Monday, 24 August 2015

Championship double header followed by deluge

Posted by Tony Hutton

Saturday 22nd August and a change from normal routine of watching Yorkshire Academy at Weetwood as they were due to play Barnsley on two successive days in league and then cup matches. Sunday got the vote and today it was off to Trent Bridge to see the second day of Nottinghamshire v Warwickshire.

Interesting message at Trent Bridge

Notts had batted on day one and amassed 404-5 thanks largely to Alex Hales and Steve Mullaney who had both scored centuries and put on 257 for the second wicket. The overnight batsmen were Samit Patel and young bowler Luke Wood, who was out early on and skipper Chris Read joined Patel to continue the run fest.

The conditions were ideal for the Notts family fun day with lots of activities for the good number of children who had turned up attracted no doubt by the £1 admission charge for all ages, which my travelling companion was able to take advantage of. It became a really hot day and we needed to seek a viewing point in the shade as the runs continued to flow.

Action at Trent Bridge

Patel had a stump removed by Chris Wright on 46 with the score on 453-7 and Read was joined by my namesake Brett Hutton (born in Doncaster) who seems to have secured a regular place recently. He batted very confidently and put on almost a hundred with the belligerent Read, who always looks such a good batsman. Hutton was out for 37 and Read eventually for 69, including ten fours, when caught by Trott off Rankin. That was 560-9 and many thought Notts would declare, but they batted on.

Notts pass the 500 mark

The next few minutes provided high entertainment and the youngsters in the crowd really enjoyed Jake Ball's innings of 49 off only 20 balls. He hit three sixes and two fours in one over from Jeetan Patel to take the total to exactly 600 before his partner Harry Gurney who had failed to score in a partnership of 40 had his stumps demolished by Wright.

The Warwickshire bowling figures made sad reading. Suffice to say three of them had over a hundred runs scored off them and two others were in the nineties. Patel, normally the Warwickshire star bowler, finished with 1-155. So in what appeared perfect batting conditions the visitors started their reply. O Calamity! As so often happens when chasing a large total wickets fell early.

The two local lads Jake Ball and Luke Wood had Warwickshire reeling at 10-3 in no time at all. Wood had Westwood caught behind for 1 and Ball similarly dismissed the other opener Porterfield for the same score. Ball then got the prize wicket of Jonathon Trott lbw for 8 and Warwickshire were in tatters. Some defiance came from Evans but when Hain was dismissed by Gurney the score was 41-4. At that point just before tea, we decided to make the short journey to Derby along Brian Clough Way to see the final session of Derbyshire v Kent.

It was a relief to leave the constant sound of bongo drums adjacent to the Trent Bridge Inn, as part of the children's entertainment, for the peace and quiet of the county ground at Derby. Or so we thought until we heard a public address announcement to the effect that the umpires were keeping the players off the field due to the threat of thunder and lightening from the large black clouds passing overhead under a new directive from the all powerful ECB.

Lights on in the gloom at Derby

Fortunately the clouds soon passed over and the action restarted with Derbyshire already into their second innings at tea on day two. Billy Godleman, the former Middlesex boy wonder, was batting again after scoring a century in the modest first innings total of 253. His partner Chesney Hughes also looked comfortable against the rather innocuous Kent attack. Kent had been dismissed for a paltry 159 by the pace attack of Footitt, Cotton and Palladino.

Godleman went on to complete his second century of the match on day three, but the game petered out into a tame draw on day four, after more interruptions from the weather. It was certainly the weather that had the final word on our journey back to Leeds up the M1. Torrential rain started at Alfreton and continued all the way home. In heavy traffic it proved a real nightmare as rain of biblical proportions fell unabated.

I failed to mention another plus point of a very entertaining day as the gatemen
at Derby had abandoned their post when we arrived my companion got in for free, so claiming the very unusual distinction of seeing two county championship matches in one day for the grand sum of £1.

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