After achieving victory against Hampshire in their opening LV= County Championship fixture, Nottinghamshire commence their away programme when they travel to Headingley Carnegie to face Yorkshire tomorrow.
The contest will allow the defending champions to make a fairly swift re-acquaintance with Ryan Sidebottom, who returned to his first county during the close season, after seven years on the Trent Bridge staff.
Ryan’s final year with Notts culminated in the title victory, with the tall left-arm swing bowler playing a major role on the closing day. Aided by Darren Pattinson he helped add the critical final ten runs to secure the fifth batting bonus point and then he picked up the wicket of Karl Brown to make the initial breakthrough when Lancashire batted.
On the occasion of their last visit to Headingley Carnegie, last August, Ryan was also a dominant factor as Notts pushed for victory, only to be denied when rain arrived during the tea interval on the final day with Yorkshire on 406-8 in their second innings, just 39 ahead with only those two wickets left.
Andrew Gale, the home captain, had surprised many by electing to bat first after winning the toss on the opening morning and Notts revelled in seam-friendly conditions to dismiss them for just 178 in only 58.3 overs.
The reply was spread over two rain-interrupted days but featured an innings of outstanding quality, with David Hussey’s monumental 251 not out sitting snugly in 13th place in the list of highest-ever scores by a Nottinghamshire batsman.
Aided by 96 from Samit Patel – the pair put on 184 for the fourth wicket – as Notts reached 545-7 declared.
A Jacques Rudolph hundred was the cornerstone of Yorkshire’s second effort but it seemed that Notts would press for the win before the weather intervened.
With both sides being strongly tipped to do well again this year – and clashing again at Trent Bridge in just a couple of weeks time, this forthcoming encounter can already be assessed as having some bearing on how the 2011 campaign may shape up.
Notts picked up 22 points from their win over Hampshire, whilst the Tykes currently have 25 points from the two Division One fixtures that they have now played, having beaten Worcestershire by 9 wickets at New Road but then losing at home to a resurgent Durham.
Yorkshire’s squad no longer includes their centurion of last season, Rudolph, who has pledged his future to South Africa, whilst their two Ashes heroes, Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad are currently unavailable – Bresnan resting up ahead of the international summer and Shahzad due to a hamstring injury.
Detailed reports on all of last seasons LV= County Championship fixtures can be found in ‘What Do Points Make? – the Inside Story of Nottinghamshire’s title success, which is available now, priced £14.99 from the Trent Bridge club shop)