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Les Smith at Trent Bridge
June 22, 2014
Nottinghamshire 208 for 1 (Jaques 111*, Mullaney 91) lead Somerset 168 (Trescothick 87, Gurney 3-44, Adams 3-47) by 40 runs
Sometimes you turn up expecting to see one thing, then it turns out you see something completely different. Today was one of those days. This was supposed to be a tight tussle between the second and third sides in the County Championship. That is not what we got.
Phil Jaques and Steven Mullaney lodged an opening partnership of 203 for Nottinghamshire on a balmy evening at Trent Bridge after their bowlers had seen off Somerset for 168. All this was despite an admirable innings by Marcus Trescothick, Somerset's captain.
Trescothick is the most admired player among his County Championship colleagues, and today's effort demonstrated why. He held a very shaky fort for Somerset throughout both of the first two sessions. He ground his way to 87 while the highest other score was 17, and five other batsmen went for four runs or fewer.
Harry Gurney and Andre Adams were the pick of the Nottinghamshire bowlers. They had almost identical figures - 3 wickets each - and between them undermined the Somerset effort.
Nottinghamshire were hoping to get the best out of Peter Siddle, who was expecting to spend the whole season with the county but has been summoned home by Cricket Australia. This will be the first of his last three Championship games for Notts, for this year at least. And he didn't disappoint, taking just two wickets, but crucially seeing off Trescothick at the back end of the Somerset innings.
Notts had Somerset under the cosh before and after lunch on a green pitch and in warm, muggy conditions. The Somerset skipper was watchful and dogged, and went into lunch on 44 from 76 balls. He earned the reprieve that Samit Patel granted him when he was on 22, a drop at second slip off Harry Gurney that should really have been taken
Patel has carried with him a reputation for not being the most nimble of cricketers. You wouldn't know it from the way in which he made amends here. Peter Siddle returned for a new spell at the Pavilion End. Off its first ball Trescothick flashed outside the off stump, and Patel held a stunning, leaping, one-handed catch at second slip.
Once Nottinghamshire began their reply the green tint that had been evident on the pitch in the morning was all but gone. Jaques and Mullaney made merry. Jaques' undefeated 111 was chanceless, and he was ruthless through the off side. He will take 18 boundaries into day two.
Mullaney, more diminutive-looking than his recorded 5' 10", holed out to square leg when just nine short of a well-deserved century of his own. He had only 138 Championship runs from nine innings prior to this innings, but he looked like the real deal here. These are early days in the match, but it looks as if Chris Read might not be regretting losing the toss this morning.
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