Rain restricts Nottinghamshire progress

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Nottinghamshire were left frustrated by the weather after making a promising start in their LV= County Championship meeting with Durham.

Needing a win to close the gap on Division One leaders Warwickshire, the hosts put Durham in to bat after winning the toss on a green track at Trent Bridge.

However, while two wickets from recalled seamer Luke Fletcher helped reduce the visitors to 85 for four at lunch, persistent rain ensured no further play was possible.

Luke Fletcher

Seamer Luke Fletcher impressed on his return to Nottinghamshire's side, taking two top-order wickets before rain arrived at Trent Bridge

Opener Mark Stoneman made 46 for Durham before becoming Fletcher’s second victim.

Dale Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood will resume on day two looking to continue the recent form that has seen Geoff Cook’s men move out of the relegation zone.

Nottinghamshire skipper Chris Read had the simplest of decisions to make in inviting his opposite number Collingwood to bat first on an overcast morning, with a pitch that could have been tailor-made for his talismanic seamer Andre Adams, the leading wicket-taker in the country.

Yet with Adams missing due to a calf strain, Fletcher was called up for his first championship game since April.

The tall seamer duly justified his selection after being handed the new ball, with he and bowling partner Ben Phillips quick to settle into a good rhythm.

Both Stoneman and former Nottinghamshire batsman Will Smith had played and missed before the latter was bowled.

Smith paid the price for leaving a good-length ball from Fletcher that came back a fraction.

South Africa’s former Under-19 captain Keaton Jennings was next to go, lbw to Phillips as he propped forward, and wicketkeeper Phil Mustard - batting ahead of Benkenstein and Collingwood - was adjudged to have edged a drive off Andy Carter to Read behind the stumps.

All the while, Stoneman dug in and quickly seized on any loose deliveries, hitting nine fours, before Fletcher returned for a second spell and found the outside edge for another catch to Read two overs before lunch.

Rain arrived during the interval and although two inspections were carried out in the afternoon, a further heavy shower at 4pm was enough to end the day’s play with only 30 overs bowled.

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