Nottinghamshire fight back against Leicestershire

Seamers Tom Bailey and Danny Lamb claimed four wickets each as Nottinghamshire were dismissed for 272 on the opening of what may be a crucial match in the race for the LV=Insurance County Championship.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 7:59 pm
Ben Duckett hit a half century as Notts were dismissed for 272. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

There were half-centuries for Ben Duckett, on-loan Sam Northeast and Joe Clarke for Nottinghamshire, Group One winners in the conference phase of the competition, but Group Three winners Lancashire fought back as the home side lost five wickets for 19 runs either side of tea before Luke Fletcher led a one-man rally, helping the last two wickets add 42.

Lancashire will have work to do on the second day, however, after closing on 28 for two, having lost Alex Davies, who was caught behind without scoring, and Luke Wells, well held at short leg, both off the bowling of Brett Hutton.

Worryingly for Lancashire and England, pace bowler Saqib Mahmood had to leave the field soon after tea, pulling up midway through the second over of his fourth spell of the day with an apparent side strain.

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Mahmood, man of the series in the one-day internationals against Pakistan earlier in the summer, was drafted temporarily into the England squad at the start of the current Test series against India as injury cover.

It was the second injury suffered by a Lancashire bowler. Steven Croft - picked ahead of leg-spinner Matt Parkinson - damaged a hand fielding in the slips in the third over and could not bowl until midway through the final session. And they had started without Liam Livingstone, who is reportedly unwell following his second Covid vaccine jab.

On what looked like a seamer-friendly pitch, Nottinghamshire lost only one wicket for 97 before lunch and were 211 for four at tea, yet will feel satisfied with their total after being asked to bat first.

Duckett, who survived a chance to wicketkeeper George Lavelle on 55, had added only four when he appeared to get his feet in a tangle at the crease and spooned a catch to mid-off soon after lunch as Lamb gained his first success.

Lamb also dismissed Clarke - dropped off Bailey on 26, again by the ‘keeper - who passed fifty for the seventh time this season only to be leg before for 54.

Northeast drove nicely to pick up 11 fours on his home debut, but edged behind off Bailey, who struck again on the stroke of tea when Lyndon James drove straight to cover.

After Clarke’s departure, George Balderson had Steven Mullaney caught at first slip, then Lamb picked up two more as Liam Patterson-White was superbly taken at second slip and Hutton caught behind. Tom Moores was leg before trying to paddle Luke Wells but Fletcher hit four fours and a six in adding 27 before he was caught on the midwicket boundary.