County Championship: Ben Duckett finds form but Pears make Notts struggle

Home » County Championship: Ben Duckett finds form but Pears make Notts struggle
Vitality County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day three)
Nottinghamshire 399& 157-7: Duckett 63; Smith 4-29
Worcestershire 355: Jones 90; Harrison 5-128
Nottinghamshire (6 pts) lead Worcestershire (5 pts) by 195 runs

New signing Nathan Smith starred with bat and ball against Nottinghamshire as promoted Worcestershire set up a good chance of a first victory since returning to Division One of the County Championship.

The Kiwi all-rounder made 58 as his side, six down overnight, added a crucial 135 lower-order runs to total 355 – a first-innings deficit of only 44.

He then took an astonishing four wickets in seven balls as Nottinghamshire collapsed to close on 151-7, a lead of 195.

Leg-spinner Calvin Harrison earlier completed a maiden five-wicket haul for the home side before Smith’s thrilling counter in the evening session.

England opener Ben Duckett made 63 before becoming the first casualty of a triple-wicket maiden for Smith, who then ripped out Pears old boy Jack Haynes’s off stump in his next over.

Lyndon James survived the hat-trick but, when Ben Slater went to a reflex short-leg catch off spinner Josh Baker and Harrison was bowled by Adam Finch offering no shot, Notts had lost six wickets for just 19 – on top of being bowled out for 80 on home soil last week to lose lagainst Essex.

The visitors’ seventh-wicket partnership had earlier reached 84 before slow left-armer Liam Patterson-White had visiting skipper Brett D’Oliveira lbw for 54.

But Smith passed 50 from 103 balls after Baker, deceived in the flight, gave Harrison his fourth wicket to a third return catch.

Joe Leach, who escaped a run-out chance on one, had shared a key ninth-wicket stand of 68 with Smith, but he was left stranded on 38 when Harrison removed last man Finch.

Batting again, Notts skipper Haseeb Hameed skied Baker to point for 40 before Smith had Duckett caught at square leg flicking a ball off his hip.

First-innings centurion Joe Clarke, one of Notts’ four former Pears. was superbly caught by diving keeper Gareth Roderick and Smith also shot out Matt Montgomery lbw, both for ducks.

He takes figures of 11-4-29-4 into the final day, when Nottinghamshire may be the keener of the two sides to hope the forecast rain indeed arrives.

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