Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire - Jordan Thompson, Jack Shutt and Dominic Leech show promise but need time

THREE MEMBERS of Yorkshire’s frontline bowling attack went into this match with just four first-class appearances between them.

Finding his feet: Twenty-three-year-old off-spinner Jack Shutt is making only his second appearance for Yorkshire in their Bob Willis Trophy match at Nottinghamshire. He is one of three relative novices in the White Rose bowling attack. (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWPix.com)

Jordan Thompson, the 23-year-old all-rounder, had played three times; Jack Shutt, the 23-year-old off-spinner, once, and Dominic Leech, the 19-year-old pace bowler, is making his debut.

To expect a great deal in such circumstances is to expect a deal more than might be expected.

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Take out Ben Coad and Matthew Fisher from this Yorkshire line-up, who took 10 of the 20 wickets between them in the opening round victory at Durham, but are now nursing side and abdominal niggles respectively, and you are left with a trio of greenhorns to complement the enduring reliability of Steve Patterson and the somewhat mercurial capabilities of Duanne Olivier.

Yorkshire's Jordan Thompson bowls. (Picture: SWPix.com)

That being so, Yorkshire – although favourites coming into this game against opponents who have not won a first-class match for over two years – could take nothing for granted by the banks of the Trent.

Patterson is the only bowler on show that you would put your Yorkshire Post subscription on, let alone your mortgage, with Olivier not yet consistent enough to be quite so regarded.

Olivier, the 28-year-old South African, is an X-factor type, a man who can blow a hole through a team but at other times leave one exclaiming “blow me” in frustration.

In short, this is an attack made up of mostly young ages as opposed to an attack for the ages, one that tends more towards “work-in-progress” than “finished article” on cricket’s swingometer.

Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson is the elder statesman of Yorkshire's bowling attack (Picture: SWPix.com)

How well that verity was emphasised on day two of the Bob Willis Trophy match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

The hosts were dismissed for 355 at the end of it, a lead of 91, after Yorkshire were removed for 264 on the opening day.

It was a commendable performance by the home team, for whom Tom Moores top-scored with a career-best 106 from 140 balls with 12 fours and three sixes, and whose chance of establishing such a lead seemed slim following the key run out of Joe Clarke just after lunch.

It was suicidal stuff: Steven Mullaney, the Nottinghamshire captain, dropping a ball from his opposite number Patterson into the offside and calling Clarke for a run that never looked on, Jordan Thompson swooping from point with a direct hit to end a stand of 60 and leave the hosts 115-4.

Nottinghamshire had started the day on 13-1, a day that dawned with a muggy feel beneath oppressive grey cloud.

Ben Duckett was an early casualty, Olivier finding his outside edge from the Pavilion End and Adam Lyth doing his usual at second slip.

After Olivier’s opening burst, Patterson threw the ball to 
debutant Leech, who struck with his 11th delivery in first-class cricket.

Haseeb Hameed, the former Lancashire and England opener, tried to turn it to leg but somehow got it out to second slip where Lyth, again, did the rest.

That left Nottinghamshire 
55-3, which had become 105-3 at lunch thanks to Clarke and Mullaney.

They had just started to turn things in their team’s favour only for Clarke’s calamitous run-out to energise Yorkshire, whose cries of encouragement to one another went up a few decibels.

Mullaney did his best to atone by reaching a fine half-century from 79 balls with eight fours and a pulled six off Olivier.

But he had not added to his 50 when he tried to sweep Lyth’s off-spin, missed and was lbw, leaving his team 163-5.

Patterson had turned to Lyth’s occasional spin after Shutt had struggled in his opening efforts from the Radcliffe Road end.

Figures then of 0-31 from six overs offered his captain neither penetration nor control, but Shutt is a youngster learning his trade – he only debuted himself in the victory at Durham – and there are sure to be better days ahead for this promising player.

Ultimately, though, spin is an area in which Nottinghamshire appear to have an edge over Yorkshire here.

The fact that they are playing on a used pitch and picked two frontline spinners betokened intentions which they hope will bear fruit.

Peter Trego, the former Somerset all-rounder, chipped in with a useful 39 before driving Olivier into the gully, where Harry Brook took a smart catch; some of Yorkshire’s groundfielding, incidentally, was excellent.

Moments earlier, Trego had been pinged on the helmet by an Olivier bouncer, hardly the most relaxing way to spend a summer’s Sunday afternoon.

At 187-6 when Trego fell, Nottinghamshire were still just about behind the eight-ball, but a seventh-wicket partnership of 99 between Moores and Samit Patel changed all that.

In glorious late afternoon sunshine, with the surrounding trees swaying in a gentle breeze, they turned a 77-run deficit when they came together into a 22-run lead before Patel nudged the part-time leg spin of Dawid Malan to short-leg, something of a bonus wicket from the visitors’ perspective.

Patel’s dismissal for 38 was followed by those of Zak Chappell, caught behind off Thompson, and Jake Ball, caught at slip by Lyth off Malan.

Moores hit out in a last-wicket stand of 61 with Matthew Carter before Patterson bowled Moores to end the fun and games.