Yorkshire County Cricket Club closed in on their first Division 1 title in 13 years at Notts yesterday, as they bowled their hosts out for 203 in the first innings and had then reduced them to 149-5 in the second at stumps. Notts go into the final day still 180 runs behind the Tykes with only 5 wickets left and most of their top order batsman already dismissed.
It could have been worse for Notts but for a fine last wicket partnership between Harry Gurney and Chris Read that earned them a batting bonus point. Read has been unfortunate to not gain more England caps over his career and he demonstrated his abilities with a gutsy knock of 81 not out. Earlier, former Yorkshire player Michael Lumb had hit a handy 41 before falling to one of a number of borderline lbw decisions during the day.
Yorks' bowlers shared the wickets out in the first innings, with Ryan Sidebottom (3-35) and Jack Brooks (4-58) doing most of the early damage, with spinner Adil Rashid (3-52) doing his bit against the later order.
Stand in captain Joe Root rotated his bowlers well with the follow on in mind, to leave them relatively fresh when he duly put Notts back in. It paid dividends as first Sidebottom trapped Mullaney lbw with the first ball of the second innings and then Brooks reduced them to 9-2 when Lumb was smartly caught by Gary Ballance. Alex Hales (43) and Samit Patel (25) both avoided repeating their first innings ducks but could not go on to score the major innings required. Notts will need the talented James Taylor (56 not out) to dig in on the last day with the later order if they are to escape with any chance of the draw, but it looks to be asking a lot against the White Rose county as they scent the victory that would clinch the title with a game to spare.
Warwickshire continued in their hope of keeping pace with the leaders of Division 1, as they piled on the runs against already relegated Northants on day 3 of 4 at Birmingham. A large first innings total of 573-9 was due in the main to two splendid scores by Jonathan Trott (164) and Sam Hain (208). Northants were toiling on 149 for 5 in their second innings, still some 151 behind at close of play.