On the eve of the first Test of the summer, James Taylor, who was part of the England team that faced South Africa two years ago, gave the selectors a gentle reminder that he is still around as he came close to his first century of the season.
He fell just four short as Nottinghamshire battled to a draw with Yorkshire in County Championship Division One. Taylor, on 27 overnight, was dismissed by fellow England international Tim Bresnan for 96, his innings being the cornerstone of Nottinghamshire's 335 for 8 declared.
Chris Read's 75 and Peter Siddle's carefree 48 not out effectively ended Yorkshire's hopes of victory at Headingley by taking the winning target to 294 and both sides pocketed nine points when Yorkshire closed on 53 for 3.
Taylor hit two early boundaries off Jack Brooks, but Michael Lumb added just six to his overnight score before Steve Patterson had him caught behind.
Three balls later, Patterson had Samit Patel caught for a duck, leaving Notts at 125 for 4, and when Tim Bresnan, who took four wickets, trapped Riki Wessels lbw for 18 the door was ajar for the home side. But Taylor and Read closed it with a sixth-wicket stand worth 115.
Taylor, having hit 12 fours, was just one more away from a century when a leg-side clip off Bresnan went straight to Adil Rashid at square leg.
Read and Siddle added 45 before the captain fell to the same combination of Bresnan and Rashid, having hit nine fours and a six. By then Siddle had already eased the lead towards 300 before the declaration came.
With just 39 overs left Yorkshire's only realistic aim was to avoid losing a cluster of wickets to take the draw and they succeeded.
James Taylor was only given two Tests against South Africa to stake his claim for an England place played two Tests in 2012, scored 96 today with Test places up for grabsReuse content