Nottinghamshire CCC director of cricket Mick Newell was quick to praise Mansfield-born bowler Jake Ball amid the disappointment of today’s eight wicket defeat at Lancashire.
The home batsmen took just 75 minutes and 17 overs to wrap up the win in their opening Specsavers County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford, though Ball shone with match figures of 6-92.
“Jake’s been terrific,” said Newell. “ He’s picked up six in the game and he’s been terrific in both games.
“He’s got 12 wickets already, so that’s a fantastic start to the season and he’s setting a great example.
“I’m a Liverpool fan, so if we had been able to pull it off today it would have been like Istanbul, or something like that.
“It’s been a disappointing game; we’ve played some poor cricket and we haven’t batted well enough in either innings and that’s been our undoing.”
“It’s a let-down after a very good start to the season, against Surrey.”
Notts skipper Chris Read agreed on Ball’s display, saying: “He’s in fantastic form with the ball.
“He’s had a great winter having been in Dubai with the Lions and he’s had a taste of what life is like with the ECB set up and he’s really keen to progress that side of his career.
“He’s taking the new ball because he’s bowling so well and his stats reflect that.”
“I think last winter he got fitter and stronger and now he’s genuinely lively now and he does plenty with the new ball.
“Today we came in full of hope that we could pull off something spectacular and we gave it everything but on all four days we’ve been outplayed. Having won the toss on a decent wicket, our first innings really hurt us.”
Looking ahead Mick Newell said: “We are going to have to treat people individually over the next few days.
“Some of it is technical, some are making technical mistakes, perhaps with footwork or positioning and others are playing rash shots under pressure.
“They are choosing the wrong option, so there are things we’ve got to look at and not just say a blanket ‘it was rubbish’.
“Alex Hales will be available for the next game against Yorkshire and he will play, that’s a given – and that’s a good thing for the club.
“But it means somebody will miss out so we’ll have to think about people individually and look at what is best for the team.”
A delighted Lancashire director of cricket and head coach Ashley Giles said: “I’ve talked a lot about managing expectations but we’ve played incredibly well against a very good Nottinghamshire team. I’m just full of praise for the team.
“ It was a really disciplined performance with the ball and that’s got to be the benchmark whether Jimmy’s playing or not.
“Neil Wagner has settled in straight away. He’d do anything for the team and clearly he would run through a brick wall when he’s got the ball in his hand.
“Liam Livingstone on debut played far exceeded expectations. He played in a very controlled manner and looked calm when they tested him.
“It really bodes well for the future when you see a young guy play like that.”
All-rounder Steven Croft added: “After losing the toss on a pretty good wicket, that was one of the best bowling displays that I’ve been involved with at this club.
“It was a great team performance backed up by the fielders and we were great with the bat in the first innings, led by another debutant, Liam Livingstone.
“Jimmy Anderson was top drawer and Simon Kerrigan did a really good job, too.
“Kyle Jarvis simply picked up where he left off last season.
“It was a win against a really good side with a lot of international cricketers in it and we didn’t scrape over the line as we usually do.”