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Yorkshire's tail rallies to leave Headingley's faithful with something to care for

Andy Hodd lifted Yorkshire Getty Images

Nottinghamshire 53 for 4 (Brooks 3-11) trail Yorkshire 256 (Hodd 62, Fletcher 4-47) by 203 runs
Scorecard

Cricket's changing landscape was there for all to see at Headingley. Behind the arm at the rugby end of the ground, the clanking and hammering told of a new stand rapidly taking shape. And, as spectators soaked up the sunshine on an entertaining, helter-skelter day, conversation often turned to the ECB's controversial plans for 100-ball cricket. Praise for that in this hotbed of traditionalism is not easy to find.

The two things are linked, of course. Without the revenue gained by successful short-form cricket, such stands as the one that will secure Headingley's future would be impossible to finance. But this? Sun-creamed heads shook not with shock, but with deepening sadness.

Many feel the game is being stolen from them. Championship diehards begin to grow old, lose friends and family and the game they love is gradually pilfered. Having become used to Twenty20, they are now told that even Twenty20 is not enough. If there was a unanimous plea here it would probably be to say: "Just leave us something worth caring for."

At such times, traditionalists take their pleasures one day at a time. There was plenty to be had with Yorkshire, up against it for much of the day, finding resilience down the order in the form of Andrew Hodd, who made 62 from 116 balls, and then picking up four cheap Nottinghamshire wickets by the close.

There was zest, too, from Jack Brooks, who is no fall-guy with the bat. Last season he scored a Roses Championship century at Old Trafford and added another during an intra-squad friendly on Yorkshire's pre-season tour of South Africa last month. His stand of 44 for the tenth wicket with Ben Coad gave Yorkshire the edge and his 30 included another clanking of the new stand with a six off Samit Patel.

Three top-order wickets then quickened Yorkshire's rally. Steven Mullaney dragged on and Chris Nash's furtive dab flew to slip - two for Brooks in his first two overs. Patel fell lbw, that one met by a throaty Headingley roar, 100-ball cricket temporarily forgotten. If Nottinghamshire's batting line-up is to survive the rigours of Division One, one senses that Patel needs a big season.

Yorkshire made much play before the start of the season on batting time in the Championship. Twenty20 shot-making was to be frowned upon. Lines were drawn in indoor schools, sessions arranged with psychologists, meaningful conversations held.

Yet before the ball had lost its sheen Alex Lees fended at a wide one from Jake Ball and Gary Ballance, the skipper, yet to score, slapped his ninth ball to point. Conditions were testing, but there were grumbles that nothing had changed. Still, if they were accused of a T20 mindset, they could always have suggested that nobody had warned them not to play 100-ball.

It was grand to see Luke Fletcher among the wickets - four of them - after his horrendous head injury in a Blast tie against Warwickshire last season. Such career-threatening blows, if things turn out well, can encourage players to return with fresh resolve, determined to make the most of their good fortune.

For 18 overs, Fletcher allowed few gifts. His quartet included the Indian Test No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, a valid lbw decision which Pujara dwelt upon before leaving, as if he was still hanging around for his luggage at the airport carousel.