Nottinghamshire look to return to winning ways

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Nottinghamshire return to action on Friday when they host Gloucestershire at the start of their latest Specsavers County Championship match.

The side returns to Trent Bridge looking to bounce back from the disappointment of losing their unbeaten start to the season after being frustrated by Glamorgan at the start of the week.

Notts had gained a significant advantage of 261 runs at the midway point of the contest at Cardiff but a heroic rear-guard action by the hosts ensured the contest finished in a draw.

Having defeated Cambridge MCCU in the opening first class match of the season and then pulled off championship wins against Leicestershire, Durham and Sussex, Peter Moores’ side were on the brink of history before being held up by the Welsh county.

Not since 1922 had Notts won each of their opening five first class matches in a season but they were denied the chance to equal that mark after being forced to spend the final two and a half days on the field at Cardiff.

During that period over 230 overs were sent down, with Glamorgan batsmen Colin Ingram and Chris Cooke batting for the entirety of the final day, leaving Moores to hold his hands up and praise them.

“They both played really well and I think they’ll look back at that as one of the great partnerships on a very tough pitch.

“I don’t think there was much else we could have done. We didn’t drop any catches and when the ball went past the bat we didn’t get a nick. That’s part of the game but I can’t really remember before only two wickets going down over five sessions.”

“I said to our lads afterwards that ‘It was a game you’ll never forget, you might want to but I don’t know if you will.’”

Moores was hugely complimentary about the performance of two of his players at Cardiff.

“I thought Brett Hutton came in (for the first time this season) and had a very good game, He batted well and showed his versatility with the ball, pitching it up and swinging it and also mixing it up by banging it in short.

“And Riki Wessels has come back so well after a tough year last year and been very strong. To score a double hundred (as he did against Sussex) is fantastic and then to cash in again and make another hundred is a sign of someone very motivated.”

Wessels also had to take over the wicketkeeping gloves, with Chris Read injured. “I thought he kept really well on a tough pitch,” said Moores. “200 overs is a long shift for anybody, so all credit to him.”

Notts haven’t met Gloucestershire in the championship for a decade but Moores knows his side will be well prepared for this weekend’s encounter.

“There are quite a few sides we haven’t played recently but we’ve spent the whole season focusing on what we are doing, so that won’t change.

“We’ll certainly look at the opposition and respect them but we’ll mainly be more concerned with how we go about it. If we do that we’ll be tough opposition.”

The only member of the Nottinghamshire squad with links to Gloucestershire is Chris Read, who began his career at Bristol, as understudy to Jack Russell, over two decades ago.

He didn’t take to the field in either Glamorgan innings at Cardiff, after being struck on the hip whilst batting, a blow that immobilised the captain for a while.

“Chris is starting to move a bit better, revealed the Head Coach. “For a couple of days there didn’t seem to be much improvement but it has started to loosen up now so hopefully with a bit of massage he’ll be fine to play.”

Nottinghamshire play Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge in the Specsavers County Championship from Friday 26 May until Monday 29 May 2017.