Nottinghamshire 267 & 298/5 v Durham 330 & 332/4 dec (County Championship Group One)
08.04.21 – 11.04.21
A spirited fightback and some plucky performances to be proud of, but like last season, and the year before, and even some before that, still there are many airs of frustration with chances missed and long sessions without wickets, as Nottinghamshire still searching for that first red ball win since 2018, in the end are happy to take a draw and thirteen points each with Durham who were marginally the better of the two teams on show.
It started all on Thursday morning, bright with spring in the air, Nottinghamshire putting Durham into bat first and the first wicket of the season came for just five runs, Jones caught Hameed bowled Ball for a duck.
Like busses, one became two as Borthwick went without score to Jake Ball enjoying himself with the new ball, Durham 5/2 and Notts in control.
Andy Lees and David Bedingham however had other ideas, a solid partnership took the visitors to Trent Bridge seven short of the hundred before Bedingham went on 57. Luke Fletcher with his first wicket of the campaign.
Lees would eventually go for 58, run out, with Durham 144/4 and a quick spell of wickets tumbling had Notts in real control, Burnham taken by Fletcher for 42 before Eckersley fell to Mullaney, quickly followed by Poynter with Durham 196/7.
By stumps of day one, Durham had reached 241/7 and the next days rain ensured a delayed start to the proceedings.
When play resumed Carse eventually went lbw Hutton as Durham hit 250, and although Salisbury was next for a further 21 more runs, the tie swayed away from Nottinghamshire as a last wicket partnership of 59 meant that the first innings chase would be a hugely respectable 330.
For Notts, that chase didn’t start so well as Slater went for a duck, shortly followed by Hameed on 10 before Clarke then Duckett with the home side 46/4.
Mullaney was next to go for just 11, before James on 28 but with Tom Moores in fine form, he and Liam Patterson-White started to fight back before the young all rounder was caught Poynter off Rushworth for 26. Enter Brett Hutton at eight and with Notts 141/7 a stunning partnership between Moores and Hutton began to see the home team chip away at the score.
Hutton eventually went for 51 on Saturday morning, followed quickly by Fletcher and by the time Ball was given out shortly after, Nottinghamshire were 267/10 with Moores frustratingly 96 not out.
A good fifty plus runs ahead, Durham lost a couple of early wickets as Lees went for a duck off Fletcher before Hutton struck two quick ones with the northerners 22/3.
Enter David Beddingham who was superb, unbreakable and utterly dominant, a stunning display of batting that ensured it would be highly unlikely that Notts would get the chance to bat to win.
Beddingham started his partnership with Burnham before the latter was caught by the wicketkeeper off Mullaney’s bowling for 18, then came Ed Eckersley and the two built a fifth wicket partnership of over 250 runs, Bedingham unbelievable in bat, 180 of 228 balls, 15 fours and three sixes. Eckersley 113 not out by the time of Saturday stumps.
Overnight, Durham declared and put Notts in bat to see out the Sunday to save draw, and credit to the plucky young team of character which was plentiful, they did just that, ending 298/5 which was 97 short of victory, but a draw from a position which they could not win, was always going to be a moral victory too.
Slater hit 73 and after a scare of four wickets lost early on in the innings, the team had Lyndon James (79 not out) and captain Steven Mullaney (69) to thank for sticking around. Notable mentions for Joe Clarke who scored 38, whilst Tom Moores like in the first innings, was there right at the end.
A couple of Notts players considered as the home team man of the match would include Tom Moores and Lyndon James, but six wickets for Matt Salisbury of Durham, and more obviously a sensational second innings from David Bedingham, would certainly be hard to argue against as those with bat and ball who did the best.
Whilst Durham may consider themselves unlucky not to go on and win, Notts will have their own disappointment for not knocking through the visitors tail end in the first innings.
Plenty to be happy about however, Warwickshire next up on Thursday an even tougher task ahead.
*Main image @TrentBridge Lyndon James helped save Notts to a welcome draw.