Yorkshire cling on to deny Nottinghamshire in thriller
Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire served up an absolute thriller of a contest, in front of the television cameras, as their Specsavers County Championship match at Trent Bridge went right down to the final ball before ending in a draw.
With the home side needing one wicket to pull off a sensational victory, Jack Brooks kept out Stuart Broad’s final delivery to earn the defending champions a share of the points.
Set to score 320, from a minimum of 53 overs, Yorkshire went after their target, thanks to a splendid century from Alex Lees but then lost wickets inside the final hour before reaching the close on 257 for nine.
Lees, who made 92 in the first innings, scored 107, making his runs from 123 deliveries, having hit 14 fours in a high class innings. Gary Ballance added 43 but the charge was halted by Harry Gurney, with four for 53 and Jake Ball, who claimed three for 68.
Nottinghamshire’s lower order had set the game up in magnificent fashion, in the first half of the day, adding 250 for the final five wickets, before the innings closed on 348.
Chris Read completed the 25th century of his career, by being last out for 101, with Steven Patterson finishing with four for 57 and Jack Brooks taking three for 69.
With half the crowd anticipating an early handshake, Yorkshire suddenly pressed the accelerator with 144 needed from the final 16 overs and seemed on course, with Lees going well alongside Joe Root and with a strong batting line-up to follow.
Notts chipped away with important wickets though, Gurney scything through the lower middle order to halt the victory charge.
Ball continued to impress, having Bairstow caught behind for 35, before Lees and Liam Plunkett fell in the pursuit of quick runs.
Broad, who had been hit for an enormous – and unorthodox – six over midwicket by Plunkett, removed Steven Patterson with two balls of the match left, leaving Brooks to survive for the draw.
The day had begun in disastrous fashion for Notts, with Samit Patel falling to the first ball he faced, nicking Brooks to third slip, where Root took an excellent one-handed catch to send the batsman back for his overnight 51.
Broad set about the Yorkshire attack with gusto, whilst Read waited for the opportunity to cash in at the other end.
Brooks eventually broke their 104-run seventh wicket partnership, with Lyth taking a sharp catch to remove Broad for 55 but even that failed to stem the flow of runs.
Ball continued the mayhem, hitting four fours and a six in a bright and breezy 22, ended when David Willey took the second new ball.
Read’s 50 came from 117 balls, with seven fours and a mighty six, struck off Root. He then took full toll against Rashid, hitting two more maximums against the leg spinner.
Jackson Bird made 23 and some support from last man Gurney helped Read get through to his century.
Both sides take 10 points from the contest, meaning that Nottinghamshire nip ahead of Warwickshire at the top of the Division One table.