Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire: Beaten White Rose anything but lotus eaters

THE CRICKET writer Neville Cardus famously described Trent Bridge as “a lotus land for batsmen”.

Adam Lyth top-scored for Yorkshire against Nottinghamshire with 63 from 54 balls but after passing fifty for a fourth occasion this season he was unable to translate it into a century (Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com).

The words are as true today as when he wrote them in the 1920s.

Cardus added that the ground was “a place where it was always afternoon and 360 for two wickets”, developing an affection for it eclipsed only by his beloved Old Trafford.

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Nowadays, however, particularly in one-day cricket, Cardus’s 360 figure looks decidedly conservative; indeed, the venue has come to resemble heaven itself for batsmen and hell on earth for bowlers.

There have been eight totals of over 400 at Trent Bridge in one-day cricket, more than at any other ground in the world.

Three of them had come in the previous two games played there in this year’s One-Day Cup, Nottinghamshire scoring 417-7 against a Lancashire team who replied with 406-9, and then Nottinghamshire recording 433-7 against Leicestershire.

Last summer the highest total in one-day international cricket was achieved at the venue by England against Australia, when blistering hundreds from Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales underpinned a score of 481-6.

This is not a place where a bowler comes expecting to improve his average. So when Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth cut the first ball of yesterday’s match off Luke Fletcher to the boundary in front of the Fox Road Stand, a stroke that made the sweetest of sounds as it came off the bat, the prevailing sentiment was: “Here we go again.”

The ball sat up like a throwdown in the nets, and Lyth dispatched it with the ease of a man batting on Whitby beach after Yorkshire won the toss on a sunny morning that soon clouded over.

But the anticipated run-fest never materialised, Yorkshire producing a curiously poor display as they were bowled out for 213 with 7.4 overs of their innings left.

Not even Trent Bridge gives up its riches without due bidding, but Yorkshire never threatened even the modern par score of 300, let alone 400, Nottinghamshire easing to a four-wicket win that leaves Yorkshire needing to win their last three games to stand any realistic chance of reaching the knockout stage.

After tying with Derbyshire at Headingley on Friday, a result that left them sixth in the North Group with a record of one win, one defeat and two ties, Yorkshire showed two changes to their starting XI.

Tim Bresnan was jettisoned after conceding 0-46 from three overs against Derbyshire (and 1-82 from 10 overs in the preceding match against Lancashire) and replaced by fellow all-rounder Matthew Waite.

With David Willey at England’s World Cup training camp, pace bowler Mat Pilans was also recalled.

Nottinghamshire, top of the group after four wins from four, were unchanged after Friday’s win against Leicestershire, the hosts currently without opening batsman Ben Slater (quad strain).

Yesterday was also ‘Family Fun Day’ at Trent Bridge, with £1 tickets and various supplementary activities such as face painting and a bouncy castle drawing a crowd of 14,478, a domestic white-ball record for the ground, and it was not long before the fun for the home fans came on the pitch too.

After Lyth and Harry Brook shared 107 for Yorkshire’s second wicket in 14 overs, following the departure of Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who advanced down the pitch to off-spinner Matt Carter in the second over and found deep mid-wicket, the hosts established a firm grip.

Brook was bowled trying to pull Carter, and then left-arm spinner Samit Patel had Lyth caught behind two balls later off an attempted cut.

It was a frustrating dismissal for Lyth, who top-scored with 63 from 54 balls with six fours and two sixes, the left-hander still searching for his first hundred of the season despite passing fifty on four occasions.

James Pattinson, an Australian quick, removed Jack Leaning when he scooped him straight up in the air to mid-on, and Carter judged a fine catch on the square-leg boundary when Gary Ballance helped round a delivery from the impressive Jake Ball.

Ball claimed a further two wickets when Jonny Tattersall pulled to deep mid-wicket and Pillans skied to cover, leaving Yorkshire 171-7 in the 32nd over.

The innings ended quickly as Luke Fletcher yorked Steve Patterson before Pattinson bowled Waite for 32 from 35 balls.

Fletcher had last man Josh Poysden caught behind, Yorkshire failing even to double their total from the promising platform of 112-1 when Brook was out.

In the lotus land that they know so well, Nottinghamshire were never likely to be discomforted by such a small target.

From the moment that Chris Nash drove the opening ball of the innings from Waite to the mid-on boundary at the Radcliffe Road end the hosts were in charge, although they did slip from 75-0 to 121-4 before a decisive stand of 63 in 16 overs between Steven Mullaney (54 not out from 58 balls) and Samit Patel.

The first wicket came from a moment of brilliance from Pillans, who took a superb one-handed catch, diving full-stretch to his right, when Nash played Patterson up to mid-on.

Pillans then struck to have Ben Duckett caught at cover and Jake Libby caught behind off successive balls, the South African later pouncing to have Joe Clarke lbw.

Waite had Patel caught behind and Tom Moores held at deep backward square-leg, but captain Mullaney dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on a comfortable win with 15.3 overs to spare.