Nervy Notts set unwanted world record

Joe Mennie in fine form as Nottinghamshire sneak home to better a feat set 177 years ago

Cricket Network

17 April 2018, 07:18 PM AEST

The early County Championship season has proved to be a seam bowler's dream, but also yielded an unusual world record for Nottinghamshire.

The Trent Bridge-based county lost four wickets chasing down the 10 runs they needed to complete victory against Lancashire at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with Aussie seamer Joe Mennie taking three of them.

It was the lowest-ever winning chase completed with four wickets down in the history of first-class cricket.  The previous lowest was Kent's 4-12 against Sussex in 1841, while NSW lost seven wickets in chasing 16 to beat Victoria in the 1855-56 summer.

Overall, an incredible 12 wickets fell for just 25 runs in Manchester as bowlers continued to rule the roost at the opening of England's domestic first-class season.

Lancashire started the final day with a stunning collapse of their own, to be bowled out for just 73. They lost 8-15 inside an hour as Harry Gurney (6-15) and Jake Ball (4-14) ran riot.

South Australia seamer Mennie was the last man out, and then lead the fightback to claim three wickets, including two in two balls, but couldn't complete the hat-trick as Notts claimed the win.

"Extraordinary is probably the right word for it. It was an outstanding hour of cricket by us," Notts head coach Peter Moores said.

"The quality of the bowling and the quality of the catching was absolutely fantastic. We made the most of the conditions; it was a little bit overcast this morning. It was a tough time to bat.

"No one expects it to go quite like that but credit to the bowlers for putting a lot of balls in the right place."

Lancashire captain Liam Livingstone lamented the early season conditions.

"It's been a funny game really, at times the pitch has looked unplayable and at times the pitch has looked pretty good," Livingstone said.

"It would have been horrible for them if we've got 70 or 80 in front. This morning can happen in cricket, especially early season. It is an advantage playing away from home first couple of games. We had the tougher conditions but I also thought we've been outplayed."

Mennie took 3-46 and 3-4 in the two innings for Lancashire to be the pick of the Aussies in the opening week of matches.

Fellow South Australian Dan Worrall took 2-20 and 2-5 for Gloucestershire as they enjoyed a five-wicket win against Kent.

Travis Head bounced back from his first-innings failure for Worcestershire with a gritty unbeaten 45 in the second dig. However it was not enough to stop Hampshire steaming to a 196-run victory in Southampton.

Middlesex had already wrapped up a 160-run win against Northamptonshire, with Western Australia's Hilton Cartwright scoring 30 and 0, and claiming 1-4 from two overs.

Division One

Hampshire 290 (G Berg 75 no, J Vince 75; J Leach 4-42) and 244 (K Abbott 51) beat Worcestershire 211 (O Cox 65) and 127 (K Abbott 4-45) by 196 runs at the Rose Bowl.

Lancashire 158 (J Ball 5-43) and 73 (H Gurney 6-25, J Ball 4-14) lost to Nottinghamshire 222 and 4-10 by six wickets at Old Trafford.

Yorkshire drew with Essex with all four days washed out at Headingley.

Division Two

Kent 64 (M Taylor 4-20) and 153 (D Bell-Drummond 61; R Higgins 5-22) lost to Gloucestershire 110 (G Roderick 51; M Henry 4-33) and 5-108 (B Howell 52 no) by five wickets at Canterbury 

Warwickshire 299 (T Ambrose 81, I Bell 70; D Wiese 4-56) and 3-87 drew with Sussex 374 (D Wiese 106, B Brown 91; O Stone 8-80) at Edgbaston.