Table-topping Notts ready for pink ball challenge

James Pattinson in action.
James Pattinson in action.

Nottinghamshire have opened up a gap at the top of the division two table after their latest victory, an innings success over Leicestershire at Trent Bridge.

Their fifth win of the county championship season has taken Peter Moores’ side 26 points clear of second-placed Worcestershire, who do have a game in hand.

James Pattinson made the difference with the ball, taking eight wickets against the Foxes for the second time this season.

From his position in the slip cordon Steven Mullaney has had a fabulous view of the fast bowler in action this season.

“When he is bowling you feel you are going to get a catch every ball and that’s a fantastic feeling because you feel you are always involved,” said Mullaney.

“He’s just a special cricketer and I think he’ll play for Australian for many years.

“We’ll be lucky if we see much of him back here because he’s always going to be playing international cricket, but he’d be welcome back any time.

“He says he’s been bowling within himself a little bit with the pitches acting like they have been.

“So if that’s what he bowls like when he’s holding back it’ll be interesting to see him when he really goes. Hopefully it happens next week against Kent with the pink ball.”

The next fixture will be slightly different for all the players as they face, for the first time, the prospect of playing a day-night contest under lights, with a pink ball.

Head coach Peter Moores feels there is a positive mood in the camp and the team are ready for the new challenge.

“We’re all looking forward to it,” he said. “Hopefully the crowd will come in and watch. It will be interesting to see how the ball reacts under floodlights.

“We’ve been using it in practice for a month or so, on and off, and I think at the end of the round of games everyone will have a view on it.

“The players will be the best source of information because they will have bowled with it and batted against it.

“It’s a Dukes ball and looks slightly different to the red ball, not just in colour but also the seam looks slightly different, so we’ll see how it reacts. It’s set up to be a good game, Kent are a good team.”

Kent slipped to their first defeat of the season in their most recent match and have slipped to third spot in the division but Moores believes they could be dangerous opponents.

“They have played some good cricket this year, so it will be a tough contest but we’ll go into it full of confidence.

“They have been together for quite a long time and they have shown over the last two or three years that they are a good team who put sides under pressure, so we’re going to have to play well.”

Kent will bring Pakistan leg spin bowler Yasir Shah to Trent Bridge and Moores feels it is good for the county game to have players of his quality performing.

“Yasir is a lovely bowler,” he said. “It’s nice to get that quality of international player into county cricket because if you are either playing with or against him, it’s the sort of challenge that all players need.”

Nottinghamshire play Kent at Trent Bridge in the Specsavers County Championship from Monday, 26 to Thursday, 29 June 2017, with the hours of play being 2pm-9pm each day.