Yorkshire CCC’s season of promise ends with a whimper at Nottinghamshire

THERE WAS to be no improbable victory after being forced to follow-on, no fairytale finish to Yorkshire’s season.

Nottinghamshire chalked off the extra 132 runs they required after starting day four on 42-1 to win by five wickets just after lunch.

For all that Yorkshire did well to set them a target, after Adam Lyth’s 153 had steered them to a second innings score of 396, there was never any realistic prospect of Yorkshire winning only their fourth Championship match after being made to bat again.

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Ultimately, you do not win too many Championship matches full-stop when you have been routed for 73 in your first innings in just 29.2 overs, as Yorkshire were on the second day here, and they could have no complaints with a second successive defeat after they had lost only one of their previous 12 fixtures in this year’s tournament.

Too little, too late: Ben Coad took a couple of Nottinghamshire wickets in the second innings (Picture: Getty Images)

“It’s just taken the gloss off what I think’s been a decent season,” said Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire first-team coach, whose side failed to reach 250 in eight of their 13 first innings in this summer’s Championship – yet still managed six wins and five draws.

“To be in the hunt two weeks ago to win the Championship, and then to lose two in a row – if I’m being honest, I don’t think the lads were quite on it this week after the disappointment of the week before (losing to Warwickshire).

“We warned against it; we didn’t want them to just turn up here and go through the motions, but it felt like that at times. We did what we usually do and fought back hard and gave ourselves a chance, but it was too late and to be rolled out for 70 just wasn’t good enough.”

After three days of unbroken sunshine in Nottingham, as fine weather blessed the competition’s last round, the clouds rolled in for the final day to offer the prospect, at least, of some help for the bowlers.

Adam Lyth batted well on day three (Picture: PA)

The pitch, however, remained in the placid condition that it had since pretty much the game’s halfway stage, with the surface looking considerably less green than it had at the toss.

Furthermore, if Yorkshire were to produce something special (their only previous Championship wins after following-on were against Surrey at the Oval in 1890, Sussex at Sheffield in 1892 and Somerset at Sheffield in 1951), it was essential that they took all of their chances.

But against a club which has only once lost after enforcing the follow-on, against an Essex team that contained the current Yorkshire batting coach Paul Grayson at Trent Bridge in 1999, an early opportunity went begging when wicketkeeper Harry Duke spilled Ben Slater on 19 with the score 49-1 in the day’s third over.

It was not really Duke’s catch, the 20-year-old diving one-handed to his left in front of first slip Tom Kohler-Cadmore. At the same time, it was one he would have hoped to make after the left-handed Slater edged a ball from Ben Coad, with Duke having kept well for the most part en route to holding six catches in Nottinghamshire’s first innings.

Nottinghamshire's Liam Patterson-White celebrates taking the wicket of Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore during day two (Picture: PA)

Slater rode his luck at times but anchored the chase with an unbeaten 79 from 132 balls as Nottinghamshire secured their first Championship win over Yorkshire at Trent Bridge since 2008, Yorkshire having won three and drawn six of their subsequent nine visits.

He punched Coad for a particularly stylish boundary square on the off-side, which drew cheers from two parties of schoolchildren, one dressed in green, the other dressed in red, and the immortal observation from John Potter, the Yorkshire scorer, that all it needed was for another party of kids to turn up dressed in amber to complete the set.

Not until the 18th over of the day did Yorkshire make a breakthrough, Ben Duckett dragging on an attempted cover-drive off Jordan Thompson, moments after reaching an 80-ball half-century that contained seven fours.

Duckett and Slater shared 98 for the second-wicket, the latter following him to the half-century mark from 83 deliveries with nine fours.

Joe Clarke, the first innings centurion who did so much to set up the win, perished to a rush of blood – and possibly a determination to finish things before lunch – when he skied Dom Bess to Kohler-Cadmore at mid-off, leaving the hosts 130-3.

When Coad produced a fine delivery to bowl Steven Mullaney past the outside edge, that became 143-4, and Coad captured his third wicket of the innings in the fourth over after lunch when Tom Moores clipped him to Will Fraine at mid-wicket as Nottinghamshire slipped to 163-5.

But they were home and hosed by then, and as the reds and greens screamed their little hearts out, the schoolchildren standing out even more due to the sparsity of the crowd, Slater and Liam Patterson-White completed the formalities before everyone had had chance to properly digest their lunch (Cumberland sausage and mash for the press, since you asked).

For Yorkshire, it was their batting wot cost ‘em once again – a case of back t’drawing board.