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County Championship: Pattinson and Fletcher give Notts clear advantage against Middlesex

Luke Fletcher
Luke Fletcher’s 50 was only his sixth in first-class cricket
LV= County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day two)
Nottinghamshire 415: Hameed 112, Mullaney 92; Roland-Jones 4-64, Andersson 3-97 & 6-0
Middlesex 195: Handscomb 48; Pattinson 4-49, Broad 3-39
Notts (7 pts) lead Middlesex (3 pts) by 226 with 10 wickets standing
Match scorecard

James Pattinson took the bowling plaudits as Nottinghamshire dominated on day two of their County Championship clash with Middlesex.

The former Australia fast bowler had just six wickets from his two outings this term prior to the trip to Lord’s but returned 4-49 as the hosts were shot out for 195 to trail by 220 runs.

Pattinson’s sterling effort came in the wake of a thrilling 50 at number 11 for Luke Fletcher, which lifted Nottinghamshire to 415 and maximum batting points despite 4-64 for Toby Roland-Jones and six catches for wicketkeeper John Simpson.

Nottinghamshire elected not to enforce the follow-on, with Fletcher’s earlier heroics seeing him promoted to open as nightwatchman as they closed on 6-0 second time around.

The morning was the story of two pacemen on opposite sides of the contest, Roland-Jones for the hosts and Fletcher for the visitors.

Roland-Jones, who had bowled frugally without reward 24 hours earlier, struck with the first ball of the day as he trapped Steven Mullaney in front for his overnight 92.

But the pick of the wickets for the former England seamer was a beauty to disturb the top of Liam Patterson-White’s off stump.

  • Relive day two in the County Championship as it happened

At 352-9, Nottinghamshire were subsiding quickly but Fletcher joined Stuart Broad for a swashbuckling last-wicket stand of 63.

In truth, Broad was a passenger as Fletcher struck some fearsome blows, twice thumping leg-spinner Luke Hollman straight back over his head for six.

By the time he edged Martin Andersson through to Simpson, Fletcher had sped to a near run-a-ball 50, the sixth of his first-class career.

In reply Middlesex, perhaps affected by the scoreboard pressure of chasing 415, suffered some early self-inflicted wounds.

First Sam Robson lost his off stump offering no shot to Pattinson before Mark Stoneman set off for a suicidal single, only for Fletcher to swoop on the ball and throw down the stumps at the striker’s end, leaving Josh De Caires well short.

Stoneman and skipper Peter Handscomb briefly threatened a comeback, the latter hooking several short balls bowled in a bid to bounce him out.

Immediately after tea Pattinson, despite having had some no-ball troubles, castled Stoneman with one which jagged between bat and pad. And when he trapped Handscomb lbw two short of 50 Middlesex were in retreat.

Max Holden was Patterson-White’s 19th victim of the season when he, like Robson, offered no shot and was plumb in front. Simpson, so often Middlesex’s man for a crisis, was given a life when dropped at slip only to be pinned in front by the irrepressible Fletcher soon afterwards.

Pattinson could not be kept from centre stage for long, returning this time at the Nursery End to make Hollman the fourth lbw victim of the innings.

Broad (3-39), in what may be his last game before the first Test against New Zealand next month, finally got in on the act when Roland-Jones obligingly hooked him down long-leg’s throat and he then removed Andersson when he gloved a short ball to square leg in a desperate quest for runs.

The England quick bowled Tim Murtagh to end Middlesex’s batting misery, but the division two leaders face an uphill battle to save the game heading into day three.

Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.

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