County Championship: Division Two leaders Notts battle back against Derbyshire

Samit Patel
Nottinghamshire's Samit Patel struck his first half-century of the season in his eighth innings
Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Trent Bridge (day three):
Nottinghamshire 229 & 313-6: Patel 82, Mullaney 62; Mendis 3-93
Derbyshire 363: Godleman 121, Madsen 56; Gurney 3-55, Hutton 3-65
Nottinghamshire lead Derbyshire by 179 runs with 4 wickets remaining
Derbyshire 7 pts, Nottinghamshire 4 pts
Match scorecard

Nottinghamshire's batsmen forced the Division Two leaders back into contention against Derbyshire.

Having started the day on 67-2, Steven Mullaney (62) and Samit Patel (82) got Notts off to a good start, extending their third-wicket partnership to 137.

Jeevan Mendis (3-93) and Connor McKerr struck to reduce Notts to 239-5 - just 105 ahead - and give Derbyshire hope.

But Riki Wessels (46) and Chris Read (46 not out) stretched the lead before bad weather signalled stumps at 313-6.

Derbyshire, looking for a first County Championship win since July 2015, were well on top at tea after Mullaney fell to an excellent Tom Taylor catch, McKerr pinned Patel lbw and Mendis had Michael Lumb caught at short-leg.

However, Wessels and Read scored swiftly to expel some nerves before poor light and rain brought about an early close, with all three results still possible on the final day at Trent Bridge.

Notts all-rounder Samit Patel told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"I'm pretty pleased with how it went but it's a bit disappointing not to get to three figures. Hopefully we can put ourselves into a winning position.

"If we can get a partnership going now between Ready and Brett Hutton and get the lead above 200 then the nerves will start to twitch.

"We set our stall out because we knew it was going to be an important day. We did the majority of things right but then we lost Mull after lunch and I followed with one that kept low."

Derbyshire's Daryn Smit told BBC Radio Derby:

"All three results are still a possibility, so I guess that's what you'd prefer going into the last day.

"It's a nice position to be in. I think we are the happier changing room.

"But that counts for nothing unless we pitch up and compete like we have done over the first three days."