County Championship: Stuart Broad suffers injury scare as Worcestershire defy Nottinghamshire

Joe Clarke in action for Worcestershire
Joe Clarke's century is his third in the Championship this season
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day four):
Nottinghamshire 499-9 dec: Nash 139 & 249-4 dec: Libby 100*, Patel 71; Pennington 2-51
Worcestershire 287: Whiteley 76; Gurney 4-97 & 368-8: Clarke 177*; Fletcher 3-54, Gurney 3-91
Nottinghamshire (12 pts) drew with Worcestershire (9 pts)

England's Stuart Broad suffered an injury scare as Nottinghamshire were held to a draw by a Joe Clarke-inspired Worcestershire at Trent Bridge.

Broad only bowled in the first session because of an ankle niggle.

His presence was missed, Clarke scoring an unbeaten 177 as the visitors batted out the final day to finish on 368-6 as they chased an unlikely target of 463.

Harry Gurney (3-91) and two late Luke Fletcher (3-51) wickets ensured a nervy finale, but the visitors held on.

Worcestershire had resumed on 43-0 but the match was still very much in the balance with five wickets down going into the final session.

Gurney was the main reason for the visitors' nerves, having Daryl Mitchell (33) caught behind by Tom Moores for the first wicket of the day and also removing captain Brett D'Oliveira (14) and Ross Whiteley (10)

But, although Clarke dominated, crucially three of his partners dug in to score 26 or more.

Ben Twohig was one of them, scoring 35 from 100 balls down the order to almost see his side home, before he was bowled by the bustling figure of Fletcher with four overs remaining.

Fletcher then had Dillon Pennington caught behind by stand-in wicketkeeper Riki Wessels with two overs still left, however, Clarke steered his side to safety.

Broad left the field as a precaution and his injury is unlikely to keep him out of the forthcoming Test series with India, which begins on 1 August.

Although there was obvious disappointment in the home camp, Nottinghamshire reaped 12 points from the contest and remain second in the Division One table, 22 points behind leaders Surrey, having played a game more.

Worcestershire remain bottom, with their nine points bringing them within 14 points of seventh-placed Yorkshire.

Nottinghamshire bowler Luke Fletcher told BBC Radio Nottinghamshire:

"It was a tough day. These pink Kookaburra balls haven't done much throughout the game, so it was always going to be a challenge.

"Coming into this morning we were confident that we could create chances. I think we did that and sometimes you need a bit of luck. It was unfortunate that we didn't get over the line.

"Joe's a good player. We worked hard to try and get him out; we created a few chances and maybe there was a decision or two that didn't go our way but that's the way it goes sometimes.

"We are obviously devastated but I don't think we could have done too much more."

Worcestershire head coach Kevin Sharp told BBC Sport:

"We're delighted to come out with a draw. Notts probably played the better cricket overall in this match, I think that's fair to say.

"With the bat we had a couple of good scores, Joe Clarke's today and Ross Whiteley in the first innings but we had too many lads who got in and got out and that was one of the disappointments. But in the field we really stuck to our task.

"Although we haven't been at our best there is a fantastic spirit within this group and they never give in."

"Joe can go all the way. I spoke to Joe Root three years ago and told him he'd bat with a guy called Joe Clarke one day and I think that will happen. He's a high-class performer; you've seen that."

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