A splendid innings of 83 from Alex Hales ensured that Nottinghamshire offered some sterner resistance when they batted for the second time at Headingley Carnegie.
Hales’ second meaningful contribution of the contest helped Notts reach 174-6 by the close of Day Two, still 19 runs away from making Yorkshire bat again, after the home side had earlier made 336 all out.
"They bowled really well all day and made it tough for us," said Adam Voges.
"Alex and I put on a good partnership together but unfortunately we just lost our way a little bit at the crucial time.
"Ready and Mull are still together and if they can stay together and get us a lead of around 100 you just never know. I’ve said to the boys that I’ve seen lots of teams struggle to chase 100 down.
"The wicket is starting to do a little bit – there’s some up and down movement, so you never know what might happen if we can get at least 100 in front."
Resuming from their overnight position of 213-5 Yorkshire’s Andrew Gale and Adil Rashid began against the bowling of Samit Patel and Luke Fletcher.
On another bright, sunny morning Notts took to the field without Andre Adams, who was having treatment to a slight groin niggle. Michael Robson performed the twelfth man fielding duties with Ben Phillips also on the ground if needed.
Rashid had only added a single to his overnight score when he fell to Patel – bowled tried to give himself room to play on the off-side. Samit’s joyous reactions were a fitting celebration for his 100th first class wicket and also ensured the capture of a second bonus point for his side.
Rich Pyrah claimed five wickets on the first day but the cricketing gods didn’t favour him 24 hours later as he perished without scoring, becoming Fletcher’s fourth victim to a ball that perhaps kept a touch low.
Gale’s fifty had come when he eased Fletcher down to third man for a couple. David Wainwright added an enterprising 19 before driving straight back to Patel and Ryan Sidebottom also fell without scoring, lbw to Franks.
When last man Oliver Hannon-Dalby walked to the wicket Gale was 67 not out but in an astonishing counter-attack he changed the shape of the day and put his side even more firmly in command. In around 45 minutes of controlled-hitting he powered up to and beyond his century and by the interval had reached 143 not out – coincidentally matching Notts’ first innings score on his own!
With his partner contributing just 2, the pair added 80 before lunch to extend the lead to 191.
Last season at Trent Bridge Gale compiled a career-best 151 not out in Yorkshire’s five wicket victory and he was within six runs of that score when the innings folded.
A smart bit of retrieval work by Chris Read prevented Gale from getting back for 2 runs, enabling Charlie Shreck to have the remaining five deliveries at Hannon-Dalby. In the event only 2 balls were used, with Adam Voges taking a regulation offering at second slip. The last pair had contributed 82 in just 14 overs.
Trailing by 193 Notts began their second innings under hot sunshine knowing that they needed to make a better fist of things than on the first morning. Sixty overs remained in the day when Paul Franks and Mark Wagh began for the second time but they only lasted for five of them before Sidebottom struck.
Going back to a full-pitched delivery that may have kept a touch low, Franks lost his middle stump to his former team-mate for just four. The stump was struck with such force that it had to be replaced.
Two more wickets then fell in quick succession – Wagh losing his off stump to Pyrah and Patel to Sidebottom. The latter completing an unwanted ‘pair’ by again failing to score.
In need of an innings of substance Notts were indebted to Alex Hales for the second time in the match. The young right-hander again looked at ease on a wicket that had presented problems for most of his colleagues. Crisp boundaries all around the wicket took him into the forties and he found solid support from Adam Voges.
In the penultimate over of the session Hales lofted Adil Rashid over long off for the maximum which brought up a splendid half century from just 69 deliveries and by tea the pair had put on 52 for the fourth wicket.
Steady progress after the break brought up the century partnership but then both fell in quick succession to Pyrah. Hales was bowled for 83 by another one that kept low and then Voges, 42, was given out lbw having survived a confident appeal in the previous over.
Ali Brown made 12 before edging behind off a returning Sidebottom and it was left to Chris Read and Steven Mullaney to take it through to the close.