Yorkshire turn the screw on Notts and close in on title

Tim Bresnan
Tim Bresnan
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Yorkshire’s grip on the LV= County Championship title tightened on the second day of their match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The Division One leaders carried on batting until deep into the sixth session of the match, before they eventually declared on 532-9.

Left with 15 overs to negotiate, at the end of the day Notts lost four wickets in quick succession at the start of their innings before reaching stumps on 58-4.

Whilst the day was hugely successful for the visitors, it was tinged with slight disappointment for two of their batsmen, with Gary Ballance falling for 99 and Tim Bresnan for 95.

Gary Keedy was the pick of the home attack, collecting figures of 5-163 from exactly 50 overs.

Yorkshire had resumed from their overnight position of 319-4 and both of their overnight batsmen encountered few problems in extending their fifth wicket partnership to 64 before Ballance was given out lbw against Keedy when just one run short of his seventh first class hundred of the summer.

Jack Leaning, who had shared in a stand of 65 with Ballance, made 42 before also falling to a leg before wicket decision against the 39-year old spinner.

Adil Rashid and Bresnan continued to frustrate the home attack as they put on 46 either side of lunch before Luke Fletcher had Rashid (42) smartly taken by Riki Wessels at midwicket.

Bresnan became the fourth Yorkshire batsman to pass 50 –from 121 balls with six fours and a six – getting to the milestone during a stand of 57 with Steven Patterson for the eighth wicket.

The six took him from 30 to 36 and would have been a heart-in-the-mouth moment as Harry Gurney took a catch on the deep square leg fence but had already touched the rope as he caught it.

With an ever-decreasing run-rate the pace of the play became almost pedestrian, with Yorkshire’s overall ambitions to bat Notts out of the game clear.

Patterson (17) became the fourth to be given out lbw in the innings and third to fall in that way to Keedy, who grabbed his fifth wicket in his 49th over.

Five runs short of a well-deserved century, Bresnan lost his wicket to Steven Mullaney, caught by Wessels at midwicket – at which point Joe Root called time on the innings, leaving Notts with 15 overs to bat.

Alex Hales edged his fourth delivery from Jack Brooks through to Jonny Bairstow before Ryan Sidebottom collected two wickets in his next over, picking up both Mullaney, who made nine, and James Taylor (nought).

Samit Patel picked up the third duck of the innings when he steered Brooks to third slip, leaving Wessels and Michael Lumb to avoid further mishap and see their side through to the close, still 325 runs away from making Yorkshire bat again.

Yorkshire’s Bresnan was disappointed not to get his century but was pleased with the team effort, and said: “On the whole that was a very good day.

“There might be some criticism about how we went about that but for me it was ‘keep them out there’, get as many runs as we can and let the game take it’s natural course. As soon as we passed 400 it was just a case of grinding them in to the dirt.”

“Obviously I’m disappointed to miss out on the hundred but I probably only got as close as I did because the message came out to clump a few, get to around 550 and put them in.”

Darren Gough.

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