Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire, LV= County Championship Div 1, New Rd, 3rd day August 9, 2015

Wessels settles Notts run-chase nerves


Nottinghamshire 330 and 157 for 3 (Wessels 70*) require a further 70 to beat Worcestershire 269 and 292 (Whiteley 78, Ball 4-67)

Ross Whiteley, seen here against New Zealand, battled hard to set a testing target © Getty Images

Nottinghamshire edged towards their third win in four LV= County Championship games when set to make 232 after a battling third-day performance by Worcestershire at New Road.

The relegation-threatened home side fought hard to post a second innings total of 292 and an upset was on the agenda when Charlie Morris and Joe Leach put Nottinghamshire in trouble at 37 for three.

Nerves were only settled as James Taylor and Riki Wessels made up for their first innings disappointments by putting on an unbroken 120 and trimming the target to 75.

Nottinghamshire will begin the last day at 157 for 3 with Taylor unbeaten on 49 from 82 balls and Wessels well set with 70 not out, having completed a half-century with seven fours from 122 deliveries.

Even a sizeable partnership by two of their best players did not guarantee Nottinghamshire a comfortable ride. Jack Shantry made sure of that in a testing spell of 8-7-2-0, the only scoring shot a two by Wessels from the first ball of the left-arm seamer's fourth over.

However, Worcestershire were unable to stem the flow at the other end once Nottinghamshire had repaired the damage done at the start of their innings.

Brendan Taylor was leg-before to Morris's fifth ball and in his fourth over the new-ball bowler had Alex Hales snapped up at second slip.

When Leach took his 50th championship wicket of the season, Steven Mullaney's leading edge flying off to point after making 24, it seemed there could be another twist on top of Worcestershire's recovery with the bat.

Only 54 ahead with four wickets down at start of play, they prolonged their resistance for half of the day. Impressive teenager Joe Clarke made his fourth half-century in eight championship appearances and Ross Whiteley followed up a hundred in the last match against Yorkshire with another accomplished batting display.

The former Derbyshire left hander reached 78 and extracted full value by putting on 68 with Clarke until his partner was bowled by Jake Ball for 61 and then 73 in 21 overs with wicketkeeper Ben Cox).

For a while Nottinghamshire were struggling for an answer but a switch to spin paid off when Cox pushed forward to Imran Tahir and tickled a catch to slip, but as soon as Worcestershire met with a setback, they were up and running again.

Leach came in to make a punishing 40 and even with Whiteley bowled by Samit Patel, after hitting 10 fours and a six, the innings still had some momentum as the last three wickets yielded 59 runs.

Shantry was quickly caught at short mid-wicket off Tahir but Saeed Ajmal cheerfully made 19 before Ball (four for 67) took the last two wickets.