Yorkshire deepen Notts decline
Nottinghamshire 150 (Patterson 5-43) and 118 for 4 (Patel 37) trail Yorkshire 407 (Lyth 95, Rashid 78, Fletcher 5-93) by 139 runs
Yorkshire's dominance of the second day at Trent Bridge will have been watched with unease at Lord's, Hove and Chester-le-Street. For those who still doubted as much, it amplified the fact that they are the team to beat for anyone with title aspirations.
At some point on day three, barring unexpected defiance from a Nottinghamshire side that has thus far offered little, Yorkshire will add 23 points to their total and open up a 33-point gap between themselves and Sussex, who began the week in second place.
That, in turn, will put pressure on Middlesex, who may struggle to save a draw at Derby, and Durham, who will need to beat Surrey to stay in touch, given that they travel to meet the leaders at Scarborough next week without their most potent fast-bowling threat, Graham Onions.
Yorkshire need six wickets to secure an innings victory in what has been a performance befitting champions-elect. They have batted and bowled better than Nottinghamshire by a considerable margin and might have been heading back to Leeds already but for Andre Adams and one of their former players, Ajmal Shahzad, delaying the follow-on.
Their top-order comprehensively demolished by Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Patterson, Nottinghamshire were 65-8 and threatened with the embarrassment of their lowest all-out total since Yorkshire dismissed them for 59 here in 2010 before the two bowlers began to out bat to ball, aided by a sloppy four-over spell from Liam Plunkett.
Plunkett, the former Durham and England fast bowler has enjoyed an upturn in fortunes following his winter move to Headingley but not every day can go his way. Either side of a brief downpour, he bowled four overs for 46, teeing the ball up nicely for Adams to swing the bat, at which point Shahzad decided to do likewise.
Adams hit three sixes -- one of them caught, but out of bounds, by Adil Rashid -- in his 39 off 17 balls. Between them, they propelled Nottinghamshire to 150 all out, which was still 257 runs fewer than Yorkshire had achieved but which at least was less embarrassing.
Sidebottom, who knows the terrain here as well as anyone, took the key wickets, dismissing both Alex Hales and Michael Lumb without scoring and setting a trap into which Samit Patel obligingly fell when he chipped a catch to one of two short mid-wickets, taken above his head by Phil Jaques.
Patterson, as ever the unsung workhorse in the Yorkshire attack, finished with a career-best 5 for 43. With 43 wickets at 19.6, he is the county's leading wicket-taker in the Championship.
Nottinghamshire did a little better following on, although the England trio of Hales, Lumb and Patel have already been and gone. Hales, who still cannot match his one-day-form with anything resembling progress in the red-ball game, was caught behind for the second time in the day, and Lumb somewhat tamely gave Plunkett a return catch. Patel might be counted as slightly unlucky, having fallen victim to a brilliant one-handed catch, falling backwards on the boundary, by substitute fielder Richard Pyrah when he hooked Plunkett.
Sidebottom accounted for Steven Mullaney with a ball that the makeshift opener played all round and needs only one more wicket to equal the career first-class aggregate of 596 achieved by his father, Arnie.
If they were lame with the bat, Nottinghamshire had also performed fairly dismally with the ball in the morning, when Jonny Bairstow risked following his omission by England with a cheap dismissal here but was rewarded for his boldness.
His 62 from 80 deliveries, supported manfully by Patterson with the bat, steered Yorkshire to a fourth batting point. Indeed, they were not far from snatching a fifth, which would have been no mean feat for a side invited to bat first on one of the most taxing squares in the land.