Nottinghamshire 336 for 5 (Nash 139, Libby 88, Patel 76) v Worcestershire
Chris Nash registered his first century for Nottinghamshire to put them in a strong position on the opening day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Worcestershire at Trent Bridge. Nash, skippering the side with Steven Mullaney away on England Lions duty, made 139 as the home side reached stumps on 336 for 5.
Jake Libby and Samit Patel also posted their highest scores of the season as the home side made the most of favourable batting conditions. Libby made 88 and Patel scored 76, one of three wickets to fall to Steve Magoffin and the second new ball. The Australian seamer closed with figures of 3 for 56.
Worcestershire could have saved themselves from some of their suffering in the field, having opted to bowl first. That decision, on a hot steamy day, looked to have backfired as early as the end of the first session, with 100 runs already on the board.
Lacking Ed Barnard, on Lions duty, and with Joe Leach and Josh Tongue out injured, the visitors handed pace bowler Dillon Pennington a Championship debut and gave spinner Ben Twohig just a third appearance. The inexperienced pair found themselves trying to stem the tide, alongside Magoffin and Charlie Morris before lunch.
Gradual progress was made by the two batsmen during the second session and it was something of a surprise when a wicket fell after a stand of 164. Libby, who hit 10 fours and a six from his 170 deliveries, cut Twohig to slip, where Daryl Mitchell took a sharp one-handed catch.
Patel, having been padded up for four hours, was greeted with two loopy full tosses, both of which he crashed away for boundaries to get his innings up and running.
Nash went into the tea break undefeated on 99 but pushed a single to mid on at the start of the final session to reach three figures from 176 deliveries. It was the 24th first class century of his career and his fourth at Trent Bridge, after three for his previous county, Sussex.
Nash and Patel put on 146 for the second wicket and had brought up the third batting point before Worcestershire struck from an unexpected source. New Zealand international Martin Guptill, veteran of 107 first-class matches, picked up only his 11th first-class wicket - and first in England - in getting Nash lbw with some very gentle offspin. Nash old scored his runs from 225 balls, with 21 fours.
The second new ball wasn't taken until the 89th over of the day and Magoffin made an immediate impact, bowling Patel and having Billy Root caught behind, from successive deliveries. When Ross Taylor was caught at slip by Whiteley for his fourth duck of the summer, Magoffin had taken three for none in five deliveries.
Riki Wessels and Tom Moores prevented any further damage, meaning Stuart Broad, given ECB clearance to play, could remain with his feet up inside the dressing room for the entire day. He may well have an important role to play on the second day.