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September 13, 2012
Nottinghamshire 155 and 444 for 8 (Mullaney 94, Patel 4-127) lead Warwickshire 204 by 395 runs
Steven Mullaney enhanced Nottinghamshire's chances of finishing on a high with a victory over county champions Warwickshire with a fluent 94 - his highest first-class score since May 2010.
He boosted his hopes of being retained by Notts beyond this summer with an enterprising 119-ball knock that contained 11 fours and four straight sixes as he took charge in a fifth wicket partnership of 119 in just 28 overs with Chris Read (36).
Either side of that, Neil Edwards (53) had scored only his third first-class half-century in as many seasons and Riki Wessels made a brisk 38, while Paul Franks (76 not out) and Ben Phillips (38) put on 91 for the eighth wicket.
New Zealander Jeetan Patel was the pick of the Warwickshire bowlers as Nottinghamshire closed on 444 for 8; a lead of 395 going into the final day at Trent Bridge.
Having wiped out their first innings deficit the previous evening to resume on 49 without loss, openers Edwards and Sam Kelsall (35) remained together until the total had reached 88 when the latter poked Patel's arm ball to Rikki Clarke at first slip.
Wessels - who reached 6,000 first-class runs during his innings - was next to go, lbw to Clarke, but not before he had thumped five fours and a six from just 32 balls. Edwards followed in the next over, pinned leg before wicket by Patel.
England's James Taylor made just 14 before he tried to hit Patel over the leg-side and was snared by a superb diving catch on the run by visiting skipper Jim Troughton. But any ambitions Warwickshire had of quickly knocking over the rest of the hosts batting line-up quickly dissipated as Mullaney and Read joined forces.
The straight hitting of Mullaney was a particular attractive feature of an untroubled partnership, while Read looked destined to reach 1,000 County Championship runs for the season until he was controversially run out just 25 short of that figure. Chris Woakes effected a direct hit as Mullaney called Read through for a quick single, but the Notts captain remonstrated on his way back to the pavilion, having clearly felt he had made his ground.
Soon after, Mullaney attempted to go to three figures with a fifth maximum but holed out to Troughton at deep mid-on, denying him only a second career Championship ton. But the entertainment continued as Franks - in compiling his highest score of the season from 121 balls with nine boundaries and a six - found useful allies in first Phillips, eventually caught behind off Darren Maddy, and then Luke Fletcher.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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