County Championship: Nottinghamshire beat Worcestershire to go top of table

Jake Ball bowls Daryl Mitchell
Daryl Mitchell was one of three Worcestershire batsmen to fall before lunch on the final day
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Blackfinch New Road (day four):
Worcestershire 110 & 149: Fell 37; Ball 5-59
Nottinghamshire 300-9 dec: Taylor 50; Tongue 4-81
Nottinghamshire (22 pts) beat Worcestershire (3 pts) by an innings and 41 runs

Nottinghamshire beat Worcestershire by an innings and 41 runs to go top of County Championship Division One.

Notts forced victory inside five sessions of playing time after the first two days were lost to rain.

A swift 38 from England bowler Stuart Broad helped Notts to 300-9 declared, giving the visitors a lead of 190 and a minimum of 80 overs to force a result.

Pace bowler Jake Ball boosted his England Test hopes with 5-59 as Worcestershire were bowled out for 149.

For Worcestershire, who suffered a third straight defeat, only three batsmen, including top-scorer Tom Fell (37), faced more than 30 balls in the innings, which lasted just 38.2 overs.

Ball removed opener Brett D'Oliveira with the second ball of the hosts' second innings and they lost three wickets in the 10 overs before lunch, before slipping to a third consecutive Championship defeat in the afternoon session.

Broad claimed 1-17 on an eventful day which began with a brisk cameo with the bat.

Eight runs were added to Notts' total when he smashed a Travis Head no-ball for six, while he also needed treatment after colliding with non-striker Luke Fletcher when attempting a run.

Worcestershire head coach Kevin Sharp told BBC Hereford & Worcester:

"It's been a challenging three weeks. We've not been at our best, we know that. We've challenged at times, particularly in the first two games but not really in this one and that is disappointing.

"We've just had a good chat, a good half hour, about where we can improve. They are a great set of lads. They practise hard, they work hard, they prepare in the best possible way.

"We've certainly been under par this week, particularly with the bat. We have to get better. If we didn't know before, we certainly do now in terms of what is expected."

Nottinghamshire and England paceman Jake Ball:

"We started this block of five games like going into a Test series and we are 2-1 up and hopefully we can kick on again.

"It is always good to contribute to four-day wins. They don't come around that often. Having missed two days of this fixture to the weather, we knew we were up against it.

"But we always knew that if we did the things right, we were always in the game. We had the perfect day on Sunday to set ourselves up for what happened. Luke Fletcher bowled unbelievably well and the ball is coming out really nicely for me."