Dropped catches cost Notts dear

Worcestershire 253-7 v Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire have somehow managed to win their opening two matches without hitting their straps and there is every reason to suspect they might not find Worcestershire to be pushovers here after an opening day that shone rather more credit on the relegation favourites than the defending champions.

Mick Newell, the Notts director of cricket, makes no pretence about his side's strengths and weaknesses. In his own words, they are a "one-dimensional" team, heavily reliant on the depth and quality of their seam bowling resources and their ability to exploit conditions at Trent Bridge, which generally work in their favour.

It was the basis of their plans here when captain Chris Read won the toss and put Worcestershire in. But although Andre Adams, their most successful weapon last season and, so far, this one, added four more wickets to his tally, the collective effort was undermined by a bad day in the field, with four catches put down, three of them in the slips.

Given that the close fielders are seldom bored here as the ball habitually darts around, slip catching is the area in which Newell has every reason to expect exemplary execution. So had any of his players glanced towards his window in the pavilion they would have seen a face like thunder as Alex Hales and Neil Edwards took it in turns to drop Gareth Andrew off Charlie Shreck, and Hales missed another opportunity, when Matt Pardoe's drive against Luke Fletcher flew off the edge.

Mark Wagh then compounded Newell's displeasure by spilling the most straightforward of chances at mid-wicket, with Pardoe again the lucky batsman, although the coach was probably out-thundered by Paul Franks, the bowler, on this occasion.

They weren't cheap misses, either. Andrews, stuck on four with each of his escapes, added 44 before he hit a long-hop from Samit Patel, the left-arm spinner, straight into the hands of cover. Pardoe, having breathed again on 15 and 35, was 56 not out at the close and Worcestershire, having surrendered from a good position against Warwickshire last week, will not feel displeased with their day's work.

Pardoe, despite his moments of good fortune, looked impressive. The 20-year-old left-hander from Stourbridge is in only his third match but he looks well organised at the crease and strikes the ball cleanly. This is his second half-century and his best score to date.

His runs, with support from Andrew and then the veteran Australian Damien Wright, helped Worcestershire recover from a parlous position just after lunch, when they were rocking at 102-5 after having been 55-0 and Adams already had his four wickets, the last of which came with the help of a brilliant leg-side catch by the peerless Read behind the stumps.

There is no better wicketkeeper in the Championship, whether he is required to do the routine or the spectacular. It was a shame yesterday that his team-mates could not match his efficiency.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food