County Championship: Steven Mullaney and Joe Clarke hit tons as Notts dominate Bears

Nottinghamshire's two centurions Steven Mullaney (left) and Joe Clarke have both now 15 first-class tons
Nottinghamshire's two centurions Steven Mullaney (left) and Joe Clarke have both now 15 first-class tons
Specsavers County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day one):
Nottinghamshire 425-6: Mullaney 179, Clarke 125, Evison 45
Warwickshire: Yet to bat
Notts 5 pts, Warwickshire 2 pts

Relegated Nottinghamshire found their form a game too late at Trent Bridge as they piled up their highest score of the season against Warwickshire.

Skipper Steven Mullaney made a career-best 179 and Joe Clarke 125 - his first century since his debut in April - as Notts reached 425-6 at the close.

Teenager Joey Evison - one of three Notts debutants - also weighed in with nine fours in a lively 45.

Henry Brookes and Will Rhodes both took two wickets for the visitors.

Playing their first game since Warwickshire's draw with Essex confirmed Notts' fate on Friday, the hosts were put in by Bears skipper Jeetan Patel - and they did not take long to cash in on that misjudgement.

By lunch, Mullaney was only 10 short of his 15th first-class century, as Notts dined on 135-2, already looking forward hungrily to their first batting bonus points in four games.

And there was a lot more to come as he and Clarke, who was dropped against Kent last week, compiled a stand of 205.

It was comfortably their highest stand of the summer, beating the 109 by Ben Duckett and Chris Nash, also against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in June.

After Mullaney had gone, Duckett went cheaply, but that let in 17-year-old Evison - the club's youngest debutant in almost two decades - for his cameo, either side of one-time England contender Clarke also reaching his 15th first-class century.

Ravi Ashwin (28 not out) and Paul Coughlin (22 not out) added a further 43 before stumps as Notts secured maximum points.

Relegated Notts ring the changes

With Notts already relegated and facing T20 Finals Day on Saturday, their line-up had an unfamiliar look about it.

They included three debutants, opening batsman Ben Compton, teenage all-rounder Evison, and paceman Jack Blatherwick.

South Africa-born Compton, a late starter to first-class cricket at 25, is the grandson of former England legend Denis Compton and cousin of former Middlesex and England opener Nick.

They also had one of last year's late season signings Zak Chappell making only his third appearance, while it was only a third game back for all-rounder Paul Coughlin, who had to undergo shoulder surgery shortly after his move from Durham in the winter of 2017.

Warwickshire made just one change, bringing back fit-again Rob Yates, while wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose is still out, following a stomach virus, leaving Michael Burgess to deputise.

Nottinghamshire skipper Steven Mullaney:

"After all the emotion of last week it was nice to go out and enjoy playing again. I've had 48 hours to digest last week and how it went and there was a real positive vibe out there.

"Luckily, it was myself and Joe's day. I've felt good all season. It was my second hundred but I've had a lot of 15-20 scores that I've not been happy with.

"Anything loose I was able to put away and Joe played unbelievably well. It was nice to spend time with him at the crease and put on a significant partnership.

"I'm really pleased for him after the year he's had and the struggles he's been through. He looked back to his best."

Bears first-team coach Jim Troughton told BBC WM:

"The covers were on until around half past nine. There was a lot of rain on Sunday, cloudy skies and the lights were on.

"You need to take that opportunity when you decide to bowl to use the conditions to your favour. But it was an unacceptable first session for us, probably our worst session of fielding this season.

"We're disappointed that we didn't put the ball in the right area and gave them far too many boundary options. Mull when he came to lunch had hit 17 boundaries.

"We addressed it at lunch and I wanted to see an improvement in the second session and the only credit we get is at the end where we got those two wickets to get that second bowling point."

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