Gale's positivity backfires as Yorkshire are blown away - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

Gale's positivity backfires as Yorkshire are blown away

Yorkshire 178 Nottinghamshire 147-3

This was an untimely moment for Yorkshire to record their lowest total in almost two years. In an increasingly close race for the County Championship, both sides have been keen to play down the significance of the meeting between first and second in the current table but for Yorkshire it is hard to pretend it is not a must-win fixture.

Nottinghamshire's game in hand give it that status as Yorkshire cling uneasily to a one-point lead after winning only one of their last six matches. After an opening day in which not much went their way, they may find it difficult to regain their impetus this week.

Yorkshire were bowled out inside 59 overs, having been 89 for 5 at lunch. Inevitably, questions were asked of Andrew Gale's wisdom in deciding to bat first in overcast, humid conditions, particularly with the swing factor in the Test match between Australia and Pakistan here fresh in the memory.

In fact, it was probably an easy decision to make. The pitches here have generally played well this season, yielding an average first-innings score in four matches of 431, the captain winning the toss opting to bat each time. Moreover, this pitch looks like one on which to bat first and back your spinners later, which is why Yorkshire included David Wainwright as well as the in-form Adil Rashid.

Unfortunately, Gale's plans began to unravel in the first over as Adam Lyth, the First Division's leading run-scorer, edged the fifth ball from Ryan Sidebottom to be taken at the wicket by Chris Read, requiring Geoff Miller, England's chief selector, to identify another purpose for his visit.

Nottinghamshire are having their own wobble, losing two of their last three matches. Their defeat of relegation favourites Warwickshire in between came on the back of career-best figures of 8-52 by Stuart Broad, who will not figure again this season.

Their cause was helped this time when Yorkshire needlessly squandered their second wicket, a misunderstanding between Anthony McGrath and Jacques Rudolph leading the latter to be run out for one. Thereafter, McGrath, Gale and Jonathan Bairstow got in only to get out without providing the substance the innings needed.

Gale helped himself to two nicely-timed boundaries off Darren Pattinson and a couple more off Sidebottom but was then leg before to Paul Franks. McGrath hit three fours in four balls off Andre Adams but was caught behind. Bairstow hit nine fours to reach 45, including three in a row off Darren Pattinson, but was undone by a beauty from Sidebottom that bowled him after swinging late, a delivery the bowler described as the kind "you bowl once each season."

After Matthew Wood had scored his second half-century in as many games, Nottinghamshire closed on 147 for 3, some 31 runs behind.

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