|LV= County Championship Division Two, Trent Bridge (day two)|
|Nottinghamshire 662-5 dec: Montgomery 178, James 164*, Mullaney 136, Hameed 115|
|Durham 53-2: Dickson 20|
|Nottinghamshire 4 pts, Durham 1 pt|
Four Nottinghamshire batters made hundreds as they put one hand on the Division Two trophy by racking up 662-5 declared against Durham in the final match of their County Championship season.
The seventh-highest total in the club’s 181-year history was only the second to contain four individual tons, matching the team that made 656-3 declared against Warwickshire in 1928.
After Haseeb Hameed and Matt Montgomery on day one – Montgomery extending his maiden ton to a magnificent 178 – Lyndon James (164 not out) and skipper Steven Mullaney (136) further turned the screw against a chastened Durham attack, although Matty Potts (three for 83) and Ben Raine (two for 98) both impressed.
Durham’s batters then had to face a Nottinghamshire attack boasting England pace bowler Stuart Broad for the first time since April.
They closed on 53-2, still 609 behind, fading light forcing an early close for the second day running.
A draw from this match – which already looks assured – will clinch promotion for Nottinghamshire regardless of results elsewhere and a win secures the title.
After Nottinghamshire had started the day on 276-2, they lost Joe Clarke in only the third over, caught at second slip fending a ball from Potts.
Dropped on 27 on Monday evening, he did not add to his 28 overnight and is likely to finish the season without a first-class hundred for the first time in his career.
Montgomery, standing in while Ben Duckett is away with England, looked the part again. Unruffled by a blow to the body from Potts at the start of the day, he reached 150 from 304 balls after hitting 22 fours.
He and the impressive James added 161 for the fourth wicket.
Montgomery’s marathon innings ended after more than six and a half hours when he jabbed at one outside off stump from Potts and inside-edged on to his leg stump.
At 438-4, next man Mullaney had licence to assert himself and did so, hitting sixes off Potts and Liam Trevaskis on his way to a 49-ball half-century.
James, meanwhile, completed the third century of his career – all this season – from 158 balls after collecting 13 fours.
Mullaney’s third century of the season came off 91 balls with four sixes, which he had increased to seven by the time he was caught behind for 136 off Raine and promptly declared.
James overtook his previous best of 155, accumulating 19 fours in almost five hours at the crease.
As if things could get no worse for Durham, who are without top scorer Michael Jones – away with Scotland – another frontline batsman, David Bedingham, suffered an injury and did not field after tea.
Trevaskis, sent in as an emergency opener, fell leg before to Broad in the sixth over.
As the light faded Mullaney, prompted by the umpires, turned to his spinners to keep playing on a day already extended to compensate for time lost on Monday.
That should have made it easier for Durham to negotiate what remained. Instead, Sean Dickson – in his last match for the county before moving to Somerset – took a huge swing at left-armer Liam Patterson-White and sent the ball off a leading edge to Broad at mid-on.
Report supplied by the ECB Reporters’ Network.