Every bowler has a favourite opponent, but when he refers to his "bunny" it is usually one individual batsman he is talking about. In the case of Andre Adams, the Nottinghamshire seam and swing specialist, he could almost apply the term to the whole Lancashire team.
The 36-year-old New Zealander, in the prime of his effectiveness in the latter stages of his career, has taken 24 wickets in his last three matches against the 2011 County Champions – 10 at Southport last July, another 10 at Old Trafford last month and four in the current match.
His four victims yesterday before rain denied him the chance for any more enabled him to overtake Graham Onions as the country's leading wicket-taker on 39, although he did have to buy his wickets, to a certain extent, as Lancashire supplemented a measured unbeaten 63 from Ashwell Prince with some profitable bursts of counter-attack after Nottinghamshire had chosen to bowl first.
Karl Brown's eight fours in a 24-ball 34 included eight in three overs against Adams, although the Nottinghamshire bowler had the last word when Brown, expansively seeking a fourth boundary off the reel, was taken brilliantly by a diving Samit Patel at third slip.
If Adams has a genuine Lancashire bunny, it is Stephen Moore, who he has dismissed seven times in six matches. Moore could blame only himself on this occasion, deflecting the ball on to his stumps as he tried to avoid one that swung in. Luke Procter, never comfortable, fished at several away swingers before nicking one to third slip before Gareth Cross, another who had opted for aggressive tactics, found James Taylor lurking at deep square leg as Adams fed his taste for the pull. Lancashire finished on 203 for 6.
In what is so far proving a wretched season, Durham appeared to have allowed one of their more promising overnight positions to be somewhat devalued when they lost their last five wickets for 49 inside the first hour against Warwickshire to be all out for 277 at Chester-le-Street.
Yet it looked less of a calamity when they bowled Warwickshire for 197, although they then lost two second innings wickets for 20. Durham's attack lacked Graham Onions, but Chris Rushworth picked up five more yesterday in another excellent performance.
Surrey were dismissed for 124 after Sussex put them in at Horsham, where James Anyon and Steve Magoffin took four wickets each and Mark Ramprakash made only eight on his recall. Middlesex are doing somewhat better. After claiming four wickets from the first 10 balls of the day as Somerset slumped to 173 all out, Chris Rogers scored 173 on his own as a stand of 245 with Joe Denly (105 not out) put them in a commanding position at Lord's.