|LV= County Championship Division Two, Trent Bridge (day two)|
|Worcestershire 159 & 225-5: Barnard 101*; Fletcher 2-44|
|Nottinghamshire 266: Hameed 53; Finch 3-59|
|Worcestershire (3 pts) lead Notts (5 pts) by 118 runs|
Ed Barnard’s unbeaten century led an impressive fightback by Worcestershire after Nottinghamshire had threatened to wrap up victory inside two days in their County Championship match at Trent Bridge.
After Stuart Broad had delivered a timely reminder of his batting prowess to more than double Nottinghamshire’s overnight lead, the England pace bowler helped reduce Worcestershire to 32-4 in their second innings, still 75 behind.
But despite facing some hostile bowling in short, sharp bursts as Broad sought to build his case for a Test recall this summer, the Pears battled through to the close for the loss of only one more wicket and take a lead of 118 into the third day.
Broad added two for 49 to go with his 45 not out but with Barnard still there on 101 in an unbroken partnership of 126 with Ben Cox (51), Worcestershire finished on 225-5.
Earlier, Broad had twice pulled Charlie Morris for six as Nottinghamshire added 63 runs to their overnight score. His unbeaten 45 from just 27 deliveries is his best score in county cricket for five years.
After Tom Moores had missed out, hitting Morris tamely to cover, Broad shared a ninth-wicket stand of 57 in 8.4 overs with Luke Fletcher before Adam Finch removed the latter in the 10th over of the day via a catch at mid-off. Finch then dismissed last man Dane Paterson three balls later in similar fashion.
Broad’s assault secured not only a second batting point but a lead of 107, which was more than Worcestershire would have expected to concede after removing Moores with the fourth ball of the morning.
It looked a handy advantage on what had been a challenging pitch, more so when Worcestershire struggled to lunch four down and still 70 runs behind.
Fletcher knocked back Ed Pollock’s middle stump second ball with a fine delivery before Jake Libby was caught at backward point driving loosely.
Broad then produced possibly his best ball of the match to remove Pakistan dangerman Azhar Ali, who could do little about one that had bounce and movement and flew off a high part of the bat to the same fielder.
Broad gave way after five overs, but that simply brought Paterson back into the action after his eight wickets in the first innings and the South African added to his haul in his first over, Brett D’Oliveira caught at short midwicket off a delivery that may have stopped on him a touch.
At that point, a two-day win looked well within Nottinghamshire’s sights.
The rest of the day was a different story, however.
There was still a chill in the air but the unremitting gloom of the opening day gave way to bright sunshine and batting became easier, which will have only added to the disappointment felt by 21-year-old Jack Haynes at being the sole casualty of the afternoon session, one run short of a first half-century of the season.
Haynes picked up seven boundaries but Broad, brought on for a third spell of the innings midway through the afternoon, set a trap that snared him immediately, tempting the hook with a short delivery that obligingly he hit straight to Ben Duckett, poised at deep backward square.
Broad maintained the hostility but Barnard, who hit 10 boundaries in his third career century, and Cox kept their discipline and ensured risks were kept to a minimum.
Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.