Luke Fletcher slows Yorkshire attempt to build on lead

Yorkshire 327-8 v Nottinghamshire

Trent Bridge

This match has taken on a significance for both sides since Nottinghamshire's director of cricket Mick Newell admitted that his team would be foolish to think that relegation cannot sneak up on them as the Championship season enters its final phase.

Equipped with a depth and quality of batting over which most of their First Division rivals cast envious eyes at the start of the season, they have been remarkably poor at converting those resources into wins. Notts have only two victories from 11 matches so far, a statistic that owes much to their failure – pointed out by Newell, incidentally – to take 20 wickets in any of the last seven games.

Their reliance on the creaking Andre Adams to supply 50 or more wickets in a season has been emphasised painfully during the Kiwi's several absences this year because of calf and hamstring injuries.

Newell fears that Adams, who turned 38 last month, will have to be nursed through the remaining five matches, so it will have come as a relief that Luke Fletcher, an honest and willing toiler, chose the moment to pick up his first five-wicket haul since 2011, although there was concern when an attack of cramp forced him to leave the field mid-over in the evening session.

His performance brought some balance to the day after Yorkshire were asked to bat first, on a hard pitch with some grass left on it, in a game with importance for them at the other end of the table, where they are eager to build on a lead at the top of 10 points over Sussex, who do not play this week.

Yorkshire's position at the head of affairs in their 150th year is all the more commendable for having got this far despite losing Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow for sizeable chunks of it. Bairstow drove up the M1 to join this match, having been released by England at The Kia Oval, but his return is countered by the absence of Gary Ballance with England Lions.

Yorkshire moved last week to cover Ballance's call-up by signing the New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who succumbed to a first-ball duck here, putting Fletcher on a hat-trick after a beautiful delivery had accounted for Andrew Gale, caught behind. Williamson, in his first first-class match since May's second Test against England, steered to third slip. Doubtless he will do better.

Adam Lyth became Fletcher's fourth victim when just five away from his second hundred of the season. Although his runs may be valuable, Lyth was cross with himself for playing needlessly outside off stump. He'd had an escape on 33, when Samit Patel could not hold a low chance at third slip, but there were some handsome drives among his 14 boundaries.

Adil Rashid, who survived Fletcher's hat-trick ball, added an elegant 78 before Fletcher had him leg-before. Wicketkeeper Chris Read overtook Bruce French as Nottinghamshire's most successful post-war wicketkeeper when his fourth catch took his career tally to 738.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine