Whatever else you say about Stuart Broad, rarely does he bowl a spell in which nothing happens and he had a couple here yesterday that nicely illustrate the point.
The first was dreadful: line and length all over the place, 24 balls bowled, 30 runs conceded, most of them to Marcus Trescothick, including four boundaries in his first two overs. Chris Read, who had supportively talked him up at stumps on Tuesday, sent him off into the outfield to contemplate.
Trescothick went about his business in his customary, imperious style. Nottinghamshire's 106-run first-innings lead shrank at an alarming rate. Trescothick reached 50 for the ninth time this season, having turned four of the previous eight into hundreds. Read took a brilliant leg-side catch to dismiss Arul Suppiah off Andre Adams but otherwise Notts could do little to stem the flow.
The lead was all but wiped out when Broad came back after tea. More carnage? Well no, actually. Eight overs this time, with pace and bounce and largely on the money. Plus one stunning wicket – the one that mattered, too – from a ball that climbed unplayably and unavoidably on the former England opener, brushing the glove or bat handle on its way into Read's reliable gloves.
This was brilliant bowling and how he celebrated, having stepped into the spotlight again when really it belonged more to Alex Hales, whose aptly towering innings – he stands 6ft 5in tall – had ended only 16 short of a double hundred, and Andre Adams, who had won a wonderfully entertaining duel with the combustible Steve Kirby by hitting three sixes in a 15-ball 33. Adams, impressively, has hit 27 Championship sixes this season, a ridiculous 41.2 per cent of his total runs scored. Yet Broad was the talking point.Reuse content