BRILLIANT. Breathtaking. Brutal.
Yorkshire blew away Notts with the ease of a sub-machine gun trained on a row of plastic ducks.
After starting day three on 302-3 in their first innings in reply to the visitors’ 224, they were bowled out for 430 just after lunch and then routed Notts for 198 inside 43 overs to win by an innings and eight runs.
Victory sent them second in the table, nine points behind Durham – who they meet at Chester-le-Street on Sunday – with a game in hand.
It was Yorkshire’s fourth victory in seven matches to go with three draws. After simmering steadily since the start of the season, the champions now seem to be cooking on gas.
Jason Gillespie, the first team coach, called it “a pretty ruthless performance”, which summed it up neatly.
“It was a fantastic display, and I can’t speak highly enough of the lads,” said Gillespie.
“The way they went about it with the ball, and the lines and lengths that they bowled, were outstanding by and large.
“The massive partnership between Andrew Gale and Jack Leaning (255 for the fourth-wicket) was sensational, and Tim Bresnan and Steve Patterson contributed useful runs lower down.
“We’re playing some good cricket, and although we’ve had some inconsistent days and sessions, to be in this position approaching the halfway stage of the season is incredibly satisfying, especially when you consider we were missing a number of players at the start of the summer through injuries and England call-ups.”
Just as Yorkshire were ruthless, so Notts were toothless.
Their second-innings collapse betrayed a lack of fight as well as technique, which particularly frustrated their own coach Mick Newell. Only Stuart Broad showed the requisite resilience, the England pace bowler returning 7-84 – his second-best figures in county cricket –before top-scoring with 50 from 42 balls.
On a mostly cloudy and clammy day, Notts started well as they took three wickets inside the first half-hour.
The second new ball – only two overs old at the start of the day – did the trick as Broad removed overnight centurions Gale and Leaning before Luke Wood dismissed Jonny Bairstow, who returned from England duty mid-match to replace Andy Hodd.
Gale, who resumed on 144, stroked a glorious cover-driven boundary off Broad before falling to his next ball – the sixth of the day – when he was adjudged trapped in front. Leaning, who resumed on 107, had added three to his tally when he chopped on, while Bairstow was bowled attempting to drive.
When James Middlebrook edged Ben Hilfenhaus to second slip, Yorkshire were 368-7. There followed a splendid stand of 50 between Bresnan and Patterson, which was broken on the stroke of lunch when Patterson edged behind.
Broad finished the innings by having Jack Brooks caught at first slip and trapping Ryan Sidebottom with successive balls, leaving Bresnan unbeaten on 52.
It was Bresnan’s second Championship fifty of the summer to go with one hundred, while Broad’s figures were behind only his 8-52 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston five years ago in Championship cricket.
Trailing by 206 with 61 overs left in the day, the prospect of a three-day finish soon came into view when Notts fell to 20-2.
Sidebottom had Brendan Taylor caught in the gully from the third ball of the innings and then his opening partner Steven Mullaney held behind.
Another five wickets fell in the afternoon session as James Taylor was pinned by Patterson; Riki Wessels caught behind driving at Bresnan; Michael Lumb trapped by Bresnan for an entertaining 47; Will Gidman caught just in front of square by Gary Ballance off Brooks; and Samit Patel brilliantly held by Alex Lees at first slip moving to his left.
It left Notts 108-7 at tea and 98 behind, the outcome all but done and dusted. After Sidebottom bowled Wood, Broad and Hilfenhaus added 60 for the ninth wicket before Broad was caught by Gale off Middlebrook. Fittingly, Sidebottom – who claimed Yorkshire’s best figures of 4-39 against his old county – took the winning catch when Jake Ball skied Middlebrook to mid-off.
Scoreboard: Page 22.