Worcestershire named an unchanged eleven for their LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Chris Read won the toss for the home side and elected to bowl first in overcast conditions.
Daryl Mitchell and James Cameron made a steady start against the new ball and took the opening partnership past the 50 mark in the 12th over. Andre Adams made the break through for the home side in the 15th over when James Cameron was caught low down at 1st slip by Alex Hales for 25. Worcestershire lost their next wicket in the very next over when Vikram Solanki was caught at 3rd slip by Adam Voges for 3 off the bowling of Charlie Shreck.
The visitors looked to be deeper in trouble when Moeen Ali was bowled by Adams without scoring in the 16th over but Daryl Mitchell and Alexei Kervezee saw Worcestershire safely to lunch with the score on 92-3.
Two wickets fell early in the afternoon session within 10 balls of each other, both off the bowling of Andre Adams and both catches to Chris Read. Daryl Mitchell made 41 and Alexei Kervezee 30. The catch to dismiss Kervezee was very well taken by Read, just at the time Kervezee was looking to build on a solid start to his innings.
The fact that these were the only wickets to fall in the session was due to a steady 6th wicket partnership between Matt Pardoe and Gareth Andrew. Only 76 runs were scored in the session but it did enable Worcestershire to reach tea with the score on 168-5 with some sensible batting and ensuring no more wickets fell cheaply. The Nottinghamshire bowlers bowled well in the early overcast conditions and made batting tricky at times but were let down throughout the innings by a series of missed catches, mostly in the slip cordon. Andre Adams in particular was difficult to play finishing with figures of 4-57 in 21 overs.
After the tea interval the partnership continued for another 8 overs and was worth 93 runs before Gareth Andrew was caught in the gully by Andre Adams off the bowling of Samit Patel. After a patient innings of 48 stretching over 106 deliveries it was perhaps a disappointing way to get out.
Ben Cox was dismissed for 5, just before the new ball was due, giving Chris Reed his 3rd catch of the innings. Matt Pardoe and Damien Wright saw Worcestershire safely to the close of play with the score on 253-7 with an unbeaten 8th wicket stand of 43 with Wright on 32* and Pardoe on 56*.
Matt Pardoe made his second First Class fifty in a composed innings which has lasted for 187 deliveries already, over almost two complete sessions. Worcestershire finished the day on 253-7 and perhaps if they can stretch the score towards the 300 mark it will represent a good score and may leave the home side regretting the missed catches.
Close of Play Day 1: Worcestershire 253-7.
In the morning session Worcestershire batted on for a further 18 overs to reach 315 all out. Matt Pardoe and Damien Wright continued their overnight 8th wicket stand, extending it to 96 before Pardoe was caught by Andre Adams at short mid wicket off the bowling of Samit Patel for a career best score of 74. With the partnership broken the last two wickets fell soon after with Damien Wright being the next wicket to fall, LBW for 65, again to the bowling of Samit Patel. Andre Adams finished with figures of 5-73 with Samit Patel picking up 3-31.
In the 11 overs remaining before the lunch interval the Nottinghamshire opening pair, Mark Wagh and Neil Edwards, saw the home side safely to the interval with the score on 48-0.
Worcestershire made their first breakthrough in the third over after the lunch break with Edwards being dismissed for 39, caught at the wicket by Ben Cox off the bowling of Alan Richardson. Matt Mason picked up a further wicket six balls later clean bowling Wagh for 17. The visitors added a third wicket less than three overs later with Alex Hales dismissed for 0 by the Cox / Richardson combination again.
A 4th wicket of 102 stand for the home side between Adam Voges and Samit Patel soon stopped any thought of a collapse. The partnership was only broken shortly before the tea interval when Voges was trapped LBW for 61, giving Richardson his third wicket of the innings. Nottinghamshire reached the tea interval on 176-4.
After tea the home side looked to take control of the match with a big 5th wicket stand between Patel and Steven Mullaney who were looking more and more confident against the
Worcestershire attack as the session wore on. The breakthrough came in the 65th over with the introduction of Gareth Andrew for the second spell of the day. On his first ball he trapped Mullaney LBW for 53, ending the 5th wicket stand of 93 with Patel. The very next ball Chris Read edged a catch to Ben Cox to leave the home side on 259-6. Three overs later the spin bowling of Moeen Ali tempted Patel into one big shot too many and he was caught in the deep by substitute fielder Jack Shantry for 81.
Alan Richardson picked up his fourth wicket of the innings with the first ball of the last over of the day, with Andre Adams giving Cox his fourth catch so far in the innings having scored 10. The home side finished the day on 291-8, just 24 runs behind Worcestershire's score leaving the match very evenly balanced going into the 3rd day.
Close of Play Day 2: Worcestershire 315. Nottinghamshire 291-8.
An unbroken 6th wicket stand of 119 between Alexei Kervezee and Gareth Andrew rescued Worcestershire from a tricky situation on the 3rd day and set up the potential for an exciting finish on the last day of the LV= Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.
The day started well for the hosts who were eight down at the start of the day. Paul Franks guided his partners through 9th and 10th wicket stands of 39 and 52 respectively to help Nottinghamshire not just reach Worcestershire's 1st innings total but exceed it by 67 runs. Franks, who has opened the innings for the home side in previous matches looked at ease when the new ball which was taken within five overs of the start of play. Franks was the last man out for 82 on the stroke of the lunch interval with the home side dismissed for 382. The final wicket was Alan Richardson's 5th of the innings finishing on 5-98 and Ben Cox's 5th catch behind the stumps, with four of Richardson's wickets being caught by Cox.
Worcestershire's 2nd innings started straight after the lunch interval and the visitors were soon in trouble loosing early wickets. Daryl Mitchell was unlucky to be bowled by Luke Fletcher for 3 from a ball that appeared to keep very low. Four overs later James Cameron was well caught at 1st slip by Alex Hales for 12, also off Fletcher's bowling. The visitors were in even more serious trouble when two more wickets fell before the deficit was wiped out, being 56-4 half way through the afternoon session. Alexei Kervezee and Matt Pardoe however batted sensibly and assuredly to help the visitors reach the tea interval with no further loss of wickets on 116-4.
After tea the 5th wicket stand between Pardoe and Kervezee continued for another five overs until Pardoe was caught at 2nd slip by Neil Edwards off the bowling of Charlie Shreck for 28. That was to prove to be the only wicket to fall in the tea interval with the unbroken 6th wicket stand between Kervezee and Gareth Andrew first dragging Worcestershire back into the game and then has setting up the possibility of setting a match winning target on the final day.
Kervezee was in fine form with good shot selection and well timed shots. He passed his first 50 shortly after the resumption after the tea interval from 87 deliveries, his next 50 took just 60 deliveries as he scored his 4th First Class century, finishing the day unbeaten on 123* in an innings that has lasted 176 deliveries and contained 19 boundaries, including one huge straight six off Steven Mullaney to bring up his century. He was ably assisted in the partnership by Gareth Andrew who finished the day unbeaten on 56*. The partnership has brought the match back into the balance once again on what might prove to be an interesting final days play.
Close of Play Day 3: Worcestershire (315 & 256-5) lead Nottinghamshire (382) by 189 runs with 5 wickets remaining.
Worcestershire narrowly lost their Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, but not before taking the home side to the final in the final session of the match. It was a match that both sides were in control of at various stages, with both sides letting the other side back into the match
The final day started in overcast conditions. Alexei Kervezee and Gareth Andrew increased their overnight 6th wicket partnership by a further 16 runs to reach 135 before Kervezee was caught at 2nd slip by Neil Edwards off the bowling of Paul Franks for 128. It was a fine innings by Kervezee that brought the visitors right back into the match and allowed them to create a reasonable target to defend on the final day. Gareth Andrew was dismissed just before the new ball was due four overs later for 67, caught by Chris Read off Paul Franks.
Once the 8th wicket fell with the score on 295 Damien Wright began to hit out and was last man out for 33. Worcestershire were dismissed for 328 which left Nottinghamshire a target of 262 to runs to win in a minimum of 67 overs left in the day. In the two overs before the lunch interval the home side reached 9-0.
In the afternoon session Alan Richardson picked up three wickets and was bowling well in combination with Damien Wright. The home side off set off at a good pace and were able to maintain an overall run rate of over four runs and over throughout the innings. Alex Hales in particular looked in good touch passing the 50 mark before the tea interval where the home side went in at 136-3.
A 4th wicket stand either side of the tea interval of 96 between Alex Hales and Adam Voges effectively won the match for the home side. Voges was eventually trapped LBW for 32 by the hard working Damien Wright. Worcestershire took three quick wickets mid session, including Alex Hales for 84 leaving Nottinghamshire on 208-6 but were unable to finish the game off.
A 7th wicket stand between Chris Read (35*) and Paul Franks (26) saw Nottinghamshire home with just over seven overs to spare. Alan Richardson bowled for 20 overs and took 4-88 and Damien Wright 2-70 in 18 overs but the bowling unit as a whole was not able to keep enough pressure on the strong Nottinghamshire batting line up on their own pitch who were able to keep ahead of the required run rate throughout the run chase.
Chris Read hit the winning run with a boundary 6 to give the home side the win by 3 wickets.
Match result: Worcestershire (315 & 328) lost to Nottinghamshire (382 & 266-7) by 3 wickets.
Worcestershire 6 points, Nottinghamshire 22 points.