Despite a splendid innings of 85 from Alex Hales, Nottinghamshire had little else to celebrate at a sun-baked Headingley Carnegie after a spirited performance with both bat and ball from Yorkshire.
At the close of day one the home side had reached 213-5, an overall lead of 70, having dismissed the reigning champions for just 143.
“The wicket had been prepared for their spinners to use later in the game so it was definitely a bat first wicket but we got into trouble through a series of poor shots,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell.
“Alex Hales timed the ball nicely sand whilst he was there I thought there was a chance that we might get up to 200 or 250 to keep us in the game.
“Perhaps we shared the last session but we’d dug ourselves into a big hole in the first two sessions and it’s left us with a lot to do.”
On winning the toss Chris Read elected to bat but plans of a comfortable day watching his top order accumulate steadily were soon thrown aside. With the final delivery of the fourth over, and with only seven runs on the board, Mark Wagh was clean bowled by Oliver Hannon-Dalby, the ball jagging back and clipping the leg stump.
Without any addition to the total two more wickets fell in quick succession. Ryan Sidebottom dismissed Paul Franks, courtesy of a superb one-handed slip catch by Anthony McGrath and then Samit Patel fell first ball to his former team-mate, as a vicious in-swinger struck him on the pads in front of middle stump.
Adam Voges survived the hat-trick delivery but had only made 2 when another sharp slip catch accounted for him and Ali Brown only had 11 to his name when he became Sidebottom’s third victim, as umpire Steve Garratt upheld a strong appeal for leg before.
Skipper Read also got a start before edging behind for 10, attempting to pull Pyrah through midwicket. At 56-6 thoughts were cast back to last season’s meeting at Trent Bridge when Nottinghamshire made only 59 but that meagre tally was overhauled when Steven Mullaney stroked his first boundary.
Supporting Hales, the pair accelerated the run-rate with the penultimate over of the session bringing high drama. Hales lofted David Wainwright high over long off for a huge six into the rugby stand but then was dropped behind to the next delivery, giving himself room to force on the off.
The next ball was sweetly driven through the covers to bring up a well-merited half century. Notts lunched on 100-6 with Hales on 54 and Mullaney on 15.
Hopes of the pair manufacturing a huge stand during the post-lunch session were immediately extinguished as Mullaney nicked the second delivery of the afternoon through to ‘keeper Bairstow.
Andre Adams, fresh from his 37 against Hants, clubbed his first ball over midwicket for a one-bounce four. He helped himself to another before hitting all around another Pyrah delivery to leave the total on 124-8.
Sidebottom got his fourth wicket when Lyth swooped in the gully to catch Luke Fletcher and the end soon followed. Hales hit Pyrah for a four and a six over midwicket but then attempting a repeat was caught on the ropes by Gerard Brophy for an excellent 85.
Pyrah finished with a championship-best analysis of 5-58 and Sidebottom 4-30.
Defending only 143 Notts received a lift when Charlie Shreck dismissed Joe Root with his first delivery, at the start of the second over – Read claiming a regulation snick.
Anthony McGrath was helped on his way by a wayward throw from Luke Fletcher which gifted four overthrows and Adam Lyth also settled quickly.
A boundary clipped down to fine leg off the bowling of Paul Franks took Lyth to his half century and McGrath was himself only two runs away when tea was taken on 104-1.
The century stand was brought up between the pair but then Notts struck again – Adams’ inswinger getting McGrath lbw for 49.
Luke Fletcher tested out Lyth with several short-pitched deliveries and reaped some reward when the left-hander skied to long leg, where Paul Franks took a well-judged catch. The dismissal brought a welcome first bonus point of a disappointing day.
Fletcher’s confidence rose visibly and he tore one through the defences of Jonny Bairstow and had Gerard Brophy smartly taken at gully by Patel to leave Yorkshire on 144-5.
Adil Rashid provided solid support for Andrew Gale in the closing hour of the day to take the White Rose county to 213-5 at stumps.