CricInfo Championship: Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire at Nottingham, 8-11 Aug 2001
Dave Bracegirdle

Nottinghamshire 2nd innings: Tea - Day 2, Stumps - Day 2,
Worcestershire 1st innings: Worcestershire take lead,
Live Reports from previous days


WORCESTERSHIRE STILL IN CHARGE ON DAY OF SHOWERS

Only 40 overs were possible due to frequent squally showers as Worcestershire maintained their grip over the side immediately above them in the Division Two table.

The visitors struggled with the bat, as Notts had done on the first day, and were dismissed for 252, having been well-placed at 130-3 at the start of the day. Anurag Singh top scored with 88 before being undone by the best ball of the day, a peach of a delivery which squared up the batter before clipping his off bail.

Andy Bichel scorched to his second Championship 50, in just an hour, but was then last man out three balls into the afternoon session, which began 55 minutes late. Greg Smith took the plaudits with ball, reaping his first five-wicket haul for three months to end with 5-59. Nadeem Malik, the England Under-19 bowler, failed to collect his first first-class wicket but did deflect a Bichel drive on to the stumps to run out the unfortunate Steve Rhodes, who hadnít faced a ball.

When Notts batted for the second time, 103 runs in arrears, they were indebted to a wayward first over from Bichel which cost 15 runs but then soon lost their first wicket.

John Morris, for the second time in the match, failed to cope with an inswinger from Alamgir Sheriyar and got an inside edge on to his leg stump.

After another lengthy delay Greg Blewett got off the mark with a crisp drive through the covers but on 39-1, with four lights showing on the scoreboard meter, he and skipper Darren Bicknell accepted the invitation to retire to the pavilion.

Shortly afterwards another downpour prevented any prospect of a resumption so Notts will begin Day Three still 64 runs adrift with nine wickets in hand.



WORCESTERSHIRE DISMISSED WITH LEAD OF OVER 100

With covers spread right across the ground and persistent drizzle likely to ensure a lengthy stoppage Notts could reflect on a slightly better day at Trent Bridge, having restricted Worcs to a first innings lead of 103.

Batting for a second time the home side had reached 21-1 before the bad weather hit the East Midlands and prompted the umpires to call for an early tea.

Heavy rain during the luncheon interval delayed the start of the afternoon session for 55 minutes, lopping 15 overs off the dayís allocation in the process.

No sooner had play resumed than everyone was heading back to the pavilion again as Greg Smith picked up his fifth wicket to close the Worcester innings on 252.

The last man to go was Andy Bichel caught at slip by Greg Blewett from just the third ball of the re-start, although Kevin Pietersen should have held a gully chance from the first ball back.

Notts first innings deficit was 103, although they made immediate inroads by taking 15 off the first over, bowled by Bichel. Nine of those runs came from an assortment of byes, leg byes and wides as the Aussie sprayed the ball around in a similar fashion as to when he was batting.

Twenty runs were on the board by the fourth over when, for the second time in the match, John Morris edged Alamgir Sheriyar on to his stumps.

One more run was added before another heavy shower swept across the ground and sent the players scurrying for the sanctuary of their dressing rooms.



WORCESTERSHIRE TAKE LEAD AT TRENT BRIDGE

On a blustery morning at Trent Bridge Worcestershire collected two batting points and moved into a first innings lead of 103 as they ended the session on 252-9.

Greg Smith and Nadeem Malik opened the bowling for the home side and swung the ball alarmingly but without being able to make early inroads into the visitors middle order.

Anurag Singh only nudged one single during the opening half hour but partner David Leatherdale prevented the Worcs innings from becoming too bogged down by running Smith to the third man boundary and then driving Malik for a straight three which brought up the 50 partnership

A Malik no-ball was doubly punished by Singh stroking his first boundary of the day through extra cover Ė a shot which took Worcs past the meagre Notts first innings total of 149.

After almost an hours play A J Harris replaced Smith at the Pavilion End and his fifth delivery forced the breakthrough. Leatherdale, on 25, pushed gently at a well-directed away swinger and the finest of edges carried through to Chris Read.

Former Notts player Paul Pollard joined Singh but failed to get off the mark before being beaten by an inswinging yorker from Richard Logan and then glancing up to see umpire Ray Julian uphold the appeal.

Andy Bichel was also fortunate not to depart for nought. Driving at Logan the ball flew off an edge to bisect second and third slip at a catchable height. Loganís misery was compounded when the Australian clipped his next ball exquisitely for four through square leg.

Singh progressed into the 80s with shots of differing quality. An edge off the unlucky Logan flew over the slips but was followed in the next over with a well-executed drive off Harris. The batsman was also given the benefit of the doubt over a direct hit from John Morris as the batsmen stole a quick single.

Shortly after the first batting point was secured Singh was finally undone by a jaffa from Logan which just clipped the off bail. His 88 was a career high in the Championship after four tons for Cambridge University.

Bichel was then an unwilling accomplice as his straight drive was deflected on to the stumps by bowler Malik to run out Steve Rhodes, who hadnít faced a ball. Chris Liptrot contributed 13 out of a stand of 33 with Bichel before Greg Smith made an unholy mess of his furniture, removing the middle stump and widening the other two.

Later in the same over Bichel crashed a boundary to reach his second first class 50 for Worcs (60 mins 38 balls 10x4ís). Smith collected his fourth wicket when Matt Rawnsley played on for one.

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Date-stamped : 09 Aug2001 - 22:30