One thousand and forty-three days after Nottinghamshire last won a County Championship match, they broke their duck with a 310-run victory over Derbyshire. Inspired by Stuart Broad, steaming off the grass, and taking four for 37, they were able to clutch victory just before lunch.
Derbyshire’s pursuit of 470 had got off to a rotten start when Broad, in the first over of the morning, had Luis Reece snaffled at slip and Leus du Plooy lbw the very next ball.
Five wickets fell in the first hour and only a maiden fifty from Ben Aitchison delayed the inevitable.
The ever-patient, ever-hopeful, captain, Steve Mullaney said: “A lot of hard work has gone into having this feeling, but at the same time we know it’s only the start on our journey to getting better as a team. I felt we were close but you never believe it until that last wicket is taken. Stuart ran in for both games he’s played like it’s been a Test match.”
Kemar Roach mangled Hampshire with a display of late in-swing for the ages, as Surrey strode triumphantly out of the Oval with an innings and 289-run victory in their pocket.
There had seemed little chance of escape for Hampshire after being bowled out for 92 before absorbing a Surrey total of 560 for seven declared, but Roach’s career-best eight for 40 sealed it. It was Surrey’s first win of the season, Hampshire’s first defeat.
A bum-squeaker at Headingley continued, closing with Northamptonshire left to score another 126 for victory. David Willey dominated against his old club, top-scoring with an unbeaten 41 in Yorkshire’s second innings, before dismissing Rob Keogh and running out Ricardo Vasconcelos with a direct hit from midwicket. Wayne Parnell finished with five for 79, grabbing 10 wickets in the match.
Durham won their first Championship game of the season, applying the full welly-boot to Warwickshire, defeat by an innings and 127 runs. Durham had added another 104 runs in the morning before declaring, whereupon Mark Wood made a near-instant breakthrough, Will Rhodes caught at slip. When Hanuma Vihari was lbw for a duck, Warwickshire were eight for two but it was the pace of Brydon Carse, who picked up five for 49, that was decisive.
New Road continued to bear the effects of winter flooding, with the ground staff, despite their best efforts, unable to inject any pace into the wicket. For the batsmen, therefore, great pleasure, for the bowlers, not so much. Daryl Mitchell, Tom Fell and Brett D’Oliveira made half-centuries for Worcestershire, while Simon Harmer picked up three wickets for Essex.
After a spell in the Hampshire academy, and time with Middlesex, Essex, Warwickshire and, finally, fruitfully, Leicestershire, the 35-year old Chris Wright took a career-best seven for 53 to give his side a chance of a first victory of the season. Gloucestershire batted stoically through the morning to avoid the follow-on. Bad light and rain followed; Leicestershire had time to build a second-innings lead of 271 before the weather again intervened.
Lancashire need 129 more runs to win at Hove, after Sussex collapsed to 154 all out in their second innings.
A final-over wicket at Taunton leaves Somerset to score another 103 with six second-innings wickets in hand. Middlesex had earlier been bowled out for 117 with five wickets for Craig Overton.