The first double hundred of Alex Hales’ career helped Nottinghamshire to a position of strength on the opening day of their LV= County Championship match against Yorkshire at Trent Bridge.
The England international was unbeaten on 222 not out as the home side reached 393-7 by stumps, having been invited to bat first. Hales scored his runs from 250 balls, with 37 fours and a six and having shared in a third wicket stand of 171 with James Taylor, who scored 59.
Steven Patterson, with 2-58 and Jack Brooks, 2-90, returned the leading figures for the Yorkshire bowlers on a tough day for the defending Champions.
Hales passed three figures for the 10th time in his career, spoiling the return of Andrew Gale, back skippering Yorkshire again after serving a four-match suspension. Gale rotated all seven bowlers at his disposal but all found it difficult to put the brake on Hales’ scoring.
In general, too much width was offered to the 26-year-old and he capitalised fully to reach his century from 131 balls and his 150 from 173. Taylor was a perfect foil for his World Cup team-mate, content to play the supporting role in reaching his own 50 from 89 balls, with nine fours.
Yorkshire’s spirits were lifted just before the tea interval when Brooks struck twice in an over, snaring Taylor with an lbw decision and then providing enough temptation for Samit Patel to nudge one into the hands of Alex Lees at first slip. Hales went past his previous best of 184, made against Somerset in 2011, and then survived his only two scares of the day, against the bowling of Patterson.
Brendan Taylor became a notable first scalp for Matthew Fisher, who at 17 years 161 days is Yorkshire’s sixth youngest debutant.
LV= County Championship Division One, Trent Bridge (day one): Nottinghamshire 1st Innings 393-7 (95.1 overs). Yorkshire yet to bat.