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    Calvin Harrison turns the game around for Nottinghamshire after Rob Jones' valiant 90
Calvin Harrison turns the game around for Nottinghamshire after Rob Jones' valiant 90
Dillon Pennington was in the wickets again for Nottinghamshire. Source: Getty Images

Calvin Harrison turns the game around for Nottinghamshire after Rob Jones' valiant 90

Nottinghamshire reached 399 at Trent Bridge after their overnight seventh-wicket stand finally reached 146. Lyndon James, last out, fell for 96. In their reply, Worcestershire closed on 220 for six in 63 overs, 179 behind. The initiative swung sharply to the home side with three wickets taken in the last 65 minutes.

Spin is coming to the fore at the halfway stage of a Vitality County Championship match played on a pitch now six days old. Calvin Harrison's leg-breaks resulted in the successive removal of Adam Hose, Rob Jones (who scored 90), and Jason Holder (who was dismissed for a second-ball duck).

Although Dillon Pennington generated impressive pace and finished the day with two wickets for 25 runs from 12 overs, Harrison posed significant problems and ended the day with three wickets for 78 runs. Jones, in his third innings for Worcestershire this season, arrived at four for two but accelerated in the evening sunshine until the swift decline from 155 for three.

It was a welcome return to form for James, who played every match last season but managed a top score of only 50 after finishing 2022 with a career-best 164 not out. Needing 27 runs from 30 balls to secure a third batting point, the batsman helped the team score 25 runs from Adam Finch's next two overs.

His partnership with Harrison, which began 25 minutes after tea on Friday, ended 30 minutes before the scheduled lunch break. At that point, James was on 87 runs and two more wickets fell in the next five overs. Harrison was caught by Jake Libby at deep mid-on for 52, after miscuing his shot. Liam Patterson-White fell victim to Brett D'Oliveira's occasional leg-breaks. The captain then ran out Luke Fletcher with a direct hit.

With the last pair together, James could only manage to score singles due to the delayed and far-flung fields. Eventually, he swatted a Finch full-toss that seemed waist-high straight to mid-wicket and waited in vain for it to be called no-ball.

There was no doubt about the peremptory end of both Worcestershire openers within eight balls of the reply. In his first match this year, Fletcher overcame an injury-hit 2023 by dismissing Gareth Roderick for a duck. Pennington also made a contribution by watching Libby being stupendously caught one-handed by Harrison, who dived full length at third slip.

This was a rare failure for one of four men in this game playing against their old side. Libby, who left Nottingham in autumn 2019, fell for two after scoring 1051 runs at 75.07 in his last nine games.

In a hostile second spell of nine overs, Pennington ended a recovery that had added 78 runs within 20 minutes of tea. Kashif Ali had suggested he might surge away once more following his two hundreds in the opening game, but on 40, his strokeplay grew too outrageous.

He walked away to leg and slashed hard, top-edging Pennington to a deep backward point. Jack Haynes took a superb sprinting catch. At the interval, the score was 90 for three. Another 65 runs were added at a rate of four runs per over before Harrison's late strikes.

Hose scored a brisk 33 runs but was caught by the bowler after top-edging a pull shot. Jones also returned a catch, which Harrison sprawled to accept. The umpires together decided that the ball had just been carried. When Holder edged to slip, Worcestershire were left needing a substantial seventh-wicket partnership of their own.

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