Yorkshire enjoyed another positive day against Nottinghamshire in Potchefstroom today, albeit one that was affected by the weather.
This second and final day of their red ball friendly with the Trent Bridge side was a bowling day, and it was interrupted by an approximate two-hour rain delay from mid-afternoon onwards.
This was a game played out on a sluggish pitch.
Notts, replying to Yorkshire’s 305-6 from 90 overs, were 147-2 from 53 when the weather intervened before closing on 195-5 from 68.3.
Karl Carver struck twice, getting Billy Root lbw for three and Tom Moores the same way for 34, while Ben Coad made the initial breakthrough by removing Chris Nash lbw for 31.
Matthew Waite claimed two quick wickets late in the piece as Notts slipped from 174-2 to 195-5.
Notts opener Jake Libby retired on 75 off 179 during the rain break, hitting seven fours. He shared an opening stand of 89 with Nash, a new signing from Sussex.
Notts went from 89-0 at lunch to 102-2 having lost two quick wickets, with the first falling to Coad just two balls after the interval.
“We’ve bowled ok without being great,” said coach Andrew Gale.
“There’s been a few rusty lads out there, you can see that. They’ve struggled a little bit for consistency but have put a shift in. They put the ball in good areas and got better as the day went on.
“It’s been the first time out on grass (in a match) for a lot of the lads. It’s been tough, and there will be some tired bodies around tonight. But they will be better for it.
“As I said from the outset, this tour’s about being physically and mentally ready and giving yourself the best chance for when we get back to Headingley.
“Today, we won’t take too much notice of how they’ve gone. But, by the end of the trip, we want the bowlers to put some consistency together and build pressure.
“This pitch is difficult, but it’s one you may come up against in county cricket – the Oval, we’ve played on one like this at Arundel in the past, Taunton. It’s been a good test for us.”
The day started at the Wiltrand Oval with both sides pausing for a minute’s silence for the late Dave Callaghan. Yorkshire’s players then wore black armbands in a further tribute to Cally.
White Rose captain Gary Ballance employed nine bowlers.
Jack Brooks (0-31 from 10 overs), Coad (1-13 from nine), Tim Bresnan (0-37 from 12), Steve Patterson (0-22 from 10) and Carver (2-38 from 11) did the bulk of the work.
Jared Warner, Josh Shaw, Adam Lyth and Waite (2-7 from 3.3) then bowled 16.3 overs between them.
Gale continued: “We listen to the science team, Kunwar Bansil and Ian Fisher, and they sort of guide us on the amount of overs the lads have to bowl.
“They’ve bowled a couple of spells. We will probably up the ante in the two-day game amongst ourselves, where they will try and bowl three spells, and we have a friendly against Durham when we get back.
“It will then be full throttle in our three-day match against Leeds/Bradford.
“The lads have worked so hard this winter. I’ve said before, this is the fittest team. They’ve been chomping at the bit to get outside.
“We came back to training earlier than usual with cricket before Christmas, so they’ve been ready for some game time. It was like Christmas Eve on Sunday before we started. You could see the excitement.”
Teenage batsmen Harry Brook was the big winner from this contest.
The 19-year-old hit 154 before retiring yesterday to stake his claim for a Championship starting berth next month.
Another who enjoyed success today was left-arm spinner Carver.
With Azeem Rafiq missing the tour due to personal issues, Carver is the senior spinner on tour, and he will hope to press his claim, especially with Adil Rashid opting out of Championship duty this year.
He struck for the second time by removing Moores after the rain break, leaving Notts at 174-3.
Gale added: “Karl just needs the confidence. We believe he can do a good job for us, so can Azeem Rafiq, who is unfortunately not with us. There will be competition for places, and they just need overs under their belt.”
In his three-and-a-half overs, Waite bowled Luke Fletcher and removed Jake Ball via the day’s fourth lbw.
Yorkshire’s next match on tour is a 50-over clash with the students of Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities on Thursday.