RESULT
Division 1, Nottingham, September 21 - 24, 2021, County Championship
(T:174) 296 & 174/5
(f/o) 73 & 396

Notts won by 5 wickets

Report

Ben Slater seals five-wicket win over Yorkshire but Notts fall short of Bob Willis final

Victory ends satisfactory four-day campaign for side that began season in first-class drought

David Hopps
David Hopps
24-Sep-2021
Ben Slater celebrates Nottinghamshire's final-day victory over Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire vs Yorkshire, Trent Bridge, County Championship Division One, September 24, 2021

Ben Slater celebrates Nottinghamshire's final-day victory over Yorkshire  •  PA Images/Getty

Nottinghamshire 296 (Clarke 109, Evison 58) and 174 for 5 (Slater 79*, Duckett 54) beat Yorkshire 73 (Evison 4-13, Fletcher 3-31) and 396 (Lyth 153) by five wickets
Nottinghamshire duly completed a five-wicket victory against Yorkshire, seven overs into the afternoon session on the final day and spent the afternoon watching the culmination of Warwickshire's Championship victory at Edgbaston, a result that squeezed them out of contention for a place in next week's Bob Willis Trophy.
For those unversed in cricket's most misconceived tournaments, the Bob Willis Trophy pits together the top two in a contest which is, well, considerably less important than actually winning the Championship. A five-day affair at Lord's which finishes perilously close to October when the Lord's groundstaff have a square to seed. There was not even a huge amount of interest in England in the World Test Championship final, so the idea is unlikely to take hold..
Had Warwickshire failed to win - and it rarely looked in doubt as they rolled Somerset aside for 154 inside two sessions - Nottinghamshire would have finished second in the table and earned a trip to Lord's to face Lancashire, having failed to win the Championship by only half a point - in which case they would have rued once again the missing of a batting point by four runs in the first innings. Instead, Warwickshire's 118-run win meant that Nottinghamshire finished the season third, a result that in many ways made the outcome easier to bear.
A bigger factor than a missed batting point, however, was defeats home and away to Warwickshire in the Conference phase of the season, which meant they carried forward only five points from those matches into the divisional stage, compared with Warwickshire's 21 and Lancashire's 16.5.
For a side that had gone nearly three years without a Championship win before ending that run against Derbyshire in April, it has nevertheless been a satisfying four-day season, and it culminated this week with the coach, Peter Moores, signing a new three-year contract.
The delight of Notts' captain, Steven Mullaney, was obvious. "We wanted to make Nottinghamshire love us again in four-day cricket and the messages we got on social media were that they were really proud of us whatever happened this week.
"I think there were a few twitchy people when Pete was out of contact. It would have been so easy for him to throw the towel in when we didn't win a game for three years. I'm made up that he has signed again."
Half-centuries from Ben Slater (79 not out) and Ben Duckett took them to victory after they resumed on 42 for 1, needing 132 more runs with the whole of the final day ahead of them. Duckett was aghast to drag on a front-foot cut against a wide long hop from Jordan Thompson and a flirtation with finishing the game before lunch led to Joe Clarke and Mullaney also falling before the interval. Slater, who was dropped by Tom Kohler-Cadmore at slip off Matt Fisher when 19, made good his escape. He finished top of the Nottinghamshire averages as a result. Luke Fletcher's 66 wickets at 14.90 were unsurpassed in the country.
Yorkshire, who suffered their first Championship defeat at Trent Bridge since 2008, at least took the match into a fourth day after being bowled out for 73 in their first innings and following on. They too were waiting on the result at Edgbaston, which would determine whether they or Somerset finished bottom of Division One after a season that saw them finish just a point behind winners Lancashire in their conference, despite winning only 18 batting points across both phases of the season, the joint-second lowest tally behind Derbyshire. With Headingley batting conditions generally blameless, that tells its own story.

David Hopps writes on county cricket for ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

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County Championship
Division 1
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NOTTS431073
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Division 2
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GLOUC431076
DURH311144
NHNTS412154
SURR301240
GLAM403134.5
Division 3
TEAMMWLDPT
KENT440094
MIDDX431080
WORCS422067.5
LEICS412154.5
DERBS412151.5
SUSS404030
Group 1
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Group 2
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Group 3
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