Batsmen leave Notts on back foot
Nottinghamshire were once again left to rue several batting lapses after being bowled out for 243 on the first day of their LV= County Championship match against Worcestershire at New Road.
Director of cricket Mike Newell last week urged his top order to “be more patient” following a string of first-innings failures and after Nottinghamshire were put into bat, Alex Hales and Neil Edwards responded by putting on an opening partnership of 70.
Yet wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter and self-inflicted mistakes were never too far away.
Richard Jones was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 4-76, while Aneesh Kapil also picked up three wickets for Worcestershire, for whom openers Daryl Mitchell and Michael Klinger survived remaining five overs of the day.
Despite heavy rain during the preparation period, the pitch played reasonably well and although Nottinghamshire bettered their 118 from three weeks ago in the reverse fixture at Trent Bridge, they should have gone on to a more substantial total.
In seeing off the new-ball attack, Hales followed his aggressive instincts with seven boundaries. It was a bonus for Nottinghamshire to get through to lunch, albeit taken half an hour early, without losing a wicket.
The afternoon needlessly began with a double blow. James Cameron held a low chance when Edwards, on 23, whipped a ball from Alan Richardson off his legs. Mitchell then took a good catch at second slip as Hales fell one run short of a half-century attempting to force Jones off the back foot.
The errors continued as Michael Lumb chopped on after making 17, aiming to cut medium-pacer Cameron, and Samit Patel departed for 26 after carving Richardson to wide gully, where Klinger took a catch above his head.
The post-tea period provided some of the brightest batting as James Taylor and Chris Read regularly worked the ball through the off side in a partnership of 56.
However, both were dismissed in six balls from Kapil, making his first championship appearance of the season after playing for England Under-19s in a tournament in Australia.
Read was caught by Klinger at the second attempt for 34 and Taylor made just four more; he fell chasing a ball outside off stump when nicking to Ben Scott.
With Ben Phillips edging to second slip, Kapil completed a four-over spell with three wickets for two runs.
Andre Adams and Steve Mullaney struck 21 and 24 respectively before Jones bagged the last three wickets, after which Worcestershire reached five without loss.