BOWLERS reigned supreme at Trent Bridge on the opening day of the new LV= County Championship season, where 20 wickets fell in the clash between Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire.
The home side would have feared the worst when they were asked to bat first and could only muster 118 all out, visiting paceman Richard Jones claiming 6-32.
But a defiant 51 not out from Paul Franks was to prove important for Nottinghamshire as their seam attack hit back strongly to restrict Worcestershire to 130 all out in reply.
It leaves the game interestingly poised and unlikely to go the distance, although poor batting, rather than the state of the pitch, is largely to blame for its advanced state.
Worcestershire enjoyed near-instant success as Alex Hales nicked Alan Richardson to slip from the fourth ball of the day, while Michael Lumb, making his competitive debut for Nottinghamshire, was undone by left-armer David Lucas’ away swinger.
Jones then took two wickets in three balls to remove another Notts new boy in James Taylor, plus Riki Wessels, before adding skipper Chris Read to his list of victims.
Franks and Neil Edwards (21) joined forces to add 40 for the sixth wicket, but the latter fell on the cusp of lunch, lbw to Moeen Ali.
Graeme White (14) briefly kept Franks company long enough for him to go to fifty from 81 balls, with seven boundaries.
But Jones returned to snare three more wickets for the addition of just three runs, wrapping up the hosts’ innings inside 42 overs.
Worcestershire were no more convincing when they came to bat, with Ben Phillips (3-29) leading the Nottinghamshire’s fightback.
The former Somerset man played just one four-day game last season and recorded figures of nought for 139, but this time he took his first three LV= County Championship wickets for the hosts, including that of Daryl Mitchell lbw to set the ball rolling.
Andre Adams (2-30) showed he had lost none of the skill that has seen him capture 60-plus wickets in each of the previous two seasons by accounting for Ali and James Cameron, both caught behind by Read.
Luke Fletcher (3-45) chipped in with the scalps of Australian overseas player Michael Klinger (29), Alexei Kervezee (18) and David Lucas (17), while Franks (two for 23) picked up Shaaiq Choudhry (20) and last man Richardson.
Even so, former Nottinghamshire man Lucas stuck around long enough to ensure Worcestershire secured a 12-run lead going into day two.