x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Dravid's 81 takes the MCC lead to 410 runs

Rahul Dravid makes up for his first-innings duck to score 81 in the second essay for MCC as Nottinghamshire will need at least 410 runs to win their game in Abu Dhabi.

Nottinghamshire, the county champions, faced an uphill task to avoid defeat in the traditional curtain-raiser against the MCC after they were outplayed for the second consecutive day in Abu Dhabi last night.

After 18 wickets fell on the opening day on Sunday, the MCC showed far greater resolve with the bat yesterday to reach 300 for five at the close — a significant lead of 410 runs.

Rahul Dravid, the India Test batsman, led the way with an unbeaten 81 while Stephen Peters, Stephen Moore and Steven Davies all posted half-centuries to effectively bat Nottinghamshire out of the match with two days to play.

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The champions managed only 108 in their first innings after Hamad Hassan, the Afghanistan seamer (4-45), quickly mopped up the final two wickets in the first session.

They will need to vastly improve on that output when they eventually return to the crease, with MCC's large lead set to cast them into the unenviable role of batting for a draw.

MCC's hopes of pushing for a win will, however, be undermined by a foot injury to Steve Kirby, who ran through Nottinghamshire with five wickets yesterday, which has ruled him out of the rest of the game.

Kirby suffered the injury while batting and while he subsequently returned figures of five for 29, he endured discomfort in yesterday's warm-up to prompt a precautionary decision to sit out the rest of the game as well as Friday's Emirates Airlines Twenty20.

The 33-year-old will return to the United Kingdom in the next 24 hours where Somerset, his county club, who he only joined in the winter, will be hoping he has not sustained a significant injury.

The MCC has called in Paul Muchall as a replacement for the Twenty20 encounter in Dubai.