Yorkshire lost their final Second Eleven competition game of the season at York as Nottinghamshire triumphed by seven wickets on Day 3 of their Championship fixture.
Yorkshire began the day on 23-1, leading by 116 runs and proceeded calmly to 67 before Dan Hodgson edged behind for 37 from 39 deliveries with eight fours. Eliot Callis went on to 54 from 81 balls with nine fours and a six, and the hosts were 110-3, 226 ahead.
Then came a cascade of wickets as five more fell for 36. Yorkshire declared at 146-8, setting Nottinghamshire a target of 240 to win in a minimum of 72 overs. It was a run chase to keep the opposition interested…and they maintained their interest to win with eight overs left.
Star of the show once again was local lad Hassan Azad, who followed his unbeaten first innings of 122 with 97, still not out, made from 163 deliveries with 15 fours. Anuj Dal, another Nottinghamshire-born junior, made 66 in 112 balls with 11 fours, and the pair added 102 for the third wicket in a little over an hour and a half.
Richard Pyrah, Karl Carver and Ben Coad each took a wicket.
Yorkshire took seven points from the encounter to finish with a Championship record of P9 W3 L4 D2 and 106 points – gaining them fifth place in the northern section, an improvement of four places on 2012.
Day 2: Jack Leaning, library picture, recorded his best Second Eleven bowling figures before Nottinghamshire declared at 253-8 in reply to Yorkshire’s first-innings 346.
Yorkshire batted on from their overnight 335-6 in the hope of a substantial total – but it did not work out that way as the remaining four wickets fell for 11 runs in six overs. A score of 346, while more than useful, was less than had been hoped for at 11am.
Nottinghamshire were batting by 11.30am, but lost a wicket almost immediately as Graeme Whiles swung one through Sam Kelsall`s defences to hit middle-stump.
As in Yorkshire`s innings a stand followed as Hassan Azad and Sam Wood added 66 in 90 minutes for the second wicket. Wood finally went for 43, caught behind by Dan Hodgson off Oliver Robinson, but this brought in Anuj Dal, and another big stand developed. Karl Carver bowled Dal for 33, but the visitors were well placed at 150-3 from 61 overs.
Cricket never ceases to amaze…within just six overs Carver, 2-57, and Jack Leaning – whose 3-28 was his best Second Eleven bowling analysis – had reduced Nottinghamshire to 158-7, still 39 short of saving the follow-on. A brisk 36 by Brett Hutton achieved this goal, with Hassan Azad still going his steadfast way at the other end.
Robinson, 2-51, trapped Hutton in front, but George Bacon, who so nearly won the one-day Trophy game for his side at Barnsley, was still at the crease as the declaration came 93 runs behind. Such a tactic was always advocated by Doug Padgett when he was Yorkshire Coach – it puts the ball firmly in your opponents’ court.
The rock upon which the Yorkshire bowling had foundered, Hassan Azad, remained unbeaten on 122 with 18 fours and a six from 269 balls. His monumental innings, of which the Yorkshire President would have been proud, spanned 309 minutes.
The hosts had five second-innings overs to survive, but lost first-innings centurion Alex Lees without scoring to the only lbw dismissal given from that end all day. Eliot Callis and Hodgson saw their side through to the close on 23-1, a lead of 116 runs.
Tomorrow will see the usual last-day balancing act as Yorkshire try to juggle the setting of a suitable target with the number of overs remaining.
Day 1: Alex Lees (Gallery Picture), disappointed not to have made Yorkshire’s first team for the top-of-the-table LV Championship match against Durham at Scarborough – smacked exactly 100 when he reached York.
Yorkshire won the toss, chose to bat on a tricky wicket, and cruised to a healthy 335-6. They had only nine players at the start as the three who had not been selected for Scarborough – Lees, Andrew Hodd and Richard Pyrah – were en route at 11am.
Eliot Callis and Will Rhodes walked out first to endure a sticky 90 minutes as the ball seamed and zipped everywhere. Skipper Rhodes went for seven, but Callis and Dan Hodgson got the worst over with, and runs were beginning to come when Callis was adjudged lbw to the last ball before lunch. This raised the curtain on Lees: he and Hodgson proceeded to add 31 careful runs before Hodgson edged one behind for a solid 43.
It was Hodd’s partnership with Lees which was to alter the course of the game and put Yorkshire in the driving seat. They added 147 for the fourth wicket in a little under two hours, Lees making exactly 100 from 140 balls with 15 fours and a six. Hodd was run out for a splendid 93 from 117 deliveries with 18 fours.
Pyrah, Oliver Robinson and Jack Leaning all contributed, but there was always the possibility, even in the late evening, that a ball would misbehave. Yorkshire claimed all four batting points to close on 335-6 from the full quota of 104 overs.
The Second Eleven scores are available via Total Cricket Live Scores. Here’s how to keep up with scorer and Yorkshire County Cricket Club website correspondent HOWARD CLAYTON: