Nottinghamshire seize control

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Nottinghamshire seized the initiative on the second day of their Specsavers County Championship match against Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge.

The unbeaten second division leaders reached 430 for nine before declaring and then unleashing their potent attack upon the visitors.

With Luke Fletcher taking three for 32, and England’s Stuart Broad bagging three for 40, Gloucestershire were skittled out for only 149 in just 44.1 overs.

For the third match in a row Notts enforced the follow-on and reduced the west country side to 37 for one in their second innings, still 244 runs behind.

The morning had begun with Nottinghamshire resuming their first innings on 375 for five and the home county quickly sped to maximum batting points as Chris Read and Riki Wessels plundered 55 runs from the first 13 overs of the day.

Read was dropped on 29 as Graeme van Buuren spilled a regulation offering at backward point as the Nottinghamshire skipper sliced Chris Liddle to backward point.

Gloucestershire’s second bowling point was gifted to them as Wessels miscued Matt Taylor high to mid-off for 37. A decent short delivery from the same bowler then accounted for Read, who had made 36.

The batsman had been hurried into taking evasive action but the ball brushed the bat face and carried through to the diving Phil Mustard.

Craig Miles, who claimed four for 123, picked up his last wicket as an ugly swish from Brett Hutton ballooned straight up in the air for a regulation caught and bowled.

Broad made just five and the declaration came moments after he’d sliced Kieran Noema-Barnett high to point.

Gloucestershire’s hopes of a solid foundation were torn to shreds as Fletcher’s second delivery had Cameron Bancroft caught behind, giving Read his 900th first class catch for his county and an eventful first session was brought to a premature close as Broad bellowed a successful lbw appeal against Will Tavare.

The first full over of the afternoon session brought the downfall of Chris Dent as the left-hander nicked Fletcher behind, for just a single.

Bowling with good rhythm, despite the gusty conditions, Fletcher then reduced the visitors to 43 for four as he knocked over van Buuren’s middle and off stumps for 15.

George Hankins also reached 15 before falling to Harry Gurney, with Read snaffling up his third catch of the innings.

Phil Mustard, playing his 200th first class match, had a life on 17 when Wessels, at first slip, grassed an edge off Gurney.

The Gloucestershire skipper advanced to 53 but then mistimed a pull off Broad and saw Fletcher take a fine diving catch at mid on.

Steven Mullaney enhanced his reputation as a partnership breaker by snaring two quick wickets. Noema-Barnett assisted the bowler by shouldering arms and losing his off stump for 14 and then Miles was caught behind for four.

Chris Liddle was the last man to depart, slashing wildly at Broad and seeing the ball sail all the way into the hands of Cheteshwar Pujara at third man.

Batting for a second time, in gloomy conditions with the floodlights burning brightly, Notts could afford to spill Dent on nought before Fletcher removed him for two.

The third stoppage of the day, at around 6.10pm, brought proceedings to a halt, with 15.3 overs still remaining.