Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire April 20-24

Day1

JACK Brooks turned in an all round performance to tip the days play towards Yorkshire on the first day of the Specsavers County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Emerald Headingley.

With the bat he hit an unbeaten 30 and shared in a last wicket partnership of 44 with Ben Coad as Yorkshire passed the 250 mark.  He hit the only six of the day when he lofted Samit Patel  over long off.  Their innings ended when Coad played a tame tennis shot to Luke Fletcher and the ball looped to Patel at short cover.

With the ball  he struck with his second ball of the Nottinghamshire innings as he took three for 11 in seven overs.  Nottinghamshire only had 19 overs to face but lost skipper Steven Mullaney to Brooks’ second ball when he played over it and was bowled.  In his next over he had Chris Nash caught behind by Andy Hodd was forced to play at one that left him and Hodd took a diving catch.

Ross Taylor and Patel looked to have steady the Nottinghamshire ship  by adding 33 in eight overs until  Patel  hit across the line to Brooks and was plum leg before to give Brooks his third wicket.

Nottinghamshire went three down to the first ball of the fourth over when Coad had Jake Libby leg before.

Brooks said: “After my knock I was really ready to bowl and after a few warm up up balls I thought I’m ready. I am a new ball bowler and it’s my job to get wickets and it’s always nice to start with a wicket.  I love bowling here, I’ve got a good track record here and I always back myself to get wickets here.

It’s always nice to bat with Hodd and we got nearer to a  score that we know we can defend.  I know my batting game now and I can back my defence.  But after 60 balls I lose interest.”

Up to Brooks’ arrival on the scene it had been wicket keeper Hodd who had come to Yorkshire’s rescue as he topped scored with 62 as yet again the top order failed to fire.

It could have been a lot worse for Yorkshire, when he came into bat  Yorkshire were five down for 93  and we were still in the morning session.  Jack Leaning stuck with him for 19 overs adding 43.  The partnership was broken when Leaning pushed at Fletcher and Notts skipper Mullaney took a comfortable catch at second slip.

Consecutive fours from Hodd off Harry Gurney took him within three off his half century. The first was a leg glance and the next was a Chinese cut.   He reached his half century with gentle push to mid off for a single after the previous ball from Gurney went through and missed everything.  But Gurney ended the over with a wicket when Josh Shaw got an inside edge to a drive and Moores catch of the innings. With Hodd, Shaw added 36 in 12 overs.

Hodd hit the first ball of the evening session from Gurney to the boundary to give Yorkshire their first batting point but his innings came to an end after 165 minutes when he got an inside edge to Gurney to give the left arm seamer his third wicket.

Fletcher took four wickets for 47 and Gurney took three for 46.  He said: “I beat the bat a few times early on but I got my rewards throughout th edgy.  I thought it was a good days cricket which was hard fought.  When the batters get through the new ball it’s hard work.

The difference between division one and two. Is that most of the lads down there can hold a bat.  It’s something that we need to get used to.”

He added: “I thought Brooks’ opening spell was brilliant he was top draw. It was good to see Taylor bat today I thought he was brilliant and hopefully tomorrowWe’ll get near Yorkshire’s score.”

After two abandoned matches the 2018 cricket season finally got underway at Emerald Headingley when Jake Ball delivered the first ball from the Kirkstall lane end to Adam Lyth who stroked it through the covers for a single.

Yorkshire lost their first wicket in the seventh over when Alex  Lees edged a drive off Ball and Kiwi Taylor at third slip took a high catch, yet again another poor opening stand by Yorkshire.

Cheteshwar Pujara, in his second spell with Yorkshire, got off the mark straight away but then he got bogged down for 20 minutes until he missed a straight ball from Fletcher and was leg before.

Yorkshire skipper Gary Ballance came in and didn’t get off the mark, he cut a ball from Ball that was too close to him and Patel took  the catch at point.The ball after Harry Brook had brought up the fifty partnership with Lyth the partnership was broken when Lyth played back to Gurney and was leg before. Three overs later Brook was beaten for pace and yorked by Wood for 22.

Fletcher got his third wicket of the innings when he had Tim Bresnan leg before for 10 with one that would have middle and leg.

Day 2

LAST season 24 year old Ben Coad burst on to the Championship scene by taking 50 wickets and on the second day of Yorkshire’s clash against Nottinghamshire he took another three wickets to add to the one he took on the first day.

His four wickets only cost him 49 as Yorkshire dismissed Nottinghamshire  for 188 giving the Tykes a lead of  68. He took his first wicket of the day in the tenth over of the morning and what a scalp New Zealander Ross Taylor.

Nottinghamshire started the day 203 behind and Taylor reached his fifty with a cover drive of Jack Brooks for one of his nine fours in his fifty.  15 minutes after reaching   his fifty Coad struck. Taylor gently steered his  third ball after being recalled to the attack to Jack Leaning at third slip.   In Coad’s next over Tom Moores edged him to Leaning at third slip.

Coad wrapped up  the Nottinghamshire's innings at exactly 1.00 when Harry Gurney got a leading edge to and Tim Bresnan took the catch running from mid wicket.
He said: "It was a great day for us. You look back to the start of the first day and we weren't in a great position. But the way we've fought back, we've put ourselves in a position. It's really pleasing to see.

It's tough against the new ball, but it gets easier once you get through that. We showed that last night when we got a few wickets. To finish them off this morning was really good for us. Then to get the start of a really big partnership between Gary and Jack.
You always want to get off the mark as soon as possible as a bowler, so I was pleased to do that last night. It's good for the confidence. To get a few under my belt first innings sets me up for the season, and hopefully it can carry on like this.

Lythy's catch was one of the best I've ever seen. That low to the ground as well, it wasn't a nice height. To somehow get down there that quickly was an incredible effort.  Our catching was outstanding. No slip catch is easy, and we know how good our lads are there.

We know how good Gary is, and it was a proper captain's knock today. Hopefully we can push on to a really big lead."

The reason that Yorkshire’s lead was only 68 was thanks to Jake Ball who came in at number 10 with Nottinghamshire on 130.  He hit an unbeaten 44 after he had set off on fire.  He quickly raced to 22 with five lusty blows to the boundary.  Then he backed away from Bresnan  and planted him over cover for his sixth boundary in 12 balls.

Riki Wessels added 61 for the fifth wicket with Taylor but he nearly gave Yorkshire the early breakthrough when on 35 when he edged Coad but the ball fell just short of stumper Andy Hodd.  His 111 minute innings ended when he bottom edged Bresnan and the ball flew to Leaning at third slip who took a chest high catch to put Bresnan on a hat trick which Ball blocked.

Sheffield born Luke Wood made 17 out of partnership of 25 with Wessels was Bresnan’s first victim when he edged Bresnan and Adam Lyth at second took a great low catch going to his right.

In Yorkshire’s second innings Alex Lees’ awful run continued when he a left a  ball from Ball that tailed in back at him and was leg before for a duck in the third over.
Ball could have got his second wicket but Chet Pujara was dropped at first slip by  Wessels  before he scored and the ball raced to the boundary.

The running between Lyth and Pujara was always likely to result in a run out and so it proved. Lyth dropped the ball at his feet and Pujara set off for a single and got practically to the other end before Lyth had set off. When Lyth did set off he saw Libby running in from point and turned back.  Pujara couldn't beat Jake Libby’s throw to Gurney.
Lyth was the next to go when he was caught down the leg side by Moores off Wood trying to flick off his hips to fine leg.


Harry Brook looked in a confident mood until he was beaten by pace as Ball sent his middle stump cartwheeling out of the ground. With Gary  Ballance they added 58 in 17 overs their 50 partnership came off just 56 balls. His 36 included three four and a six when he went down the wicket to Samit Patel and drove him over extra cover.

After his first ball duck Yorkshire skipper Ballance needed a good score for both his and the team’s confidence and moral.  He reached his fifty after 138 minutes when he square cut Gurney to the boundary.  With Leaning the pair batted for 36 overs without any further loss taking Yorkshire to a lead of 257.

Nottinghamshire bowling coach Andy Pick said: “Not a lot happened in the last session but  I can’t fault the lads effort. It’s tough out there for the bowlers but they have bowled a lot of balls in the right areas. I thought Ballance played very well.  We need to get a breakthrough early in the morning.

We’ll be happy chasing as few as possible in the last innings but what they get we’re going to do our best to get there.”