) of the last 16. A couple of balls beforehand. a delivery from Klein had struck Kitt a painful blow, which required prolonged attention from Nottinghamshire’s assembly of physios.
With wickets having been shared amongst the attack, County won by 156 runs, taking a maximum 24 points to 5 points gained by Nottinghamshire. Just after the players left the field it rained heavily for some 15 minutes, which would have resulted in a stoppage, and overs lost.
Finally a word for the band of Foxes supporters who had ventured over the border for the three days of the game. They sat huddled on the boundary’s edge in many layers of clothing to combat the biting temperature. Their ordeal would not have been out of place in a Bushtucker Trial in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Each and every one of you, your attendance was very much appreciated and admired, thank you.