Nottinghamshire fight back on day three


Joe Clarke and Will Young broke a Nottinghamshire record stretching back 121 years with an unbroken third-wicket stand of 370 to transform this Vitality County Championship match against Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The pair batted for all but ten minutes of the third day, coming together with their side 48 for two in their second innings, trailing by 213, and guiding them to 418 for two at the close, a lead of 157.

Clarke hit an undefeated 209, while Young contributed 156 not out. Their combined efforts bettered those of the uncle and nephew partnership of Billy and John Gunn, who put together a third-wicket stand of 367 against Leicestershire at Trent Bridge back in 1903.

By stumps, the pair had been together for two minutes short of six hours without either giving a chance. It was memorable display of concentration and application, which spelled total frustration for the Somerset bowlers.

Notts began the day looking to save the game from a seemingly daunting position. There was no indication of batting dominance to come when Haseeb Hameed was bowled through the gate by Craig Overton for 20 with only ten runs added to leave them 48 for two.

Clarke walked out to join Young and by lunch, their stand was worth 92, Clarke having reached an 88-ball half-century and Young unbeaten on 41. However, at 140 for two, Notts were still 121 adrift and there was plenty more hard work ahead.

The afternoon session saw Young reach fifty off 135 balls and Clarke bring up his ton off 136 deliveries, with 12 fours and a six.

When the partnership went past 180 it beat the previous highest third-wicket stand for Notts against Somerset, compiled by Mike Harris and Sir Garfield Sobers at Trent Bridge in 1974.

Not content with that, Clarke and Young had increased the stand to 233 by tea, which was taken at 281 for two, with their side now 20 ahead. Somerset’s last hope was the second new ball, due two overs after the interval.

It was taken at 291 for two, but made no difference as the Notts pair continued to grind out runs in the sunshine. Young went to his century with a square-driven four off Migael Pretorius, his 11th boundary in a then 234-ball knock.

Soon the partnership was worth 300. A six by Young off Shoaib Bashir piled on the misery for Somerset before Clarke scampered a single off Lewis Goldsworthy to bring up his double hundred off 284 balls, with 25 fours and a six.

Somerset skipper Lewis Gregory shuffled his attack, giving overs to Goldsworthy, Matt Renshaw and Tom Lammonby as well as his normal bowlers without any success.

The record was broken in the final over when Young pulled a two off Pretorius. A few moments later the Notts pair walked off to warm applause from the Somerset team and the crowd, Clarke having faced 303 balls and Young 304. They had been together since the third over of the day.