Jonathan Bairstow led a mini recovery with a carefully crafted 50 not out, but Yorkshire’s batting capitulated around him at Headingley to allow Nottinghamshire to seal an astonishing win by 58 runs. Yorkshire take 6 points from the game. Yorkshire had been chasing 145 to win after Nottinghamshire recovered to 337 all out with Chris Read (86) and Steven Mullaney (83) batting well into the afternoon.
Jonathan Bairstow led a mini recovery with a carefully crafted 50 not out, but Yorkshire’s batting capitulated around him on Day 3 to allow Nottinghamshire to seal an astonishing win by 58 runs. Yorkshire take 6 points from the game. Yorkshire had been chasing 145 to win after Nottinghamshire recovered to 337 all out with Chris Read (86) and Steven Mullaney (83) batting well into the afternoon.
It was incredibly tense stuff at Headingley after Adam Lyth was lbw to Charlie Shreck for 1. Lyth didn’t play a shot, but the ball moved considerably. Anthony McGrath was lbw the very next ball to leave Yorkshire rocking at 5-2.
First innings centurion, Andrew Gale, was then bowled off an inside edge attempting to drive Luke Fletcher when on 6 and all of a sudden Notts were in the driving seat with Yorkshire 15-3. Jonny Bairstow (8) and Joe Root (10) survived until tea with the score 26-3, still 119 away from victory.
Joe Root was lbw Franks for 14 and Yorkshire were 44-4 and still requiring 101 to win. Gerard Brophy followed the same way for a duck to Shreck and Notts were on top and scenting a remarkable comeback. Adil Rashid slashed a ball from Franks straight to gully for 5 and Richard Pyrah was caught behind off the same bowler for 2 and the score was 66-7 and Notts were riding the wave.
David Wainwright formed a partnership of 19 with Bairstow which briefly threatened to get Yorkshire out of jail, but when he was caught at bat and pad by Alex Hales for 4 off Samit Patel the writing was on the wall.
Ryan Sidebottom was lbw to Fletcher soon after and Oliver Hannon-Dalby did not manage his first innings heroics, lasting just 2 balls for a duck and scenes of jubilation from the Notts players began.
Chris Read described the comeback as ‘Astonishing’ and ‘A game we had no right to win’ while Notts coach, Mike Newell, said “It was the greatest comeback from a team I’ve been involved in.”
“We’re deeply disappointed to lose in that manner having got ourselves into a potential winning position,” said Director of Professional Cricket, Martyn Moxon. “But, as disappointed as our batting was today, I was actually more disappointed with the first innings. We gave away too many unnecessary wickets when in a position of strength. That’s come back to bite us. Other than the fantastic innings by Andrew Gale (145 not out), backed up well by Ollie Hannon-Dalby, we would have been well below par. That’s more disappointing than getting bowled out for 86, even though it looks bad on paper. When you analyse the second innings, apart from maybe one shot, it wasn’t reckless batting.”
Earlier, when Ryan Sidebottom took the wicket of Steven Mullaney it ended Notts recovery at 337 all out. There were 40 overs remaining in the day plus a possible extra half hour for Yorkshire to complete victory.
Mullaney had been excellent for his 83, only out when attempting to emulate Andrew Gale’s smash and grab routine yesterday, finally holing out to Adil Rashid at deep square after facing 170 balls which included 9 fours and 1 six.
Notts began the day in style, batting through the morning session as the defecit was wiped off and their lead had stretched to 85 when Notts munched contentedly on their sandwiches at 278-6. They had edged ahead in the contest when Mullaney diverted a ball for 2 to third man to take his side to 194-6. Yorkshire had to work hard to get anything out of the pitch early on Day 3 and the new ball was taken after 80 overs with Yorkshire needing to make the new cherry count, but Sidebottom was replaced after 4 overs by OHD after having no joy. Rich Pyrah was the best of the seamers, but he could not break through.
Chris Read went to fifty from 114 balls and 6 fours and Steven Mullaney reached the same landmark two overs earlier with a pulled 6 having faced 93 balls, 5 fours and 1 six. Read’s fifty also brought up the century partnership stand between this pair who have batted with few alarms during the morning session.
The pair continued after the break when an interesting incident occurred. Chris Read was dropped by Richard Pyrah at slip off OHD. Pyrah caught the ball, but it was dislodged as he hit the ground. Read assumed the ball had been taken cleanly and had set off to the Pavilion as Pyrah lay disappointed on the ground with the ball hidden behind his body. Pyrah then relayed the dropped ball to Adam Lyth at the stumps who after a few seconds hesitation removed the bails. No one was certain whether Andrew Gale had called the batsman back or whether umpire Willey had signalled a dead ball? It was later revealed that it was Gale who told his players it would be unsporting to capitalise on the incident and allowed Read to continue on 66. Willey later described the act as a ‘Great sporting act.’
The match then swung back towards Yorkshire as the last 4 wickets fell for 20 runs. Adil Rashid finally broke the Notts 7th wicket patnership when he had Chris Read lbw for 86 from 168 balls and 11 fours. Read and Mullaney had extended their partnership for the 7th Notts wicket to 150 which was a record stand for that wicket for Notts against Yorkshire, beating Franks and Hussey’s 147 at Scarborough in 2009. Notts were 317-7 and their lead was 124 runs.
Adil Rashid bowled Andre Adams with a big turning googly (Notts 321-8) and then Luke Fletcher went lbw for 4, Notts were 335-9 and the lead 142 runs. Steven Mullaney, on 81, was joined by number 11 Charlie Shreck, but Sidebottom removed Mullaney to set up the run chase which never was.
Yorkshire will need to regroup quickly if today isn’t to be seen as a defining moment in the season. Andrew Gale’s leadership skills will be tested to the limit as Yorkshire need to regain the ability to win the important 50:50 battles, and their batsmen must must begin to capitalise on good starts. There is a lot of cricket still to be played this summer and players and supporters need to rid their minds of this match quickly. It could have been so different after bossing the match for every session until the final day.
It will be no consolation to the players or supporters, but what an advert for Championship cricket. The drama, excitement, tension and range of emotions that county cricket at its very best can provide.
JAMES BUTTLER at HEADINGLEY
DAY TWO REPORT
Nottinghamshire ended Day 2 teetering on the edge at 175-6 and still 18 runs from an innings defeat. Rich Pyrah 3-19, Ryan Sidebottom 3-44 and a wonderful 145 not out from Andrew Gale ensured that the Tykes kept a tight grip on the match throughout the day.
Notts returned to the crease for their second innings 193 runs behind and lost Paul Franks for 4 when he failed to get his bat down on a full length swinging ball from Ryan Sidebottom. Rich Pyrah bowled Mark Wagh for 15 and Sidebottom cleaned up Samit Patel without scoring, to give the right-hander a pair in the match. Notts were reeling at 38-3 and a finish inside two days was a distinct possibility.
Alex Hales must have wondered whether he’d been playing on the same surface as his team-mates as he continued where he left-off yesterday when he had scored 85 of Notts first innings 143 all out. He finally found someone to stay with him in Adam Voges, and their century stand, of which Hales contributed 61 runs, coming in 151 balls. They added only 5 more though before falling to one that kept low from Pyrah and Hales had made 83 in 112 balls including 12 fours and 1 straight six off David Wainwright before tea.
Pyrah struck again to have Voges lbw for 42 from 116 balls with 5 fours and Notts were 152-5, still 41 runs from making Yorkshire bat again.
Chris Read joined Ali Brown and their only remit was to take the game into a third day. Richard Pyrah had taken 3-19 in 15 overs when he was replaced by Ryan Sidebottom at the Kirkstall Lane End, Gale turning to his strike bowler to spoil the Read/Brown plan, and it worked when Brown edged behind for 12.
Notts were 167-6 still 26 runs behind and with 5.2 overs left on the board. Would the extra half hour be called for? Yorkshire needed a wicket.
It wasn’t to be as Read and Mullaney saw Notts to the close, but they will have their work cut out tomorrow morning to take play too far into Day 3.
Earlier, Andrew Gale was the Yorkshire hero as Yorkshire extended their lead. The Yorkshire captain smashed an unbeaten 145 to shepherd the tail and help his side reach 336 all out.
Gale, who is a partner in Pro Coach Cricket Yorkshire, should grab the highlights package (on this website now) and show it to students as an excellent example of how a recognised batsman can bat with the tail. Oliver Hannon-Dalby joined Gale when the score was 254-9 and the lead 111. Gale wound up and opened his shoulders scoring 78 runs of the pair’s 82-run partnership. He swept, pulled and bludgeoned the beleaguered Notts bowlers around the park while Oliver Hannon-Dalby was at his defensive scampering best.
Gale hit consecutive sixes off Luke Fletcher as the Notts bowlers struggled to take the last Yorkshire wicket. Should they defend? Attack? Allow Gale runs in order to get OHD on strike? They never really solved the conundrum and it was symptomatic of Chris Read’s state of mind that it wasn’t until 70 runs into the stand that he realised Gale’s scoring was leg-side heavy and he brought men from the off-side to plug gaps.
OHD merely watched, responded to his captain’s calls and prodded at the 20 balls he was permitted to face – all of which he handled safely, despite wearing ridiculously fluorescent orange batting gloves as if called in unexpectedly from washing the team’s dishes. Every dot ball he survived was cheered louder than Gale’s boundaries.
The partnership excited an excellent crowd at Headingley who gave the pair a thoroughly warranted ovation when they broke for lunch at 334-9.
They did not continue long after the break. In the second over after lunch Andrew Gale jagged down on a ball from Charlie Shreck that seemed to beat Chris Read, but deflected off his foot and OHD called his skipper through for what he believed would be two runs. The ricochet stalled the ball and allowed the batsmen to cross for only one. Oliver Hannon-Dalby then edged the next delivery to Adam Voges at second slip and Yorkshire were 336 all out.
Gale faced 205 balls and hit 15 fours and 2 sixes – an innings that was just 6 runs short of his career-best, also against Notts at Trent Bridge last summer. It was the absolute definition of ‘leading from the front.’
Yorkshire resumed at 213-5 with a 70 run lead and 5 wickets remaining in their first innings. Leading wicket-taker, Andre Adams, did not take the field with a slight groin niggle.
Adil Rashid went for 40, playing around a straight delivery bowled by Patel and Yorkshire were 218-6. Andrew Gale, 47 not out overnight, went to fifty from 91 balls and 7 fours. Richard Pyrah was lbw to Luke Fletcher for 0 when not getting far enough forward and the score was 221-7, the lead 78.
Yorkshire had pushed their noses 110 ahead when David Wainwright advanced down the track and drove the ball firmly back into Samit Patel’s grateful hands. Ryan Sidebottom went third ball lbw to Franks and Yorkshire were 254-9.
It didn’t seem possible at the time that 82 more runs would be added by the last pair, but Andrew Gale reigned supreme beneath April sunshine.
JAMES BUTTLER at HEADINGLEY
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Yorkshire ended Day 1 at 213-5, a lead of 70 runs over Nottinghamshire’s first innings 143. It was Richard Pyrah and Ryan Sidebottom who shot through the defending champion’s batting, Pyrah taking a career best 5-58 and Sidebottom adding four wickets of his own against his former team-mates.
Andrew Gale (47 not out) and Adil Rashid (39 not out) reignited Yorkshire’s first innings after quick wicket fell after tea. Rashid especially has risen to the challenge alongside his skipper with well timed punches through mid-wicket, an effortless square drive and, the pick, a straight drive off Franks that no one contemplated running for.
Anthony McGrath and Adam Lyth had put Yorkshire in a strong position on Day 1 after the early loss of Joe Root for a first ball duck. The pair batted fluently together through the afternoon session, adding 98 runs before the interval.
They continued after the break adding the 2 runs required to post their century partnership for the 2nd wicket from 156 balls. McGrath then fell immediately to give Notts a wicket they desperately needed to take the score to 106-2. He was lbw to Andre Adams for 49 from 79 balls including 9 fours.
Lyth was ‘done up like a kipper’ by Luke Fletcher despite making a lovely 64 from 118 balls with 8 fours. The men had been pushed back to catch the pull, Lyth was given plenty of short deliveries which he failed to time, before he holed out to Paul Franks at deep fine leg. He was livid with himself after the event, but needs to learn to shut the door before the proverbial horse has made a dash for it. When he plays well there a few better players to watch and the Yorkshire public, and judging by his reaction, Andrew Gale, certainly wanted to see more of him today.
Jonny Bairstow was the fourth Yorkshire wicket to fall to make the score 136-4, still 7 runs behind Notts first innings score. The Yorkshire keeper had 3 to his name when he had cause to look back at the playing surface with dismay after a full ball from Luke Fletcher kept horrendously low and beat the bottom edge of his bat to knock out his off-pole. Then shortly afterwards, Gerard Brophy was caught at gully when attempting to repeat a cut shot that had earned him a boundary. He was pouched by Samit Patel and Yorkshire were struggling at 144-5.
Earlier, Richard Pyrah and Ryan Sidebottom led the way as Yorkshire bowled Nottinghamshire out for 143 in on;y 2 hours and 17 minutes.
Pyrah claimed career best figures of 5-58, beating his 3-70 in the previous match against Durham. Sidebottom was unlucky to only take 4-30 from his 12 overs. His bowling was impeccable. Late swing, a metronomic action and former team-mates hopping to his merry tune.
Nottinghamshire won the toss and lost a wicket with the last ball of the fourth over when Oliver Hannon-Dalby got one to nip back and take the stumps of Mark Wagh for 2. In Ryan Sidebottom’s next over he drew an edge from Paul Franks which was brilliantly caught by Anthony McGrath at 2nd slip, diving low to his right, like a goalkeeper scooping it out of the back of the net.
Sidebottom then took the important wicket of Samit Patel with his next ball, lbw for 0, and Notts had lost 3 wickets with the score on 7. Adam Voges just got his bat down on the hat-trick ball with an uncertain forward defensive prod.
Pyrah would have got an inkling it was going to be his day when he struck with his first delivery - Adam Voges caught by Adam Lyth at first slip for 2 to reduce Notts to 24-4. Sidebottom then took his third wicket of the morning, Ali Brown playing back and getting caught in front for 11 and Notts were 43-5.
Sidebottom bowled 9 overs with the new ball, his figures from that splendid spell 9-5-15-3.
Pyrah claimed his second wicket of the morning, the Notts captain, Chris Read, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow for 11. It was a poor shot by Read, attempting the pull and under-edging behind. He was surely regretting his decision to bat first.
Notts must have lunched uneasily at 100-6 at lunch after a slight recovery by opener, Alex Hales, 54 not out and Steven Mullaney, 15, but their efforts could not tarnish what had been a marvelous morning for Yorkshire’s seamers.
And the excitement continued after the break when Mullaney was caught by Bairstow off Pyrah without adding to his lunch tally – the score was 124-8. Sidebottom had Fletcher caught by Lyth at second slip for 4, a stunning catch, diving and taking the ball low to his right with both hands, and Notts were 133-9.
Then it was Pyrah v Sidebottom to see who claimed the 5-for. Alex Hales who batted sensibly for his 85 from 89 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes had decided the time had come to open his shoulders. He had clobbered a four over the head of Brophy at deep mid-wicket and followed it with a six over long-on, but then attempted to hoist Pyrah into the East Stand members and Brophy took a good running catch just short of the fence.
Nottinghamshire all out for 143 and the Yorkshire public would have been dancing in the aisles, had it not been too warm.
Before play today, Yorkshire left Steve Patterson and Moin Ashraf out of their 13 for this LV= County Championship fixture played at Headingley between Wednesday and Saturday.
Mark WAGH, Paul FRANKS, Alex HALES, Samit PATEL, Adam VOGES, Ali BROWN, Chris READ (c.wk), Steven MULLANEY, Luke FLETCHER, Andre ADAMS, Charlie SHRECK
The defending Champion County are fresh from a 9 wicket win against Hampshire last week in their opening fixture where Andre Adams chipped in with match figures of 11-76 and Samit Patel gave the England selectors a fat-free nudge with a first innings century.
There is more responsibility on Adams shoulders this season. The New Zealander took 68 Championship wickets last summer. Ryan Sidebottom has returned home to Yorkshire and Notts will undoubtedly see little of Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad due to England calls. Charlie Shreck, Luke Fletcher and Paul Franks complete the seam attack.
Samit Patel has a reputation for finding away grounds by the number of fast food outlets he passes en route, however those days are behind him and a supreme natural talent looks like it may well finally bear fruit. He is a threat in the middle order and his slow-left arm bowling should not be underestimated. Regardless of waistline, can you recall Gatting, Milburn and Cowdrey being told to shape up or ship out?
With 32-year-old Chris Read as captain and Mick Newell as coach, Notts have solidity at the helm. Read is one of the best glove-men in Division One, a first-class batting average of 36.40 and sound tactical nous was one of the key reasons Notts topped last year’s Championship table.
Yorkshire need to regroup and bounce back after defeat to Durham. Losing to Durham in itself is no disgrace, they are potential Champions, but the Tykes were second in most battles over the 4-days. Yes, one mad session with the bat was the catalyst for the loss, but the top order need to find big scores soon and the bowlers need to find a more consistent line and length if they are to match their opposition’s efforts.
Richard Pyrah was instrumental in taking Yorkshire to the verge of grabbing an unlikely draw and he deserves a longer run to find his 4-day feet and establish himself in the side. It was pleasing to see Jonny Bairstow batting at his best. Joe Root looked the part and both he and Moin Ashraf, who is developing into a fine pace-man, could be genuinely top-notch longer-term.
Ryan Sidebottom will be chomping at the bit to take wickets against his former county and that hunger can only be beneficial to Andrew Gale.
I said post Worcester, in the preview of the Durham game, that: “A poor performance against Durham and the same people that have been heralding a Championship winning summer will be demanding wholesale changes.” Reading the message board that has been true, but I have also been pleased to see that supporters also recognise the need to give players time to bed into the season. Andrew Gale’s side is capable of brilliance, but also capable of losing 8 wickets for 47 runs in one session. In order to further the former and reduce instances of the latter they need your support and the chance to play games together to gain confidence and form. If I’m still writing about the same subject in a few weeks time I will be more worried.