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Clarke demands Notts improvement after record stand secures draw

392-run stand with New Zealand's Will Young denies Somerset before rain

Joe Clarke celebrates his hundred, Somerset vs Nottinghamshire, Vitality County Championship, Division One, Taunton, April 21, 2024

Joe Clarke celebrates his hundred  •  Getty Images

Nottinghamshire 193 and 440 for 2 (Clarke 213*, Young 174*) drew with Somerset 454 (Overton 95*, Banton 83, Pretorius 77, Dickson 72, Harrison 4-93)
Joe Clarke and Will Young were denied the chance of a 400 partnership when heavy rain washed out most of the final day of Nottinghamshire's Vitality County Championship First Division match with Somerset at Taunton.
Only nine overs were possible at the start of the morning session, which began with the visitors 418 for 2 in their second innings, leading by 157 runs.
Having already broken a Notts record for a third-wicket stand, which had stood since 1903, Clarke and Young added 22 runs, taking the total to 440 before the rain set in at 11.40am with their partnership extended to 392.
No further play was possible before umpires Russell Warren and David Millns abandoned the game at the conclusion of a 1pm lunch period. Clarke was left unbeaten on 213 and Young on 174 as Somerset took 15 points from the draw and Notts ten.
The early finish also deprived the pair of a chance to break the Notts record stand for any wicket, the unbroken opening stand of 406 put together by Darren Bicknell and Guy Welton against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 2000.
"We have to improve as a side because we have been putting ourselves in positions we don't want to be in," Clarke said. "We need to be in control and pushing to win games, so although it was good to get points from this one, we know as a group we have to be better."
This was Clarke's third hundred of the season and he sits one run behind Warwickshire captain Alex Davies at the top of the run-scoring charts in Division One. "The partnership with Will was outstanding," Clarke said. "We fed off each other well and kept each other going.
"It was the first game this year with the Duke ball, but that made no difference to how I approached my innings. As always, I just tried to keep things simple and cash in on the confidence I am feeling with the bat at the moment.
"Will Young just oozes class. He had not had many days in the country before we travelled down to play here after a long flight from New Zealand, so to fit back into the team so seamlessly was amazing."
Lewis Gregory, Somerset's captain, said: "I would like to see pitches here offer a lot more to the bowlers than that one did. It flattened out much quicker than expected, but it's not an exact science and that can happen here. Three draws is a solid start to the season for us. We have played some really good cricket and now need to build on it with a win."