Notts seamer takes 7 for 37 and 10 for the match after Ben Duckett’s pivotal 177 not out
Nottinghamshire 400 for 5 dec (Duckett 177*, Mullaney 88, James 78) beat Worcestershire 80 (Fletcher 7-37) and 150 (Libby 64, Paterson 4-49, Fletcher 3-20) by an innings and 170 runs
Luke Fletcher returned career-best figures for the second consecutive match as Nottinghamshire crushed winless Worcestershire by an innings and 170 runs to take maximum points and go top of Group One in the LV=Insurance County Championship.
Fletcher, the 32-year-old pace bowler, took 7 for 37 as Worcestershire were skittled for 80 in their first innings, ending with ten wickets in the match, another career first, as the visitors crumbled to 150 all out following on.
Only Jake Libby and Brett D’Oliveira offered anything close to meaningful resistance, Libby making 64 to go past 600 runs for the season – only Durham’s David Bedingham has more.
But after he was dismissed by England’s Stuart Broad the last seven Worcestershire wickets fell for 47, South African seamer Dane Paterson taking 4 for 49, his best figures for the county so far.
Nottinghamshire ended a barren run of almost three years without a Championship victory when they beat neighbours Derbyshire three weeks ago. Now they have won three in a row, completing this one inside two days after weather wrecked days one and two.
Worcestershire, reeling at 54 for 6 overnight, folded in 74 minutes this morning.
Fletcher, who took five wickets in 42 deliveries on Saturday evening, needed just eight more balls to record the second six-wicket haul of his career, the first having come against Essex only two weeks ago, producing a swinging delivery to nightwatchman Josh Tongue that took the outside edge. Just 10 balls later he was celebrating his maiden seven-for as Alzarri Joseph edged a drive. Fletcher would have had eight had Joe Clarke not dropped Joe Leach at first slip on five.
Broad, in his last appearance before England’s Test series against New Zealand begins a week on Wednesday, claimed the last two wickets as Ben Cox chased a wide one and Dillon Pennington nicked to second slip.
Batting again, Worcester lost opener Daryl Mitchell before lunch as he nibbled at Fletcher to be caught behind for one. By tea, they were 114 for 4, Fletcher having struck twice more as Tom Fell clipped to short leg and Jack Haynes drove straight back to the bowler.
Broad’s tactic of positioning five catchers on the leg side in a hostile spell to Libby paid off via a superb low catch by Paterson at square leg.
Paterson ended a gutsy effort by D’Oliveira via a leading edge to mid-off in a spell that saw him take four of the last five wickets to fall. Lyndon James had made his mark as Riki Wessels wafted at one outside off stump to be taken by second slip Ben Duckett, whose unbeaten 177 was the match-winning performance with the bat, while Broad removed Joseph to give him five in the match.