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Nottinghamshire crush Worcestershire to get second County Championship win

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Nottinghamshire piled on the misery for bottom placed Worcestershire as they triumphed by an innings and 41 runs in the Specsavers County Championship Division One battle of the two promoted sides at Blackfinch New Road.

Worcestershire had overhauled their opponents in the finishing straight last summer with four successive victories to lift the Division Two crown - including an emphatic eight wicket victory at Trent Bridge.

But revenge was sweet here for the visitors who outplayed their opponents in all departments and bowled them out twice in 64.5 overs.

Luke Fletcher had done the damage in the first innings with a career best 5-27 and this time Jake Ball was Worcestershire’s main tormentor with 5-59.

There was optimism inside the camp that Worcestershire could compete fiercely this season in the top flight with a squad still young in years but now with considerable first team experience.

But, after showing encouraging signs at stages of the defeats against Hampshire and Somerset, they were blown away by a formidable pace attack strengthened by the availability of Stuart Broad.

They will need to improve dramatically in all departments to have any chance of ending their yo-yo existence between the two divisions.

Although the wicket was seamer-friendly, it was no excuse for poor shot execution from several of their batsman.

Nottinghamshire, in contrast, can look forward with optimism after chalking up a second victory in three matches.

They have enough quality batting-wise, particularly with the acquisition of Ross Taylor, to make competitive totals and, even when Broad returns to international duty, sufficient depth in the seam department.

Notts resumed on 204-6 and added 96 off 13.5 overs to secure three batting points before declaring on 300-9 – a lead of 190.

Worcestershire were left 80 overs to survive to secure a draw but never looked like achieving that objective.

The Nottinghamshire overnight pairing of Tom Moores and Broad extended their partnership to 59 in eight overs with a succession of boundaries.

Josh Tongue steered Worcestershire towards maximum bowling points by having Moores (43) caught behind and Ball (0) lbw.

Broad needed treatment to his face after colliding with Luke Fletcher when running a quick single but was able to continue batting.

He raced onto 38 before top edging a pull at spinner Travis Head and skying a simple catch to keeper Ben Cox.

Tongue ended with 4-81 and skipper Joe Leach 3-73.

Ball took the new ball and had D’Oliveira caught at third slip for a first ball duck and then bowled Mitchell (3) with a delivery of full length.

Broad got in on the act as Joe Clarke (4) was caught behind and then Head (29) played down the wrong line and was lbw to become Ball’s third victim.

The procession of wickets continued as Fletcher – fresh from his career best 5-27 in the first innings – accounted for George Rhodes (8) who edged through to keeper Moores and then Ben Cox (11) who lobbed the ball up to point.

The end came quickly as Ball completed his five-for by dismissing Leach (6) and Ed Barnard (12), providing Moores with two more catches, before Harry Gurney bowled Tongue (21) on the stroke of tea.