Taylor praise for Moores after second ton
Nottinghamshire 534 (Wessels 159*, Taylor 114, Patel 84, Hutton 74, Borthwick 5-79) and 289 for 5 (Taylor 105*, Lumb 52) drew with Durham 477 (Borthwick 188*, Bird 4-109)
The forecast rain duly arrived soon after lunch to remove any chance of a positive result, denying Durham the opportunity they would have liked to chase a target and potentially overtake Lancashire at the top of the Division One table.
It held off long enough, though, for Brendan Taylor to follow his first Championship century in almost a year with a second in the space of four days, after which the former Zimbabwe captain was eager to thank former England coach Peter Moores, who is part of Nottinghamshire's coaching staff, for devoting time and patience to helping reboot his technique and rebuild his confidence after one of the leaner patches in his career.
Taylor's form began to wobble in the second half of last season and when the beginning of the current campaign produced no evidence of improvement, the 30-year-old batsman decided it was time for serious action.
"I know it is probably not ideal with the season in progress but I decided to do a full-on overhaul of my technique, in particular my trigger movement and backlift," he said.
"I started tinkering a bit towards the end of last season when I was getting out lbw quite a few times but with a lot of T20 during the winter it didn't give me a great deal of time to knuckle down and work on my technique.
"There was a lot of stuff going on in my head and I felt I needed to eliminate the clutter in my mind and narrow things down a bit and I'm grateful to Peter Moores for being so accommodating in the time he has given me.
"We are so fortunate here in having the luxury of being able to work with Mooresy, who gives you a huge amount of belief. The amount of work he puts in to helping players is second to none. I have really grabbed that opportunity to put in extra time with him and I owe him a lot.
"The games come thick and fast but he has made himself available when I have had a slot between team training to work with me one to one."
In particular, Taylor addressed a tendency for his head to fall over at the crease, which was contributing to the high number of leg-before dismissals. He now feels he is standing straighter, playing the ball later and keeping his foot movement in sync with his head.
"It has started to fall into place in the last couple of weeks and the way I have played here has given me a lot of encouragement. Having full belief in my technique again is helping a lot."
Taylor has twice before made two hundreds in the same match, for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh in 2013 in one of his 23 Test appearances and for Mid West Rhinos against Mashonaland Eagles later in the same year. He is the first to do so for Nottinghamshire since Russell Warren against Middlesex in 2003 and the first at Trent Bridge since Tim Robinson against Kent in 1989.
These were two innings of different character. The first required patience and graft to come through a tough start against some high-quality seam bowling from Chris Rushworth and Graham Onions on Saturday, whereas the second gave him licence to go for his shots as Nottinghamshire sought a declaration position.
In gloomy light, with the floodlights on from the start, Taylor went after the spin of Ryan Pringle and Scott Borthwick, pushing the Durham field out to the boundaries by hitting four sixes off the latter, then cashing in with some clever improvisations, including his hallmark uppercut over the wicketkeeper.
Taylor's 105 came off just 81 balls, with 10 fours and another six, off Paul Collingwood. Combined with 42 from Jake Libby and a half-century from Michael Lumb, it stretched Nottinghamshire's lead to 376, at which point a declaration was imminent, with probably 60 overs available for Durham to chase.
In the end, the weather made it all academic, much to the frustration of the visitors. Collingwood confessed he would have liked something a little more generous, although Nottinghamshire were no doubt mindful of what Durham did here in 2013, when they scored 182 in little more than 20 overs to win.
Durham, who face Nottinghamshire again in T20 action on Wednesday, left with some injury concerns among their bowlers. Brydon Carse has a foot injury that meant he could not bowl after day one, James Weighell felt an Achilles problem and Graham Onions has a bruised toe, having been hit in his follow-through.
Borthwick finished with eight wickets in the match to go with his unbeaten 188, drawing high praise from Collingwood. "What a match he has had, not just with the runs he scored but also with his bowling. He was landing the ball pretty well and took some important wickets.
"With the bat he has been superb for the last three years so it is no surprise to us what he can achieve and that was against pretty much an international attack."