Gale keeps faithful entertained
Nottinghamshire 443 (Lumb 135) and 105 for 1 drew with Yorkshire 572 for 7 dec. (Gale 272, Ballance 141)
This was the sort of day when cricket's stattos wear their golden anoraks with velveteen trimmings. Although the match between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire was very drawn indeed, the batting of Andrew Gale ensured that there was plenty of interest for diehard home supporters who dutifully turned up at North Marine Road on Saturday morning, copies of the Yorkshire Post in hand, hoping to see their captain carry on precisely where he had suspended operations on Friday evening.
Gale did not disappoint them. The home skipper scored a further 113 runs in 41 overs on the final day and when he was seventh out, skying a pull off Samit Patel to wicketkeeper Chris Read, his tally of 272 had broken a raft of records. His individual score is the 13th highest in Yorkshire's history, the third highest since the war and best tally since Darren Lehmann made 339 against Durham in 2006. It was also the biggest score by a Yorkshire batsman at Scarborough. Gale faced 404 balls and batted for a minute short of nine hours.
Gale collaborated in setting other records too. His 297-run partnership with Gary Ballance was the third biggest fifth-wicket stand for Yorkshire and the county's final total of 572 for 8 declared was their highest against Nottinghamshire.
Perhaps more significantly in the context of Gale's season, his final score was 62 runs more than he had scored cumulatively in his nine previous Championship innings this season. That fact was reflected in the skipper's growing assurance as he dominated Nottinghamshire's bowling on the final day of this match. Batting on a pitch which suits his technique, Gale got on top of the bounce and inside the line of the ball as often as possible. Patel was hit for three sixes before he finally bought his man's wicket.
Along with Ballance, who eventually under-edged a cut to Read off Paul Franks when he had made 141, Gale showed an obvious hunger for runs by his careful strokeplay and eager running between the wickets in the first session of the day. Although Adil Rashid was caught at cover for a duck, thus reducing his season's average to a mere 169.66, Andrew Hodd gave Gale stout assistance in the later stages of the innings as Yorkshire built a first-innings lead of 129, riches indeed considering that they were 27 for 3 late on Thursday evening.
There was even time for Gale to make a gesture in the direction of winning the match, or at least embarrassing the Nottinghamshire batsmen, when he declared and gave his bowlers a maximum of 46 overs to force the most unlikely of victories. This ordeal proved too much for the utterly out of touch Alex Hales, who was lbw for 5, taking his aggregate of Championship runs for the season to 142 in twelve visits to the crease.
But that was the last of the alarms for the day. True, Ryan Sidebottom struck a quite magnificent double-teapot pose when Ed Cowan survived an lbw shout and was then dropped by Adam Lyth at slip, but Cowan survived some increasingly bland Yorkshire bowling on a good pitch to finish on 53 not out when the teams shook hands at 4.50pm. By then, though, the game had been deeply drawn for at least an hour or more and the crowd were already discussing Yorkshire's team selection for the YB40 game against Leicestershire, where a 15-year-old could play for the White Rose.