Yorkshire declared their second innings at 113-2. a lead of 219 runs with 24 overs still showing to bowl on the scoreboard. Notts needed to score at 9.16 an over to win, but a deal had been done to allow Yorkshire to repair their slow over-rate with spin and shake hands at 5pm to settle on a respectable draw.
Notts closed at 31-0 to take 10 points to Yorkshire’s 9.
Yorkshire declared their second innings at 113-2. a lead of 219 runs with 24 overs still showing to bowl on the scoreboard. Notts needed to score at 9.16 an over to win, but a deal had been done to allow Yorkshire to repair their slow over-rate with spin and shake hands at 5pm to settle on a respectable draw. Notts closed at 31-0 to take 10 points to Yorkshire’s 9.
Days like today are a little farcical and do county cricket no favours, but I suppose ‘thems the rules’. Day 4 at Trent Bridge has proved one thing – Yorkshire have found an opening pair who could forge a formidable marriage over the next few seasons. Joe Sayers and Adam Lyth added 92 for the 1st wicket to follow their stand of 114 on Wednesday.
I’d spent a good while trawling back through scorecards to find the last time a Yorkshire opening pair had put on century partnerships in each innings only to pinpoint the answer as Lyth scooped a pull to Mark Waugh at deep-square and was out for 52 from 114 balls with 6 fours.
For those interested to know the result of the stat search – the last time was by Ashley Metcalfe and Martyn Moxon who added 134 and 185 against Middlesex in August 1988. The last time in first-class cricket was by Joe Sayers and Gary Ballance against Durham MCCU last week. The latter stat was easier to find!If anyone can find the last time Yorkshire achieved opening partnerships of one hundred plus in consecutive matches please email me at email@example.com to put me out of my misery!
Joe Sayers went shortly after Lyth for 45, bowled by Samit Patel by a ball that turned and took his off-bail. Andrew Gale and Joe Root saw Yorkshire through to the declaration. It was a solid performance by the Yorkshire batsmen on a morning where a few early wickets would have given Notts real hope of victory.
Play had finally got underway at Trent Bridge at 1.15pm with the draw odds-on. Overnight and morning rain delayed an 11am start, although there can be few complaints as Yorkshire have managed to get all the way through to 7 May before the rain intervened.
The sideshow was whether Andrew Gale could get enough time with the ball to bowl his spinners later to restore Yorkshire’s match over-rate of -2. Failure to do so would have cost Yorkshire 2 Championship points. That hurdle was leaped on a day with few surprises.
A solid performance by the Tykes. It gives them confidence, something to build on and with Hampshire the opposition at Headingley next week memories of batting collapses are a little more distant.
As I prepare to drive to Canterbury I looked back obver the match. There is one performance that stands out and for that reason, Jonny Bairstow is the Official Twitter feed Yorkshire Man of the Match. It’s a game he will always remember, and so will anyone who witnessed his stunning double ton.
JAMES BUTTLER at TRENT BRIDGE
DAY THREE REPORT
Nottinghamshire showed admirable fight today as they recovered from 158-4 and 291-8 to avoid the follow on target of 385 and reach 428 all out, a deficit of 106 runs. Yorkshire ended the day on 17-0, but have been far from their best and recaptured today their frustrating knack of letting the opposition off the hook.
The hosts can thank lusty tail-end butchery from Ben Phillips, whose 71 from 104 balls included 8 fours and 3 sixes, and Andrew Adams (54 from 47 balls) for their escape. The match now seems destined to be a draw, particularly as poor weather is forecast in Nottingham on Saturday.
Yorkshire took the second new ball with Notts 314-8 after Phillips and Adams had begun feasting on the spin offered up by Andrew Gale to recoup the over-rate, which at one stage had been -7. But the sun had come out and the Notts lower order made hay, swinging from the hip and peppering the fence for target practice.
Phillips went past his half century from 87 balls with 8 fours and 1 six. Then Adil Rashid spilled a return chance before the reprieved batsman smashed a six over long-on. Two balls later Notts sailed past the follow-on target with another mammoth Phillips blow which nearly cleared the New Stand.
Adams reached his fifty when he creamed Ajmal Shahzad over mid-on to the fence to bring up the 400 and then stepped back to slash him through point for four more. The next ball, however, he tried to launch Shahzad into Derbyshire and a top edge which took an age to come down was well held by Jonny Bairstow.
Adams had faced 47 balls and hit 7 fours and 3 sixes in his 57 that warmed the cockles of the Trent Bridge crowd. The pair had beaten the previous highest partnership for the 9th wicket of 77 set by Bill Voce and Arthur Staples at Bradford in 1930. Their new record stand of 114 arrived in 16.2 overs at a rate of 6.97.
Fletcher then got in on the act hitting a 10 ball 20, including 3 consecutive fours off the weary Shahzad, finally finding Joe Root at deep mid-wicket. None of the Yorkshire bowlers came out of the Notts boundary blitz with any credit and the post tea fireworks had ruined what had promised to be another good day for the Tykes.
Nottinghamshire resumed on 43-0 with Shahzad bowling a pacey opening spell and Patterson was expensive on a fast outfield with a ridiculously short boundary and the sort of attacking field a captain with 534 on the board can afford to place. Shahzad had found the edge of Mark Wagh’s bat with the 10th ball of the day when the patient opener was on 2, but Lyth couldn’t hold the chance. Neil Edwards consummately outscored Wagh as he reached his fifty from only 47 balls.
Richard Pyrah then threatened to be the star of the day, running in from the Radcliffe Road End to take 3 wickets and reduce Notts to 143-3. He has grabbed the chance given to him this season and is quickly gaining the respect of opposition batsmen who no longer regard him as the easy option. He immediately found rhythm and control and sent Wagh on his way, knocking over his leg stump with the score 88 – that was Notts highest opening stand since August 2008.
Edwards moved to 64 with 13 fours when he gloved a lifter from Pyrah to Bairstow. Pyrah then induced an edge from Patel (21) and Notts were 143-3. Shahzad produced some pace and lift from the Pavilion End. A short delivery, when Alex Hales was on 28, hit the tall in-form middle-order bat smack in the grill of his helmet. He retired hurt and then on the stroke of lunch Shahzad trapped Voges lbw and Notts were 158-4.
Hales was down but not out, the grill had jarred his jaw and although sore he would return, but not immediately as Read joined Mullaney after the interval and they formed a partnership totalling 64 (including Hales contribution) bringing back memories of their match changing stand at Headingley a fortnight before.
Adil Rashid was not introduced into the attack until 2.45pm, but he is the sort of bowler who has the potential to change a game, even if not at the top of his game. With his 10th ball – the first nine had been forgettable – he dropped short, Read turned forcefully to leg off the back foot and the ball hit Joe Root in the mid-rift. The ball stuck and Read was on his way as Root hurled the ball towards the sky. Notts were 222-5.
Alex Hales returned and Ajmal Shahzad immediately replaced Rashid at the Pavilion End with a short-leg and leg-gulley posted to unsettle. The Yorkshire paceman bowled the best spell since his return from injury, but he could not shake up the man many tip as a future England opener.
Hales certainly has the right temperament reaching his fifty with a trademark flow through the off-side from his 60th ball faced hitting 8 fours and 1 six – a pull into the New Stand when Pyrah had tested his mettle. He will not be pleased with his dismissal however, pulling a woefully short Rashid delivery straight to Ryan Sidebottom at deep-square.
Mullaney went 5 runs later, taken by Adam Lyth at slip off Rashid, to make the score to 269-7. Phillips and Paul Franks resumed after tea with the score 277-7, still 257 runs adrift. Joe Root took his first Championship wicket when he bowled Franks for 9 and at that stage the match and the points were there for the Tykes to take.
No one then suspected the dynamic of the game would change as drastically as it would.
JAMES BUTTLER at TRENT BRIDGE
DAY TWO REPORT
Jonathan Bairstow has thrown a large monkey off his back at Trent Bridge today by making his maiden first-class century. Technically those wishing to still print that he has reached fifty 18 times without making a hundred would be correct – today’s splendid knock was a double ton and rubbed a beleaguered Notts attack’s noses thoroughly ‘in it’ as Yorkshire took their overnight 291-3 to 534-9 declared shortly after tea.
In the process Yorkshire retained control of their Championship match against the defending champions despite a customary morning batting wobble. Notts had reached 43-0 in reply before bad light prevented any further play after 5pm. The hosts require another 342 to avoid the follow on.
Andrew Gale declared Yorkshire’s innings when Bairstow was bowled trying to loft Mullaney over the off-side field. A career best by some margin, came in 292 balls and included 24 fours and 5 sixes – one of which saw him reach his final score of 205.
It was a quite brilliant display from the 21-year-old who entered the fray at 184-3 some 6 hours and 26 minutes before his dismissal. By all accounts his mother, Janet, bought the Yorkshire offices in Headingley, where she works, cakes to celebrate. I hope they were expensive ones as a stale iced bun most definitely would not cut the mustard and do her son’s day justice. One thing for sure, Janet has every right to be very proud of her lad tonight.
When Bairstow ran the single to notch his maiden Championship century, the roar of delight and relief must have been audible back in Yorkshire. He flew past the stumps at the non-strikers end in celebration, turned to give the Nottingham air a full blooded upper-cut and hugged the congratulatory Ajmal Shahzad.
For many players a first taste of three figures would have been enough, but that it wasn’t for young ‘Bluey’ Bairstow speaks volumes. He continued on 101 after lunch alongside Ryan Sidebottom with Yorkshire 388-8 and he batted sensibly, plundering when the bowling allowed and defending resolutely as required. He went from his century to 150 in 49 balls and in doing so past his father’s (David Bairstow) career best 145. When he past 184 he reached 2,000 runs in first class cricket.
When an over from Patel was sent for 4,2,6,4,1,4 to Bairstow and then Sidebottom the Notts players’ heads had sunk lower than a Barry White vocal. At tea he was 199 not out. Surely Gale would not declare. And he didn’t, allowing his 4-day wicket-keeper the chance to reach his double century and provide the perfect end to a wonderful innings.
Sidebottom has worked hard with the bat down the order this summer and again provided stubborn defence in a valuable unbeaten 45. He and Bairstow added 151 – a record for Yorkshire’s 9th wicket against Notts beating the 120 stand of George Herbert Hirst and Wilfred Rhodes at the same ground in 1899.
The 7th wicket had been productive too when Shahzad and Bairstow took the score from 331 to 383-8. The talk around the ground was that 400 would be a good total. Shahzad managed to see Bairstow through to his ton, before Shahzad swang wildly at Samit Patel and was caught at mid-off by Ben Phillips.
Joe Root had resumed with Bairstow at 11am requiring 11 more runs to reach his own maiden century, but it was not to be as the 20-year-old right-hander turned to see his defensive push at a Paul Franks delivery caught by Chris Read. Moments earlier he had played a sumptuous cover drive off Luke Fletcher to go within striking distance of three figures. He had faced 203 balls and hit 14 fours for a career best 95.
The ball was doing a bit which could yet assist the Yorkshire seamers, but Gerard Brophy did not help his cause when he played back to a full delivery from Fletcher, his off stump cart-wheeling away behind him. Rashid played a shot to the cover boundary off Franks, but then edged to Neil Edwards at slip and Yorkshire were 313-6 having lost three wickets for 10 runs in 23 balls. Pyrah was caught behind off Franks from the last ball of the 110th over and Yorkshire were 331-7, the Tykes taking 3 batting points and Notts 2 for bowling.
Nostalgia pervaded when Sidebottom and Bairstow played so well, many supporters harking back to their fathers and days of yesteryear. Bairstow in particular made it a great day for Yorkshire cricket and one he, or anyone watching, will ever forget.
JAMES BUTTLER at TRENT BRIDGE
DAY ONE REPORT
Yorkshire enjoyed Day 1 at Trent Bridge closing on 291-3 to rid themselves, to some extent, of their recent top order woes. Joe Root (89 not out) and Jonathan Bairstow (50 not out) shared in an unbeaten 4th wicket stand of 107. Both will have a sly eye on a maiden first-class century on Thursday morning.
There will be disappointing days, inconsistent performances and the usual ups and downs of a Yorkshire summer, but how good it was to see a 20-year-old Sheffield-born batsman joined by a 21-year-old from Bradford as they showed travelling Yorkshire supporters what could be around the corner if they keep faith with this exciting young side.
After the collapses, worries and disappointments of recent weeks with the Yorkshire top order it was a brave decision by Andrew Gale to bat first when he won the toss this morning at Trent Bridge. That he did and Joe Sayers and Adam Lyth repaid his faith by batting throughout the opening session without any major hiccups as they ate their sandwiches with an unbroken 101 on the board.
Both had looked comfortable, but both perished shortly after lunch. Sayers had nurdled, guided and tucked off his legs for 50 from 122 balls with 6 fours, a cover drive to welcome Samit Patel into the attack just before lunch was the pick. But he poked at a ball from Luke Fletcher and was pouched at slip by Alex Hales.
It was time for Lyth to dig in and avoid the collapses that have become common-place in recent matches, but he went in the very next over. During the morning session he had been understandably cautious after giving his wicket away too many times of late and had permeated his knock with some typically exquisite blows through the off-side and nicely timed flicks through mid-wicket to the shortest boundary towards the New Stand.
Lyth’s 57 came from 103 balls and included 10 fours, but he must learn to temper his natural aggression, particularly at key times. 114-1 became 2-down when Paul Franks dug one in slightly short and Lyth went for a pull he was never in control of. The ball looped to sub fielder Ollie Swann (no relation) and Lyth kicked the ground in disgust. If he is to get to the very top of the game, which he is more than capable of, he needs to convert good starts, particularly when he is playing as well as he is at the present time.
It was left for Joe Root and Andrew Gale to repair the damage in the afternoon session as Yorkshire supporters fidgeted uneasily, no doubt fearing another crumble. A few plays and misses did nothing to ease the nerves, but at 184-2 Yorkshire appeared to have regained control until Gale, on 32, attempted a sweep off Samit Patel and Adam Voges anticipated well to run from first slip to the leg-side to take the catch off the top edge.
Joe Root continued with Jonathan Bairstow. The 20-year-old right-hander has fitted into 1st Team cricket neatly, but needed a big knock to truly cement his place. At tea he was 45 not out, equalling his previous Championship best of 45 and after the interval he quickly went past fifty from 81 balls faced.
The pair carried on through the evening session. Bairstow deposited Patel over his head into the Radcliffe Road End as they notched their fifty stand and manoeuvred the ball around easily as they ensured they were both still at the crease when the new ball was taken on 261-3 after 82 overs.
They notched their hundred stand from 202 balls when Root hooked the last ball of the 91st over for four. The next ball Bairstow pushed a single to bring up his fifty from 101 balls, which included 7 fours and 1 six.
Root was dropped at gully in the penultimate over of the day by Neil Edwards when on 88. It was the only chance either youngster offered.Let’s hope it’s a memorable day for them both tomorrow!
Anthony McGrath (sciatica) does not travel after also missing the CB40 match against Derbyshire on Monday. Joe Sayers replaces McGrath. Tim Bresnan will travel with the squad and it appears he will play in the CB40 match against Kent at Canterbury on Sunday.
Neil Edwards, Mark Wagh, Alex Hales, Samit Patel, Adam Voges, Steven Mullaney, Chris Read (c,wk), Paul Franks, Andre Adams, Luke Fletcher, Ben Phillips
A week away from the 4-day stuff has given Andrew Gale’s team a chance to regroup and come back fighting at Trent Bridge. They will need all of that fight if they are to repeat the 5-wicket victory in the corresponding fixture last season.
Gale seems to enjoy playing against Chris Read’s team. The Yorkshire win at Trent Bridge last summer was inspired by the skipper’s 151 not out and his recent unbeaten 145 at Headingley deserved to be a match winning knock.
The Yorkshire captain knows what a big week this is for his side: “It’s a massive week. I’ve said to the lads we’ve got to roll our sleeves up, keep our heads up and hopefully try and turn this run around – turn it around back in our favour. The good thing is the fixtures are coming thick and fast to do that. There have been some really good bits in the season. We dominated Nottinghamshire for two-and-a-half days, but the 1st Division is a tough division and if you lose two hours of play to the other team it’s always going to be an uphill battle after that.”
Nottinghamshire have not done a Championship double over Yorkshire since 1891. In Alex Hales, who had a great game at Headingley, they have one of the best young batsmen I’ve seen on the county circuit. He’s tall, plays straight, is capable of giving the ball a wallop, but also drives with great grace.
Hales has enjoyed a terrific summer so far. 20, 4*, 85, 83, 0 and 84 in Nottinghamshire’s three Championship wins. He will be keen to turn one of those starts into three-figures and is the man to watch at Trent Bridge this week.
They say in sport that you should think back and visualise the last good performance at a venue to racapture a winning feel. Last year at Trent Bridge Yorkshire were near perfect. Nottinghamshire were 59 all out, Andrew Gale’s century helped the Tykes to 264, Ajmal Shahzad took 8 wickets in the match, Moin Ashraf took 3 wickets on debut, and Jonny Bairstow scored an unbeaten 63 to see his side home. It was also a match where Jacques Rudolph only scored 10 and 29!
Yorkshire cricket tends to be very black and white. You win you are brilliant, you lose you are Muppets and there doesn’t seem to be much scope for anything in between. Before I write my previews I usually have a look at the White Rose Forum to see what other people think of Yorkshire’s recent performances. Two CB40 defeats and Championship losses to Durham and Notts and the ‘this is going to be our season’ attitude has been replaced by doom and gloom. The Yorkshire smiles at New Road after the win against Worcestershire certainly seem a dim and distant memory. So what’s changed?
The word momentum is used a lot in cricket. When things go right for you they engender positivity and more good things naturally happen. Yorkshire are currently experiencing the flipside, where confidence suffers and everyone starts to look at how it is possible to lose a game from here, rather than take it by the scruff of the neck and win it. The shift from negative to positive momentum needs to begin this week, and although it is a team game and Andrew Gale is the focus as captain, the players need to look at their own contributions so far this season and ask how they can contribute more.
There are some notable exceptions. Richard Pyrah was my Player of the Month for April and he’s responded to added responsibility and performed admirably. Ryan Sidebottom has been the consistent performer you would expect. Andrew Gale and Gerard Brophy have scored some valuable runs and Adil Rashid has bowled well at times. Joe Root has looked handy, but not gone on to get a big score as yet. Jonny Bairstow has done well with the bat in second innings fights. But for most the highs are too infrequent and not enough.
With the bat only Brophy and Gale have gone on and turned a start into a really big score and that is where the problem lies. We all knew Jacques Rudolph was going to be tough to replace, but the current crop cannot be happy with a fluent forty – when a batsman gets in they have to be hungry for more. Even when full they need to be asking for second helpings!
If you remove that mad two hours against Notts in the Championship and Yorkshire had won, Andrew Gale’s men would have gone top of the Championship table immediately after the game. The young players that excite us all, the young captain that promises so much, and the bowling attack most believe is as good as any in the country are no different as players or people than they were after that wonderful 2nd Day against Notts two weeks ago.
The momentum has shifted and the team needs a big week at Trent Bridge. If they can repeat the heroics of last season we will all be looking at the top end of the table once again.