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Opera North - The Little Greats

Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club: May Round-Up

5 June 17 words: Gav Squires

Our Gav gives us the lowdown on the cricket gossip from the past month...

Derbyshire at The County Ground - One Day Cup - Tuesday 2 May

After two defeats in the 50 over completion (one, unlucky due to the weather, one a complete shellacking by a better team) it was time to head off down the A52 to face off against Derbyshire. The hosts batted first and Notts struggled to make a breakthrough, the opening batters putting on 148 before Ben Slater was run-out by Riki Wessels on 72. His fellow opener Billy Godleman scored 90 and a handy 66 from Wayne Madsen saw Derbyshire score a useful 303 from their 50 Nottovers. A little rain left Notts needing a revised target but things didn't start well as Michael Lumb fell in just the second over. Alex Hales, warming up for two internationals against Ireland, hit 77 while contributions of 67 from Riki Wessels and 59 from Samit Patel set up James Pattinson to hit the winning runs as Notts triumphed by four wickets, with four balls to spare.

Warwickshire at Edgbaston - One Day Cup - Friday 5 May

A trip to Birmingham up next and a trip to the very out of form Warwickshire. Winning the toss, Notts elected to bat and in the absence of Hales, Michael Lumb stepped up and opened with a 56. Steven Mullaney, playing his first game of the season, scored an impressive 89 but it was Billy Root who really shone, making his first List A century, 107 not out from 93 balls. With Warwickshire requiring 304 to win, they were in a good position with former England internationals Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell at the crease as they cruised to 185-1 in the 34th over. Cometh the hour, cometh "Golden Arm" Mullaney, removing Trott and then Bell four overs later. He even added the scalp of former England wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose. With the loss of Trott and Bell, Warwickshire were always just behind the run-rate as Harry Gurney and James Pattinson both took two wickets and Stuart Broad, still strangely overlooked by England in limited-overs cricket, bowled 10 overs for just 39 runs. Two run-outs in the last over left Notts winners by 10 runs.

Leicestershire at Welbeck - One Day Cup - Sunday 7 May

With Nottingham Forest facing a do-or-die football clash, Nottinghamshire took their home game out to Welbeck Colliery Cricket Club for the visit of Leicestershire. The visitors were put into bat and struggled to get out of second gear, Mark Cosgrove was the only batter who really got it, scoring 80. The Notts bowlers enjoyed themselves, James Pattinson taking 4 wickets and Harry Gurney 3, including that of Cosgrove, as Leicestershire could only muster 217 all out. The reply got off to the worst possible start with Michael Lumb falling LBW first ball. Samit Patel, batting at 3, steadied the ship, scoring 79, Brendon Taylor made 51 not out and Steven Mullaney scored 50. Notts sealed victory by 6 wickets with more than 11 overs to go in their innings.

Durham at Trent Bridge - One Day Cup - Thursday 11 May

Jake Ball and Alex Hales were both back from England duty as Notts returned home to welcome Durham. After being put into bat, Notts lost Michael Lumb in the first over again. But then came the Hale storm as Alex Hales scored 104, his 15th List A century, talking him past 5,000 one day runs in the process. He even hit one six into the BBC commentary box. From 288-5, Notts tried to accelerate the scoring in the last couple of overs but lost their last five wickets for just 9 runs. Billy Root had made 66 and Chris Read 61. In reply Jake Ball took two wickets in the first three overs to leave Durham floundering on 8-2. Graham Clark (92) and Cameron Steel (77) stared the rebuilding operation, putting on 160 for the third wicket. When they both fell in the space of four balls, Notts seemed to have the upper hand again. That brought Paul Collingwood to the crease and the former England limited-overs captain judged his innings to perfection as he scored 73 not out, leading Durham to a 4 wicket victory with only five balls remaining.

Lancashire at Trent Bridge - One Day Cup - Sunday 14 May

Notts had named this as their family fun day and a combination of £1 entry fee and good weather saw 8,000 people turn up to watch. Those who hadn't just turned up for the face painting and drum workshops would have been a bit worried by the start that Lancashire made as their openers Karl Brown and Alex Davies took a liking to the bowling of Jake Ball and Harry Gurney. The run rate slowed down with Stuart Broad and Samit Patel into the attack and James Pattinson was excellent as he took 2-38 and Steven Mullaney's medium-pace wobblers took 2-31. So, even though Haseeb Hameed made 75 not out, Lancashire were restricted to just 260-6, when at one stage they were well on course for over 300. In reply Alex Hales fell cheaply for just four but after Michael Lumb had made 47, Samit Patel took control. His unbeaten century, ably backed up by Mullaney scoring 77 not out meant that Notts were never really in trouble and still had four overs to spare as they won by a comfortable 7 wickets.

Northamptonshire at The County Ground - One Day Cup - Tuesday 16 May

Notts headed off down the road to Northants knowing that a victory would seal their place in the knock-out stage of the competition. Things were a bit tense as the home side made a good start with the bat, reaching 79-0 in the 15th over, when the rain came. No further play was possible and so Nottinghamshire knew that their fate was no longer in their own hands. If either Durham or Leicestershire had managed a victory they would have been through at Notts' expense. Neither could manage it and so Notts were through - a great way to send off James Pattinson, who was playing his final game before joining up with the Australian squad for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens - County Championship - Friday 19 - Monday 22 May

Then it was back to red ball cricket and a debut for new overseas signing Cheteshwar Pujara. He wouldn't have to wait long to get his first innings as Notts elected to bat first. Unfortunately, he made just 2 runs. Jake Libby was making hay at the other end though as he notched up 109. Rikki Wessels went even better scoring 122 as Chris Read made 88 and, in his first appearance of the season, Brett Hutton 61 out of a score of 448. Nottinghamshire then really applied the pressure knocking over the hosts for just 187, sharing the wickets around the entire attack with Broad taking two, Fletcher three, Hutton two and Patel and Gurney a wicket apiece. When Glamorgan opener Nick Selman fell in just the second over of their second innings, when they'd been asked to follow on, it looked like it was only going to be a matter of time before Notts wrapped up another victory. Colin Ingram had other ideas as he proceeded to bat. And bat. And bat. He scored the slowest century of the first class season so far, finishing on 155 not out, but along with Chris Cooke (113 not out) he put on a stand of 226 as Glamorgan pulled off an unlikely draw.

Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge - County Championship - Friday 26 - Monday 29 May

Back home and Gloucestershire opted to put Notts into bat, which the home side took advantage of on a lovely sunny day. After a disappointing debut, Cheteshwar Pujara was in the runs as he notched up his first century for Nottinghamshire, scoring 112. That included a partnership of 183 with Michael Lumb, who went on to score 117. 30+ scores from Steven Mullaney, Jake Libby, Rikki Wessels and Chris Read saw Notts declare their innings on an impressive 430-9. Things got even better as two quick wickets from Luke Fletcher and one from Stuart Broad reduced the visitors to 18-3. Former England wicketkeeper Phil Mustard led a bit of a fightback with 53 but his wicket was the first of four for just 13 runs that saw Gloucestershire all out for just 149. Unsurprisingly, they were asked to follow on and made a decent start to their second innings, reaching 98-1. Then Mullaney removed opener Cameron Bancroft for 53 and it sparked a collapse of five wickets for just 19 runs. Mullaney was the pick of the bowlers finished with a career best 5-32 as Notts wrapped up victory inside three days, winning by an innings and 50 runs.

May Round-Up

Five wins, two draws and just a single defeat meant that May was another impressive month for Notts. More important than that, they are top of the table in the County Championship second division and are in the quarter-finals of the One Day Cup. What has really impressed is that someone has put their hand up and performed in every game - at least one, if not two players have performed with the bat, something that wasn't happening last year and the bowlers are operating like a unit, regardless of who plays. June brings four Championship fixtures and is a real opportunity for Notts to keep this run of form going and cement their place at the top of the table.


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