Taylor finds form to lead Notts recovery
Nottinghamshire 353 for 6 (Taylor 114, Patel 84) v Durham
Brendan Taylor's first century since last June helped put Nottinghamshire on the front foot on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Durham at Trent Bridge.
Taylor, who has struggled for runs in the opening weeks of the season, made 114, scoring his runs from 189 balls, with 18 fours, as Notts recovered from a shaky start to reach stumps on 353 for 6.
The former Zimbabwe international shared in a fifth-wicket stand of 168 with Samit Patel, who made 84.
With Chris Read absent through a hand injury, Steven Mullaney skippered the home side for the first time since a one-day match against Sri Lanka A in 2011. The stand-in captain won the toss, elected to bat first and then perished to a fine catch at midwicket by James Weighell for 2.
Chris Rushworth followed up that wicket by knocking over Jake Libby's unprotected off stump and then Graham Onions sent back Greg Smith, to leave the hosts on 27 for 3.
Michael Lumb helped arrest the slide, making 22 in a fourth-wicket stand of 66 with Taylor but a sharp catch by Paul Collingwood ended his stay just before lunch.
Durham used eight different bowlers during the afternoon session but they were unable to part Taylor and Patel, who added 151 runs without too many alarms, Brydon Carse was unavailable to Collingwood - he left the field after bowling only seven overs.
Patel brought up two milestones in one hit, pulling Collingwood away for the boundary that took him to 50 from 84 deliveries, at the same time as he hit the 10,000 first-class run mark.
Taylor's 27th first-class hundred came from his 145th delivery, with an elegant cover drive off Onions, his 17th boundary. Combining conventional drives and cuts, with deft flicks and reverse sweeps, Taylor looked a million miles away from the player who had only delivered 80 runs in his first eight innings of the campaign.
A knock of 71 at Southampton on Wednesday was an early indicator that he was finding his touch and the confidence gained from that innings helped produce his first championship century at Trent Bridge before he lifted Weighell into the hands of deep midwicket.
Patel soon followed, bowled by Scott Borthwick, but Notts closed out the day in stark contrast to the way they'd begun it. Brett Hutton and Riki Wessels plundered 62 in the closing overs, to ensure at least four batting bonus points.