|LV= County Championship Group One, Trent Bridge, Nottingham (day four):|
|Nottinghamshire 400-5 dec: Duckett 177*, Mullaney 88, James 78|
|Worcestershire 80: Fletcher 7-37 & 150: Libby 64; Paterson 4-49, Fletcher 3-20|
|Notts (24 pts) beat Worcestershire (1 pt) by an innings & 170 runs|
Nottinghamshire took 14 wickets on the final day to complete a remarkable innings and 170 run County Championship victory over Worcestershire.
Luke Fletcher’s career-best 7-37 helped skittle the Pears for 80 in their first innings after they resumed on 53-6.
Worcestershire followed on, 320 behind, and were bowled out for 150 second time around with Fletcher taking 3-20 to finish with 10 wickets in the match.
Notts go top of Group One, nine points clear of Essex with a game in hand.
After most of Thursday and all of Friday were washed out, time was against Notts in their quest for a third straight victory in the competition.
Paceman Fletcher, who had taken five wickets in a frantic spell in the final session on Saturday, got the ball rolling for Notts by removing Josh Tongue in his second over of the morning.
The 32-year-old soon had seven wickets for the first time in his career when Alzarri Joseph edged him behind before Stuart Broad finished off Worcestershire’s first innings before lunch.
The visitors looked as though they might salvage a draw when they were 63-1 in their second innings.
But Fletcher got Tom Fell and Jack Haynes in the same over, having already dismissed Daryl Mitchell, for his first ever 10-wicket match haul.
Pears opener Jake Libby (64) fell just before tea to Broad, but Notts still needed six wickets in the final session with the threat of rain around.
South Africa fast bowler Dane Paterson then produced a devastating spell to take four wickets, including Tongue and visiting captain Joe Leach to finish the match just before rain arrived.
Nottinghamshire assistant coach Kevin Shine:
“Luke Fletcher is just getting better as he gets older and that doesn’t always happen. He has bowled as classy a spell as a lot of people will have seen for a long time.
“He is going to be top of the averages, ahead of the likes of Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson who are the bowlers everyone is talking about, and it is well deserved.
“To run in and bowl fast you have to be a little bit crazy but you also need to have that determination and what you are seeing now is the reward for all the work he puts in during the winter. He is always challenging himself to get better and that is music to my ears as a coach.
“And Stuart Broad has been an unbelievable example with the effort that he puts in. He wants us to win and drives everyone to win. This was a brilliant effort, although there is so much belief and character we never thought the time lost would definitely mean the game ending in a draw.”
Worcestershire head coach Alex Gidman:
“It has been a tough couple of days. We were obviously miles off the pace on Saturday and it was tough to wrestle back any sort of momentum.
“You can’t fault the effort to try and bat through the day in very tough conditions to get the draw but clearly the damage was done and we’ve got to look at ourselves and try to improve very quickly.
“We wanted to play as much as we could on that first day as we knew the forecast for day two wasn’t very good. The heavy roller seemed to do a ridiculous job and changed the wicket considerably going into day three. But, having said that, we didn’t build pressure like they did.
“We had a really positive lesson from Luke Fletcher in terms of what we need to do and get better at in what was a high-class display on Saturday evening.”