Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire, Trent Bridge, 1st day August 22, 2013

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.

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  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    I'm afraid so, markatnotts. And in recent seasons how many of those early season wins have been built around Chris Read rescue acts with the bat ? He has still to reach 50 this year though. We've been overreliant on two or three players for a long time. Ironic that we thought Ryan Sidebottom was past it.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    I am not sure that Jonny Bairstow was rested to help re-build his confidence, Stargazer; it was more about the five bowler issue and there was clearly some debate about him keeping wicket, even to have him put on keeper pads before the start of play at the Oval! But you are right about the outcome. He will benefit himself and Yorkshire more from playing that carrying drinks again. His dip in form is not unconnected with all the waiter service he has been providing when he could have been batting. Yorkshire's development of young players like him does the club great credit and it is a tremendous achievement to be topping the championship table without the regular services of Bresnan, Root, Bairstow and Balance.

  • Pelham on August 23, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    As a neutral spectator, I should like to record my appreciation for the umpires, who at 3.30pm announced a resumption at 3.50 even though there was still a lot of water lying on the large covers, and for the groundstaff, who worked flat out over the following 25 minutes to ensure that that over-optimistic target was only just missed.

  • Michael on August 23, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    As a Nottinghamshire member, I am alarmed at the decline of my county in the Championship. Personally, I couldn't care less about 20/20 'tip & run' contests, but it appears as if this is the be and end all for both management and, it seems, players at Notts these days. If it really is believed by the powers-that-be that Division Two cricket is acceptable at Trent Bridge, then I urge them to think again before they risk losing a lot of members and the few quality four day players they have left in the squad.

  • GeoffreysMother on August 22, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    Patto, unsung, but beginning to get a few well deserved verses these days. Good to also hear that Bairstow, as usual, put the team first in going for runs - which is why England will need him in the not too distant future. Finish the county season though first lad. Batting against Durham, Sussex and Middlesex will be of more value than carrying the drinks in the England one day matches. Hopefully Flower and Giles see the sense in that.

  • Mark on August 22, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    This rather puts to shame the people who said that Yorkshire would go straight back down. They have put together a strong side and have had enough strength in depth to survive Test calls. Unless the weather cheats them, they could have this wrapped up by lunch tomorrow. Most England fans will be delighted to see Jonny Bairstow return to the county and get some runs to help build back his confidence: it was the whole idea of resting him for this Test.

    In contrast, Nottinghamshire look in desperate need of regeneration. They should avoid relegation, but it may not be much. The side needs to re-build.

    When Yorkshire win this match it will give them at least one hand on the Championship trophy, especially with Middlesex looking set for a shock defeat to Derbyshire.

  • Mark on August 22, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    To be honest I am not surprised. As good as Yorkshire are, Notts just don't look bothered. Indeed I alluded to this after the disastrous string of results in the white ball games. Every year August seems to signal the end of the season for Notts, the limit of ambition seems to be getting a home T20 quarter final, "giving it a go" in the pro 40, and staying in the first division. The difficulty with the championship this year is the traditional end of season sloppiness is not shielde by a string of several early season wins. Aside from this feckless performance, the spin bowling issue still hasn't been addressed despite Swann being away consistently from 2009 onwards.

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