Honours even after Mullaney fifty
Nottinghamshire 273 for 7 Hampshire 300
Nottinghamshire took advantage of Hampshire's lack of killer instinct to shrug off a dangerous situation and close in on their opponents' first innings total on the second day of the Championship Division One match at The Rose Bowl.
Beginning the day at on three for no wicket in pursuit of Hampshire's 300, Notts were left reeling by a devastating opening spell from former England bowler Kabir Ali, who reduced Notts to 33 for 4 and finished the day with figures of 3 for 70.
The visitors were struggling again at 122 for 6, but Alistair Brown and the Steven Mullaney hauled Notts back into the game as the visitors closed on 273 for 7, 17 behind with three first-innings wickets in hand.
Under a leaden sky which aided swing, Kabir produced a stunning opening burst of three wickets in 18 deliveries for just two runs to leave Notts all at sea. Kabir produced a snorting, lifting delivery which Bilal Shafayat could only edge behind to Nic Pothas and he followed that up with the removal of Neil Edwards, who was judged to have nudged an inside edge on to his pad to loop a catch up to James Vince at point.
Former Worcestershire seamer Kabir, who has a solitary England Test cap to his name, had reduced Notts to 17 for 3 when Mark Wagh played over the top of a straight delivery. Notts were staring down the barrel and Hampshire's modest first-innings total of 300 looked a long way off as Sean Irvine struck with his first delivery to remove the in-form Hashim Amla, albeit with a large amount of thanks to Pothas' superbly athletic leg-side catch as the South African Test batsman looked to glance the Zimbabwean.
Brown began to piece together Notts' reply, initially with the aid of Samit Patel, as the pair added 69 in 17 overs either side of lunch. Brown reached his 50 off 70 balls including five boundaries. But Patel fell soon after the interval, slicing an attempted drive to Dominic Cork at mid-off to give Rangana Herath his first Hampshire wicket on his championship debut.
And when Cork uprooted Chris Read's off stump to leave Notts on 122 for 6, Hampshire looked well on course for a first-innings lead. But Brown has proved a thorn in Hampshire's flesh in the past with Surrey and he and Mullaney frustrated Hampshire's bowlers during an afternoon session firmly won by Notts, who added 102 runs for the loss of Patel and Read.
The partnership was approaching dangerous proportions for Hampshire when the pint-sized Herath struck to remove Brown, aided by a sharp catch at mid-wicket by Cork. Brown's 81 came off 144 balls and including just seven fours, but his partnership of 111 in 31 overs with Mullaney had pulled Notts out of danger.
Mullaney picked up the threads left by Brown and, with Paul Franks, inched Notts towards Hampshire's first-innings total, and when the umpires took the players off for bad light with 11 overs remaining the pair had added 40 untroubled runs. Mullaney was unbeaten on 72.