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Lord's, May 12 - 15, 2022, County Championship Division Two
415 & 295/5d
(T:516) 195 & 133/3

Match drawn


James Pattinson shines and snarls as Nottinghamshire dominate Middlesex

Australian quick wins compelling duel with his Victoria captain Peter Handscomb during four-wicket haul

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
James Pattinson picked up four wickets  •  Getty Images

James Pattinson picked up four wickets  •  Getty Images

Nottinghamshire 415 (Hameed 112, Mullaney 92, Fletcher 50, Roland-Jones 4-64, Andersson 3-87) and 6 for 0 lead Middlesex 195 (Pattinson 4-49, Broad 3-39) by 226 runs
There was a sense of inevitability as James Pattinson steamed in, the shadows of the Grandstand lengthening across Lord's, and nipped the ball back off the seam to trap Luke Hollman lbw. A win this week should be enough for Nottinghamshire to replace Middlesex as Division Two's leaders and Pattinson, the snarling spearhead of their seam attack, set them on the path towards that result.
Pattinson signed for Notts on an initial one-year deal over the winter as an overseas player - despite the fact he holds a British passport - after retiring from international cricket at the age of 31. That status will allow him to return to Australia to play for Victoria and Melbourne Renegades later this year, at which point he will assess whether his body can cope with the strain of playing all year round.
Notts' resources are unmatched in the second division and their seam attack is so deep that they could afford the luxury of resting Pattinson in their three-day win against Worcestershire. The fixture list gave them a week off in the last round of games meaning that Pattinson had not bowled for 20 days.
He looked fit - and fired up - throughout the 17 overs he bowled in the day, and his five-over spell from the Pavilion End after tea would not have looked out of place in a Test match. Three balls after the interval, he bowled Mark Stoneman through the gate with a nip-backer, going wide on the crease from around the wicket and angling the ball up the slope.
And Pattinson's duel with Peter Handscomb, his Victoria captain, was the highlight. Handscomb is yet to score a half-century at Lord's since he arrived at Middlesex last summer but played fluently throughout his innings on a slowish pitch, scoring heavily square of the wicket.
He came through a test against the short ball, pulling Pattinson for four when he came around the wicket, but was caught on the crease when he pitched full, trapped in front for 48. Pattinson roared in characteristic style in close proximity to Handscomb; rarely has a Championship dismissal at Lord's lent itself to Victorian first grade cricket to such an extent.
Relegated to first change with Luke Fletcher and Stuart Broad sharing the new ball, he had made the early breakthrough with the final delivery of his first over, zipping the ball up the slope to knock Sam Robson's off stump back as he shouldered arms. He finished with 4 for 49, his best figures of the season so far.
Middlesex ended the day wondering how things had slipped out of their grasp after Toby Roland-Jones started it with a spell of 9-4-18-4, trapping Steven Mullaney lbw with the first ball of the day and then removing Tom Moores, Liam Patterson-White (both bowled) and Pattinson (caught behind) in quick succession.
But Fletcher and Broad held them up with a stand of 63 in 12.4 overs, with Fletcher tucking into Hollman's legbreaks and clubbing his way to a sixth first-class fifty from No. 11. He was eventually caught behind for 50 off 54 when he tried to scythe Martin Andersson through point; Broad, unusually, played second fiddle, unbeaten on 11.
Both men were involved in Middlesex's second wicket, one which summed their afternoon up. Stoneman tucked Broad off his hip straight to Fletcher at midwicket and set off for an unlikely single, but Fletcher swooped, threw and hit. He set off with both arms raised, mobbed by his team-mates. "I've seen run-outs here before," Mike Atherton murmured with a wry smile at the back of the press box, after his son Josh de Caires had trudged off.
Broad's own contribution was limited to three late wickets as Middlesex's tailenders looked to swing their way towards the follow-on target: Roland-Jones and Andersson were caught on the pull, while Murtagh was cleaned up poking at a full ball. Broad is candid enough to admit that he is using the early stages of the Championship season as preparation for England's first Test of the summer, against New Zealand here in two weeks' time.
He will be grateful, then, for some rest before he bowls again after Notts opted not to enforce the follow-on. Unfortunately for him, it seems unlikely they will still be batting by the time his beloved Nottingham Forest close out the first leg of their play-off semi-final against Sheffield United after tea.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98