Peter Moores pays tribute to Nottinghamshire squad as they secure Division Two title

Nottinghamshire celebrate with the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two trophy after winning the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Durham at Trent Bridge.Nottinghamshire celebrate with the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two trophy after winning the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Durham at Trent Bridge.
Nottinghamshire celebrate with the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two trophy after winning the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Durham at Trent Bridge.
Nottinghamshire needed seven minutes over two hours to take the seven Durham wickets they needed to be confirmed as Division Two champions on the final day of the LV= Insurance County Championship season at Trent Bridge.

England’s Stuart Broad, in his first appearance for his county since May, finished with three for 36, left-arm spinner Liam Patterson-White took three for 41 and South African seamer Dane Paterson two for 27.

Durham, for whom David Bedingham was unable to bat because of a dislocated shoulder, were dismissed for 114 to lose by 462 runs.

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Notts head coach Peter Moores said: “It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. To have a moment when the sun comes out in front of our pavilion and Steve (Mullaney) picks up a trophy, is absolutely fantastic.

“To win things, there are things that go on behind that. We want First Division cricket. We felt we had a good team at the beginning of the year, but you’ve still got to go and deliver.

“Last year we probably won more games than anyone else in the competition, so it felt a tough one to ask us to start in Division Two again. But when we got put there, because of what happened in 2019 rather than last year, none of the players complained. I didn’t hear one moan or groan or anything.

“We just said we’d take this year as another chance to get better. As a club we believe in helping people to get better because that will all go in to helping us win things in the future, so when you do get over the line and win a trophy, it always feels special.

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“The defeat at Worcester last week just shows that you can’t take your eye off the ball. The lead-up to it was a bit of a perfect storm, if you like.

"We’d finished The Hundred and beaten Leicester here, but the we had 12 days off, and it felt a bit like the season had finished, and if you wind down at all, you start to feel tired, and against Worcestershire, while we desperately wanted to do well, I don’t think we were properly switched on again and e came up against a team that was very motivated and played better than we did.

“And it was that kick up the backside that got the lads back into how we want to play our cricket, and we’ve done that over the last four days and it is great to see.

“To have Stuart Broad back in was a real injection, obviously, and he’s made an impact like he always does. And he’s great because he never takes selection for granted. He’s texted and said he wanted to play, but not if it's at the expense of someone who deserves to be in.

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“I think that is a message to young players in particular, that you respect the game, and that if you get selected for your club or country, you go out and enjoy it and give your best

“Stuart has been around for a long time now and I think the longer a sportsman goes on, the more they respect the moment, because he knows that is what he is going to be left with. Stuart came into this game wanting to help us get over the line because he was there at the start of it.

“And Haseeb Hameed - I’ve just said to Hass that he’s played so well this year because credit to him - what a tough experience he had in the winter. But he’s adjusted his game, as well. He scores at a much faster rate, adjusted a few things technically and he’s played in all sorts of situations, so huge credit to him.

“Ben Duckett is another guy who’s had a stellar season for us in this format, in all formats really. To see him get the reward internationally with England in Pakistan, that’s a nice thing to see.

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“Bowling wise, everyone had had their moments, but Dane Paterson again, a bit like last year, has continually delivered when we needed him to.

“When he signed last season, you would have probably said his career was nearly migrating downwards, but now it is very much on the up and he is a key part of how we play our cricket.

“He pitches the ball up, he attacks the knee roll and gets energy off the pitch. There is a little bit of Andre Adams about how he bowls in many ways in that he attacks the stumps, and because he goes both sides of the bat, in English conditions facing him can be very challenging.

“And credit to Kevin Shine, our head bowling coach, he’s tightened up in a lot of areas compared with how he was when he came here. When he first came, his first spell was normally his weakest, but he has got much better at hitting that spell well.

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“As a coach, winning a trophy is satisfying after the work that has gone in. We went through a long spell without winning a red ball game, but we were always pretty clear about what we were doing.

“Going back to the end of 2018, we had lost a lot of players and we knew we were going to have to sign some players, which we did. We signed what we felt were high-ceiling, younger players because we didn’t have enough coming through our system at the time.

“But we were also passionate about developing our own players and I hope people can start seeing that now. Today we had Liam Patterson-White taking the last wicket, we have seen Matthew Montgomery come in and play so well at the back end of the season, we’ve seen Lyndon James get 160, people who have come through our system.

“We’ve lost Joey Evison, sadly, but he is another one who has come through our system. So I look at that and think that we are producing players, which is exciting, but we are also trying to develop the players that we attract, and also our senior men. That’s what we base our style on really, helping players to get better and stronger and that means that you win games of cricket.”

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Barring defeat here, Nottinghamshire were effectively champions already after seven first-innings bonus points meant they could no longer be overtaken in the Division Two standings, yet they had wanted to end on a winning note and gave spectators free admission to witness their triumph.

Resuming on 14 for two after Nottinghamshire, who stacked up a formidable 662 for five declared, had declared their second innings on 121 for two, Durham suffered their first loss in the fourth over of the day as Broad angled one in to have Scott Borthwick leg before.

Skipper Steven Mullaney, one of four centurions in the first innings, sprang something of a surprise when he did not enforce the follow-on after Durham were dismissed 455 behind on first innings, yet his decision seemed to be justified as a rested attack made life difficult for their opponents in conditions freshened up by overnight rain.

Patterson-White claimed the second scalp of the morning in his first over as Liam Trevaskis’s top-edged sweep looped gently to slip.

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Chris Benjamin, the wicketkeeper on loan from Warwickshire, took a positive approach, hitting five boundaries in his 33, but came a cropper when Broad returned for his second spell, edging to second slip.

Patterson-White bowled Ben Raine, Paterson had Matthew Potts edging to second slip, where Matt Montgomery, whose magnificent 178 had been the largest component of Nottinghamshire’s 662, took his second catch of the innings. Before Patterson-White enjoyed the decisive moment as Jonathan Bushnell, sweeping off balance, was leg before.

Nottinghamshire began the season as favourites to win the division, not on the basis of their form the last time the Championship was played in two divisions, pre-Covid, in 2019, when they were relegated without a win, but on their performance in 2021, the campaign of the conference format, when they were in contention for the title right up to the last round.

They felt slightly miffed that this year’s divisions were configured on the basis of what happened three years ago, but the ECB quite reasonably felt they had to maintain the integrity of their competition.

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In any event, they have clearly justified their short odds, winning more matches and more bonus points than any of their rivals. The only defeats suffered were against Glamorgan in their first home match in April, and at Worcester last week, a shock that left them with something to do in this fixture.

The stand-out performer with the bat has been Haseeb Hameed, who has bounced back from the low point of a chastening Ashes winter to enjoy his most productive season, amassing 1,235 runs at 58.80, including four hundreds and seven other fifties.

Ben Duckett also topped 1,000 runs in the Championship, while skipper Mullaney missed that mark by seven runs, but had his best campaign with the bat since 2016.

Among the bowlers, Luke Fletcher was unable to scale the heights of 2021, when he chalked up 67 first-class wickets, but Paterson improved in his debut-season haul of 51 wickets by adding a further 56. Patterson-White, the 23-year-old who has been tipped for a big future in the game, confirmed the promise of his first two seasons by finishing on 41 wickets as the most successful spinner in the division.