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Collective batting effort boosts Notts

Nottinghamshire CCC

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England Lions batsmen James Taylor and Alex Hales shared the honours with an Australian as Nottinghamshire took control of their LV= County Championship clash with Derbyshire.

Taylor and Hales each scored half-centuries, the former’s unbeaten, but the most fluent innings of the day came from Australia Test opener Ed Cowan, who scored 59 of Nottinghamshire’s 325 for five.

Derbyshire, already 69 behind on first-innings, did not help their cause by dropping two catches.

The wickets of Samit Patel and Riki Wessels in the final session gave the hosts renewed hope, but Notts remained well-placed with Taylor 67 not out.

Derbyshire's bowlers stuck to their task throughout the day yet were unable to prevent their local rivals scoring steadily on a decent batting surface.

The main threat in the morning was actually a bumblebee that caused Cowan to pull away several times as the bowler was about to deliver; little else troubled the left-hander as he moved to a second fifty of the season.

Ed Cowan

On a day when a trio of England caps - Alex Hales, James Taylor and Samit Patel - made healthy contributions for Nottinghamshire, it was Australia Test opener Ed Cowan, pictured here, who produced the most fluent innings

Timing the ball impressively, Cowan reached the milestone by forcing Jonathan Clare through the covers for his eighth four and it was a surprise when he departed three overs later.

The first ball from left-arm spinner David Wainwright was a rank long-hop but Cowan pulled it low to midwicket where substitute fielder Gregory Cork, son of former England all-rounder Dominic, took the catch in front of his dad who was reporting on the match for Sky Sports.

Cowan's confident progress was in sharp contrast to Hales, who went 62 minutes and 37 balls without scoring until he cut Tim Groenewald for four.

However, the tall opener helped set a platform for his team and deserved his first half-century of the season, which came from 139 balls.

Hales had been in for three hours when he was lbw playing forward to Tony Palladino, who then saw Michael Lumb missed at first slip on 21 by Wes Durston.

Lumb threatened to make Derbyshire pay a heavy price only to be caught behind for 44 pushing at Clare with the total on 186.

Derbyshire should have had another wicket before the visitors passed their first-innings total, but Durston once again failed to take a chance off Palladino as Patel, on 23, edged low to slip in the first over with the second new ball.

Taylor came close to running himself out before reaching 50 from 140 balls, yet Patel was not so fortunate when he drove firmly to cover, skidded on his back, and was stranded mid-pitch when Billy Godleman's return landed in Tom Poynton's gloves.

Wessels then chased a wide one from Ross Whiteley before Chris Read’s aggressive unbeaten 27 provided Notts with additional momentum.

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