Lees’ century leads the Tykes’ fightback at Notts

Alex Lees
Alex Lees
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Yorkshire fought back strongly on the second day of their LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The defending champions reached the close on 226-3, with Alex Lees having made exactly 100 in response to the hosts’ first-innings total of 428.

Lees scored his century – the seventh of his career – from 223 balls, having hit 11 fours but he fell to the next delivery he faced, edging Will Gidman behind.

The bowler enthusiastically celebrated his first wicket for Nottinghamshire, while wicketkeeper Chris Read also reached a milestone in collecting his 850th first-class dismissal for the county.

Cheteshwar Pujara, the India Test batsman, made 59, having failed to score a single run on his Yorkshire debut at New Road last week, and shared in a second-wicket stand of 116 with Lees. Nottinghamshire had allowed a couple of opportunities go begging in the slip cordon and Samit Patel also spilled two difficult caught and bowled opportunities, but he was able to remove Pujara thanks to a stunning catch at mid-wicket by substitute fielder Ben Kitt.

Will Rhodes made 41 out of an opening stand of 66, before being smartly caught by Patel at first slip, off Harry Gurney.

Andrew Gale, on his return to the Championship game, was very watchful in the final half-hour of the day and reached stumps on 13 not out, with Jack Leaning also unbeaten, on three.

Earlier in the day the home side had batted on for a further 13.1 overs before being dismissed, with Alex Hales falling for 236. The 26-year old, unbeaten on a career best 222 overnight, lasted for a further 38 minutes before being bowled out by Steven Patterson, who emerged with figures of 3-78 for the visitors, with Jack Brooks collecting 3-99.

Brooks had picked up the opening wicket of the day, having Vernon Philander caught at second slip for seven, and the innings was wrapped up by Tim Bresnan, who fired one through Jake Balls’ defence, after being heaved away for six from the previous delivery.

Brooks revealed a team meeting before the start of day two had inspired Yorkshire’s positive opening.

“We had a bit of meeting as a group and knew that we needed to be better and to stay positive,” he said. “We knew if we bowled really well in the first half an hour, or 45 minutes, we’d be confident of knocking them over and that’s what we managed to do. And then the key was there with the batting, just get past the new ball and bat for as long as possible so us bowlers can get our feet up.”

Read and his team-mates were thrilled to see Gidman claim his first wicket for the county.

“I think the guys are ecstatic for Will,” the Nottinghamshire captain said. “It’s not easy to come to a new club and settle in. Sometimes you need a little bit of time, but it shows the popularity of the fella when you see how much it was enjoyed by all his team-mates.”

LV County Championship, Division One at Trent Bridge: Nottinghamshire 428 (AD Hales 236, JWA Taylor 59); Yorkshire 226-3 (AZ Lees 100, CA Pujara 57).