Notts set up victory push

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Nottinghamshire forged into a lead of 174 after an enforced change of course in their LV= County Championship Division One meeting with Worcestershire on a cold and cheerless third day at New Road.

Plan A failed when the home side comfortably dodged the follow-on thanks to a stylish 41 by Aneesh Kapil and on switching to Plan B, Nottinghamshire reached 88 for two in their second innings.

A common problem has continued to plague the two midlands counties in bowler-friendly conditions; Nottinghamshire only registered their first batting bonus point in this match and Worcestershire have still to open their account.

It says a lot that 157 in this game is their highest first-innings score this season, and that proved a good deal better than expected when Andre Adams sent them crashing to 66 for six yesterday.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards struck 49 not out to leave Notts 174 runs ahead of hosts Worcestershire following a rain-affected third day at New Road

Adams claimed one more success when Kapil was lbw as he aimed towards midwicket, giving the New Zealander a final return of 5-62, his 12th five-wicket return in championship cricket in three seasons.

Kapil’s purposeful batting was reward for the small crowd who braved the miserable conditions.

Only a fortnight after playing for England Under-19s in a quadrangular tournament in Australia, the talented teenager adjusted to a drop of at least 20 degrees since leaving the warmth of Queensland.

Highly rated as an all-rounder, the Wolverhampton-born 18-year-old took three wickets in Nottinghamshire’s first innings and then underlined his capabilities as an attacking lower-order batsman.

With a further 22 needed on the resumption, he and James Cameron safely guided Worcestershire past the follow-on figure before Harry Gurney claimed the first of his three wickets.

A tall left-arm seamer signed from Leicestershire, Gurney is in his first season at Trent Bridge and, after a wicketless debut against Somerset, produced a return of 4-40 having being preferred to Paul Franks for this match.

Gurney had Cameron caught behind for 25 and having trapped David Lucas lbw, he closed the innings when Richard Jones, who hit 21, top-edged to third man.

When Nottinghamshire batted again, Alan Richardson was missing from the home attack because of a slight side strain, though he is expected to be fit for next week’s clash with Middlesex at Lord’s.

Promoted to take the new ball, Jones captured an early wicket – his 11th against Nottinghamshire this season – when Alex Hales clipped to midwicket.

Michael Lumb went for 16, lbw to Lucas, but Neil Edwards, having pulled Jones for six, was going well on 49 when bad light ended play for the day.

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