Gary Ballance’s second century of the season led Yorkshire’s excellent response to Nottinghamshire’s 448 during the second day at Trent Bridge.

Yorkshire, having closed on 256-4 from 70 overs, are now in a strong position to secure at least a draw from their eleventh Specsavers County Championship match as they fight against relegation.

With Lancashire claiming an incredible tie defending a target of 78 against Somerset at Taunton – the first in Championship cricket since 2003 – and rivals Worcestershire and Hampshire playing each other at New Road, a haul of nine points or more would be a huge boost heading into the final three weeks of 2018.

Former captain Ballance notched 50 off 44 balls during the afternoon and played fluently on both sides of the wicket, driving particularly well.

He later reached 100 off 121 balls and finished with 104 off 138.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore backed him up with an unbeaten 57.

Yorkshire’s reply started 20 minutes before lunch, where they reached at 14-1 having lost stand-in captain Adam Lyth for a six-ball duck, caught in the gully off Mark Footitt as he drove at an out-swinger.

New Zealand overseas batsman Jeet Raval had made his way to 15 before playing down the wrong line at another left-arm seamer Harry Gurney’s fourth ball and was bowled (59-2 in the 14th over).

Ballance and Harry Brook, who also looked in good order for 47, then shared 78 inside 15 overs for the third wicket through the middle of the afternoon.

Unfortunately, however, as Brook looked to dominate Samit Patel’s left-arm spin, he dragged a head high catch to mid-wicket, leaving Yorkshire at 137-3 in the 29th.

By that time, in good batting conditions, Ballance had posted his 44-ball fifty with eleven boundaries.

Either side of tea, the left-hander united with Kohler-Cadmore, who posted his second successive half-century off 119 balls after last week’s 81 in defeat against Somerset at Emerald Headingley.

They took the score beyond 200 midway through the evening, securing Yorkshire’s first batting bonus point, with their second following late in the day for reaching 250.

Nottinghamshire’s attack, including four left-armers – three seamers and one spinner, struggled to break through.

Ballance reached his second hundred of the season, including 19 fours, on the back of his 109 in the draw against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in June.

Incidentally, no Yorkshire batsman had reached 100 in the four matches in between.

Ballance fell inside the day’s final 10 overs when he pushed forward at Patel and was caught at short-leg, leaving the score at 238-4 in the 61st, ending a stand of 95 inside 33 overs with Kohler-Cadmore.

Jonny Tattersall will start day two unbeaten on 12 alongside in-form Kohler-Cadmore.

The day started with Patel and Matt Milnes completing a frustrating eighth-wicket partnership of 90 as they advanced from 331-7.

Patel hit 54 off 81 balls and seamer Milnes 43, both falling to the leg-spin of Josh Poysden.

The former Warwickshire man had Milnes lbw and Patel caught at deep backward square-leg (verging on long-leg) with a short ball.

Tim Bresnan wrapped up the innings when he had Gurney caught at backward point to finish with an impressive 3-93 from 33.3 overs. Yorkshire missed out on a third bowling bonus point.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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