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Close of play report: Nottinghamshire vs Yorkshire (Day 4)

— 8 April 2019

Scorecard

Joe Root and Gary Ballance both hit superb unbeaten centuries to steer Yorkshire to an opening round draw against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Root starred alongside close friend Ballance as the pair batted through the majority of day four to claim a nine-point haul, sharing 253 inside 68 overs for the third wicket.

It is a Yorkshire record partnership for that particular wicket against Notts.

Yorkshire were set a target of 447 before play, when Steven Mullaney declared the hosts’ second innings with Joe Clarke on 97 not out, and they slipped to 24-2 before closing on 277-2.

Root’s 130 off 189 balls – added to 73 earlier in the match – was his seventh Championship century for Yorkshire, while Ballance’s was his 19th.

Root’s innings not without alarm against an attack led by England team-mate Stuart Broad, while Ballance finished with 101 off 216 balls, reaching his hundred with a six over mid-wicket.

Had Clarke, aged 22 and 317 days, been given the opportunity to reach his century, he would have become Notts’ youngest to score two in the same match after his first-innings 112.

The visitors lost openers Harry Brook and Adam Lyth to Jake Ball inside the first eleven overs of the day.

Brook was caught at third slip and Lyth lost his middle and leg stumps as he tried to leave alone.

That brought Ballance and Root, Yorkshire’s key partnership, together against Ball and new ball partner Broad.

And Root ducked into his first ball at the crease, a short ball from Broad, prompting a change of helmet, an assessment from Yorkshire physio Kunwar Bansil and, an over or so later, a painkilling tablet.

From there, the pair remained unbroken on a pitch which offered signs of some uneven bounce, although nothing too drastic.

They first of all helped Yorkshire reach lunch at 72-2, bringing up their 50 partnership shortly after the break and their 100 stand immediately after Root reached his fifty off 92 balls.

On 46, Root was the subject of a huge caught behind appeal from ex-Durham seamer Paul Coughlin, who was convinced he had got his man gloving an attempted pull.

In the next over, the 47th of the innings, Root hit Coughlin for four fours in five balls to rub salt into the wounds.

Coughlin, Broad and Fletcher all tried bowling short at Yorkshire’s third-wicket pair after lunch with men back on the hook and short-leg and leg gully in place. But they were unable to break through, despite a series of funky field settings from Mullaney.

Ballance survived a near run out on 42 as he pushed to cover and set off for a quick single, and he reached his fifty on the stroke of tea off 167 balls.

At tea, the White Rose were 181-2 from 59 overs, with a potential 37 more overs to face and Root on 86.

The 28-year-old went on to post his seventh Championship hundred in the opening stages of the evening, off 145 balls with 16 fours.

It also marked his first hundred in a Yorkshire shirt since amassing 213 against Derbyshire at Emerald Headingley in May 2016.

While Root played the lead role, Ballance’s was a crucial hand alongside his close friend, who lived together at the start of their respective professional careers.

Ballance hit a century in last year’s corresponding fixture and did not look in any danger here aside from the run out incident. The players shook hands immediately after he lofted Patel over mid-wicket.

Yorkshire’s next game is against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday when Root will again be available. Hampshire wrapped up an opening round victory over Essex at the same venue earlier today.

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