Jake Ball injury compounds Notts' misery as Durham seize initiative

Durham seized the initiative at a cold and damp Trent Bridge, where a familiar Nottinghamshire collapse with the bat was compounded by an injury to their England fast bowler, Jake Ball.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 9:40 am
Jake Ball. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old, whose return to wicket-taking form last season earned him a place in England’s white-ball squads in India after three years out of the international picture, took two wickets on the first day here but had bowled only nine deliveries on the second morning when a back problem forced him off the field. Nottinghamshire say it is “sore” and is “being monitored.”

With Ball out of the attack, Durham built well on the fightback mounted by Brydon Carse and Ben Raine late on the first evening to post a more competitive first-innings total than had once seemed likely.

Their seam attack then took advantage of difficult batting conditions on a gloomy afternoon to reduce Nottinghamshire to 85 for six before Tom Moores and Liam Patterson-White stemmed the flow of wickets in a stand of 56.

Durham’s recovery with the bat had been built around Raine’s unbeaten 59 as their last three wickets added 134. His partnership with Carse - ended by Brett Hutton’s first wicket of his second spell as a Nottinghamshire player - added 54 before last man Chris Rushworth helped put on another 59.

Relegated in 2019, Nottinghamshire looked to have remedied some of their batting woes last year, clocking up more batting points than any other side in the Bob Willis Trophy, even if they still failed to conjure up a win.

Yet now they looked fragile again, albeit with the ball zipping around. Ben Slater, Ben Duckett and Steven Mullaney all fell in defensive mode, bemused by late movement that found the edge. Likewise Haseeb Hameed, who lost his off bail to Matt Salisbury’s best delivery in a three-wicket new-ball spell. Joe Clarke, on the other hand, executed a horrible shot to the ball that followed Hameed’s demise and was caught behind off a bottom edge.

Lyndon James, the young all-rounder, played nicely for his 28 but was caught off a steepling top edge as he swung lavishly at a ball from Carse, Poynter sprinting halfway down the pitch to claim his fourth catch. Patterson-White gave good back-up to the more experienced Moores in adding 56 for the next wicket but as Poynter pouched a fifth catch and Rushworth a second wicket Nottinghamshire were still 165 behind when the bad light and drizzle that caused a brief stoppage before tea ended play early.

*In common with other grounds, the afternoon session began with players and match officials lining up on the outfield in front of the pavilion to observe a two-minute silence in remembrance of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, whose death had been announced during the morning. The flag over the pavilion was lowered to half-mast and the players took to the field wearing black armbands.