These two counties have played against each other in all of the 15 seasons of Twenty20 cricket, both being permanent members of the North Group, with Nottinghamshire having the upper hand as far as results are concerned. Yorkshire have played 27 games against the midland county, a total exceeded only by their number against Durham. Paul Dyson looks back at one of the closest matches in this series.
June 29, 2007 at Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 149-9 in 20 overs (BM Shafayat 31, JA Rudolph 3-20); Yorkshire 145-5 in 20 overs (A McGrath 55, JA Rudolph 35*) Nottinghamshire won by four runs
This game took place during the fifth season of the new Twenty20 competition. Nottinghamshire had been the beaten finalists in 2006 but Yorkshire had not yet even reached the quarter-final stage. In the current season the hosts had again started well and won all three of their completed games but the visitors had lost both of theirs.
Nottinghamshire won the toss and decided to bat on ‘a rare, dry evening’ (YCCC Yearbook). (In a wet summer five of the North Group’s 12 matches up to this date had been affected by the weather.) The game was being played on a pitch which was being used for the third consecutive game and duly favoured the slower bowlers. Graeme Swann opened the batting and made an entertaining 17 from 12 balls before being bowled by Australian Jason Gillespie; Darren Gough then bowled the home side’s captain, New Zealander Stephen Fleming, and wickets for Richard Pyrah and David Wainwright reduced the hosts to 70 for four. The longest stand of the innings between Australian David Hussey (24 from 20 balls) and Bilal Shafayat (31 from 23 balls) then gave the innings some impetus. Their excellent running induced some fielding errors but after the partnership had added exactly 50 the occasional leg-spin of South African Jacques Rudolph accounted for Hussey. This precipitated a collapse in which five wickets fell for 21 runs and Rudolph finished with three for 20. A total of seven bowlers were used, Gillespie, Gough and Tim Bresnan each taking two wickets with Gough the most economical (17 runs from three overs).
Yorkshire got off to a bad start; Gerard Brophy and Bresnan (run out) each faced only three balls and the visitors were seven for two. Anthony McGrath held the innings together with some excellent strokeplay in stands of 40 and 55 with Craig White (27) and Rudolph before being caught off the left-arm spin of Rob Ferley for what ought to have been a match-winning 55 from 44 balls. Chris Gilbert struck 12 from six balls but the run-rate was mounting, Rudolph could not get enough of the strike and 12 were required from the final over. Five yorkers from Ferley meant that Andrew Gale had to hit the last ball for six but failed to do so and Rudolph was left not out on 35, Nottinghamshire winning by just four runs. Only Swann took as many as two wickets with his off-spin but he was the most expensive bowler, his four overs costing 39.
Both teams eventually qualified for the quarter-finals, the top three in the North Group being Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire. Ten of the 24 games had ended in ‘no results’ or were abandoned, such was the month of June in particular. Yorkshire travelled to Hove for their first-ever last-eight game in this tournament but were comprehensively beaten by 38 runs. Nottinghamshire had a home game against Kent but were thrashed by nine wickets.