Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Nottinghamshire vs Worcestershire: Day two report

Rob Jones came within ten runs of scoring a richly deserved maiden first class century for Worcestershire on day two of the Vitality County Championship encounter with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Jones came to the wicket at 4-2 and featured in half century stands with Kashif Ali and Adam Hose as Worcestershire replied to Nottinghamshire’s 399 all out.

He mixed careful defence with some explosive strokeplay in his 142 ball innings which contained two sixes and eight fours.

But when he looked certain to reach three figures, Jones pushed forward to spinner Calvin Harrison who took a low return catch.

Club Captain Brett D’Oliveira and Nathan Smith added an unbroken 34 to lift Worcestershire to 220-6 from 63 overs by the close, 179 in arrears.

Worcestershire picked up the remaining four Nottinghamshire first innings wickets during the morning session and finished with two bowling bonus points.

Nottinghamshire resumed on 305-6 from 96 overs with Joe Leach and Smith, who picked up three wickets on day one, opening the attack.

Smith mixed up his bowling and a short leg and leg slip were brought in as he attempted a series of short-pitched deliveries to Lyndon James.

Some tight bowling meant James and Calvin Harrison were kept quiet during the opening phase of the day.

But a mixture of the Kookaburra ball and its lack of movement and a still flat pitch also meant there were few wicket-taking opportunities.

The seventh wicket pair accelerated and James completed a 108 ball fifty and Harrison reached his half century from 141 deliveries.

Worcestershire had to be content with two bowling points as Nottinghamshire reached 362-6 from 110 overs.

But then the spinners came into the attack and wickets fell in successive overs.

Josh Baker claimed his second wicket when Harrison (52) went for a big hit and Jake Libby ran back and around from mid on to take a fine tumbling catch.

It ended a partnership of 146, a new Nottinghamshire record for the seventh wicket against Worcestershire.

D’Oliveira then trapped Liam Patterson-White lbw for nought after he was caught in the crease working to leg at 385-8.

A superb piece of fielding from D’Oliveira then accounted for Luke Fletcher.

The pace bowler drove Baker to mid off and set off for a single but he failed to beat D’Oliveira’s direct hit at the non striker’s end.

Adam Finch wrapped up the innings when James, after making a fine 96, lofted a full toss to Baker at deep mid wicket.

Smith finished with figures of 22-4-67-3, Finch 19.2-2-86-2, Baker 34-7-99-2, D’Oliveira 7-0-17-1 and Leach 26-4-73-1.

When Worcestershire batted, Gareth Roderick (0) was lbw to Luke Fletcher and Jake Libby (2) edged Dillon Pennington and fell to a fine catch at third slip.

Kashif Ali, fresh from his two centuries against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, and Rob Jones set about rebuilding the innings.

Kashif pulled Fletcher for the first boundary and Jones straight drove James to the ropes and then steered Pennington backward of square for another four.

Spin was introduced in the 18th over with Liam Patterson-White but Kashif and Jones were determined not to let him settle.

Kashif used his feet to hit Patterson-White straight back down the ground for four to bring up the 50 in the 20th over.

Jones then showed the same aggression and despatched Patterson-White for a six over wide long on.

The third wicket pair added 78 before Kashif (40) attempted to pull Pennington and skied a catch to Jack Haynes running to his left from deep backward square.

Jones was joined by Adam Hose who flicked Harrison through mid wicket for his first boundary.

A sweep for four off Harrison by Jones brought up the 100 in the 34th over.

The former Lancashire player then cut Fletcher for his fourth four to complete a 105 ball half century and then straight drove and turned James off his legs for successive boundaries.

The half century partnership between Hose and Jones came up in only 79 balls as the scoring rate accelerated.

Hose moved onto 33 but then attempted to pull Harrison and skied a return catch after adding 73 in 19 overs with Jones.

Jones continued to score freely and Harrison was deposited for a huge six over long on.

He eventually fell to Harrison at 186-5 and two balls later Holder (0) drove at the same bowler and was caught at first slip.

But D’Oliveira and Smith ensured there were no further breakthroughs.

Rob Jones said: “I feel I’ve been batting really well. It’s amazing what 10 runs does in your mind but 90 was a nice knock.

“We did well, we stuck at it this morning, and bowled them out before lunch, which was really nice.  A few less runs would have been nice but we stuck at it.

“With our innings, it was obviously a tough start, losing a couple of early wickets but the boys fought back really well.

“At the back end, losing those couple of wickets was annoying but if we get past the follow on and take time out of the game and, with that short boundary, if they set us a target we will be positive and chase it.

“We pride ourselves on resilience and fighting back is really important.

“The pitch is spinning a bit, not massive spin and it’s probably out of the footholds mostly but it’s a sixth-day surface and it looks like it will eventually start turning off the straight.

“We back ourselves to deal with it, play it and we have spinners of our own. There’s two big days left now.”