Dreadful Northants hammered at the Bridge

David Murphy (left) and Andrew Hall both fell in the first over after tea on the final afternoonDavid Murphy (left) and Andrew Hall both fell in the first over after tea on the final afternoon
David Murphy (left) and Andrew Hall both fell in the first over after tea on the final afternoon
If Northamptonshire’s defeat to Yorkshire was a wake-up call and the reverse against Lancashire a kick in the teeth, the collapse at Trent Bridge belongs in a category of its own.

More than four sessions were lost to the inclement weather yet Nottinghamshire, who didn’t arrive at the contest in the best of form themselves, were able to complete an innings and 10-run victory on the final afternoon of the LV= County Championship encounter.

Much has been made of the County’s inability to grasp hold of the initiative when the situation arises and that trait again came to the fore in this outing but this was a limp display, especially once their backs were against the wall.

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That they were outgunned and outplayed by a superior side isn’t in question and is allowed to happen but more gumption and fight with the bat needs, no has, to be shown if any impact in the division is to be made.

One score above 250 in eight attempts, with no individual centuries, needs little embellishing and in stark terms, simply isn’t good enough.

Left with a deficit of 161 and minimum of 76 overs to bat, James Middlebrook didn’t make it through the nine overs before lunch as he was adjudged leg before to Ajmal Shahzad.

Peter Siddle had delivered five indifferent overs prior to his 40-minutes of rest, but his six-over burst at the start of the afternoon session shortened the odds on a home triumph considerably.

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Stephen Peters, caught at square-leg in identical fashion to the first innings, David Sales, bowled through the gate, and Matt Spriegel, lbw from around the wicket, all fell to the Victorian as the batting struggles of the opening weeks showed their bruised and battered features again.

Everything calmed down for a while as Andrew Hall, who more than doubled his highest score of the year before falling for 27, and Rob Newton paired up but the younger of the two, and Ben Duckett shortly afterwards, both fell to return catches to Andre Adams and Siddle respectively.

Tea arrived with the deficit reading 38 and four wickets remaining but this became two within two minutes of the resumption as Hall was caught behind from Shahzad’s first ball and David Murphy emphatically yorked two deliveries later.

Steven Crook offered resistance of sorts with a few decent shots and a sprinkling of unsuccessful wafts before his demise, which summed up the day, came as he hit a Samit Patel full-toss straight back to the bowler and the end came shortly after when the outstanding Shahzad hit Chambers in front.

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Having resumed with a lead of 11, the final 75 minutes of the home side’s innings belonged to Riki Wessels.

With decent assistance, primarily from Shahzad, 150 was thrashed from the 18.2 overs that were sent down and those doing the bowling seemed powerless to prevent the slaughter.

It was demoralising stuff for the visitors who gave the impression of waiting for the declaration to arrive once Wessels found his range.

Having reached his 15th first-class hundred in relatively sedate fashion, the number six went ballistic as he smote 50 from the next 20 deliveries he faced including six sixes, five of which came in seven balls while at the Radcliffe Road End, with Andrew Hall bearing the brunt of the punishment.

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It was tough on Hall who had been miserly up to that point but he and the majority of his colleagues - Crook not being entrusted with the ball after yesterday’s struggles, were all flayed as Wessels and Shazad brought up their 100 partnership in less than eight overs before the former’s dismissal brought about the declaration.