|LV= County Championship Division Two, Trent Bridge (day three)|
|Worcestershire 159: Paterson 8-52 & 339: Barnard 163*, Cox 55; Fletcher 4-65, Broad 4-72|
|Nottinghamshire 266: Hameed 53; Finch 3-59 & 233-5: Duckett 78, Clarke 61*; Morris 2-34|
|Notts (21 pts) beat Worcestershire (3 pts) by five wickets|
Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire completed a third win in four County Championship matches with a day to spare despite Ed Barnard’s heroic 163 not out for Worcestershire.
Ben Duckett, who has a century and four fifties from his last five innings, top scored with 78 as Nottinghamshire overhauled a target of 233 to win by five wickets.
Worcestershire old boy Joe Clarke posted his first half-century of the season, an unbeaten 61, hitting the winning boundary off the last ball of the day.
That came after the Pears had been bowled out for 339 in their second innings, with four wickets each for England’s Stuart Broad and last season’s leading Championship wicket-taker, Luke Fletcher. But, after being 32-4, still 75 behind, when Barnard walked to the crease on Friday, it was a fine fightback.
With Dillon Pennington unable to bowl because of injury, a Pears attack already without last season’s leading wicket-taker Joe Leach had its work cut out.
It meant that Barnard’s marathon career-best, which spanned seven-and-a-half hours and contained 16 fours and a six, was ultimately in vain.
Barnard, 101 overnight as Worcestershire resumed on 225-, ran out of partners about 40 minutes after lunch following some enthralling cricket in which Broad again looked ready to return to Test duty.
He removed Ben Cox for 55 in his second over when the Worcestershire wicket-keeper nicked a rising delivery to his counterpart Tom Moores, to end a 142-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Broad also had Adam Finch caught behind off a thin edge with a full delivery but, but only after the 21-year-old – selected here after Leach withdrew due to illness – had picked up where Cox left off by offering resilient support to Barnard with a career-best 33.in another stubborn partnership worth 79.
The last two wickets fell to Fletcher, who bowled Charlie Morris with one that kept low, and Dane Paterson, who had Pennington well caught at second slip to give him 10 wickets in a match for the second time in his career following his career-best 8-52 in the first innings.
With the pitch having flattened out, Worcestershire’s best hope of denying Notts victory was early wickets with the new ball and Charlie Morris struck with his fourth delivery getting Ben Slater caught low down at first slip.
But Duckett raced to a half-century in 51 balls, dishing out some ruthless treatment to 18-year-old Josh Baker with five boundaries in the left-arm spinner’s first two overs – and Clarke then looked in good touch from the outset.
Nottinghamshire’s Joe Clarke:
“Ben Duckett is in some serious form. He really accelerated that chase with 70-odd off 70 balls and he was disappointed not to be walking off with me at the end.
“And the way Dane Paterson bowled on the first day – him and James Pattinson, the two overseas, are such good lads in the dressing room, we’re very lucky to have them.
“We’ve got a week off and to be sitting top of the table is good. We looked at the first part of the season as a mini-series and we’ve won that series 3-1. We had a blip here against Glamorgan but we have bounced back so well with two good wins
“The city is buzzing at the moment with Forest going so well. We’re hoping to follow what they are doing across the road and have that winning mentality.”
Worcestershire head coach Alex Gidman:
“We are a bit raw at the moment, disappointed to be on the wrong end of the result from a really good game.
“Ed Barnard’s innings was one of the finest I’ve seen, with great discipline, great shot selection, and chanceless. He has put the hard yards in on his batting.
“Dillon Pennington picked up a niggle in the first innings. With Joe Leach missing as well, it was tough without the extra bowler.
“But it was good to have Josh Baker available to give us an out-and-out spin option. It was a real tough challenge for him but he will have learned a lot from the last three days.”
Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.