Wickets shared as Seconds beat Notts
Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire, Second XI Championship, Day 3:
REPORT | By Pete Johnson
We were greeted by pleasant early morning sunshine when we arrived at the Notts Sports Ground for day three of the Second XI Friendly match between Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
31 August 2017, I am sure nearly everyone reading this will remember exactly where they were 20 years ago to the day, on the morning of 31 August 1997, when news bulletins announced the death of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales.
Day three belonged to Leicestershire who recorded a resounding victory, by 119 runs, against their Nottinghamshire neighbours. Notts declared their innings overnight, trailing by 115 runs in an effort to set up a match.
Leicestershire progressed to 163-3 from 32 overs in their second innings, Sam Evans making 65* and Tom Wells 44.
Nottinghamshire were challenged with making 279 for victory in a minimum of 64 overs. County dismissed them for 159 in 52 overs with a further 12 overs remaining in the day. The majority of the bowlers used by Leicestershire made a contribution ensuring Nottinghamshire did not threaten to reach their target.
The players took to the field in bright sunshine, the best weather we had experienced over the three days. There were only five spectators present when play commenced, due to Nottinghamshire’s First XI match at nearby Trent Bridge going on into day four. The five spectators did however include a couple of familiar faces from Leicestershire.
Nottinghamshire had declared on their overnight 220-4 trailing Leicestershire by 115 runs. Evans and Wells opened the innings for Leicestershire and really got the innings out of the blocks quickly, laying a solid foundation.
They brought up their 50 partnership after 8.4 overs. Evans was taking the majority of the strike, and displaying that he could score runs at a brisk pace, as well as solidly accumulate as he does in his normal red ball mode.
Evans took a particular liking to seamer Matt Milnes striking him for three boundaries in the 50 partnership. Wells also took a couple of boundaries off Milnes, and deposited leg-spinner Ish Sodhi for a rather large straight maximum.
Evans went to a splendid half-century (5x4) from 58 balls when the score reached 97-0 off 15.4 overs. Evans, when at the crease, is like a piece of sellotape that you get on your fingers, sticks there, and is difficult to remove.
The 100 partnership between Evans and Wells came up after 19.3 overs. Next ball, however, Wells (44 from 56 balls, 3x4, 2x6) was caught at long-on off left arm seamer Riecko Parker-Cole. The catch, much to the delight of the Notts fielders, was taken by one of their physios, Lawrence Brown, fielding as a substitute as two of the Nottinghamshire 12 selected for the match, were temporarily off the field.
Notts Head Physio came and asked immediately for a printout of the scorecard, that he was going to ceremonially present to Mr Brown! After 21 overs the number of spectators increased dramatically at around 12.15pm, as the First XI at Trent Bridge had finished, and a couple of dozen or so made their way to the NSG.
Amongst those making a grand entrance, after being at Trent Bridge for each of the four days play were Rosemary and Chris, who may have thought they had gone under my radar but I spotted them easing into their customary position near one of the sightscreens.
Adam Ball joined Evans, and four of the 16 balls he received went for a boundary. I kept saying '4 Ball' to the Nottinghamshire Scorer, I kept thinking I was asking her to make up a four for a round of golf. Ball (21) went trying to force the pace, caught by keeper Tom Keast off spinner Jordan Cook.
Ball has given an initial impression of doing everything properly, and correctly. I can imagine him having his pyjama trousers pressed. Rob Sayer joined Evans. Just after this a male spectator on the boundary took off his shirt and sat there with just a pair of shorts on. There were people around him with coats on - looking at him made me feel cold.
Sayer played a delightful little cameo for the team knocking up 23 from 31 balls (3x4,1x6). Sayer (21) was dismissed by the very last ball before lunch lbw to seamer Louis Bhabra. County into lunch on 163-3 from 32, Evans 65* (7x4) from 91 balls.
After eating my Lunch, I approached a member of the Catering Staff humbly asking if there was any more (I felt a bit like Oliver Twist), her reply was ‘sorry run out’. I reckon I must be the only person to have ever been given out during the Lunch Interval! Leicestershire subsequently declared their innings at lunch setting Nottinghamshire 279 to win from a minimum of 64 overs, an asking rate of 4.35 per over.
The Nottinghamshire innings never really got off the ground, with the County attack strangling the life out of it. The highest partnership of the innings was for the first wicket, 35, between Chris Gibson and Keast.
Keast (20) was first to go, bowled by a ball of full length from Richard Jones, pleasing for a bowler to see the stumps splayed all over the place and bails flying in opposite directions. Next ball Jones got the wicket of Nott skipper, the dangerous Anuj Dal (0), well caught at first slip by Sayer, the ball flying off the edge at jet propelled speed, and eventually snaffled by Sayer, don’t sack the juggler! Excellent slip catch if I may say so.
Nottinghamshire 35-2 from 6.2, Jones on a hat-trick. The hat-trick ball was down the leg-side and raced away for four byes, rather harsh on keeper Harry Swindells. The Swindler being of too tender years to recall The Bay City Rollers Number 1 hit, Bye Bye Baby, Baby Bye Bye.
Next to go was first innings top scorer Gibson (23), caught behind by Swindells off Tom Wells, the fourth ball of an inspired spell by Wells. Wells sending down 4.2 overs before a run was scored off him.
Will Fraine (11) went lbw to Wells, and the score had progressed to 87 when Connor Marshall (2) was caught at second slip by Adam Ball off Dominic Manthorpe. Prior to taking this wicket, Manthorpe and Wells must have felt like Bono playing a game of hide and seek with a member of his band (U2), they just could not find The Edge.
Lyndon James (20) went caught at slip by Sayer off Manthorpe. Nottinghamshire went into tea on 105-6 from 31, still requiring 174 to win from a minimum of 33 overs.
In the 5th over after tea, Liam Patterson-White went caught behind by Swindells off Chappell. Milnes (12) went in a similar fashion caught by Swindells off Chappell, but this time from a fast short rising ball. Chappell was causing the batsmen problems with his pace. Big Zak a bit like a car that had been in a garage for a few weeks undergoing repair, and then being returned to its owner like its old self.
Parker-Cole (1) went lbw to Matthew McKiernan, and Notts were all but done for on 139-9 from 46.2. The last hour was called at 5.07pm with a minimum of 16 overs to be bowled, Notts on 144-9 from 48.
Just a further four overs were needed, Sayer wrapping things up when he had Jordan Cook (27) caught at mid-on by Dieter Klein. Nottinghamshire all out for 159, Louis Bhabra 7*, Leicestershire winning by 119 runs.
A thoroughly professional demolition job by the Leicestershire bowlers with Jones, Chappell, Wells and Manthorpe claiming two wickets each - very frugal spells especially from Wells and Manthorpe. Sayer and McKiernan also in on the act grabbing a wicket each. The game finished at 5.17pm. Just two friendly three-day fixtures are now remaining for Leicestershire Second XI in their 2017 campaign.